"If This Goes On—" is a science fiction novella by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, first serialized in 1940 in Astounding Science-Fiction and revised and expanded for inclusion in the 1953 collection Revolt in 2100. The novella shows what might happen to Christianity in the United States given mass communications, applied psychology, and a hysterical populace. The novel is part of Heinlein's Future History series.
|"If This Goes On—"|
|Author||Robert A. Heinlein|
|Published in||Astounding Science-Fiction|
|Media type||Print (Magazine, Hardback & Paperback)|
The story is set in a future theocratic American society, ruled by the latest in a series of fundamentalist Christian "Prophets". The First Prophet was Nehemiah Scudder, a backwoods preacher turned President (elected in 2012), then dictator (no elections were held in 2016 or later).
John Lyle, a junior army officer under the Prophet, is stationed at the Prophet's capital of New Jerusalem. Devout at this point, he finds himself questioning his faith when he falls for one of the Prophet's Virgins, Sister Judith. Judith, new to the vocation, faints when she is called upon to render sexual service to the Prophet and is confined to her quarters until she sees the light. John confides in his far more worldly roommate, Zeb Jones, who is not only not shocked, but who assists John. A clandestine meeting with Judith goes awry when they are forced to kill a spy, leaving them no choice but to seek aid from the Cabal, an underground revolutionary movement (Judith's friend, Sister Magdalene, is a member). The two men are inducted into the Cabal, while remaining on duty in their army posts. Judith is arrested and tortured as part of the investigation into the death of the spy, and John and Zeb rescue her, though leaving enough clues that John is soon arrested and tortured himself. He gives little away, and is himself rescued by the Cabal. Zeb and Magdalene have evaded arrest, thanks to a clandestine distress signal that John manages to leave for Zeb while being arrested.
Judith is spirited out of the country before John regains consciousness, and John is given a false identity in order to make his way to Cabal headquarters. He is detected en route, forced to flee, and arrives safely after several misadventures. He finds that Zeb and Magdalene, who he assumes are a couple, have made their way there before him. All take on significant roles in bringing to fruition the revolutionary plot, John as an aide to the commander, General Huxley.
While working there, John receives a literal "Dear John" letter from Judith, informing him of her impending marriage to a Mexican man she met while getting refuge in his country. He learns that Zeb and Magdalene have no marriage plans, and begins a romance with Magdalene.
The revolutionary plot is mostly successful, and the country, other than New Jerusalem, is seized. But the capital must also be conquered lest it serve as a rallying point for loyalists. Even as constitutional discussions go on, tempered to provide the greatest possible individual freedom (this is the origin of the 'Covenant' mentioned in other Heinlein works), the new regime's troops prepare to take New Jerusalem. John and Magdalene are married just before the assault.
During the fight, Huxley is wounded, and John must take over temporary command, though not entitled by rank to do so. He gives the orders that bring victory. He then turns over command to the senior unwounded general, and leads a squad invading the Prophet's private quarters. They find that he has been viciously killed by his own Virgins.
The Cabal uses terminology associated with Freemasonry, and there are hints that the Masons are actually one of the groups involved in the loosely organized revolt against the government. (Heinlein himself was not a Mason, but had considered joining the Masons as a young man.)
Revolution...has always been a favorite theme in science fiction. It's romantic, it's reliable, and—as a rule—it's as phony as a Martian princess. Who but Heinlein ever pointed out, as he does here in detail, that a modern revolution is big business? And who but Heinlein would have seen that fraternal organizations, for thirty years the butt of highbrow American humor, would make the perfect nucleus for an American underground against tyranny?
While set in Heinlein's Future History, the story is self-contained and has little connection with other works in the series. However, it is noted in Methuselah's Children that, during the time of this story, the secret of the Howard Families was held close (being a prize that was beyond the power of the Prophet to confiscate), and also that the Cabal assisted in helping the Howards maintain their Masquerade, the concealment of the existence of the Howards. Lazarus Long specifically mentions that he spent the period of the Interregnum, when the Prophets ruled the United States and space travel was forbidden, mostly on Venus.
