Episode – Robert Heinlein’s “By His Bootstraps”. June 11, By Fred. By His Bootstraps by Robert Heinlein WOW. This week I have the great pleasure of. Robert A. Heinlein. “My name? Uh.., just call me Joe.” Wilson set down his glass. “O. K., Joe Whatever- your-name-is, trot out that explanation and make it 1. Heinlein Society – Scholastic/Academic articles. Robert A. Heinlein short story “By His Bootstraps” The Menace from Earth by Robert A. Heinlein.

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Return to Book Page. By His Bootstraps by Robert A. Heinlein that plays with some of the inherent paradoxes that would be caused by time travel. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about By His Bootstrapsplease sign up. How many Bob Wilsons coexisted at a certain time? Hilal Al-Sameraaii This answer contains spoilers… view spoiler [ The maximum is four: The only contact that the fourth Bob Wilson makes with himself is through a telephone conversation that his younger counterpart believes is a prank call.

This question contains spoilers… view spoiler [The phone call to Bob Wilson after Genevieve fight, was it really Genevieve? If not, who is the other person on other side, who called Bob Wilson for the 4th time of the day? Pete This answer contains spoilers… view spoiler [I do believe, with almost total certainty that it was Genevieve that made the phone call soon after the 4th Bob visited her in her apartment.

See all 3 questions about By His Bootstraps…. Lists with This Book. Aug 08, Lyn rated it liked it.

By His Bootstraps – Wikipedia

Brown are working under the hood of a DeLorean talking about time travel and Robert A. So what made you first think about time travel, Doc? Science Fiction, my boy! Science Fiction, the very finest literature! Heinlekn, ah, no one, uh — and what about Robert A. Now there is a writer. Why time travel, of course. It explores the paradox of finding yourself in another time — uh, ah, or something like that, forget it, hand me that wrench, Marty. That sounds cool, like what, like if you go back or forward in time and see yourself, maybe warn yourself about — Heinein Forget it, Marty, like you said, uh, um, just silly kid stuff, time travel, blah!

What if I see myself in another time? Well, like I said, Heinlein explores how a time traveler can see himself in another time, maybe even interact with himself — Marty: Well, I figured, what the hell? View all 3 comments. Aug 27, Jeff Yoak rated it it was amazing Shelves: By His Bootstraps is atypical for a Heinlein story, particularly in terms of having a weak and undesirable main character. I think this was a byproduct of a very unusual plot challenge.


While Heinlein used time travel in other places, it was always of a distant sort. If you are both willing to move years through time and declare yourself unsure of potential paradoxes, time traveling isn’t that big a burden. You just get an interesting setting.

This was Heinlein’s one use of close time travel By His Bootstraps is atypical for a Heinlein story, particularly in terms of having a weak and undesirable main character. This was Heinlein’s one use of close time travel, so close that at one point three versions of a person aged within days of each other end up in a fist fight. This imposes a much greater challenge in that Heinlein follows the character through a continuity of consciousness through all frames, creates a vivid character, and has all of the behavior plausible in all frames, including the inevitable puckish desire to change what happened last time.

I think some of the characters faults and his being a little dim were probably required to make it work. It does work on many, many levels. Heinlein is so impressed with himself that he takes the last 15 minute or so, in the audio version, to explain things that you probably missed I had that are resolved cleverly. This sounds like a major fault but seasons Heinlein fans, if they haven’t seen it before, at least aren’t too surprised.

Like always, such excess by the author is easy to ignore. All in all, a great story making the best use of a common speculative fiction device that I’ve seen anywhere. It feels very unlike a Heinlein story and at the same time I have a hard time imagining anyone else writing it.

I finally read this one with B. He loves time travel stories, he says. I didn’t have the heart to tell him this is not only one of the best that I’ve seen, but that good ones are pretty darned few. View all 5 comments. Jun 21, Dipika Desaboyina rated it really liked it Shelves: In hindsight I must speculate if it was truly boktstraps after all.

The ehinlein of my future self could have devised a way to prompt me into reading this book because it is imperative for the causation of some thought process vy I haven’t yet actualized. Perhaps the portals of time travel aren’t mechanistic as they are portrayed in the media and fiction.

Perhaps they exist only as folds in memory which is circ A random stumbling upon the wiki of Causal Loops led me into reading By His Bootstraps. Bootstrps they exist only as folds in memory which heinlejn circular and not linear as assumed by popular belief.

However, I only come upon two marginally reasonable thoughts hy the end of the hour it took me to read this book – it takes very little to make a conspiracy theorist out of an idle idiot like myself and this book is a fantastic little mind-trip. May 26, Andreea Daia rated it it was amazing Shelves: In spite of its several lacks, I mostly enjoyed By His Bootstrapsparticularly because it condenses my personal theory about the quintessence of time.

The fantasy genre and not only!

What is notable about Heinlein’s essay is that he touches on the aspect that makes most people shy away from this doctrine: These people argue that if whatever is to happen will happen, then individuals are not responsible for their actions In this regard Mr. Heinlein points out that, the actors in the middle of events are in no way constrained in their choices, and hence they always maintain their free-will.


It was something totally new to your experience.

Episode 177 – Robert Heinlein’s “By His Bootstraps”

As about the faults of the story, some of them gave me the nails-on-a-chalkboard nausea. Maybe it’s just me, but shouldn’t we all aspire to a world in which no one has power over another human being, not the other way around?

Some of the situations can be explained by intoxication, but the rest And he is supposed to be a math student which doesn’t bode well for the future of this science. View all 4 comments. Dec 28, Aleja rated it liked it. What can I say? May 29, Rick Davis rated it it was amazing Shelves: I had previously been vaguely aware of this story as a sci-fi time travel classic that I needed to read.

However I was actually prompted to track it down last fall when the Doctor told me to Google the Boostrap Paradox. Dec 16, Muthuvel rated it really liked it Shelves: How to confuse someone with the elemental time travel story?

Read it if you want to experience such a possible life in the world of science fiction. Concepts of Free will, Retro causality, futuristic utopian visions and many more. Who wrote the notebook? Who started the chain? Jul 11, Naoms rated it liked it Shelves: Fairly predictable, but it’s in terms of paradox. Jun 14, Y rated it liked it Shelves: If someone had handed this to me in the context of wanting feedback on their work, I would probably have been impressed.

I would also have told them to treat it very carefully, and to rewrite this and this, and then probably give the entire thing a couple more read-throughs. That is to say: It reads like the second draft of a man who might have been a little too confident that his fabulous, by the way idea would carry the rest of the story.

There are bits that ar If someone had handed this to me in the context of wanting feedback on their work, I would probably have been impressed. There are bits that are unnecessary, there are bits that are poorly written, there are bits that are just Shame Heinlein is long gone. Sep 08, Adam Smith rated it it was amazing Shelves: When a mysterious stranger appears in his room and tells him to step through a strange doorway, Bob Wilson finds himself thrust into the distant future where a man presents him with a proposal to rule the world.

Now Bob has to deal with the mess of time loops and temporal entanglement. Oh, sweet delicious time travelly goodness.