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29 June 2010

The Death of Alden

Many of them are neither
in the army nor in war work.
Many have found this a golden
opportunity to make
money during a war boom---
by writing, by commercial photography,
through the movies, or by other
worthless activities---worthless
when compared with what
your brother Alden was doing.
These bastards let your brother die, Forry,
and did not lift a hand to help him.

I mean that literally. The war
in Europe would have been over
if all the slackers in this country
had been trying to help out---
would have been over before the date
on which your brother died.
The slackers are collectively
and personally responsible
for the death of Alden.
And a large percent of fans
are among those slackers.
Alden's blood is on their hands.

From a letter written by sci-fi writer Robert Heinlein to a dedicated fan (as reproduced on Letters of Note), 28th January 1945. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.