Heinlein fans. Nostalgia sci-fi fans.
He is great.
Robert Heinlein’s the Sixth Column (1949) was written in 1941. It is a sort of embarrassing racist dated tome about the “Yellow Peril”. There was a reason that active U. S. military people were so forewarned. While a young naval officer on board the Lexington in 1932, the ship was dispatched to Pearl Harbor under strict radio silence when the Japanese moved into Manchuria. In the novel, Japanese (although they are never named as such) take over Colorado and the rest of the U. S. The talented reader can do all the voices and accents. The enemies speak like 1942 movie Japanese villains, Philip Ahn, J. Carol Nash, and the rest. Those are like the voices I heard on network radio dramas in the 1940’s. I am old enough to remember that era.
I distinctly remember listening to “Terry and the Pirates” on V-Jay Day. Richard Loo type voice: “But, remember Terry Lee. The War is not yet ‘ova’.” But some flunky rushes in and says it IS ova. The radio people had to drop the prepared script and ad lib with a skeleton crew. All the rest were out in the streets celebrating.
The underground U. S. Army guys had fantastic advanced death rays and other weapons with which to fight back. They organized a resistance from a religious temple in Denver.
I can only think that the manuscript may have been unsellable in 1941, even though it may have seemed topical, but it reached the light of day in 1949 after Heinlein had become a name. It is certainly not “politically correct” from the perspective of today. It is a curiosity product from an author who was honing his craft. It is a must read for Heinlein fans who want to discover how he started in the early years. It may be a nostalgia adventure for those who recall the work the first time around.
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