as the guest speaker for the 220th meeting of the Karl Hess Club, to convene
on November 19, 2012.
William H. Patterson Jr. on "The Perils of Publishing."
Part One of William H. Patterson's Heinlein biography received much critical acclaim. Part Two -- covering Heinlein's latter years -- will is soon to be published.
Various factors govern how and when a book is published. Patterson will recount those, as well as how the industry has changed in recent years, and how it continues to evolve. Of course, we will get fascinating tidbits from the book itself.
William H. Patterson, Jr. was born in 1951 in St. Louis, Missouri. His father, whose childhood tuberculosis in the 1930s and subsequent malaria required a drier climate, moved the family to Phoenix, Arizona in 1956.
Patterson spent the next 21 years in the high desert, attending Arizona State University for two years, specializing in German history between the World Wars.
In 1969 he joined the Phoenix public library's science fiction club, becoming one of Phoenix's most active fans. He worked on Leprecon's convention committees and helped found IguanaCon II. His 80,000 word history of Phoenix fandom was published in very small editions as The Little Fandom That Could.
In the 1980s he moved to San Francisco, and began applying formal critical methods to science fiction and particularly to Heinlein. He founded the Heinlein Journal in 1997 and co-founded the Heinlein Society with Virginia Heinlein in 1998.
On January 1, 2000, Mrs. Heinlein asked Patterson to undertake her husband's biography. She saw and approved the biography's first 120,000 words, including the Heinlein family history.
Following Mrs. Heinlein's death in January 2003, the newly-formed Heinlein Prize Trust asked Patterson to consult with the Robert A. Heinlein Archive of the University of California, Santa Cruz's McHenry Library in integrating new material from Mrs. Heinlein's files.
Each volume of Patterson's Heinlein biography was drafted at approximately 375,000 words, and then cut to approximately 300,000 for submission in 2006.