Sixth Column, also known under the title The Day After Tomorrow, is a science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, based on a story by editor John W. Campbell, and set in a United States that has been conquered by the PanAsians, a combination of Chinese and Japanese. Originally published as a serial in Astounding Science Fiction (January, February, March 1941, using the pen name Anson MacDonald) it was published in hardcover in 1949. It is most known for its race-based premises.
First edition cover.
|Author||Robert A. Heinlein|
|Cover artist||Edd Cartier|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover & Paperback)|
A top secret research facility hidden in the Colorado mountains is the last remaining outpost of the United States Army after its defeat by the PanAsians. The conquerors had absorbed the Soviets after being attacked by them and had then gone on to absorb India as well. The invaders are depicted as ruthless and cruel—for example, they crush an abortive rebellion by killing 150,000 American civilians as punishment. Noting that the invaders have allowed the free practice of religion (the better to pacify their slaves), the Americans set up a church of their own in order to build a resistance movement—the Sixth Column (as opposed to a traitorous fifth column).
The laboratory is in turmoil as the novel begins. All but six of the personnel have died suddenly, due to unknown forces released by an experiment operating within the newly discovered magneto-gravitic or electro-gravitic spectra. The surviving scientists soon learn that they can selectively kill people by releasing the internal pressure of their cell membranes, among other things. Using this discovery, they construct a race-selective weapon that will kill only Asians.
The original idea for the story of Sixth Column was proposed by John W. Campbell (who had written a similar unpublished story called "All"), and Heinlein later wrote that he "had to reslant it to remove racist aspects of the original story line" and that he did not "consider it to be an artistic success."
Heinlein’s work on Campbell’s "All" was considerably more than just a re-slanting; Campbell’s story was felt to be unpublishable as it stood, written in a pseudo-archaic dialect (with occasional inconsistencies), with no scientific explanations for the apparently miraculous powers of the American super-weapons. (There are plausible discussions of the weapons, but by the PanAsians, concluding that their powers must be divine.) George Zebrowski, in his afterword to the story, speculates that Heinlein was parodying Campbell in the character of Calhoun, who goes insane and actually believes the false religion created by the Americans. The bulk of Heinlein’s work on the novel, e.g. the explanations of the weapons’ effectiveness and the strategy for the Americans' rebellion, is missing from "All".
Boucher and McComas found the novel to be "a fine example of serious pulp science fiction." P. Schuyler Miller compared Sixth Column to "the old E. Phillips Oppenheim or modern Eric Ambler intrigue, thrust and counterthrust with civilization at stake."
The book was serialized in early 1941, at a time that the Second Sino-Japanese War was in its fourth year and large parts of China had been occupied in brutal fashion by the Japanese. The book is notable for its frank portrayal of racism on both sides. The conquerors regard themselves as a chosen people predestined to rule over lesser races, and they refer to white people as slaves. "Three things only do slaves require: work, food, and their religion." They demand outward signs of respect, such as jumping promptly into the gutter when a member of the chosen race walks by, and the slightest hesitation to show the prescribed courtesies earns a swagger stick across the face. One character is Frank Mitsui, an Asian American whose family was murdered by the invaders because they did not fit in the new PanAsiatic racial order. The Americans in the novel respond to their conquerors' racism by often referring to them in unflattering terms, such as "flat face" and "slanty".
Sixth Column and Farnham's Freehold, another novel by Heinlein, both center on the issue of race.
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In pursuing the Austrian retreat from Bavaria, Mortier had over-extended the three divisions of his newly formed VIII. Corps, spreading them along the north bank of the Danube. Kutuzov enticed Mortier to send Théodore Maxime Gazan's 2nd Division into a trap; French troops were caught in a valley between two Russian columns, and were only rescued by the timely arrival of the 1st Division, under command of Pierre Dupont de l'Étang. The battle extended well into the night.
Both sides claimed a victory. The French lost more than a third of the Corps, and Gazan's division experienced over 40 percent losses. The Austrians and Russians also had heavy losses—close to 16 percent—but arguably the most significant was the death in action of Johann Heinrich von Schmitt, one of Austria's most capable chiefs of staff.Ethnic bioweapon
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The Heinlein Prize for Advances in Space Commercialization, generally known as the Heinlein Prize, was founded in 1988 to reward individuals who make practical contributions to the commercialization of space. The Heinlein Prize, offers a cash award of $500,000 to one or more individuals for practical accomplishments in the field of commercial space activities rewarded by the International Aeronautical Congress in Bremen, Germany.Trustees for the award emphasize that the prize, which will be given as often as annually, is for effort by an individual or group of people, not government or corporate sponsored activities, and is intended to be worldwide in scope. The prize is awarded in July.
