Here’s a vote of thanks to the Crotchety Old Fan for leading his fellow Heinlein fans to a trove of Heinlein’s fiction from Boy’s Life.
He has posted links to scanned-in issues hosted on Google Books with such stories as “Tramp Space Ship,” published in hardcover as The Rolling Stones, and “Tenderfoot in Space,” about a Boy Scout and his dog on Venus told partly from the dog’s point of view. “Tenderfoot” is more historical curiosity than hidden gem. It went unreprinted for over 30 years before Yoji Kondo reissued it in Requiem: New Collected Works by Robert A. Heinlein and Tributes to the Grand Master.
Crotchety sounds conflicted about posting links to anything at Google Books. Tormented, really, as he begins, “Regardless of how you feel about the Google Book Settlement (an I’m agin it – check out my name in Ursula Le Guin’s letter on the subject)…” and ends, “I wonder if the Heinlein estate has ‘opted in’ to Google books and whether or not they’re getting a couple of pennies every time someone reads these stories. If not – I wonder what the executors think of entire RAH novels being freely available on the web…?”
Though I wouldn’t bet against anyone who thinks Heinlein’s executors would like to collect a royalty every time someone reads one of the master’s stories I came to the same conclusion as Crotchety did – so long as the stories are only a click away it’s a shame to let the opportunity go to waste.