Wednesday, 27 January 2016

The Last Word

SM Stirling, Ed., Drakas! (New York, 2000).

Harry Turtledove can't fool me! (And I am sure that he is not trying to.)

On the opening page of The Day After Tomorrow (New York, 1951) by Robert Heinlein:

Whitey Ardmore asks, "What the hell goes on here?";

the other men present ignore him as they watch a television;

the TV announcer reports that Washington was completely destroyed before the government could escape and that Manhattan is in ruins;

the TV is switched off and a man says, "That's that...the United States is washed up."

On the opening page of "The Last Word," Turtledove's contribution to Drakas!:

Anson MacDonald asks, "'What's the latest?'" (p. 249);

the others present ignore him as they watch a televisor;

the TV announcer reports that San Francisco has been vaporized, that the government did not escape and that Manhattan and Washington have also been destroyed;

the televisor is switched off and a man says, "'That's that...The Alliance for Democracy is washed up.'"

Further, Anson MacDonald was a pen-name of Robert Heinlein, composed of his own middle name and his mother's maiden name, and the physical description of MacDonald in Turtledove's story matches the physical appearance of Heinlein (see second image). So here we have a story by Turtledove edited by Stirling featuring Heinlein. We are embedded in the history of American science fiction.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    Dang! I have a lot of Heinlein's pre STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND books, but not THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW. Unless I read it so long ago I forgot doing so. I will check my Heinlein books.


  2. Sean,
    Its original title was SIXTH COLUMN.

  3. Kaor, Paul!

    Aha! I was actually wondering if that was the original title! I have a copy of THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW titled SIXTH COLUMN. I thought it one of Heinlein's better books. And DOUBLE STAR was also good.