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While not destitute after the campaign — he had a small disability pension from the Navy — Heinlein turned to writing to pay off his mortgage.

His first published story, "Life-Line", was printed in the August 1939 issue of Astounding Science Fiction.

Campbell at Astounding Science Fiction magazine, though Heinlein denied that Campbell influenced his writing to any great degree.

Heinlein used his science fiction as a way to explore provocative social and political ideas, and to speculate how progress in science and engineering might shape the future of politics, race, religion, and sex.

When Heinlein graduated from Central High School in Kansas City in 1924, he aspired to a career as an officer in the US Navy. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, with the equivalent of a Bachelor of Arts degree in Engineering, ranking fifth in his class academically but with a class standing of 20th of 243 due to disciplinary demerits. He advanced to lieutenant, junior grade while serving aboard the new aircraft carrier USS Lexington in 1931, where he worked in radio communications, then in its earlier phases, with the carrier's aircraft. King, who served as the Chief of Naval Operations and Commander-in-Chief, U. Mac Donald was, according to the testimony of Heinlein's Navy friend, Rear Admiral Cal Laning, "astonishingly intelligent, widely read, and extremely liberal, though a registered Republican," At the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard Heinlein met and befriended a chemical engineer named Virginia "Ginny" Gerstenfeld.

However, he was initially prevented from attending the US Naval Academy at Annapolis because his older brother Rex was a student there, and regulations discouraged multiple family members from attending the Academy simultaneously. Navy exerted a strong influence on his character and writing. Shortly after graduation, he was commissioned as an ensign by the U. After the war, her engagement having fallen through, she moved to UCLA for doctoral studies in chemistry and made contact again.

Heinlein's friendship with Virginia turned into a relationship and on October 21, 1948 — shortly after the decree nisi came through — they married in the town of Raton, New Mexico, shortly after setting up housekeeping in Colorado. As Heinlein's increasing success as a writer resolved their initial financial woes, they had a house custom built with various innovative features, later described in an article in Popular Mechanics.he was among the first to emphasize scientific accuracy in his fiction, and was thus a pioneer of the subgenre of hard science fiction.His published works, both fiction and non-fiction, express admiration for competence and emphasize the value of critical thinking.Within the framework of his science-fiction stories, Heinlein repeatedly addressed certain social themes: the importance of individual liberty and self-reliance, the nature of sexual relationships, the obligation individuals owe to their societies, the influence of organized religion on culture and government, and the tendency of society to repress nonconformist thought.He also speculated on the influence of space travel on human cultural practices.

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