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"Moonbat" is a pejorative political epithet used in United States politics, referring to liberals, progressives, or leftists (especially the far-left), a possible parallel to the pejorative "Wingnut" attributed to American conservatives, and right wing politics.Prayer of the Rollerboys
Prayer of the Rollerboys is a 1990 independent science fiction film directed by Rick King and starring Corey Haim and Patricia Arquette.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.SS Lewis Emery Jr.
The SS Lewis Emery, Jr. was a World War II liberty ship built by the Alabama Drydock and Shipbuilding Company at their yard at Mobile, Alabama, and launched on 15 October 1943.Sam Boardman-Jacobs
Sam Boardman-Jacobs (born 1942) is a Wales-based playwright, director scenographer and recently choreographer, since receiving a master's degree from Trinity/ Laban. He now commutes between France and the UK.Stardust the Super Wizard
Stardust the Super Wizard is a fictional superhero from the Golden Age of Comics who originally appeared in American comic books published by Fox Feature Syndicate. The character was created by writer-artist Fletcher Hanks. Stardust the Super Wizard made his first appearance in Fantastic Comics #1 (December 1939).The Love War
The Love War (1970) is a science fiction ABC Movie of the Week starring Lloyd Bridges as an alien warrior and Angie Dickinson as the woman he befriends.It was originally advertised and broadcast under the title The Sixth Column.Tigrinya language
Tigrinya, often written as Tigrigna (ትግርኛ, tigriñā) is an Afro-Asiatic language, belonging to the family's Semitic branch. It is spoken by ethnic Tigray-Tigrinya in the Horn of Africa. Tigrinya speakers primarily inhabit the Tigray Region in northern Ethiopia (96%), where its speakers are called Tigrawot ("Tigrāweyti"(female ) or "Tigraway"(male) -singular- and "Tegaru" -plural-), as well as the contiguous borders of southern and central Eritrea (57%), where speakers are known as the Tigrinya. Tigrinya is also spoken by groups of emigrants from these regions, including some Beta Israel.
Tigrinya should not be confused with the related Tigre language. The latter Afro-Asiatic language is spoken by the Tigre people, who inhabit the lowland regions of Eritrea to the north and west of the Tigrinya speech area.Virginia Heinlein
Virginia "Ginny" Heinlein (April 22, 1916 – January 18, 2003), born Virginia Doris Gerstenfeld, was a chemist, biochemist, engineer, and the third wife of Robert A. Heinlein, a prominent and successful author often considered as one of the "Big Three" of science fiction (along with Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke).Xing Rongjie
Xing Rongjie (traditional Chinese: 邢荣杰; pinyin: Xing Rongjie; 1911 – 20 November 1997) was an army Founding General in China.
Xing was born in Heipei, China and started his career in the army in 1933 as a Mission Commander of the Defend Group, which joined the Chinese Republic Army in 1937.
During the Second Sino-Japanese War, Xing served in the following capacities:
worked as the Captain of Ji West Guerrillas
served as Command Chief of Staff and Commander of the Third Detachment, Yu Ji.
Chief of Staff of the Anti-Japanese Volunteer Army, Taihang Fifth Military Region
Chief of Staff of the military subdistrict 34
Chief of staff of the 8th Military SubdistrictDuring the war of liberation, Xing served in the following capacities:
District Chief of Staff of the Fifth Military Region of Daheng
Chief of Staff of the Sixth Column 16 Jinjilushu Field Army Brigade
Captain of Central Plains Area Military University
Commander of the 36th Dvivsion.After the founding of the People's Republic of China, Xing:
Became the Commander of the 3rd Corps
Commander of the military subdistrict of East Sichuan Fuling Military Region
Professor tactical trainers and Deputy Director of the Training Department of the Nanjing Military Academy
Military attache of Socialist Republic of Vietnam Embassy
Commander of Shaanxi Military DistrictIn 1955, Xing was promoted to the rank of Major General, the first group of generals in China. He was listed one of the founding generals in China.
During his career, Xing was awarded the Medal of Freedom of Independent, and the Independent Liberation Medal.