Saturday, February 23, 2013

Author Influences: Robert A. Heinlein

"There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him."
---RAH, from The Moon is a Harsh Mistress


My Dad was reading this book one day when I was but a tot, called Methuselah's Children. I didn't know what it was about, because I was at the age when pictures were as important as words. I think I was about 4 years or so old (I started teaching myself to read at 3, and at 4 I was already conviced I was going to hunt for dinosaur bones like Roy Chapman Andrews). 

Anyway, dad was reading this book (sometime before he chucked  Atlas Shrugged  against a wall), and I was just fascinated with how he could read this huge book with no pictures. He told me Heinlein was a mathematician and an astronomer as a well as a writer, a sort of renaissance man. And he was.

I don't remember what was the first of Heinlein's books that I read, but I do remember his writing style was so smooth and easy that I got lost in a big hurry. I finished the book before I knew it, no pictures or anything. And I went on to:


 Followed by

And then on to his deeper works,


And others to numerous to mention here. There was always something to learn in his works, too. If he stated something as a fact, it was. Do yourself a favor. If you haven't introduced yourself to Robert A. Heinlein, it's never too late. Most of his works are still available, which is a testament to his title as the Dean of Modern Science Fiction. He has influenced more writers than many are aware.

Thanks for putting up with me for that last couple of weeks as I ramble on about some of my favorite writers, those who influence a lot of my own work.

I'll be back next week with a sneak preview of my second book, coming to paperback this summer. Stay tuned.


  1. Have you ever read The Glory Road? My first and favorite book of his.

  2. Good post; I can relate because when I was a kid, I read a lot of SF books by Heinlein and others. I'm sure he and many others contributed to my ultimate desire to be a writer.

    (SS Hampton, Sr., MIU author)

  3. Just curious, Cy, and please don't throw anything at me if you share your father's sentiments, but why did he disparage Atlas Shrugged?
    By the way, I discovered Heinlein along with Asimov and Clarke at a very early age as well. As an influence... well, you couldn't get much better.

  4. Dad loved the book. He hated what some of the characters were doing. It just made him angry. That is a good sign of the greatness of a literary work, that it can affect its readers so deeply.