Girl with whom Larry
Smith had a one-night-stand while she was still a minor. Dak
Broadbent mentioned his knowledge of her to keep Smith under control (by
showing Larry he could be blackmailed).
John Joseph Bonforte
The Right Honorable, former Supreme Minister and leader of the opposition
party, head of the Expansionist coalition. He was kidnapped by terrorists to
prevent his adoption
into a Martiannest, and
never recovered from the abuse inflicted. Larry
Smith was hired to impersonate him during his captivity. When Bonforte
died of a stroke after his party won a crucial election, Smith continued the
impersonation, "becoming" Bonforte for life. Bonforte was called "Chief" by
"Rising young statesman" proposed for Minister of External Communications
in the John
Joseph Bonforte cabinet. He had served as caucus sergeant-at-arms and
Darius K. (Dak) Broadbent
The Honorable; upper Grand Assemblyman representing Free Travelers. He
held a Ph.D. in physics, and was reserve pistol champion in the Imperial
Matches. He was employed by John
Joseph Bonforte as a master pilot in all classes and accelerations. He had
published three volumes of verse under the nom de plume of Acey
Wheelwright. He recruited Larry
Smith to impersonate Bonforte after the politician's kidnapping.
Joseph Bonforte's personal physician; he hypnotized Larry
Smith to cure him of his phobia about Martians. He was a member of the
Grand Assembly. [An early reference to "Dr. Scortia" may be an error, Dr.
Capek being intended.]
Joseph Bonforte's press secretary. He attempted to get himself nominated
to a "safe" district in the Grand Assembly. When Larry
Smith, masquerading as Bonforte, vetoed the nomination, he resigned and
tried to reveal the masquerade during a press conference; but no one believed
Earth is part of an interplanetary system called an Empire but run as a
constitutional monarchy complete with Parliament. The role of the Emperor is
strictly ceremonial. The United States had joined the "Empire" with the
proviso that it would not have to recognize the Emperor's sovereignty and that
no member of the Royal family would cross its borders.
Political party that was hardly more than a "Manifest Destiny" movement
when it was founded on the belief that the space frontier was the most
important issue in humanity's future. When John
Joseph Bonforte added the ethic that with expansion must remain a
dedication to freedom and equal rights, avoiding the attitude of "White Man's
Burden" towards colonials or other planets' natives, he turned it into a major
A file that contained detailed information about John
Joseph Bonforte's casual friends and associates. Bonforte (and Larry
Smith) used it to recall personal details about the people he met with, to
create [the illusion of?] strong friendly relations with them.
Dramatic character performed by Larry
Smith: "the colorless handyman who does the murders in The House With
No Doors". Smith made himself up as Grey to be completely inconspicuous in
leaving the Eisenhower
Hotel. That persona also enabled Smith to help Dak
Broadbent dismember the MartianRrringriil
to hide all evidence of the fight in the hotel suite.
Human-supremacist and imperialist movement that split off from the Expansionist
Party when the Expansionist Party evolved from a Manifest Destiny movement
to one recognizing the rights of nonhuman races.
Heinlein frequently makes mention of hypnosis either as a method of
psychotherapy, of education, or of interrogation. It was used to overcome Larry
Smith's phobia about Martians.
The Red Planet was usually described as barren and cold with a thin
atmosphere, just barely habitable by humans in pressurized habitats or after
terraforming. The "canals" are real waterways (usually frozen). The planet has
native life, variously described in different books. Though some of the books
depict conflicts between human colonists and native Martians, none portray the
natives as resentful of the invasion of their home; often, the Martians
remains largely oblivious to the human presence. In Double Star, it was
colonized by Earth. John
Joseph Bonforte pushed through legislation guaranteeing the rights of
nonhumans, and was adopted by the native Martians.
Knowledge of the ritual is restricted to members of the nest. In the
public part of the ceremony, the sponsor confronts the nominee, who offers to
be killed if any propriety was breached; then the sponsor escorts him in for
interrogation, with highly stylized questions and responses. The entire ritual
lasts for exactly one-ninth of Mars'
rotation, and is followed by a feast. After the feast speeches are given, and
the adoptee is awarded a Martian name and lifewand.
Joseph Bonforte was the first human nominated for adoption into a Martian
Smith successfully impersonated him for the ritual after Bonforte's
kidnapping left Bonforte permanently brain-damaged.
The natives looked "like a tree trunk topped off by a sun helmet…grew
pseudo limbs…Could look in all directions at once without turning their
heads-if they had heads, which of course they don't." They also had a
distinctive odor. They reproduced by fission. Theirs was an ancient, highly
formal culture; its overriding principle is the concept of "propriety".
who assaulted Dak
Broadbent's hotel suite and was killed by him. He and Larry
Smith disposed of the body by cutting it up into tiny pieces and washing
it down the tub drain.
Penelope Taliaferro (Penny) Russell
The Honorable member of the Grand Assembly representing districtless
university women (she had an MA in government administration from Georgetown
University) and John
Joseph Bonforte's personal secretary. Bonforte called her "Curly Top". She
had to overcome strong personal feelings for Bonforte to aid Larry
Smith in his impersonation. After the impersonation became permanent, she
Actor who was hired to impersonate the politician John
Joseph Bonforte when Bonforte was kidnapped to prevent his appearing for
Adoption Ceremony. Larry affected the name Lorenzo Smythe, or Lorenzo the
Great. He had a highly inflated opinion of himself, but he was a consummate
actor who succeeded completely in the masquerade. After Bonforte was rescued
but was permanently damaged from drugs, he was persuaded to continue the role,
and completely assumed the identity after Bonforte's death. He married Penelope
[mentioned in passing] Company doing business on Mars.
Broadbent told Larry
Smith that this actor was a second choice for the John
Joseph Bonforte impersonation. Smith described him as an unforgivable ham,
so Broadbent's statement may have been a ploy to get Smith to agree to
participate in the plan.
Prince of Orange, Duke of Nassau, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Knight
Commander of the Holy Roman Empire, Admiral General of the Imperial Forces,
Adviser to the Martian
Nests, Protector of the Poor, and, by the Grace of God, King of the Lowlands
and Emperor of the Planets and the Spaces Between. The government he ruled was
apparently a constitutional monarchy similar to 20th-century Great Britain. He
was a native of the Netherlands and a personal friend of John
Joseph Bonforte. He spotted Larry
Smith's masquerade when Smith failed to offer the customary insults about
Willem's train collection.
Society was founded by Virginia Heinlein on behalf of her husband, science
fiction author Robert Anson Heinlein, to "pay forward" the legacy of Robert A. Heinlein to future generations of "Heinlein's Children."