Short Story #17: “All You Zombies” — Robert Heinlein (1959)
It is possible Heinlein will end up on this list more than most authors, and I’m not going to apologize for it. It’s not his fault libertarians and gun-nuts and “constitutional scholars” have glommed on to the guy for his (admittedly) libertarian beliefs. Of course, that makes it all the more hilarious when you consider Heinlein spent a good deal of time also writing (approvingly) about group marriages, cannibalism, incest … huh, maybe that’s the real reason Tea Party types like him…
Yes, Heinlein was the undisputed captain of crafting logical, well-reasoned fucked-up shit, and there is no better example than “All You Zombies,” the last short story he would publish. There are no undead in “Zombies,” just lots and lots of time travellers. In fact, Heinlein perfected the closed time-loop concept with this hardscrapple tale of a guy who both his own mother and father. A self-made man indeed —literally.
Want to know what you missed? — The Book Countdown so far