Lazarus Long

aka Robert Heinlein

CopyRight @ 1997

     The story of Lazarus Long is really the story of what Robert
Heinlein would have done if he lived to be 3000 years old.
     Only a few writers enjoy much popularity over time.  Robert
Heinlein wrote a number of science fiction novels that will stand
as classics, not because of the "gee whiz, scientific toys" or
some weird utopian visions, but because science fiction was the
vehicle for his stories about realistic human problems and

     His story of a future political system, based on a democracy
where the voters must be veterans of the military or government
services, was made into the movie Starship Troopers.  In a time
when it can be hard to find a movie with a story, this did an
excellent job of the difficult task of telling the story and
conveying the message that was in the book.  War can be ugly.
Still, I must be a bit disappointed that the movie was gory
enough that I think it will limit the breadth of appeal of it.
I did figure out how some of the effects were done though and
they wouldn't be that hard, but they sure looked nasty.
     The story in the book is interesting though for a number of
reasons.  It is primarily about politics from a militarists point
of view.  Its primary message is that the society comes first and
only those that have demonstrated their commitment to the society,
by a number of possible methods, will have a say in its governing.
     This is an example of a modern philosophy.  It is a
hypothetical description of a method that a people could try to
achieve an effective political organization.  It is comparable to
Nevil Shute's description of a democracy with a multiple vote.  We
cannot know what would be the results of a grand experiment like
one of these political systems, but they are valuable tools for
developing understanding.

     In Heinlein's perhaps most ambitious work "Time Enough For
Love" he told the story of Lazerus Long, originally Woodrow Wilson
Smith, but aka just about every name available. He is basically a
man who never dies and has learned a great deal about living. You
need a lot of names if you live to be older than 2000. These are
some quotes and paraphrases attributed to Lazarus Long, from
"Time Enough To Love".

     This is just started and so this page is presently just a
place holder.

     Store beer in dark places.

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