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!


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.

1 Like

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.

1 Like

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

1 Like

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”.

1 Like

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

Just noting that the original link doesn’t work anymore, but there’s a copy here:

I went looking for it today and had to do some hunting, so figured I’d update the thread. :slight_smile:


Too bad about that site going down. It had many interesting historical letters. Thanks for posting here though.

It didn’t go down - it looks like they just pulled that letter.

I wonder why. I suspect lawyers.

1 Like

P.S. With respect to our co-host!

1 Like

I think David would be the first to say that sometimes, lawyers just hose everything up. :slight_smile:

That form letter is fascinating. I wonder which response was the most common and which the least? My favorite has to be the reference to “Who’s Who in America;” or the “Please do not write to me again.”


I particularly liked “fiction is sold as entertainment, not as fact” note. Something that might be a useful consideration in our current society. :slight_smile: