First, our programming. It's very short:
1. Friday night Awards Ceremony, where we give out the Campbell Award for best SF novel of 2006 and the Sturgeon Award for best short SF of 2006. SFRA will give out their awards during this special combined function. No banquet this year, but there will be a cash bar and reception room in the hotel after the ceremony.
2. Saturday 9am - Noon round-table Campbell Conference discussion. This year's topic: "Robert A. Heinlein, Jack Williamson, and 21st Century Science Fiction." We'll probably have a reception in our room Saturday night, too.
SFRA also invites Campbell Conference attendees to attend their public functions, but if you wish to present a paper, be sure to register with them.
Now for the Heinlein Centennial activities:
Hello from the Heinlein Centennial again. Only 85 days to go! So we will now match speakers with sessions. Below is a list of potential sessions. They are suggestions, not a constraint. Most of them were made up by the executive committee during mad brainstorming sessions. We welcome additions.
Please pardon this boilerplate message. We are in contact with over 100 speakers or potential speakers at the moment. We're really looking forward to you coming to Kansas City! Please make your hotel reservations ASAP if you haven't done so; see this page. Our preferential rates will expire all too soon.
Here's what we want: Where you see sessions below that you're prepared to be a speaker for, reply with their numbers or names. (If you think the description ought to be changed, let us know.) If you have a suggestion for another session, give me a title under 70 characters and a description under 500, and indicate whether you intend to present it alone or whether you want a panel, and whether you want more than 60 minutes for it.
We require our speakers receiving complimentary admission to participate in at least one 90-minute session. That can be either a solo talk or on a panel. We would very much like you to participate in more than one session. The time for sessions is nominally 60 minutes with 15 minutes for room changes and 15 minutes Q&A overflow.
Most of the sessions listed below require you to show up with only your existing knowledge and experience. Some obviously require specialized knowledge and/or materials - we don't have those, we just listed those sessions out of optimism; most of them are "aimed" at people who will be receiving this message along with you. If you have what is required in those cases, please let us know, otherwise, if you want to participate in a session that would require someone else to provide knowledge and/or materials that you don't have, please make that clear. This is round one of an iterative process to get where we want.
If you want to be present on a panel but only if certain other people are there, please say so. If you represent some speakers that you believe we haven't been in touch with, please give me their names and email addresses so I can add them to our list.
Finally, we have been really good at finding speakers and not as good as we'd like at finding attendees. Please help promote the centennial via word of mouth including a blog or web site if you have one (we thank those of you who have already done exceptionally well in that department).
1. Researching Heinlein: The vast majority of Heinlein's papers are in the
Special Collections at the University of Santa Cruz. We tell you how
you can get to see them and what to expect, along with pictures.
2. Teaching Heinlein: Believe it or not, some people get paid for teaching
about Heinlein. Come and hear how you can teach about him in high
school and college, from people who have done it.
4. Chosen Family: How Heinlein has affected family structure in RL
5. Everything I Needed to Know About Life I Learned from Heinlein: Hear
some famous people share how Heinlein affected their lives, and share
your own stories
6. Methuselah's Children: Recent research suggests that before long, people
will be able to live as long as the Howards. We look at the challenges
that Heinlein foresaw increased longevity would bring. Does long life
mean nothing but loneliness?
7. My Father Was a Knife: The appearance of artifical humans in Heinlein's
fiction, and characters similar to them in more modern fiction. What
does the future hold?
8. Paging Dora: Heinlein's vision of the computers of the future changed
radically in under 20 years. We look at the evolution of Heinlein's
computers and speculate on what sort of devices he would be writing
9. Power to the People: The renaissance in Heinlein's future history hinged
on huge quantities of cheap power from devices such as Shipstones or
Douglas-Martin sunscreens. How realistic was that and what are the
prospects for it really happening?
10. So You Want to Write Like Heinlein: What makes Heinlein's fiction
special: dissecting his style, by authors who have used Heinlein as a
11. Stand by for Acceleration: A look at the different types of propulsion
that Heinlein's spacecraft employed, and how they evolved over the
12. Stranger in a Strange Body: Cloning, brain transplants, personality
uploads: The technologies of being Somebody Else.
17. Waterbeds to Waldoes: Heinlein's inventions. We'll list the ideas that
made it off the page, the ones that didn't, and be grateful he didn't
take out patents.
18. And He Built a Crooked House: A pictorial tour of the house Heinlein
designed and lived in in Colorado Springs, looking at what Heinlein
said about the convenience features (and bomb shelter!) he designed
into it, and what it looks like today.
