The science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein (1907–1988) was productive during a writing career that spanned the last 49 years of his life; the Robert A. Heinlein bibliography includes 32 novels, 59 short stories and 16 collections published during his life. Four films, two TV series, several episodes of a radio series, and a board game derive more or less directly from his work. He wrote a screenplay for one of the films. Heinlein edited an anthology of other writers' SF short stories.
Three non-fiction books and two poems have been published posthumously. One novel has been published posthumously and another, an unusual collaboration, was published in 2006. Four collections have been published posthumously.
Heinlein's fictional works can be found in the library under PS3515.E288, or under Dewey 813.54. Known pseudonyms include Anson MacDonald (7 times), Lyle Monroe (7), John Riverside (1), Caleb Saunders (1), and Simon York (1). All the works originally attributed to MacDonald, Saunders, Riverside and York, and many of the works originally attributed to Lyle Monroe, were later reissued in various Heinlein collections and attributed to Heinlein.
Novels marked with an asterisk * are the Scribner's "juvenile" series.
Early Heinlein novels
- Rocket Ship Galileo, 1947 *
- Beyond This Horizon, 1948 (initially serialized in 1942, and at that time credited to Anson MacDonald)
- Space Cadet, 1948 *
- Red Planet, 1949 *
- Sixth Column, 1949 (initially serialized in 1941, and at that time credited to Anson MacDonald) (a.k.a. The Day After Tomorrow)
- Farmer in the Sky, 1950 (initially serialized in a condensed version in Boys' Life magazine as "Satellite Scout") (Retro Hugo Award, 1951) *
- Between Planets, 1951 *
- The Puppet Masters, 1951 (re-published posthumously with excisions restored, 1990)
- The Rolling Stones, 1952 (a.k.a. Space Family Stone) *
- Starman Jones, 1953 *
- The Star Beast, 1954 *
- Tunnel in the Sky, 1955 *
- Double Star, 1956—Hugo Award, 1956
- Time for the Stars, 1956 *
- Citizen of the Galaxy, 1957 *
- The Door into Summer, 1957
- Have Space Suit—Will Travel, 1958—Hugo Award nominee, 1959 *
- Methuselah's Children, 1958 (originally a serialized novella in 1941)
- Starship Troopers, 1959—Hugo Award, 1960
Middle Heinlein novels
- Stranger in a Strange Land, 1961—Hugo Award, 1962, (republished at the original greater length in 1991)
- Podkayne of Mars, 1963
- Orphans of the Sky, 1963 (fix-up novel comprising the novellas "Universe" and "Common Sense", both originally published in 1941)
- Glory Road, 1963—Hugo Award nominee, 1964
- Farnham's Freehold, 1964
- The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, 1966—Hugo Award, 1967
- I Will Fear No Evil, 1970
- Time Enough for Love, 1973—Nebula Award nominated, 1973; Hugo and Locus SF Awards nominated, 1974
Late Heinlein novels
- The Number of the Beast, 1980
- Friday, 1982—Hugo, Nebula, and Locus SF Awards nominee, 1983
- Job: A Comedy of Justice, 1984—Nebula Award nominee, 1984; Locus Fantasy Award winner, Hugo Award nominee, 1985
- The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, 1985
- To Sail Beyond the Sunset, 1987
Early Heinlein works published posthumously
"Future History" short fiction
- "Life-Line", 1939
- "Let There Be Light", 1940
- "Misfit", 1939
- "The Roads Must Roll", 1940
- "Requiem", 1940
- "If This Goes On—", 1940, first novel.
- "Coventry", 1940
- "Blowups Happen", 1940
- "Universe", 1941
- "—We Also Walk Dogs", 1941 (as Anson MacDonald)
- "Common Sense", 1941
- "Methuselah's Children", 1941 (lengthened and published as a novel, 1958)
- "Logic of Empire", 1941
- "Space Jockey", 1947
- "It's Great to Be Back!", 1947
- "The Green Hills of Earth", 1947
- "Ordeal in Space", 1948
- "The Long Watch", 1948
- "Gentlemen, Be Seated!", 1948
- "The Black Pits of Luna", 1948
- "Delilah and the Space Rigger", 1949
- "The Man Who Sold the Moon", 1950, (Retro Hugo Award)
- "The Menace From Earth", 1957
- "Searchlight", 1962
Other short speculative fiction
All the works initially attributed to Anson MacDonald, Caleb Saunders, John Riverside and Simon York, and many of the works attributed to Lyle Monroe, were later reissued in various Heinlein collections and attributed to Heinlein.
At Heinlein's insistence, the three Lyle Monroe stories marked with the symbol '§' were never reissued in a Heinlein anthology during his lifetime.
