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The Heinlein Society
September is always a busy time of year, with lots of looking back over the past fiscal year, and lots of looking forward to the next. Here’s some of what The Heinlein Society has been up to....


The Heinlein Society is pleased to announce the winner of this year's Virginia Edition raffle, Jonathan Darer. Jon joined the Society at the San Jose WorldCon and is already reaping a huge reward!

If you didn't win the VE this past year, the board of the Society has already voted to run it again for the membership next year, so keep your membership active!
On September 18th, The Heinlein Society announced the results of their recent annual election for the Board of Directors, and the annual reorganization of the Board of Directors and election of officers for the Society’s FY19 (September 2018-August 2019) year.

Meeting on September 9th for their 17th annual meeting of the membership, held online for the fourth year in a row, it was announced that the recent online vote conducted with Simply Voting had resulted in the re-election of Directors Betsey Wilcox and C. Herbert Gilliland, Ph.D., the overwhelming member ratification of Board-appointed Director Walt Boyes (appointed to fill the term of the late Jerry Pournelle, Ph.D. who passed away just after re-election last year), and the return to the Society’s Board of Directors of President Emeritus Mike Sheffield, who served as President and Chairman of the Board of the Society from 2010 to 2014.

Meeting the next evening in its annual reorganization meeting, the Board of Directors elected Vice President-Secretary George E. “Geo” Rule to be the 5th President and Chairman of the Board of the Society since its founding in 1998, C. Herbert Gilliland, Ph.D. to be its new Vice President-Secretary, and John Tilden to continue for a seventh year as Treasurer.  Immediate Past President Keith Kato, Ph.D. had informed the Board a year earlier that after nine years on the Board of Directors, four as Vice President-Secretary, and four as President and Chairman, he would not stand for re-election in 2018.

Said President Rule, “Our previous two presidents have left us a great foundation to build upon. Mike Sheffield was the driving force behind the founding of our very successful Scholarships program, and supported the creation of Heinlein For Heroes during his service as President. Dr. Kato lead the Society and ‘Heinlein’s Children’ to the creation and placing of a bronze bust of Robert A. Heinlein in the state capitol building of Missouri in 2016, and leaves service as President with membership in the Society, and Society financial assets, at all-time highs in our 20 year history. The membership recognized him with a well-earned thank you vote by acclamation at our recent annual meeting.”

“It’s my goal to build on their record and lead the Society to its next phase of growth in members and programs”, Rule said.  “With John Tilden continuing as Treasurer, the broad and experienced shoulders of Mike Sheffield to lean on, and Dr. Gilliland (who is a long-time member of the Heinlein community, founding Chair of the Heinlein For Heroes program, and a long-time professor of English at the United States Naval Academy who taught the first college-level class on Robert A. Heinlein), I think we’ve got great senior leadership in place. With the other experienced and dedicated members of the Board, and a new Board of Advisors, I feel confident that even better days are ahead for the Society.”

Rule has served on the Board of Directors of the Society since 2007, and as Vice President-Secretary since 2014. He joined the Society in 2002, and considers himself lucky to have had the opportunity to work with Mrs. Virginia (“Ginny”) Heinlein on Society business in the last year of her life. Rule and his wife, Deb Houdek Rule (herself a past member of the Society’s Board of Directors) are listed as editors on the upcoming graphic novel of Have Space Suit -- Will Travel from the Virginia Edition Publishing Company, and have often worked with the Heinlein Prize Trust (a separate organization from the Society, who controls most of Robert A. Heinlein’s copyrights) on other projects.


by Carlin Black, Blood Drive Chair
It’s been a busy year so far! Here are the results of our most recent drives, as well as a look ahead. 
  • We’ve had more than 35,000 total donations this year. And that’s not counting DragonCon in August!
  • Since The Heinlein Society started Paying It Forward through blood drives in 2001, and since then, over 38,000 donors have given blood, enough to save 120,000 to150,000 lives. Each donation makes a life-saving difference for three or four patients.
  • ReaderCon reported in with 22 donations, with thanks to John Hodges and the Red Cross.
  • GenCon eaked out the top spot among the regular Cons with 190 donations reported thanks to Joe Smiddie-Brush and Indiana Blood Center.
  • WorldCon, in spite last minute-changes and an unexpected group of protesters outside the Con, reported in with 78 donors and 98 units collected. Thanks to Carlin Black and Special Kudos to Nick Hooks of Blood Centers of the Pacific for making it all work!
  • The DragonCon blood drive started Thursday Aug 31st this year, and is one of our biggest drives. We received between 3100 and in excess of 3400 (depending on how you count) donations!
 Want to get involved? We’d love to have you! If you’re interested in coordinating a blood drive, helping out in the Canteen, passing out pins or thank-you cards, or you’d like to hear about some of the perks of volunteering with Blood Drives, please email Help us share the Pay It Forward mission!
Watch The Heinlein Society Blood Drive Page on Facebook for more details!

