Farah Mendlesohn is one of science fiction's best-respected editors and critics, author of the indispensable Intergalactic Playground.
Her latest work is Robert Heinlein, "a major new critical study of the writings of a giant of the SF genre by a Hugo award-winning critic and historian."
It's a huge book -- as befits an author with such a massive oeuvre -- and would have cost a fortune for a traditional academic press to publish, so she's crowdfunding the book on Unbound. Ebooks are Â£12, ebook plus hardcover is Â£35.
The book is a close reading of Heinleinâs work, including unpublished stories, essays, and speeches. It sets out not to interpret a single book, but to think through the arguments Heinlein made over a life time about the nature of science fiction, about American politics, and about himself. Although not a biography it tries to understand Heinleinâs work both as product and insight into the man. The key thesis of the book is a challenge to the idea of Heinlein as a libertarian and resituating him as a classical Liberal in the terms he understood; a man who prized the individual highly but understood the individual as at their best when enmeshed in the complex structure of a nurturing society.