Rodger Morris (rodger@FISHNET.NET)
Fri, 3 Oct 1997 17:11:24 -0700
At 09:29 AM 10/3/97 -0500, you wrote:
>On Wed, 1 Oct 1997 Steven G. Tyler wrote
>>chemical reaction at a more normal rate. TANSTAAFL (for the
>>acronymically-impaired, that's "There ain't no such thing as a free
>>lunch!" (extra credit for anyone who can identify the SF writer who
>>regularly used that acronym in his/her writing))
>I don't know who the SF writer is, but I remember the quote from
>Barry Commoner's 1971 book "The Closing Circle: Nature, Man &
>Technology." In it he listed his four laws of ecology
>1) Everything is connected to everything else,
>2) Everything must go somewhere,
>3) Nature knows best, and
>4) There is no such thing as free lunch.
>Who's the SF writer?
>Ed Boudreaux <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Cherokee Area Council
The science fiction writer was Robert A. Heinlein. He used the phrase
in his book, "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress". Mr. Heinlein was also a
Scouting supporter. He wrote several science fiction stories for
"Boys' Life" magazine, and a series of juvenile science fiction novels
that are still outstanding reading for all ages, even though they were
written about 40-50 years ago.
Mr. Heinlein was born in 1907 in Kansas City, Missouri, and he and his
brothers were Boy Scouts.
Most of Robert Heinlein's books are still in print. They just keep
selling and selling. Several of his books have been turned into movies,
starting with "Destination Moon", back in the 1950s. A movie version of
"Starship Troopers" is due out next month, however I don't think it
will be similar to the book.
Alas, there was an interview with the director some months ago in
"The Los Angeles Times", wherein the director said something to the
effect of, "I've tried to suppress my own opinions and reflect the
fascist society depicted by Heinlein in 'Starship Troopers'." Actually,
the society Mr. Heinlein depicted was a libertarian society in which
federal military and civil service was completely voluntary, even in
time of war.
Since the director can't even discern the obvious differences between
fascism and libertarianism, his ignorance will doubtless spill over into
the movie. Fascist societies have never hesitated to draft manpower and
to expend human beings with reckless abandon, both in times of peace and
Exemplii gratii: Fascist Germany, Italy and Spain, circa 1936 to 1945.
This is a great pity, as the book explored (amongst other weighty issues),
the question as to what extent a state can ethically and morally compel
servitude from its citizens and residents, even to prevent itself from
My Scouts particularly like some of Heinlein's juvenile books, in no
1) Tunnel In The Sky
2) Red Planet
3) Time For The Stars
4) The Star Beast
5) Beyond This Horizon
6) Starship Troopers
7) Have Spacesuit, Will Travel
They also like "Glory Road" and "Magic, Incorporated", which are not
books for the juvenile trade.
These books are all extremely well written and I highly recommend them,
as well as Heinlein's other juvenile books. Many of Heinlein's books for
the adult market would be considered unsuitable reading material for
children and some adolescents.
Yours in Scouting,
Rodger Morris <email@example.com>
Asst. Scoutmaster, Troop 808 Wood Badge 416-18
Ventura County Council at Philmont, 1973
Camarillo, California, USA "I used to be a Beaver..."
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City