Delilah and the Space Rigger

"Delilah and the Space Rigger" is a science fiction short story by American writer Robert A. Heinlein. One of his Future History stories, it originally appeared in Blue Book in December 1949 and was reprinted in his collection, The Green Hills of Earth (and subsequently The Past Through Tomorrow).

"Delilah and the Space Rigger" is one of Heinlein's stories with a typically strong, smart, capable (for the American science fiction market of the time) female protagonist.


Brooks McNye, a communications engineer, wangles a job as a radio technician (concealing her first name, Gloria) and joins the all-male crew of construction workers building a space station. On arrival, she is immediately confronted by "Tiny" Larsen, the hard-boiled construction superintendent, who had not realized she was female. He does not want women "sniffing around my boys" and orders her returned on the next shuttle, only to be forced by circumstances to keep her. Larsen is constantly putting his foot in his mouth with remarks like, "Mind what [Hammond] tells you. He's a good man," only to hear a brisk, "I know, I trained him." In the end, he is forced to admit that having a woman on the team has improved morale and efficiency, and he decides to stop discriminating on the basis of sex. He also asks that a chaplain be assigned to the station, reasoning, "under the new policy we may need one anytime."

A Robert Heinlein Omnibus

A Robert Heinlein Omnibus was a second collection of Robert A Heinlein's stories to use the term "omnibus" the first being The Robert Heinlein Omnibus (1958), published in 1966. Containing fifteen of Heinlein's short stories and novellas, this second "Omnibus" represents a short chronological period, 1940 to 1950, of Heinlein's writings.

It contained some of Heinlein's more popular stories, as well as a few variations of later more popular stories. The editors were more than a little careless as it also contained two of the three stories included in the previous publication.

Future History (Heinlein)

The Future History, by Robert A. Heinlein, describes a projected future of the human race from the middle of the 20th century through the early 23rd century. The term Future History was coined by John W. Campbell, Jr. in the February 1941 issue of Astounding Science Fiction. Campbell published an early draft of Heinlein's chart of the series in the March 1941 issue.Heinlein wrote most of the Future History stories early in his career, between 1939 and 1941 and between 1945 and 1950. Most of the Future History stories written prior to 1967 are collected in The Past Through Tomorrow, which also contains the final version of the chart. That collection does not include Universe and Common Sense; they were published separately as Orphans of the Sky.

Groff Conklin called Future History "the greatest of all histories of tomorrow". It was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best All-Time Series in 1966, along with the Barsoom series by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the Lensman series by E. E. Smith, the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov, and The Lord of the Rings series by J. R. R. Tolkien, but lost to Asimov's Foundation series.

Lazarus Long

Lazarus Long is a fictional character featured in a number of science fiction novels by Robert A. Heinlein. Born in 1912 in the third generation of a selective breeding experiment run by the Ira Howard Foundation, Lazarus (birth name Woodrow Wilson Smith) becomes unusually long-lived, living well over two thousand years with the aid of occasional rejuvenation treatments. Heinlein "patterned" Long on science fiction writer Edward E. Smith, mixed with Jack Williamson's fictional Giles Habibula.His exact (natural) life span is never revealed. In his introduction at the beginning of Methuselah's Children, he claims he is 213 years old. Approximately 75 years pass during the course of the novel, but because large amounts of this time are spent traveling close to the speed of light, the 75-year measurement is an expression of the time elapsed on Earth rather than time seen from his perspective. At one point, he estimates his natural life span to be around 250 years, but this figure is not expressed with certainty. He acknowledges that such a long life span should not be expected as a result of a mere three generations of selective breeding, but offers no alternative explanation except by having a character declare, "A mutation, of course-—which simply says that we don't know".In Methuselah's Children, Long mentions visiting Hugo Pinero, the scientist appearing in Heinlein's first published story "Life-Line", who had invented a machine that precisely measured lifespan. Pinero refuses to reveal the results of Lazarus's reading and returns his money.

The promotional copy on the back of Time Enough for Love, the second book featuring Lazarus Long, states that Lazarus was "so in love with time that he became his own ancestor," but this never happens in any of the published books. In the book, Lazarus does travel back in time and is seduced by his mother, but this takes place years after his own birth. Heinlein did, however, use just such a plot device in the short story "—All You Zombies—", in which a character becomes both of his own parents.

A rugged individualist with a distrust of authority, Lazarus drifts from world to world, settling down periodically and leaving when the situation becomes too regimented for his taste-—often just before an angry mob arrives to capture him.

