Even at His Worst He’s Still the Best – Robert A. Heinlein’s I Will Fear No Evil

Robert A. Heinlein's I WILL FEAR NO EVIL late 1970s Paperback CoverI Will Fear No Evil was Robert A. Heinlein ‘s 26th novel, published in 1970. At this point, the Grandmaster was 62 years old that year, and had four Hugo Awards for best novel to his credit. IWFNE is widely regarded by science fiction fans (and there are no higher authorities on everything) as the worst thing he ever published.

I love this book. I’ve read it a half dozen times since high school (as I’ve read all of RAH’s later novels repeatedly) and will probably read it a half dozen more if I live long enough.

But, before I tell you why I love it, let me heap a little more evidence on the other side of the scales, because I love a challenge. Heinlein was a pantser, not a plotter. That is to say, he wrote by the seat of his pants, without an outline. He also did not like to rewrite–although he did substantial re-writing on his most problematic and best-known work, Stranger in a Strange Land. He preferred to write and write and write, and then cut out the chaff.

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