19. Animated Heinlein: The history of Heinlein in animated form is brief
20. Big L or Little L: Heinlein and Libertarianism. His involvement with
the political movement, and the status he has with its members even
21. En Garde: Heinlein was a master swordsman, although he only featured
swordplay prominently in one book, Glory Road. A look at his fencing
22. From Socialist to Libertarian: The political views of Heinlein: how
they changed, and what remained constant over his life. What was EPIC,
and what connected Upton Sinclair and Heinlein?
23. General Semantics: Heinlein was enamored of this study of thought.
We'll look at Science and Sanity and its effect on him.
24. Heinlein in the Movies: The uneven history of Heinlein's works on the
silver screen, from Destination Moon to Starship Troopers. Find out
what's in the works for future release, and the history of options that
didn't make it.
25. Heinlein on the Idiot Box: Heinlein was involved in a failed attempt to
bring some of his stories to television. A description from those who
have seen the archives.
26. Heinlein the Engineer: A look at Heinlein's engineering background.
Could he have built Drafting Dan?
28. Heinlein's Children : Heinlein's Children: An often-repeated phrase;
what does it mean?
29. Heinlein's Naval Career: Accounts from the friends he made there.
30. Heinlein's Wives : Heinlein's Wives: Ginny, Leslyn, and his mysterious
first wife: what were they like, and how did each of them change
31. Introducing our Guest of Honor: Heinlein was guest of honor at three
world science fiction conventions. We look at what he said plus other
stories from the events. Bonus: excerpts from tapes of his speeches
will be played.
32. Remembering Heinlein: Personal reminiscences from people who knew
Robert or Virginia Heinlein
33. Requiem: A reading of the speeches that were made at Heinlein's
memorial at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.
34. Space and the Senator: Heinlein testified before Congress on the
benefits of space exploration, at least one of which saved his life.
look at what led up to that testimony, and the speech itself.
35. Stranger than Life: The unfortunate tale of how Heinlein's most famous
novel came to be wrongly associated with Charles Manson.
36. Take Back Your Government: The history of Heinlein's involvement in
politics, his run for office, and what he taught about that effort in
fiction and non-fiction.
37. That's One Small Step: Heinlein's coverage of the Apollo missions and
how he came to be there with Arthur C. Clarke. Bonus: Some video of his
appearance will be played.
38. The Hippie-proof Electric Fence: Heinlein's various residences: A slide
show of Heinlein's various residences, from the Hollywood Hills, to the
building he designed in Colorado Springs, to Bonny Doon, and Carmel.
39. Tracking Down For Us, the Living: The story of how Heinlein's first
novel was found only a few years ago, and how it came to be published.
40. Tramp Royale : A look at Heinlein's world travels, what he wrote about
them and what he learned from them.
41. Virginia Heinlein, In Memoriam: Pictures and stories from those who
were in touch with Ginny during her last days and at her memorial.
42. What Really Happened During the War: During WWII, Heinlein was assigned
to a mysterious project along with some other science fiction writers.
We look at what that project was really about.
43. Lazarus Long Remembered: The aphorisms of Lazarus Long 44. Escape from Heaven: J. Neil Schulman ("The Heinlein Interview") wrote a
book that includes Heinlein as a character.
45. As God and Heinlein Intended: Single-Stage-To-Orbit: The history and
future of getting to space without giving up half your ship.
46. At The Going Down of the Sun: Remembering our Fallen Heroes: Those who
have given their lives in the cause of space exploration.
47. Backyard Boosters: Is There Hope for the Lone Inventor?
48. Call My Broker: How Private Space Will Change Economics 49. Delilah and the Space Rigger: The New Roles of Women in Aerospace 50. Exotic Technologies: Lightships and Warp Drives, Oh My!
51. Give Generously: How Private Space Funding Works 52. How We Got Here: The History of the Future: How our vision of the
future in space has evolved since Disney's Tomorrowland.
53. Paging D. D. Harriman: So many space startups, so little money.
are the venture capitalist moguls for today's space entrepreneurs?
54. The Most Dangerous Game: Is the Assumption of Zero Fatalities
55. The Next Five Years: Bootstrapping Our Way Off the Planet 56. Whatever Happened to... : Ventures That Never Made It, from Volksrocket
to Rotary Rocket
65. A Scholar and a Gentleman: Heinlein was gracious with his fans to a
fault. Politeness and respect were prominent themes in his books, from
the society that guaranteed politeness through universal personal
armament to Hartley Baldwin's analysis of a sick society. A look at
66. Barsoom or Bust: The influence of Edgar Rice Burroughs on Heinlein, his
vision of Mars, and in particular, The Number of the Beast.
