Sunday, November 14, 2021

The world's leading Heinlein scholar.

 Bill Patterson.  

Also a leading figure in Phoenix fandom during the Golden age of same. 


Starhopper said...

Bill and I shared an apartment in western Phoenix for the summer of 1975, and Joe Sheffer frequently spent the night there after hours long discussions that sometimes went straight into dawn. I owe a lot to Bill. He sharpened my thinking by challenging my youthful, not sufficiently examined opinions. One of the subjects we endlessly debated was "Who are the all time greatest SF writers?" A particular point of contention was the proper place for the works of E.E. "Doc" Smith.

Bill is one of the 5 people I still pray for daily. (Yes, as a Catholic, I routinely pray for dead people - to help them get out of Purgatory.) I dedicated my 4th book (about Homeric themes in E.E. Smith's writings) to Bill (posthumously).

I consider Bill to have been one of my best friends ever. I still miss him and our many talks/discussions/debates/arguments.

Victor Reppert said...

Starhopper said...

Bill Patterson was in many ways a truly brilliant person, but he had unfortunately drunk of the Ayn Rand Kool Aid, and never managed to flush it out of his system. But in every other respect, his intellect was diamond sharp. He was unfortunately a convinced atheist, but by no means a belligerent one. In fact, many of our most interesting discussions were on the topic of Christianity and theism in general. Neither of us convinced the other, and total respect was maintained throughout.

It was tragic that he didn't live long enough to see his Heinlein biography get published.