... is scheduled
the guest speaker for the 194th meeting of the Karl Hess Club, to convene
on August 16, 2010.
H. Patterson Patterson Jr. on "The Robert A. Heinlein Biography."
Patterson authored the soon
to be released Robert
A. Heinlein in Dialogue with His Century, a biography about the late
science fiction writer, his influence on libertarian thinking in the 1960s
and 1970s, and his struggle with the 20th century.
Patterson says "My preliminary
thinking uncovered several long philosophical arcs, consistent over many
decades of Heinlein's life. My job was to show how these all belonged
to a single human being. I had not yet seen the archive in Santa
Cruz, and had no idea of how abundant the factual material would turn out
-- 300,000 pages or so of letters and files.
"This book has been a ten-year
voyage of discovery. My editor at Tor, David Hartwell, says we'll
start editing the second volume submission after Labor Day.
"The most important function
of Heinlein's writing was to show us the meaning of the conflicts and struggles
we were all engaged in, that could too easily be swept away.
"In the 21st century, the
Enlightenment Era values that were core to the American Experience are
being swept up and placed in the dustbin of history. The value of
Heinlein's persistence into our future is that he says for us, 'No. These things are important.' As libertarians that's our job, and
so Heinlein will continue to have relevance to libertarians, even when
his story materials seem distant from specific libertarian concerns.
Bill Patterson won the Cabell
Prize in 2000 from the Commonwealth University of Virginia. His consulting
work with the Heinlein Archive at UC Santa Cruz led to the Heinlein Prize
Trust designating him as the Heinlein Scholar. He belongs to the
American Comparative Literature Association, the Emerson Society, and the
Popular Culture Association, having written dozens of papers on Heinlein
and SF theory.
He is the editor/publisher
of The Heinlein Journal. His works include The
Martian Named Smith, a monograph on Heinlein's Stranger
in a Strange Land, co-written with Andrew Thornton. He was a
director of IguanaCon II, the Phoenix, Arizona, worldcon in 1978.
Patterson has spoken several
times before at the KHC. He has a website: whpattersonjr.com.