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Nine ships blasted off from Moon Base. Once in space, eight of them formed a globe around the smallest. They held this formation all the way to Earth.
The small ship displayed the insignia of an admiral - yet there was no living thing of any sort in her. She was not even a passenger ship, but a drone, a robot ship intended for radioactive cargo. This trip she carried nothing but a lead coffin - and a Geiger counter that was never quiet.
Robert A. Heinlein (1907 - 1988)
Robert Anson Heinlein was born in Missouri in 1907. He graduated from the US Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1929, serving as an officer until his discharge, for medical reasons, in 1934. In 1939 he turned to writing to supplement his Naval pension, selling his first story to John W. Campbell's Astounding magazine. He would go on to have a profound influence on Astounding, dominating the Golden Age of SF and shaping American science fiction for decades to come. He won multiple Hugos, an unprecedented six Prometheus Awards for libertarian SF and was the Science Fiction Writers of America's first Grand Master Award recipient. A deeply political writer, Heinlein is most closely associated with right-wing libertarianism, although Starship Troopers brought with it accusations of fascism and Stranger in a Strange Land is credited with being an influential text for the free love movement of the '60s. Acclaimed as one of the 'Big Three', alongside Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov, he was a giant of 20th century science fiction. Robert A. Heinlein died in 1988.