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TitleFor Us, the Living
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Table of Contents
Also by Robert A. Heinlein
Editor’s Note
Appendix to Chapter IX
Robert Anson Heinlein
Document Text Contents
Page 2

From Grandmaster Robert A. Heinlein comes a long-lost first novel,
written in 1939 and never before published, introducing ideas and
themes that would shape his career and define the genre that is
synonymous with his name.

JULY 12,1339

Page 113

any one of the posturing morons among those 100%ers would dive under
the wheels of a locomotive to rescue a child, that the crooked real-estate
promoter would buy a meal for any hungry man, and the vicariously
ambitious mother would go without food to buy her daughter a party dress.
He knew that kindliness and generosity were as universal as deception and
cut-throat competition. Perry realized that not one in a thousand men had
ever had a chance to act the decent, honest creature that he potentially was.
He knew that the ordinary man from 1939 was too weak-willed and too
naïve to stand up against the system in which he found himself.

The thing for which Perry most admired the Americans of his period was
that in them, potentially, lay 2086. In a short century and a half these
callous, kind hearted, gullible, deceitful bumpkins had stumbled and zig-
zagged into a culture they could be proud of. Somehow or other (Cathcart’s
explanations seemed too simple now) the universal longing of the older
generations that things might be different for their children had borne fruit.
Perhaps that alone had accounted for it. Perhaps to have the desire for better
things for our children, and our children’s children, than we had for
ourselves is to immortal and to divine.

Perry had ample opportunity as the days marched by to see this culture
as well as to hear about it and view it in shadow show. He visited the
socialistic state of Wisconsin which had grown up in its own direction within
the framework of the federation. Diana and he spent several days in the Gulf
States where there still remained the large group of blacks not yet
assimilated by the white majority. Here he found a culture as free as the rest
of the country—perhaps less highly mechanized, but undoubtedly richer in
arts, and social graces, and zest for living.

Gradually Diana introduced Perry to her friends and helped him over the
rough spots in adjusting himself to new social customs. After a few weeks of
the casual, easy, good-humored atmosphere of her circle of acquaintances,
he felt, and she agreed, that he was ready to get by in any company without
betraying the peculiar circumstances of his life. He had acquired some of the
modern liking for privacy and decided not to expand the number of those
who knew.

One morning about six weeks after his advent Diana announced that she
expected a visitor. Perry looked up with interest. “Who is it? Anyone I

Page 223

and admiration of the science fiction community. His first novel,
was published by Scribner in 1947, and over the next twelve years, he

wrote one book a year for Scribner, creating a highly respected and award-
winning series of juveniles. During that time, Heinlein also wrote and
published short stories, adult novels, and the script for
widely considered to be the first science fiction film. The movie was
nominated for three Academy Awards and won in the category of Special
Effects. During this time he was also divorced from Leslyn and married
Virginia “Ginny” Gerstenfeld, a friend and colleague from his Navy days.

The Heinleins spent their marriage traveling, writing, entertaining, and
working on behalf of many charitable causes—particularly blood drives, a
tradition which is carried on by the Heinlein Society. In 1956 Heinlein won
his first Hugo Award, for and went on to win an unprecedented
four Hugos, three Retro Hugos, and in 1975 received the first Grand Master
Nebula Award for lifetime achievement from the Science Fiction Writers of
America. He earned wide acclaim for novels such as

Robert Heinlein continued writing, participating in political debate, and
championing the cause of space travel well into the 1980’s, when he retired
to Carmel, California, with Ginny. His last novel,
was published in 1987, one year before his death.

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