Scudder was previously mentioned in passing in the short story "Logic of Empire" and later on in Heinlein’s final novel To Sail Beyond the Sunset. A story about the rise of Scudder, "The Sound of His Wings", is contained in the Future History timeline, but was never written by Heinlein, who stated in the afterword to Revolt in 2100: "I will probably never write the story of Nehemiah Scudder, I dislike him too much". Also, a story called "The Stone Pillow", which would have depicted the earlier foredoomed opposition to the Theocracy, never got written, Heinlein noting that there was "too much tragedy in real life".
The 1940 version of "If This Goes On—" was believed to be Heinlein's first novel until the unpublished work For Us, The Living: A Comedy of Customs was discovered in 2003. However, in the earlier, unpublished novel Scudder, though coming very close to gaining power, is stopped at the last moment by the mobilization of Libertarians.
Ward Carson wrote: "In For Us, The Living, space colonization waits until the end of the Twenty-First Century and Scudder is defeated; in the Future History it happens a century earlier and Scudder takes over the US. Heinlein made no explicit remark on this, but a causal connection could be made: in the Future History the bold individualistic Americans emigrated into space in the end of the Twentieth Century, and were not present in America to stop it from falling into the fanatic's hands".
A Midsummer Tempest is a 1974 alternative history fantasy novel by Poul Anderson. In 1975, it was nominated for the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel and the Nebula Award for Best Novel and won the Mythopoeic Award.Animal Farm
Animal Farm is an allegorical novella by George Orwell, first published in England on 17 August 1945. According to Orwell, the book reflects events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and then on into the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union. Orwell, a democratic socialist, was a critic of Joseph Stalin and hostile to Moscow-directed Stalinism, an attitude that was critically shaped by his experiences during the Spanish Civil War. The Soviet Union, he believed, had become a brutal dictatorship, built upon a cult of personality and enforced by a reign of terror. In a letter to Yvonne Davet, Orwell described Animal Farm as a satirical tale against Stalin ("un conte satirique contre Staline"), and in his essay "Why I Write" (1946), wrote that Animal Farm was the first book in which he tried, with full consciousness of what he was doing, "to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole".
The original title was Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, but U.S. publishers dropped the subtitle when it was published in 1946, and only one of the translations during Orwell's lifetime kept it. Other titular variations include subtitles like "A Satire" and "A Contemporary Satire". Orwell suggested the title Union des républiques socialistes animales for the French translation, which abbreviates to URSA, the Latin word for "bear", a symbol of Russia. It also played on the French name of the Soviet Union, Union des républiques socialistes soviétiques.Orwell wrote the book between November 1943 and February 1944, when the UK was in its wartime alliance with the Soviet Union and the British people and intelligentsia held Stalin in high esteem, a phenomenon Orwell hated. The manuscript was initially rejected by a number of British and American publishers, including one of Orwell's own, Victor Gollancz, which delayed its publication. It became a great commercial success when it did appear partly because international relations were transformed as the wartime alliance gave way to the Cold War.Time magazine chose the book as one of the 100 best English-language novels (1923 to 2005); it also featured at number 31 on the Modern Library List of Best 20th-Century Novels. It won a Retrospective Hugo Award in 1996 and is included in the Great Books of the Western World selection.Bloody Mannequin Orchestra
Bloody Mannequin Orchestra were an influential early 1980s punk band from Bethesda, MD. They formed around a small, but active, scene at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School and were part of the larger D.C hardcore community. The band members were Colin Sears, Roger Marbury, Alex Mahoney, Sharon Cheslow and Charles Bennington.
