Since I'm talking about books a lot today, I wanted to mention something I saw over at John Scalzi's blog. Scalzi talks about writing the introduction to Project Moonbase and Others, a book of scripts that Robert A. Heinlein wrote for a 1950s television show that never sought the light of day. Scalzi's introduction makes the book sound interesting not just for the stories (it's not every day you find unpublished Heinlein any more), but for Heinlein's script notes about presenting the stories for television:
What’s different in this book–and what makes it worth reading aside from the stories themselves–is that thanks to the script notes that accompany nearly all of the teleplays here, you get commentary from Heinlein himself about how one goes about imagining a future, based on what you have in front of you at the time.
. . . .
Heinlein writes these script notes because in them he’s talking to set designers, art directors, prop handlers and other key production folks who may not be familiar with science fiction and thus need an explanation not only for what Heinlein is doing here but why. In today’s science fiction-laden Hollywood, set designers and art directors probably wouldn’t need this sort of annotation, but in 1953, when the only science fiction film that took science seriously was Heinlein’s own Destination Moon in 1951, it was still useful.
These days I prefer that era of Heinlein — before the not-Ayn-Rand-but-heading-in-her-direction preaching or the somewhat queasy sex focus. Looks worth a read.
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