Why I Selected The Green Hills of Earth, p.1Robert A. Heinlein
WHY I SELECTED
THE GREEN HILLS OF EARTH
For my taste, science fiction stories should not be about gadgets, but should be about people responding to problems created by gadgets—that is to say, responding to new environment created by advances in science.
This story is about 98% Rhysling, the blinded space bum, and about 2% gadgetry. Furthermore, it is concerned with some of my own strongly personal, emotional feelings about space travel. For such reasons it remains my own favorite of my stories.
The idea kicked around in my mind for five years, worrying me—but, being sighted myself, I had trouble with the characterization of a sightless man. During the War I met a young man who had been sightless from early childhood. He was operating powered machinery in an aircraft factory. Late in the War he was given the job of helping blinded veterans to reorient. In many cases their morale was gone—but a single day in the shop with this man was enough to change their attitudes completely. It was amazing—and enough to tear your heart out.
This story is dedicated to that gallant young gentleman and the veterans he worked with.
The phrase THE GREEN HILLS OF EARTH is from a story by C. L. Moore, the talented Mrs. Henry Kuttner. It is used by her gracious permission.
ROBERT A. HEINLEIN
Robert A. Heinlein, Why I Selected The Green Hills of Earth
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