Cheslow had been in Chalk Circle, "the first all-female band to emerge from harDCore," before BMO. Sears and Marbury went on to form the mid-'80s Revolution Summer era Dischord Records band Dag Nasty with Brian Baker of Minor Threat.BMO released cassettes and the Roadmap to Revolution LP on WGNS, a label started by Sears, Cheslow and Geoff Turner (later in Gray Matter). Cheslow and Sears also published the fanzine If This Goes On. BMO, like other Bethesda bands, were known for their smart, playful music with a political consciousness.Coventry (short story)
"Coventry" is a science fiction short story by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, part of his Future History series. It was collected into the book Revolt in 2100. The title is inspired by the British idiom, to "Send to Coventry". This short story won the 2017 Prometheus Hall of Fame award.Foundationalism
Foundationalism concerns philosophical theories of knowledge resting upon justified belief, or some secure foundation of certainty such as a conclusion inferred from a basis of sound premises. The main rival of the foundationalist theory of justification is the coherence theory of justification, whereby a body of knowledge, not requiring a secure foundation, can be established by the interlocking strength of its components, like a puzzle solved without prior certainty that each small region was solved correctly.Identifying the alternatives as either circular reasoning or infinite regress, and thus exhibiting the regress problem, Aristotle made foundationalism his own clear choice, positing basic beliefs underpinning others. Descartes, the most famed foundationalist, discovered a foundation in the fact of his own existence and in the "clear and distinct" ideas of reason, whereas Locke found a foundation in experience. Differing foundations may reflect differing epistemological emphases—empiricists emphasizing experience, rationalists emphasizing reason—but may blend both.In the 1930s, debate over foundationalism revived. Whereas Moritz Schlick viewed scientific knowledge like a pyramid where a special class of statements does not require verification through other beliefs and serves as a foundation, Otto Neurath argued that scientific knowledge lacks an ultimate foundation and acts like a raft. In the 1950s, foundationalism fell into decline – largely due to the influence of Willard Van Orman Quine, whose ontological relativity found any belief networked to one's beliefs on all of reality, while auxiliary beliefs somewhere in the vast network are readily modified to protect desired beliefs.
Classically, foundationalism had posited infallibility of basic beliefs and deductive reasoning between beliefs—a strong foundationalism. About 1975 weak foundationalism emerged. Thus recent foundationalists have variously allowed fallible basic beliefs, and inductive reasoning between them, either by enumerative induction or by inference to the best explanation. And whereas internalists require cognitive access to justificatory means, externalists find justification without such access.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.List of fictional rebellions
This is a list of rebellions and rebel movements in fiction.
The "Dark Days" and the Second Rebellion (The Hunger Games trilogy)
Anti-bending Revolution (Legend of Korra)
Water Tribe Civil War/"War of the Water Tribes" (Legend of Korra)
Earth 'Nation' Civil War/"Earth Empire Uprising" (Legend of Korra)
Maquis (Star Trek)
Rebel Alliance (Star Wars)
Varden (Inheritance Cycle)
Jaeger Uprising (Pacific Rim Uprising)
Freedom Fighters (Sonic the Hedgehog)
Returners (Final Fantasy VI)
Dumbledore's Army (Harry Potter)
Republic of Heaven (His Dark Materials)
Tech-Com (The Terminator)
A World With No Boundaries (Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War)
The Grey Men (Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War)
New Russian Federation (Ace Combat: Assault Horizon)
Stranded Insurgency (Gears of War)
Aslan's Army ( The Chronicles of Narnia)
The DigiDestined (Digimon Adventure and Digimon Adventure 02)
The Heroes (Subspace Emissary in Super Smash Bros. Brawl)
V (V for Vendetta)
AVALANCHE (Final Fantasy VII)
Resistance Fighters (Half-Life 2)
The Resisty (Invader Zim)
The Horus Heresy (Warhammer 40,000)
Revolt in 2100 (specifically "If This Goes On—")
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
Global Liberation Army (Command & Conquer: Generals)
Yuri (Command & Conquer: Yuri's Revenge)
Bardock (Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku)
The Black Knights and other Japanese groups (Code Geass)
The Great Schism (Halo)
The Freedom Fighters (Avatar: The Last Airbender)
The Vodarac and Gekkostate (Eureka Seven)
Sam Meeker (My Brother Sam Is Dead)
Gaeta's Mutiny (Battlestar Galactica 2003)
Lonwarl Independence Movement (Locke the Superman)
The Resistance, containing Mars, Proxmia 3 and Babylon 5. (Babylon 5)
