Robert A. Heinlein

This week, we will be focusing on Robert Heinlein. He was a science fiction writer that sparked the imaginations of many great minds that have created what we consider modern society. He was called the "dean of science fiction writers," and imagined things over 50 years ago  that have now become reality. Without people like this leading the way in science imaginings, we would not have much of the technology today. 

Here are the top ten facts about this literary giant:

A Hugo Award from 1996. 

A Hugo Award from 1996. 

1. He won seven Hugo Awards. These awards are given to the very best science fiction writers of that year. However, they broke the rules for Heinlein and awarded him three of these for work he had created in the years past. 

2. Heinlein attended the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1925 and was a commissioned officer in 1929. As a Lieutenant, he served five years as a gunnery officer until he was discharged due to contracting tuberculosis in 1934. 

3. After leaving the Navy and trying a variety of other occupations, Heinlein found himself broke in 1939. There was a contest for fiction writing that awarded $50 to the winner. He ended up writing his first story Life Line, but actually sold it to Astounding Science Fiction magazine for $20 more than the contest offered. 

4. By 1941, Heinlein was writing one-fifth of the content for Astounding Science Fiction. So he also wrote under the pseudonym Anson MacDonald. He ended up tying with "MacDonald" (himself) in the readers' polls.

5.  Heinlein created the idea for the waterbed while he was being hospitalized for his tuberculosis. In his novel Stranger In A Strange Land, he called it a Hydraulic bed. 

6. He is considered one of the "Big Three" of science fiction writers. The other two are , Isaac Asimov, known for I Robot, and Arthur C. Clarke, known for 2001: Space Odyssey. 

7. One of his more popular works that you may be more familiar with is Starship Troopers. The films are loosely based on his novel. 

8. He was one of the first science fiction writers to ever to break into the mainstream when his work was featured in The Saturday Evening Post. 

9. It took Heinlein 13 years to finish Stranger In A Strange Land. 

10. The last fun fact about Heinlein is also about his book Stranger In A Strange Land.  Not long after its release, a new religion called The Church of All Worlds. Heinlein never joined or endorsed the church however.