The Death of Alden

Many of them are neither
in the army nor in war work.
Many have found this a golden
opportunity to make
money during a war boom—
by writing, by commercial photography,
through the movies, or by other
worthless activities—worthless
when compared with what
your brother Alden was doing.
These bastards let your brother die, Forry,
and did not lift a hand to help him.

I mean that literally. The war
in Europe would have been over
if all the slackers in this country
had been trying to help out—
would have been over before the date
on which your brother died.
The slackers are collectively
and personally responsible
for the death of Alden.
And a large percent of fans
are among those slackers.
Alden’s blood is on their hands.

From a letter written by sci-fi writer Robert Heinlein to a dedicated fan (as reproduced on Letters of Note), 28th January 1945. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.