The Battle for Albion (Fable III)
Rapture Civil War (BioShock)
Lily Cruz (Wildflower)
Stormcloak Rebellion or Skyrim Civil War (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim)
Columbia Civil War (BioShock: Infinite)
Rakyat uprising (Far Cry 3)
First Martian Revolution (Red Faction)
Second Martian Revolution (Red Faction II)
Paraiso Mech Army (Resiklo)
Kreisau Circle (Wolfenstein)
Brotherhood Without Banners (A Song of Ice and Fire)
The Golden Path (Far Cry 4)
Second Russian Civil War (Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare)
The Brown Coats (Firefly)Minor Threat
Minor Threat was an American hardcore punk band, formed in 1980 in Washington, D.C. by vocalist Ian MacKaye and drummer Jeff Nelson. MacKaye and Nelson had played in several other bands together, and recruited bassist Brian Baker and guitarist Lyle Preslar to form Minor Threat. They added a fifth member, Steve Hansgen, in 1982. The band was relatively short-lived, having disbanded after only four years together, but had a strong influence on the punk scene, both stylistically and in establishing a "do it yourself" ethic for music distribution and concert promotion. Minor Threat's song "Straight Edge" became the eventual basis of the straight edge movement, which emphasized a lifestyle without alcohol or other drugs, or promiscuous sex. AllMusic described Minor Threat's music as "iconic" and noted that their groundbreaking music "has held up better than [that of] most of their contemporaries."Along with the fellow Washington, D.C. hardcore band Bad Brains and California band Black Flag, Minor Threat set the standard for many hardcore punk bands in the 1980s and 1990s. All of Minor Threat's recordings were released on Ian MacKaye and Jeff Nelson's own label, Dischord Records. The Minor Threat EP and their only full-length studio album Out of Step have received a number of accolades and are cited as landmarks of the hardcore punk genre.Nightwings (novella)
"Nightwings" is a science fiction novella by Robert Silverberg. It won the Hugo Award for Best Novella in 1969 and was also nominated for the Nebula Award in 1968. It won the Prix Apollo Award in 1976. "Nightwings" is the first in a trilogy of novellas, the next two being "Perris Way" (1968) and "To Jorslem" (1969). These three works were later collected into a single fixup in three sections, also titled Nightwings. According to Silverberg's introductions, the changes required to turn the three shorter works into a novel were relatively minor.Palimpsest (novella)
Palimpsest is a 2009 science fiction novella by Charles Stross, exploring the conjunction of time travel and deep time. Originally published in Stross's 2009 collection Wireless, it won the 2010 Hugo Award for best novella.Subterranean Press has announced that they will be reprinting the novella separately in 2011.Revolt in 2100
Revolt in 2100 is a 1953 science fiction collection by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, part of his Future History series.
The contents are as follows:
Foreword by Henry Kuttner, "The Innocent Eye"
"If This Goes On—" (1940; originally published in Astounding Science Fiction)
"Coventry" (1940; originally published in Astounding Science Fiction)
"Misfit" (1939; originally published in Astounding Science Fiction)
Future History chart
Afterword: "Concerning Stories Never Written"The short novel, "If This Goes On—", describes a rebellion against an American theocracy and thus served as the vehicle for Heinlein to criticise the authoritarian potential of Protestant Christian fundamentalism. The work is not an attack on religion in general, however, as he has a Mormon community take part in the anti-theocratic revolt. Heinlein rewrote the work for this appearance.The short stories, "Coventry" and "Misfit", describe the succeeding secular liberal society from the point of view of characters who reject it.
Later paperback editions have paired Revolt in 2100 with Methuselah's Children.
The afterword describes three stories which describe the beginning of the theocracy and subsequent beginnings of rebellion against it. "The Sound of His Wings" would have concerned a televangelist named Nehemiah Scudder who rides a populist, racist wave of support to the Presidency. "Eclipse" describes the subsequent collapse of American society with particular emphasis on the withdrawal from space travel by the new regime. "The Stone Pillow" offers the rise of the rebellion which the protagonists of "If This Goes On-" later join; the rebellion (styled the "Second American Revolution" in later stories of the Future History) includes Mormons, Catholics, and Jews, groups suppressed by the Theocracy, working in concert with Freemasons. Internal evidence of the series, particularly conversations in Methuselah's Children and Time Enough For Love place the Scudder election in the year 2012.