This fiscal year, we’ve made 323 shipments, totaling 3,533 books distributed. Since the program’s inception, we’ve sent 19,102 total books to our heroes.

The Heinlein For Heroes program (H4H) sends free books to troops, veterans, and military families. We send only to individuals or units that have requested SF material.  Clearly many of our military men and women WANT to read good science fiction, including Heinlein. To meet that demand, our shipments go around the globe, as well as to veterans’ hospitals here at home.
Contributions keep coming in, but your help is still needed. We need gently used paperbacks—and especially Heinleins, as we include Heinlein books in every shipment.
Money contributions are used to buy books wherever we find them (book dealers, eBay) at the right price.  But free is even better than cheap. Is an SF friend or neighbor downsizing? You can help them and help us!
Go to for information on where to send books or money.

Here’s what some of our recent care package recipients had to say:

I wanted to say thank you for the book I received from you in cooperation with Operation Paperback! I’m looking forward to spending what down time I do have by reading through all of them, and I am very appreciative of everything that was sent! 
Matt Jones
724th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron
AB 201, Agadez, Niger, Africa

I have received several care packages containing books and it is greatly appreciated. Thank you and All who care enough to donate books for all of us deployed. Myself and several other soldiers Have spent a lot of time going through the books that have been sent. They have helped
tremendously in Helping the time pass quickly. Thank you so much for the
love and support.
Always Forward,
SPC Hampton, Willbert

To The Heinlein Society,
I just wanted to send an email to say thank you for the books your organization send to the Viera OPC in Florida! We really appreciate the donation. The little free library we set up here has been a great resource to veterans. Thank you again for your contribution!
Justin Woods, LCSW
Transition and Care Management

My name is Jacob Hendrickson. I have been receiving packages of books from your organization for a few months while I've been forward deployed here in Poland. Due to how busy we are here, I wasn't able to respond to the generous volunteers that sent them. I just wanted to thank you and your organization for what you do. I know that my soldiers and I greatly
appreciated the books that we read, and the ones we did not we donated to the recreation facility here on base for everyone else to enjoy also!
Once again, thank you for all that you do!
Jacob E. Hendrickson 1LT, FA
Apache Troop Fire Support Officer


by Juan Miguel de la Torre Quesada and Keith Kato

The Otium Science Fiction Club in Barcelona Spain held its inaugural “El Dia H” or “Heinlein’s Day” on 7 July 2018, Robert Heinlein’s 111th birthday.
The 76th World Science Fiction Convention (“Worldcon”) was held in San Jose, California, 16-20 August 2018. The Heinlein Society was well-represented by Board members (Herb Gilliland, Joe Haldeman, Keith Kato, Geo Rule, John Seltzer, John Tilden, Betsey Wilcox), Committee chairs and contributors (Carlin Black, Marie Guthrie, Will Hamilton, Mike Sheffield, Sharon Sheffield, Ken Walters), and other Society members (Ty Arnold, Brad Lyau, G. David Nordley, Juliet Vogel) all lending their time to help. The Heinlein contingent helped run or participate in:
  • The (pre-Worldcon) field trip to the University of California, Santa Cruz’s Special Collections Library, to see some of the Heinlein Archives on display.
  • The Society’s “Mission & Vision” meeting.
  • The Society’s Fan Table with information about THS, ribbons, literature, and displays.
  • The Heinlein Blood Drive.
  • The Retro[spective] Hugos “from” the 1943 Worldcon, for works published in 1942.
  • The Heinlein Society’s Party.
  • A panel on the post-mortem organizations on behalf of Ray Bradbury (The Center For Ray Bradbury Studies), Arthur C. Clarke (The Arthur C. Clarke Center For Human Imagination), and Robert A. Heinlein (The Heinlein Society).
  • A Worldcon-long assessment of academic papers to award a $250 cash prize for “Best Academic Track Paper” delivered at the Worldcon.

