Robert Heinlein destroyed his copy of this manuscript, his first attempt at a novel, but his biographers rescued it from oblivion after his death.
The Heinlein fan will find many familiar elements of Heinlein’s philosophy and stock characters but practically nothing of the great story-telling he delivered as a mature writer.
For Us, The Living marks the beginning and end of an extraordinary arc of political, social and literary crusading comprising the Heinlein legacy. He couldn’t have known in 1939 how things would change over 150 years, but we have our own true world history to compare with his imaginings, making this riff on Rip Van Winkle a time capsule view into past, present and future.
The novel is presented with an introduction by science fiction writer Spider Robinson and an afterword by Professor Robert James of the Heinlein Society.