Robert A. Heinlein’s Notebook: The Creative Process Behind “Stranger in a Strange Land”


Great idea for a character! He is me, but all of the women want to have sex with me — I mean him!

Had another brilliant idea last night. A guy named Martin . . . something, something, something . . . naked women want to have sex with me — I mean, him! Women have no sexual inhibitions and like well-groomed mustaches.

Flying cars? Maybe, but this guy . . . this guy has two three secretaries. They don’t like wearing clothes, but sometimes I make them — I mean, him!

Going to call this guy Roger B. Leinhein.

Nevermind. Changing it to Chumba Womba. Jubal Harshaw. My editor thought I was talking about myself, which I wasn’t. Totally different guy!


Okay, so this Martin guy — no, wait! Martian! He’s from Mars! — starts a religion where everyone has to have sex with me — I mean, Jubal. Except Jubal plays it cool, and is like, “Nah, I’ve seen plenty of boobs,” but then he joins and has sex with loads of women near the end.

Great idea! Jubal is an author, but he is also a doctor and a lawyer, because he is super smart and really popular. Everyone likes him.

Going to call it Heretic. No, Stranger in a Strange Land. Nah. Jubal Gets Some!




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