Robert A. Heinlein (July 7, 1907 - May 8, 1988) was an American science fiction writer in the 20th century. He is often called "the Dean of Science Fiction". He also wrote fantasy and alternate history with less frequency.
Heinlein graduated from the United States Naval Academy, but tuberculosis cut short his career in the service. After a brief involvement in politics, during which he supported Upton Sinclair's failed run for Governor of California, Heinlein turned to writing fiction.
Heinlein's works in Turtledove's work
The following stories by Heinlein are referenced by Harry Turtledove in-universe, and may be the subject of major or minor plot points.
- "The Green Hills of Earth" (1947)
- "The Man Who Sold the Moon" (1950)
- "All You Zombies" (1959)
Robert A. Heinlein in Earthgrip
Robert A. Heinlein's work, while ancient and written in a long dead-language, was still quite popular on Earth. A field of study had developed, devoted to comparing the works of Heinlein and his colleagues with the realities of space travel.
Jennifer Logan, an expert in Middle English, enjoyed Heinlein's works. Heinlein's short story "The Man Who Sold the Moon" once gave Logan the inspiration she needed to design an illusion that allowed the G'Bur T'Kai civilization to defeat the M'Sak barbarians at the Battle of D'Opt.
When Logan became a professor at Saugus Central University, Heinlein was a cornerstone of her study field. During this time, Logan found herself an unwilling tourist to Odern. Her first impression of the planet was that Rhysling the bard, central character of "The Green Hills of Earth," could not have made very good poetry from its scenery.
Robert A. Heinlein in "Hindsight"
Robert A. Heinlein was a well-known science fiction author by 1953. His popular observations included the notion that "It doesn't matter if a hamburger costs ten dollars as long as there's plenty of hamburger."
Time traveling author Michelle Gordian brought a 1959 Heinlein story called "All You Zombies" to the past, and published it under her male pseudonym Mark Gordian. Pete Lundquist had enjoyed the story, and called it a time travel adventure to make all other time travel stories obsolete - unaware that time travel was how the story had come to his attention.
After Lundquist met Gordian and deduced her true nature, she used Heinlein's hamburger aphorism to explain the status of the United States Dollar in her original timeline. This particular element wasn't a complete hardship in her time, but she hoped to prevent the worst woes of her past by changing his future.
Robert A. Heinlein in Worldwar
Long before the arrival of the Race's Conquest Fleet in 1942, Robert A. Heinlein had envisioned and realistically portrayed several fully-formed extraterrestrial societies in his novels and short stories. He continued writing after the Race's arrival, though science fiction's popularity dropped off.
Sam Yeager was a fan of Heinlein's writings. Yeager attributed his ability to deal with members of the Race as people with a mental flexibility given to him by his readings of Heinlein. Heinlein and fellow writer Theodore Sturgeon were photographed with Yeager in the 1950s.
- Literary Allusions in Turtledove's Work for minor references to Heinlein's works.
- Turtledove's Literary Influences, Co-Authors, and Creators of Shared Universes#Robert A. Heinlein.
- Anson MacDonald, a fictional character in "The Last Word" who is broadly based on Heinlein.