67. By His Bootstraps: The different models of time travel that appear in
Heinlein's stories; what they have in common, how they affected the
plot, and do they have any scientific basis?
68. Cabellism: James Branch Cabell's influence on Heinlein 69. Families in Heinlein: From the Rolling Stones to the Long clan to line
marriages: families were heavily featured in Heinlein. We'll look at
all of them.
70. First We Kill All the Lawyers: Heinlein featured lawyers or judges
prominently in several stories. We look at Heinlein's experience as an
advocate in the Navy and what he learned from it.
71. Heinlein 101: The essential background to understanding Heinlein's
72. Heinlein 102: More of the essential background to understanding
73. Heinlein and God: We look at religion in Heinlein's works and life.
We'll also cover religions spun off from Heinlein's orbit: The Church
of All Worlds and Scientology.
74. Heinlein and the Bomb: Heinlein was highly concerned with the atomic
bomb from nearly his first story. We look at the history of the bomb in
his fiction and his public statements. He thought the odds were that
most of us would die in a holocaust. How did we dodge that bullet?
75. Heinlein's Cats: Felines formed an important part of many Heinlein
stories as well as his life. We look at the cats in Heinlein's fiction
and his home.
76. Heinlein's Heroines: The strong female characters of Heinlein's
stories, what they have in common and what sets them apart.
77. Heroines in Transition: Looking at the evolution of Heinlein's female
characters from his juveniles to the later works.
78. I Now Pronounce You: A look at the different models for relationships
(such as line marriages) that Heinlein wrote about.
79. In His Image: Many authors took their inspiration from Heinlein; some,
such as John Scalzi, more directly than others. Hear from some of them
about the influence Heinlein had on their writing career.
80. John W. Campbell: Heinlein's relationship with his most famous editor 81. Racist, Sexist, Facist: Exploding the worst myths about Heinlein. Do
Farnham's Freehold and Sxith Column show Heinlein to be a racist?
82. RAH, meet HGW: Heinlein was a big fan of H.G. Wells. A look at Wells'
life and works, and how he influenced RAH.
83. Rhysling, Blind Singer of the Spaceways: Music inspired by Heinlein 84. Sex!: In his later works Heinlein appeared almost obsessed. More than
anything this is probably what brought him to mainstream attention.
What was he trying to tell us?
85. Starship Troopers: The Debate: Your chance to debate whether this book
glorified war. Get it out of your system once and for all! We'll
cover everything about the book's meaning and effects up to how It is
required reading in military academies.
86. The "Stinkeroos": Heinlein wrote three stories early on that were so
bad even he didn't think they should be published. You can be the judge
of that as we explore what we know of them.
87. The Competent Man: A recurring character in Heinlein's stories was the
teacher figure. We look at the different instances of that character,
including a few you might not have expected.
88. The Crazy Years: Are they upon us? What's next? Where is Nehemiah
Scudder, and will people start disrobing in public places?
89. The Future Ain't What It Used To Be: Heinlein made predictions for the
future and revised them at various times. We'll look at how accurate
90. The Future History : The blueprint that put Heinlein on the science
fiction map. We look at it in detail, including the parts for stories
that were never published.
91. The Juveniles: A tour of the juveniles, exploring what made them great.
Why is Starship Troopers a juvenile and Podkayne of Mars not?
92. The Three Endings: The three Heinlein endings: onward and upward,
magical mystery tour, and the galactic party 93. The World as Myth: The multiverse started in Number of the Beast - what
did it mean, what were its roots, what was Heinlein trying to say?
94. Thou art God: Stranger in a Strange Land: We look at the intense
following generated by this book. Was it a recipe for living?
95. Tom Sawyer in Space: Mark Twain was not only the model for Jubal
Harshaw, but an idol of Heinlein's. A retrospective of Twain's life and
what Heinlein gained from him.
96. Watered by the Blood of Patriots: Heinlein gave us a compelling vision
of revolution in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Jefferson thought every
generation should have its own revolution. Have we missed out on
Looks like a great con! Be sure to sign up soon. Only a few spots left via the Campbell Conference discount, and if you register via the Heinlein Centennial, it's a bit more expensive....