- "Magic, Inc.", 1940 (a.k.a. "The Devil Makes the Law")
- "Solution Unsatisfactory", 1940 (as Anson MacDonald)
- "Let There Be Light", 1940 (as Lyle Monroe)
- "Successful Operation" 1940 (a.k.a. "Heil!") (as Lyle Monroe)
- "They", 1941
- "—And He Built a Crooked House—", 1941
- "By His Bootstraps", 1941 (as Anson MacDonald)
- "Lost Legacy", 1941 (a.k.a. "Lost Legion") (as Lyle Monroe)
- "Elsewhen", 1941 (a.k.a. "Elsewhere") (as Caleb Saunders)
- § "Beyond Doubt", 1941 (as Lyle Monroe with Elma Wentz)
- "The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag", 1942 (as John Riverside)
- "Waldo", 1942 (as Anson MacDonald)
- § "My Object All Sublime", 1942 (as Lyle Monroe)
- "Goldfish Bowl", 1942 (as Anson MacDonald)
- § "Pied Piper", 1942 (as Lyle Monroe)
- "Free Men", 1946 (published 1966)
- "Jerry Was a Man", 1947
- "Columbus Was a Dope", 1947 (as Lyle Monroe)
- "On the Slopes of Vesuvius", 1947
- "Our Fair City", 1948
- "Gulf", 1949
- "Nothing Ever Happens on the Moon", 1949
- "Destination Moon", 1950
- "The Year of the Jackpot", 1952
- "Project Nightmare", 1953
- "Sky Lift", 1953
- "A Tenderfoot in Space", 1956 (serialized 1958)
- "The Man Who Traveled in Elephants", 1957 (a.k.a. "The Elephant Circuit")
- "—All You Zombies—", 1959
Other short fiction
- The Man Who Sold the Moon, 1950
- Waldo & Magic, Inc., 1950
- The Green Hills of Earth, 1951
- Assignment in Eternity, 1953
- Revolt in 2100, 1953 (If this goes on--, Coventry, and Misfit)
- The Robert Heinlein Omnibus, 1958
- The Menace From Earth, 1959
- The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag, 1959 (a.k.a. 6 X H)
- Three by Heinlein, 1965
- A Robert Heinlein Omnibus, 1966
- The Worlds of Robert A. Heinlein, 1966
- The Past Through Tomorrow, 1967 (almost-complete Future History collection, missing "Let There Be Light," "Universe," and "Common Sense")
- The Best of Robert A. Heinlein, 1973
- Expanded Universe, 1980
- A Heinlein Trio, 1980 (omnibus of The Puppet Masters, Double Star, and The Door Into Summer)
- The Fantasies of Robert A. Heinlein, 1999 (omnibus of Waldo & Magic, Inc. and The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag)
- Infinite Possibilities, 2003 (omnibus of Tunnel in the Sky, Time for the Stars, and Citizen of the Galaxy)
- To the Stars, 2004 (omnibus of Between Planets, The Rolling Stones, Starman Jones, and The Star Beast)
- Off the Main Sequence, 2005 (short stories including three never before collected)
- Four Frontiers, 2005 (omnibus of Rocket Ship Galileo, Space Cadet, Red Planet, and Farmer in the Sky)
- Outward Bound, 2006 (omnibus of Have Space Suit—Will Travel, Starship Troopers, Podkayne of Mars)
- Project Moonbase and Others, 2008 (collection of screenplays)
- The Virginia Edition, a 46-volume hardcover collection of all of Robert Heinlein's stories, novels, and nonfiction writing, plus a selection of his personal correspondence, was announced by Meisha Merlin Publishing in April 2005; the Robert A. and Virginia Heinlein Prize Trust (which now owns the Heinlein copyrights) instigated the project. Meisha Merlin went out of business in May 2007 after producing six volumes: I Will Fear No Evil, Time Enough for Love, Starship Troopers, For Us, the Living, The Door into Summer, and Double Star.
- The Heinlein Prize Trust then decided to publish the edition itself, having formed the Virginia Edition Publishing Co. for this purpose. As was true for the Meisha Merlin effort, individual volumes are not offered; subscribers must purchase the entire 46-volume set. The final five volumes (including two volumes of screenwriting, both produced and unproduced) were shipped to subscribers in June 2012.
- In July 2007, the Heinlein Prize Trust opened the online Heinlein Archives, which allows people to purchase and download items from the Heinlein Archive previously stored at the University of California-Santa Cruz. The Trust makes grants available to those using the archives for scholarly purposes.
- "No Bands Playing, No Flags Flying", written 1947, published 1973
- ""Where To?", Galaxy, 1952.
