Today in Sci-Fi History: June 7

Today, June 7, in 1987, Robert A. Heinlein published his final novel, To Sail Beyond the Sunset, before Heinlein died in 1988.

Robert A. Heinlein, for many decades, was considered to be one of the great three in Science Fiction, along with Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. Born in 1907, Heinlein went on to be an extremely influential author, coining terms and setting standards for the genre. Apparently the man even conceived of a water-bed long before they were invented. Besides his ability to predict the evolution of 80s mattresses, Heinlein also won a handful of Hugo Awards. A big deal. He even received a few long after he died, Retro Hugos. With his high level of knowledge in engineering and his careful research in writing, he was considered a great standard for hard science fiction.  Now, I’m an Economics student, and I find it interesting that Heinlein coined the perfect phrase for considering opportunity cost, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”

The last book published during his lifetime was called, To Sail Beyond the Sunset. The title originates from the poem Ulysses, and is quoted by a character in the novel. The book is the final part of the Lazarus Long series, and the series as a whole has to do with concepts of solipsism, parallel dimensions, time travel, and free love.

Check it out on Amazon, here.


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