RARA-AVIS: MacDonald & Heinlein

From: Moorich2@aol.com
Date: 20 Jun 2003

In a message dated 6/20/03 4:01:46 AM Eastern Daylight Time, owner-rara-avis@icomm.ca writes:

<< ate: Thu, 19 Jun 2003 08:44:01 -0500
 From: abc@wt.net
 Before I talk about JDM's first novel, I want to say that
 Richard Moore's post on an uncollected JDM story reminds me
 that there are a lot of those, especially in the SF field.
 JDM wrote for many of the pulps and digests in the late
 1940s and early 1950s, and most of the stories I've read in
 them have been excellent. I'm convinced JDM could have been
 the equal of Heinlein if he hadn't decided to go another
 route. >>

I completely agree Bill. In fact the story "Betrayed" came just as he ceased writing science fiction on a regular basis. It is related to them in that the secret lab is working on perfecting what decades later came to be called the
"Star Wars" defense system. With a few changes it could have sold to Galaxy, although I'm sure the slick paid far more money.

Here is the explanation by good guy Clint Reese: "There was a longbow, and some citizen comes up with body armor. And then the crossbow, and so they made heavier armor. And then gunpowder, which eventually put guys into tanks. Every time, it sounded like an ultimate weapon, and each time a defense just happened to come along in time. Now our ultimate weapon is the thermonuclear missile. Everybody is naked when that baby comes whining down out of the stratosphere. So we have to stop it up there where it won't do any harm."

It even sounds a little like Heinlein.

Richard Moore

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