- Two articles for Encyclopædia Britannica on Paul Dirac and antimatter, and on blood chemistry.
- Grumbles from the Grave, 1989 (posthumously)
- Take Back Your Government: A Practical Handbook for the Private Citizen, 1992 (Originally published as How To Be A Politician)
- Tramp Royale, 1992
- "Spinoff", an article about the commercialization of inventions created for NASA and the American space program, published in Omni magazine, 1980; reprinted in Expanded Universe.
- Destination Moon (story (from the book Rocket Ship Galileo), screenplay, technical advisor), 1950, IMDb (Retro Hugo Award, 1951)
- Tom Corbett, Space Cadet, 1950, (from the book Space Cadet) IMDb
- Out There TV Series, 1951, (from 3 short stories "The Green Hills of Earth", "Misfit" & "Ordeal in Space")
- Project Moonbase, 1953, IMDb
- The Brain Eaters, 1959, (from the book The Puppet Masters, uncredited, sued by Heinlein) IMDb
- Uchu no Senshi (Japanese animated TV Series based on Starship Troopers), 1988
- Red Planet, TV mini-series (from the book), 1994, IMDb
- The Puppet Masters, film (from the book), 1994, IMDb
- Starship Troopers, film (very loosely based on the book), 1997, IMDb
- Roughnecks: The Starship Troopers Chronicles, TV series based on the 1997 movie, 1999, IMDb
- Masters of Science Fiction, TV mini-series, (from the short story "Jerry Was a Man"), 2007
- Starship Troopers: Invasion, film, (very loosely based on the book "Starship Troopers"), 2012
- Predestination, film, (from the short story "'—All You Zombies—'"), 2014
- The Notebooks of Lazarus Long, illuminated by D.F Vassallo, 1978
- New Destinies, Vol. VI/Winter 1988 — Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Issue, 1988
- Fate's Trick by Matt Costello, 1988, a "game book" inspired by Glory Road
- Requiem: New Collected Works by Robert A. Heinlein and Tributes to the Grand Master, 1992
- Two different Starship Troopers board games were published by Avalon Hill in 1976 and 1997
- The Video Game "Starship Troopers: Terran Ascendancy" was published by Blue Tongue Entertainment in 2000
- Dimension X, science fiction radio programs in 1950–1951. Among other writers, episodes were based on Heinlein's Destination Moon (film) (ep. 12), The Green Hills of Earth (ep. 10), Requiem, The Roads Must Roll, and Universe.
- X Minus One, radio series in 1955 - 58: Universe
- Language arts materials for teachers based on Heinlein's works, in support of World Space Week, 2005.
Starting with Number of the Beast Heinlein began the systematic incorporation of most of his great novels into a single multiverse. Additionally, he included works by other authors in this multiverse.
My question is pretty simple: What order should these books - and their connected books - be read in?
I'll be happy with just a reading order, meant to prevent spoilers, for all the World as Myth books that Heinlein wrote. Including ones prior to Number of the Beast that are talked about in the World as Myth books. For example, reading Number of the Beast before Stranger in a Strange Land will result in some spoilage. So one should read Stranger first.
Chronological order would be pretty meaningless, so focus on preventing spoilage.
Ideally I want a list of ALL books that are part of this multiverse and might be spoiled by reading World as Myth so I will create and dole out a maximum bounty to the first person who can produce what looks like a complete listing of not only the Heinlein books, but the books of anyone else involved. Yes, 500 rep is up for grabs.
Orders that aren't acceptable and why
Order Written - While it seems on the surface that the order these books were written in is the logical reading order, this doesn't take into consideration the capabilities of the human mind. Take To Sail Beyond the Sunset for example. Within this book, there are references to works that were written long enough ago that they might be lost in the shuffle. After reading the entire Barsoom series (11 books) and the entire Future History series (24 books) would anyone still remember the reference to All You Zombies?
It would, therefore, be logical for people to read All You Zombies at the last possible chance before encountering themes from that story within the World as Myth universe.
The same applies to the books from the Moon is a Harsh Mistress series, reading them right before reading The Cat Who Walks Through Walls would be ideal.
Chronological - To expand on why Chronological order won't work well, we need only see that many books are broken into different time-lines. While it might be REALLY INTERESTING to read all of these books in the correct chronology, you'd be skipping from book to book and lose the narrative. Not ideal for a first read.
The ideal order, therefore, is to read things at the last possible moment before they are brought up. So you can safely read the Future History series before reading all the books that are brought up in Number of the Beast. Then reading all the books brought up in The Cat Who Walks Through Walls and so on.
My question is still one of reading order, in that no list seems to exist of all the books mentioned and in what order can they be safely read in.