Mike Casper bellies up to our new contest

Starship Troopers taking on the NRA


Not even on line for two hours and already our first entry into our contest “Wingnuts”

Mike Casper has chosen for his bar-buddy Robert Heinlein. This from Wikipedia:

Robert Anson Heinlein (pron.: /ˈhnln/ HYN-lyn;[1][2][3] July 7, 1907 – May 8, 1988) was an American science fiction writer. Often called the “dean of science fiction writers”,[4] he was one of the most influential and controversial authors of the genre in his time. He set a standard for scientific and engineering plausibility, and helped to raise the genre’s standards of literary quality.

He was one of the first science fiction writers to break into mainstream magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post in the late 1940s. He was one of the best-selling science fiction novelists for many decades. He, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke are known as the “Big Three” of science fiction.[5]

There are a lot of great quotes, but this one stood out for me:

One of the sanest, surest, and most generous joys of life comes from being happy over the good fortune of others.
Robert A. Heinlein

So Mike, who has been off our site for a while is returning with this entry.

No title, so I gave it one

The Heinlein Maneuver

by Mike Casper


I signal the bartender for another round. Dammit I can’t pay for drinks and my bookie but it’s not often a man of my modest income gets to rub elbows with Robert Heinlein and his imaginary friend.  He talks about her all the time, like she’s still there.

I take a sip. He takes two.

Crap. She just walked in. She’s scanning the room.

She sees us, well, they see each other.

Heinlein waves her over. They have a brief conversation and with that look she exits the back door, the one leading upstairs.  Heinlein swills his drink, leans forward and burps ever so softly. “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Just get used to it, starship trooper.”

Suddenly I’m infuriated. “Dammitall Heinlein. You’re my chick magnet. What should I do now?”

He lurches to his feet. “Have you no common sense? The moon is a harsh mistress, and she’s a citizen of the galaxy. Tomorrow, the stars but tonight, there’s time enough for love. Indeed.”

With a knowing leer he heads towards the door.

As for me? I’ll just have to wing it.


Thanks Mike. Does hurt my feelings though that I am not your favorite author.  I’ll get over it.


18 thoughts on “Mike Casper bellies up to our new contest

  1. Michael Stang says:

    Indeed. It is great reading your talented tales again, Mike. I wonder and hope to read more entries from the old timers. I broke my teeth with Heinlein and thought the moon and stars rose and fell on his say so. Over the years there have been others but there is no one like the master. The image of Heinlein–the chick magnet–will stick around. I admired the way you used the prompt in that twisted way.

    • Thorn says:

      MIKE!!! The female I have for you is out dating–OOPS! The email I have for you is outdated. I wanted to send you word how much I appreciated you helping stoke the engine while I was in the alien’s evil grasp. Send me a line to thorn@awordwithyoupress.com

  2. 1948pdobbs says:

    A really good read, Mike. This contest isn’t as easy as it sounds in 243 words. But you drew a vivid picture with words. Blessings, pd

    • Thorn says:

      You may take as many liberties in your approach to this story as the aliens who abducted me took with me. The phrases are the names of Heilein books or movies.

    • Mike Casper says:

      Peg, Heinlein’s words are actually the titles of some of his books. I couldn’t resist and his genius madeit an easy story to write. Thanks for your kind comments.

    • Mike Casper says:

      …and the ‘there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch’ is abbreviated as TANSTAAFL in a few of his books. Starship Troopers. Common Sense. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Citizen of the Galaxy. Tomorrow the Stars. Time Enough For Love. I wanted to pay homage to a writer I spent so much time with growing up and inspired me to write today. Okay, I’m done.

  3. Terrie Leigh Relf says:

    And here I thought Heinlein was busy exploring the galaxy rather than hanging out in bars. . .Good show, Mike. Glad to see – and read – you here again. I, too, spent untold hours reading Heinlein, Asimov, and Clarke. . .Then there was Zelazny and Silverberg and Niven and le Guin and Bradbury and. . .and. . .

  4. Glclark says:

    Well, I have to admit that I didn’t know who Heinlein was and probably still don’t. Asimov, Clarke (no relationship – as if I had to tell y’all that), Zelazny and Niven – Dang – I grew up on Mark Twain and Mad Magazine and Today’s Rancher, and the ladie’s underwear pages in the Sears Catalog. You guys are just too dang smart for me.

    • Salvatore Buttaci says:

      Hey, get with it! The sci-fi writers of the 40’s and 50’s were my lifeline to outer space. I read them with a voracious appetite that luckily did not add pounds or I’d’ve been one gargantuan terrestrial being back then. Read these novels, especially one of the most famous, Stranger in a Strange Land by Heinlein, though all his books are read-worthy. Other favorite authors were Frederic Brown, Fred Saberhagen, and Bob Shaw.

    • 1948pdobbs says:

      That gave me a good laugh Gary. I can remember when my husband use to say that “the ladie’s underwear pages in the Sears Catalog was the early “Playboy” of the ’60’s. pd

  5. Salvatore Buttaci says:

    Good, clever, fast humor that keeps me reading! You picked a favorite sci-fi author of mine, then gave your story the oomph befitting him.

  6. Tiffany Beard says:

    As a fellow user of the word “crap”, I am appreciative of your light treatment of Heinlein. I don’t know him or his works that well, but I LOVE how in the story you made the wingman the bell of the ball. A fun fun read with no chaser!

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