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Recovered from a garage, Robert Heinlein’s original typed manuscript for Friday listed for sale

The first page of Robert Heinlein’s manuscript for Friday

Stored in a garage for years, Robert Heinlein’s original typed manuscript for his 1982 science fiction novel, Friday, has been listed for sale on AbeBooks.com by The Fine Books Company located in Rochester, Michigan.

This manuscript was Heinlein’s last to be created on a typewriter before the author switched to a computer – a computer-generated document, with corrections incorporated into the copy, is stored in the Heinlein archives in the McHenry Library at the University of California’s Santa Cruz campus.

Listed for sale at $58,285, the manuscript references the novel’s original title, The Hour of the Knife (crossed out on the first page with ‘Friday’ written above it) and displays the author’s numerous edits and notes.

Friday by Robert Heinlein

“The novel is among Heinlein’s more controversial later period titles with a definitive, albeit genetically engineered, female protagonist who, among her adventures as a spy and courier, has a difficult time feeling like she belongs to the human race. This work was both a Hugo and Nebula Award finalist for best novel of 1982,” said David Aronovitz from The Fine Books Company. “Auction records over the last 40 years reveal no Heinlein novels in manuscript form have ever sold or even been offered for sale.”

The document gathered dust in Heinlein’s garage which explains the soiled condition of the first page. Rediscovered by Heinlein’s wife, Virginia, it is listed for sale along with a letter of provenance from Heinlein’s friend and editor of Locus Magazine, the late Charles N. Brown, which reads:

The manuscript is an earlier draft corrected in Robert A. Heinlein’s hand. The final draft went to the Heinlein library at Santa Cruz.

Virginia Heinlein found this one on top of the cabinets in the garage while we were packing up magazines for sale–hence the very dirty first page. She gave it to me to sell with the other material.

The copy of the book, also included, is an unopened lettered copy which Robert Heinlein gave me along with other duplicate books.


Charles N. Brown

Heinlein died in 1988, producing three more novels after Friday.

See the manuscript

A page from Robert Heinlein’s original manuscript for Friday

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