The character of Nehemiah Scudder, the "First Prophet" of the regime, appeared in Heinlein's first novel (never published in his lifetime), For Us, The Living. He is also used in Spider Robinson's Variable Star, a novel based on an outline of Heinlein's. The novel borrows liberally from Heinlein's Future History, although it does not follow its timeline.
Reviewer Groff Conklin described the Shasta edition as "a classic" and the lead story as "a smashing tale of revolution in the United States." Boucher and McComas, however, described the collection as "[i]mpressive in its time, and important in the development of modern science fiction," but found it highly uneven, "with pages worthy of the mature 1954 Heinlein ... followed immediately by passages from the author's literary apprenticeship." P. Schuyler Miller found Revolt in 2100 to be "a distinctly minor Heinlein contribution, ... way below the mark Heinlein has set himself in his recent teen-age books."Robert A. Heinlein
Robert Anson Heinlein (; July 7, 1907 – May 8, 1988) was an American science-fiction writer. Often called the "dean of science fiction writers", he wrote sometimes-controversial works that continue to have an influence on the science-fiction genre, and on modern culture more generally.
Heinlein became one of the first American science-fiction writers to break into mainstream magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post in the late 1940s. He was one of the best-selling science-fiction novelists for many decades, and he, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke are often considered the "Big Three" of English-language science fiction authors. Notable Heinlein works include Stranger in a Strange Land, Starship Troopers (which helped mould the space marine and mecha archetypes) and The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress.A writer also of numerous science-fiction short stories, Heinlein was one of a group of writers who came to prominence under the editorship (1937-1971) of John W. Campbell at Astounding Science Fiction magazine, though Heinlein denied that Campbell influenced his writing to any great degree.
Within the framework of his science-fiction stories, Heinlein repeatedly addressed certain social themes: the importance of individual liberty and self-reliance, the obligation individuals owe to their societies, the influence of organized religion on culture and government, and the tendency of society to repress nonconformist thought. He also speculated on the influence of space travel on human cultural practices.
Heinlein was named the first Science Fiction Writers Grand Master in 1974. Four of his novels won Hugo Awards. In addition, fifty years after publication, seven of his works were awarded "Retro Hugos"—awards given retrospectively for works that were published before the Hugo Awards came into existence. In his fiction, Heinlein coined terms that have become part of the English language, including "grok", "waldo", and "speculative fiction", as well as popularizing existing terms like "TANSTAAFL", "pay it forward", and "space marine". He also anticipated mechanical computer-aided design with "Drafting Dan" and described a modern version of a waterbed in his novel The Door into Summer, though he never patented nor built one. In the first chapter of the novel Space Cadet he anticipated the cell-phone, 35 years before Motorola invented the technology. Several of Heinlein's works have been adapted for film and television.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 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"
"The Roads Must Roll", 1940
"'If This Goes On—'", 1940
"Blowups Happen", 1940
"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 Queen of Air and Darkness (novella)
"The Queen of Air and Darkness" is a science fiction novella by American writer Poul Anderson, set in his History of Rustum fictional universe. It won the Hugo Award for Best Novella and the Locus Award for Best Short Story in 1972, and the Nebula Award for Best Novelette in 1971.The Saturn Game
"The Saturn Game" is a science fiction novella by American writer Poul Anderson.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)
"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.Zeb
Zeb may refer to:
Zeb (name), a list of people with the given name, nickname or surname
Drummie Zeb, born Angus Gaye in 1959, drummer, producer and lead singer of UK band Aswad
Garazeb "Zeb" Orrelios, a main character in Star Wars Rebels
Zeb Jones, a character in the novella If This Goes On— by Robert A. Heinlein
Zebulon "Zeb" Walton, family patriarch on the American TV series The Waltons
Zeb, a character in the novel Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz by L. Frank Baum
Typhoon Zeb, a powerful Category 5 typhoon that struck Luzon in the Philippines in 1998
Zeb, Oklahoma, United States, an unincorporated community and census-designated place
Zero energy building