Not the man himself, of course, or his shade, either; but I became curious about a book of essays to which had contributed,* and looked it up in the massive two-volume biography by William H. Patterson, Jr.,† which lead to reading around in the book (I am bad for following footnotes backwards into the text, in a "Hunh! What prompted that?" sort of way). Heinlein's an interesting writer and an interesting man, never terribly comfortable with his public image and rarely in as good health as he liked to have people think.
Love him or loathe him, his influence looms large (and somewhat misunderstood) over SF, which he helped legitimize as literature while writing for a living and without even a hint of an MFA degree.
* I could swear he also contributed to a book on writing SF in the later 1940s or early '50s, which I located years ago at what was, at the time, a ruinous price; but I can't run the title to earth and it was about three desktop computers ago.
† Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialog With His Century, a marvelous and very readable effort, for which Patterson's reward was to unexpectedly fall ill and die. This is the kind of thing that leads to nihilism in the survivors.
11 months ago