Waldo & Magic, Inc.
But Waldo had little reason to want to help the rest of humanity -- until he learned that the solution to their problems a ...more
Waldo, the world's greatest expert on building remote controlled manipulators, wants to know why things are malfunctioning. It seems to be a problem that happens at very small scales. So he takes his smallest manipulator, and uses that to build an even smaller manipulator. Then he uses that to build a smaller manipulator still. Then... well, you get the picture. Pretty soon, he's moving individual atoms around.
I read this story in the early 70s, and here's a question I'm surprised didn't occur t ...more
The point is that technology is a based on the belief that it will work. As long as we believe in it, it functions; if or when we stop bel ...more
Waldo & Magic, Inc is a collection of two seemingly unrelated stories by Robert A. Heinlein (though both involve magic “lose in the world”). I listened to the recent audio version produced by Brilliance Audio. MacLeod Andrews, who I always like, narrates. William H. Patterson Jr provides an introduction to the stories and Tim Powers provides an afterword.
The first story, “Waldo,” was originally published in Asto ...more
ETA: Goodreads lists this as a 1986 publication, which it totally was not. This novella pair was published in 1950 (and written in the early 1940s).
This story started in one direction and went several other directions than I was expecting. On one level, is the experience of humanity realizing that all new science is magic until we understand it and then it becomes science. On another level, it's about looking to the future and possibilities. On another, it's a story of a man's journey from self-imposed social outcast due to his infirmity and genius int ...more
Waldo - North Power-Air was in trouble. Their aircraft had begun to crash at an alarming rate, and no one could figure out what was going wrong. Desperate for an answer, they turned to Waldo ...more
The first story, “Waldo,” was originally published in Astounding Magazine in 1942 under Heinlein’s penname, Anson MacDonald. The titular ch ...more
True, the foundation is science; the story is set in a near-future of advanced technology, with the concomitant social changes. Society has become dependent on an easily produced electro-magnetic power that fuels industry and transportation. But suddenly the specialized motors running on the power have started to fail inexpli ...more
In 'Waldo,' Heinlein's story is set in a world reliant on "radiant power" - energy beamed through thin air. The power company hasn't ever bothered to check if this is harmful to humans (it is) and the technology is so enmeshed into society there's no going back. Think: CELLPHON ...more
"Waldo" is supposedly the inspiration for waldoes - mechanical hands controlled remotely by gloves, found in medicine & industrial applications. The main character suffers from myasthenia gravis, a type of muscular atrophy, that renders him nearly helpless in any physical activity. He lives in his own space station, under zero gravity, and uses the eponymous equipment and h ...more
Pubblicato negli Anni d'Oro della science fiction su « Astounding » con l'imprimatur di John Campbell e della sua concezione della narrativa fantascientifica e fantastica. Il tema sta tra il contrasto fra il « superuomo » e la realtà codificata. In questo romanzo l' inventiva di RAH si è scatenata: già il protagonista, un giovane genio condannato ad una esistenza assurda ed amara da una miastenia congenita, è un personaggio fuori dell'ordinario; e l'intera vicenda spinta fino al sovvertimento de...more
The second part (Magic Inc) is basically unrelated. I figure the page count turned up short, so they just plugged in another short story of about the right length, with a little cutti ...more
Waldo's story is a little disjointed, the beginning and end make sense once finished, but meant that I was constantly trying to find the connection - and leaves the ending a little bit predictable.
Magic inc is a quick read, with well built characters for such a short story, but plays more along the lines of the supernatural -something I haven't often found in other books by Heinlein
Both entertaining and engaging for short stories, an interesting pairing in a single print, but they're complimenta ...more
There is much richness in these stories and I can see now how even in these stories Heinlein influenced my philosophy, politics, and economics.
He set a high standard for science and engineering plausibility and helped to raise the genre's standards of literary quality. He was the first SF writer to break into mainstre ...more