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—“Did Heinlein have an influence on you? I have been listening to Starship Troopers and I swear I hear you and Eli, mostly you.”— Anne Summers

Great Question.

(a) I had only read Time Enough for Love (which I read upon release). I was heavily influenced by it and think I still am subconsciously.. I was more influenced by Harlan Ellison and I see him in my thoughts. Maybe Ben Bova as well. I was influenced by Arthur c Clarke, particularly Rendezvous with Rama and Childhood’s end. But I was equally if not more so influenced by William Gibson and Neal Stephenson. Im really a child of the 70’s and 80’s – when these books were published. But I was more influenced by reading weapons and warfare and in particular samuel colt, and then reading encyclopedias. I read a lot of encyclopedias.

(b) I think that there is an aristocratic ethic in the literature of exploration and colonization, and science fiction of the postwar period replaced the *actual* aristocracy of exploration and colonization that had existed prior to the war. So just as James Bond is really a lament to lost british power, science fiction of the period was a lament to lost european power. It was an effort to direct our exploration and colonization (and militarism) to the stars.
(c) I think that christianity was a vehicle for aryanism (heroism, aristocracy, exploration, expansion, colonization, domestication of nature, beast, and man) and I think the period of expansion in the ancient world, and in the modern, was just another vehicle for Aryanism.

(d) what you hear in Eli and I is that same Aryanism (heroism, aristocracy, expansion, colonization, domestication of nature, beast, and man). What you Hear in Ellison, Clarke, (or jules Verne, or Edgar burroughs, Or Robert Howard, or HG Wells, or Tolkien, or Stephenson and Gibson, is that Aryanism via military, scientific, traditional, and technological classes. This is the Aryanism of the military, scientific, traditional, and technological classes, just as capitalism is an expression of Aryanism in the merchant classes.

(e) Heinlein reformed Aryanism in the early-mid 20th century like Sir Walter Scott reframed it in the early 19th century with Ivanhoe. (or George Lucas refrormed it with the original star wars.). And I think Eli and I and many others are formed by that same experience. And I do think that Heinlein captured that reformation in language that all of us can understand today. And that it has endured through the postmodern rise and fall of the late 20th and early 21st century.

(f) So I think that the answer is that we have both been heavily influneced by the Aryan tradition. And that we certainly share the mid-century technological vision of Aryanism consisting of the combination of military and technology as a DEFENSE, rather than military and religion of the post-ancient period, or military and moral justification of the colonial period. And that among the technological, military, scientific, classes, Heinlein created the least apologetic vision. And that we share that least apologetic, and therefore most Aryan ethic.

(g) The only difference is that Eli is more interested in space, and I am more interested in upping our game and taking over this planet over the objections of those who need domestication. In other words, he is kinder than I. Hence why you hear a bit more Aurthur Clarke in Eli and a bit more Heinlein in me: I am ‘resigned’ to the military option as the only viable (affordable) one. 😉

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