Robert A. Heinlein’s mail management trick

The recent Focused episode on email management reminded me of this form letter the science fiction writer used. I’m guessing it was mimeographed and his wife, Virginia, who handled his correspondence, kept a stack in the office.

It’s essentially a FAQ with no questions. She’d tick off the answer or answers to whatever questions the fans asked, and sent it back.

Analog TextExpander!


[x] Very smart. You made my day brighter. Thank you!



yw. I get a kick out of that every time I think of it and look at it again. Which I do every few years.

Most of the questions that go with those answers are probably apparent to anyone from context. And I’m enough of a Heinlein fan to recognize most of the others.

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Analogic Text Expander. It is brilliant. :grinning:


An interesting part of that Heinlein form letter is the reference to Lurton Blassingame, Heinlein’s agent – as well as being agent for Frank Herbert, William Nolan, John Barth, and other major mid-century sci-fi writers. Lurton had a name that would fit right in as a character in one of his clients’ sci-fi and other genre novels.

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“Lurton Blassingame” would be a petty bureaucrat in one of RAH’s 1940s or 1950s stories!

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Thank you for sharing the link to that obituary.

ISTR from biographies and letters that Heinlein considered Blassingame a friend as well as a business associate.

Heinlein was a genius and a hero of mine. Read the book published after his death, “Grumbles from the Grave”.

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I enjoyed the closing part the most and the business about the SASE!