A bed designed and built by Robert A. Heinlein for himself and his wife, Ginny, fetched $2,025 at auction on eBay.
Dubbed “Heinlein’s ‘second-best bed’,” the piece came to The Heinlein Society after Ginny’s death in 2003. Unable to find a museum to take it, the Society decided to turn it into cash.
[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]
Heinlein bed sells for approximately its use value. I predict Heinlein, like virtually all science fiction writers, has no legs and will be forgotten in another generation.
Robert A. Heinlein changed the face of twentieth century civilization nearly as much as Star Trek in some ways, and in other ways much more. He has legs, cremated though he may have been. He will be remembered with honor long after the words of smart-fingered critics are drowned out in the mass of destabilizing electrical patterns on lost storage media.
What a bizarre statement. I’m not a Heinlein fan, but I’m not foolish enough to think he’ll be forgotten. As he’s been dead for 25 years, if he were going to be forgotten, it’d have started by now, and there’s no sign of it. I’m tired of grouches claiming that authors they dislike are suddenly going to lose their popular appeal any minute now, if they can just be outwaited. People have been claiming that of Tolkien for decades.
Now I have a bit from the Goon Show episode “The Flea” echoing around in my head.
You’ve set me wondering how much of my literary knowledge comes from (1) actually reading the work, (2) seeing parodies of the work, or (3) hearing fans talk about parodies of the work.
Thanks to your comment naming Pepys as the source of the “second-best bed” reference, that now goes in my category (3).
Heinlein forgotten? If it was a copy of STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, first edition, it would pay for two years of my mortgage.
If you don’t Heinlein, okay. The bed sale and a judgement on his fiction seems a little off the wall.
I wonder whoever bought that bed is going to read the work of Heinlein well tucked in before turning off the light?
Because sarcasm is notoriously difficult to transmit through the Internet, and just to make sure we’re all dealing with the same cultural references: we do all know that William Shakespeare’s will leaves his “second-best bed” to his wife, Anne, right? And that Shakespeare died before Samuel Pepys was born? Presumably, Spike Milligan, or whoever wrote that Goon Show episode, knew that Pepys was not the originator of the phrase.
Which is more than I can claim.
I did know that Shakespeare was not Pepys father. Can I get partial credit?
Spike Milligan and Larry Stephens were the writers.
“… Shakespeare was not Pepys father”
or at least that’s what Pepys’s mother wanted people to believe.
Spike Milligan wrote his own version of the Bible, but no one has ever pointed out that he got the translation wrong. Yes, we know he made stuff up. He was a comedian. He was allowed.