Daily Archives: April 19, 2009

No Longer Stepping So Harshly on Robert Heinlein’s Toes

Behold! The new title of Zoe’s Tale in German:

Some of you may recall that previously ZT’s title in German was intended to be Zwischen den Planeten, which translates to Between Planets, which is, of course, the title of a Heinlein juvenile novel. I asked if we might not be able to change it just a little, and so now it’s Zwischen den Sternen, or Between Stars. This still gets the feel of what my German publisher was going for without looking like we were bonking Ol’ Bob over the head and then riffling through his pockets for titles, so I am quite pleased.

Speaking of RAH and German editions, I recently completed the foreword to a new German edition of Stranger in a Strange Land, this one using the “uncut” version of the novel that surfaced a couple of decades ago. I was of course delighted to be able to give my thoughts on it, and specifically about how it compared to the 1960s version of the novel. In what might look like a bit of waffling, I like them both; the 1960s version has an economical punch to its delivery, while the 1980s version feels like you get to explore more of the details of the world. It really depends on what you’re in the mood for, basically.

I’ve been lucky enough this year to write intros for new editions of The Forever War, Stranger and the upcoming Subterranean Press edition of The Martian Chronicles. Writing intros is like the writer’s version of opening up for your favorite bands, so you can imagine the fun I’m having doing these (I’m also doing intros for Howard Tayler and Mary Robinette Kowal’s upcoming work — in those cases, hopefully it’s telling people who like my stuff to, hey, check this out, too). It’s all a reminder that, hey, my job doesn’t suck.