The Lazarus Long set of books involve time travel, parallel dimensions, free love, individualism, and a concept that Heinlein named World as Myth—the theory that universes are created by the act of imagining them, such that even fictional worlds are real.

List of fictional astronauts (early period)

The following is a list of fictional astronauts as imagined before the Space Age. The astronauts on this list appear in stories released prior to or shortly after the inception of Project Mercury in 1958.

List of science fiction short stories

This is a non-comprehensive list of short stories with significant science fiction elements.

Maureen Johnson (Heinlein character)

Maureen Johnson Smith Long (July 4, 1882 - June 20, 1982), most often referred to as Maureen Johnson, is a fictional character in several science fiction novels by American writer Robert A. Heinlein. She is the mother, lover and eventual wife of Lazarus Long, the longest-living member of Heinlein's fictional Howard Families. She is the only character from the "Lazarus Long cycle" to have an entire fictional memoir devoted to her life.

Robert A. Heinlein bibliography

The science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein (1907–1988) was productive during a writing career that spanned the last 49 years of his life; the Robert A. Heinlein bibliography includes 32 novels, 59 short stories and 16 collections published during his life. Four films, two TV series, several episodes of a radio series, and a board game derive more or less directly from his work. He wrote a screenplay for one of the films. Heinlein edited an anthology of other writers' SF short stories.

Three non-fiction books and two poems have been published posthumously. One novel has been published posthumously and another, an unusual collaboration, was published in 2006. Four collections have been published posthumously.

Heinlein's fictional works can be found in the library under PS3515.E288, or under Dewey 813.54. Known pseudonyms include Anson MacDonald (7 times), Lyle Monroe (7), John Riverside (1), Caleb Saunders (1), and Simon York (1). All the works originally attributed to MacDonald, Saunders, Riverside and York, and many of the works originally attributed to Lyle Monroe, were later reissued in various Heinlein collections and attributed to Heinlein.

The Green Hills of Earth (short story collection)

The Green Hills of Earth is a collection of science fiction short stories by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, published in 1951, including short stories published as early as 1941. The stories are part of Heinlein's Future History. The title story is the tale of an old space mariner reflecting upon his planet of birth. According to an acknowledgement at the beginning of the book, the phrase "the green hills of Earth" is derived from a story by C. L. Moore.

The Past Through Tomorrow

The Past Through Tomorrow is a collection of science fiction stories by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, all part of his Future History.

Most of the stories are parts of a larger storyline about the future rapid collapse of sanity in the United States, followed by a theocratic dictatorship, a revolution, and the establishment of a free society that does not save the pseudo-immortal Lazarus Long and his Howard Families from fleeing Earth for their lives. Most editions of the collection include a timeline showing the chronology of the stories (including stories never written, such as "The Stone Pillow", which was to occur during the period of the theocracy), times of birth and death of the significant characters, and commentary by Heinlein.

The specific short stories included vary with the edition, but typically include:

"Life-Line", 1939; a month before "Misfit"

"Misfit", 1939

"The Roads Must Roll", 1940

"Requiem", 1940

"'If This Goes On—'", 1940

"Coventry", 1940

"Blowups Happen", 1940

"Universe", 1941

"Methuselah's Children", 1941; extended and published as a novel, 1958

"Logic of Empire", 1941

"'—We Also Walk Dogs'", 1941

"Space Jockey", 1947

"'It's Great to Be Back!'", 1947

"The Green Hills of Earth", 1947

"Ordeal in Space", 1948

"The Long Watch", 1948

"Gentlemen, Be Seated!", 1948

"The Black Pits of Luna", 1948

"Delilah and the Space Rigger", 1949

"The Man Who Sold the Moon", 1950

"The Menace From Earth", 1957

"Searchlight", 1962The 1975 and 1986 paperback editions are both missing the story "Universe".

The Worlds of Robert A. Heinlein

The Worlds of Robert A. Heinlein is a collection of science fiction short stories by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, published in 1966.

It includes an introduction entitled "Pandora's Box" that describes some of the difficulties in making predictions about the near future. Heinlein outlines some of his predictions that he made in 1949 (published 1952) and examines how well they stood up to some 15 years of progress in 1965. The prediction was originally published in Galaxy magazine, Feb 1952, Vol. 3, No. 5, under the title "Where to?" (pp. 13–22).

Following the introduction are five short stories:

"Free Men" (written c. 1947, but first published in this collection, 1966)

"Blowups Happen" (1940)

"Searchlight" (1962)

"Life-Line" (1939)

"Solution Unsatisfactory" (1940)In 1980, the entire contents of this collection, with an updated version of "Pandora's Box", were included in Heinlein's collection, Expanded Universe.

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