by John Tilden
A THS Goals, Mission & Vision Meeting was held Wednesday 15 August 2018, approximately 6:30-8:30 PM, at the Fairmont Hotel, San Jose CA, Room 1090. A meeting of this type first occurred at the 2016 Kansas City Worldcon, and allowed Society members to have extended conversations with Board officers, other Directors, and committee chairs and workers on any number of topics.
After a dinner provided by THS of salad, pizza, and drinks we convened to discuss broad goals for the Society over the next few years. It is the intention of the Board and Chairs of the Society to use this discussion to help guide action.
Present: Keith Kato, Herb Gilliland, John Seltzer, Susan Seltzer, Lester Gibo, Juliet Vogel, Kevin Ellingwood, Geo Rule, John Tilden, Mike Sheffield, Betsey Wilcox, Marie Guthrie, Will Hamilton, Ty Arnold, Carlin Black, Kenn Bates.
We had much good discussion. If something approached a “goal” for the Society and at least a couple of people agreed, it was put to the “whiteboard” on the wall. The whiteboard is transcribed below:
  • Qualified Scholarship entrants get 1 year Supporting Membership free (to get them on our mailing list).
  • Communication points for Newsletter—what to do (whom to contact, how to up-vote) to get more RAH on the Kindle format in particular and ebooks in general.
  • Expand membership into the Asian countries’ fan base.
  • Get stuff out of storage and “into circulation”— (Update: Send The Martian Named Smith to Dragon Con next year; lend our art to the Bonestall exhibit, Center For Bradbury Studies/IUPUI, or some other like gallery).
  • Inventory what we have.
  • Foreign Editions especially.
  • Create an “on-demand” store for stuff with the THS logo and attach to the website.
  • Survey membership by zip code to find their local SF cons, as THSer to help Blood Drives etc.
  • Gauge commitment to be a local THS con coordinator.
  • Staff a “Fan/THS” presence at Dragon Con by 2019 (subsidize if necessary).
  • Gain 25 new members under the age of 30 within 3 years.
  • Expand our “Fan/THS” presence to 5 -more- “key” conventions in 2 years.
It should be noted that, from the 2016 Kansas City Worldcon Mission & Vision meeting, the Virginia Edition Raffle to conclude the Society’s Annual Meeting in 2017 and 2018 were enacted. READ MORE HERE >>>
by Keith Kato
Who’s ready to plan for next year! For those already thinking about the next Worldcon, here are some things to consider:
  • Lodging will be snapped up quickly, and may be more expensive than in Helsinki last year. Keep an eye on the website; hotel rates will be released on January 9, 2019.
  • If you’d like to get a jump start on planning your lodging, I’m considering renting a seven bedroom, 12 beds of various sizes, three bathrooms, three story home, with a very large kitchen. While not within walking distance to the Convention Centre, it offers a 5 minute walk to a Tram station, where the tram will drop you off at the Convention Centre itself. Dividing the total cost by rooms (instead of beds), this looks to be about US$130 per night. This is NOT an official THS-planned offer, but a house of Heinleiners may (or may not) be a good place to start. If you’re interested, please reach out to Keith Kato.
  • Also not an official THS planned offer (but should still be really fun!): A theater party on Wednesday, 14 August 2019, at 7:30 PM at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin, to see the famous Irish dance show “Riverdance.” This is the evening before Worldcon begins. “Riverdance” is observing its 25th Anniversary in 2019, and the show itself will be running during the Worldcon. If you’re interested, TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW with wide open seat locations and even “early bird” prices. Individuals will take care of their own tickets, and the group would likely gather for dinner, see the show, and maybe hit a pub afterwards.
Again, neither the housing nor theater party are THS projects. However, interested parties can email and they will forward messages to me to coordinate.
All permanent membership cards for those who became members on or before September 15th, 2017 have been shipped! Please contact Ken Walters at if you have not received yours.
Copyright © 2018 Heinlein Society, All rights reserved.

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