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information and updates on the new robert a. heinlein novel

release date: march 24, 2020


November 20, 2019

Arc Manor releases the final cover draft for The Pursuit of the Pankera. Click here to view cover.

October 20, 2019

The Heinlein Prize Trust announces the publication date (March 24, 2020) of The Pursuit of the Pankera at the 70th International Astronautical Congress in Washington, DC. The Trust also sends out a news-release announcing the new book. Click here to read the release.

October 20, 2019

March 24th is set as the official publication date for The Pursuit of the Pankera and the new edition The Number of the Beast. Both books will be released as hardcovers as well as ebooks on that date.

October 7, 2019


Arc Manor announces the creation of a new imprint CAEZIK SF & Fantasy, represented by Ingram Publisher Services (IPS). The Pursuit of the Pankera and The Number of the Beast will be the first two titles to be released under the new imprint. 

October 4, 2019


The Kickstarter campaign successfully ended, funded 155%. Thank you for all your support. 

September 4, 2019

The Pursuit of the Pankera Kickstarter campaign has started. It offers the ebook at a discounted price of $7.00 which also allows you to vote on which cover sketch you like best (from a selection done by the artist).

There are plenty of other cool awards as well, and backers are getting special (non-listed) surprise gifts as well.

Here is the link for the Kickstarter:

August 1, 2019


Publication of The Pursuit of the Pankera and the new edition of The Number of the Beast has been postponed till spring 2020.

juLY 21, 2019

The Pursuit of the Pankera will be initially released as an ebook and a hardcover. Both versions will be released together in March 2020. Ebook pricing is set at $9.99 at launch (though pre-sales may be offered at a reduced price). The hardcover price has not yet been determined.


june 20, 2019

Phoenix Pick has announced that the new (and final) title for the new Heinlein novel is The Pursuit of the Pankera.

Both the new book (The Pursuit of the Pankera) and the Phoenix Pick edition of The Number of the Beast will have the same subtitle: A Parallel Novel about Parallel Universes.

Pankera is a reference to a race of aliens in the new book.

The previous (working) title for the book was Six-Six-Six.


APRIL 19, 2019



Rockville, MD 20849


April 19, 2019

Reconstructed from notes and typed manuscript pages left behind the ‘Dean’ of Science Fiction, the new novel is approximately 185,000 words and while it largely mirrors the first one-third of the The Number of the Beast, it then follows a completely different story-line.


The plot for both the new book and The Number of the Beast centers around four geniuses, Zebediah ("Zeb") John Carter, Dejah Thoris ("Deety") Burroughs, her father Jacob, and their friend Hilda Mae, who find themselves embarking on an adventurous journey (Heinlein style) through The Multiverse thanks to Jacob's newly invented time machine.


Both books start off with the main characters being pursued by the marauding inter-dimensional adversaries, The Black Hats (or Pankis), who are trying to kill them.


However, while The Number of the Beast then deviates away from this plot line (approximately one-third of the way through) and subsequently ignores The Black Hats with the conclusion of the book having nothing to do with the adventure that starts the book, the new novel remains much more focused on the Black Hat threat leading to a more traditional Heinlein adventure and ultimate conclusion. The famous (or infamous) Party scene does not exist in the new book, nor does Lazarus Long make an appearance.


Fans of classic science fiction are also going to get a special treat by Heinlein’s much more authentic usage of some classic science fiction universes in the new novel. Heinlein pays homage to the authors he admired by having his characters visit universes like Burroughs’ Barsoom universe and E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith’s Lensman universe and interacting with characters actually inhabiting those worlds.


For example (for the Barsoom universe):


<Kach Kachkan spoke English slowly and with care, with occasional errors in syntax and usage; it seemed to me that he was still translating, other than with phrases he used often. So I spoke slowly and tried to avoid unusual idiom.”Kach Kachkan, I heard Tawm Takus say that you are ‘survivor of fifteen games in arena at Warhoons.’ I thought that my cousin, John, the Warlord, had put a stop to arena games?”


“Captain Zed – Zeb – “


“’Captain’ is enough,” I cut in. “My name is too long to repeat with each remark.”


“Thank you, Captain. My answer to your question be both Yes and No. The Red men never followed arena custom. Or not for many cycles of cycles. Yellow men I know little about. Green men – Our customs vary from horde to horde. General-in-Chief Tars Tarkus abolished games among Tharks. The Warlord’s order, given from the throne and sealed with his hand, forbade everywhere in use of the games of prisoners captured in battle.; he did not abolish the games.>


Or (for the Lensman universe):


<We considered remaining at Prime Base a year – Dr. Lacy urged us to; Admiral Haynes notified us that, on advice of Gary Lensman Smith, Master Technologist Thorndyke, Sir Austin Cardynge, and Second-Stage Lensman Worsel, he had assigned us lifetime class-ten drawing accounts and quarters – i.e., we were rich as long as we remained on Tellus or anywhere in that Galaxy, or whenever we returned. Sir Austin was class ten, so was LaVerne; the Patrol was paying handsomely for the continua device.>


Not only is the new novel much more of a traditional Heinlein adventure and a more direct homage to classic authors, in some ways it harkens back to his more classic juveniles in the manner in which the plot is set-up and resolved.


Readers should, thus, not expect to find just a slightly different version of The Number of the Beast in the new novel. Even though both books share the same main characters and mostly mirror each other for the first one-third of the book, these are two totally different books and the new novel will remind readers more of ‘classic’ Heinlein than The Number of the Beast.

APRIL 18, 2019

Fans of Heinlein will be able to decide which cover should adorn the new book. Fans will be able to vote on their choice between three cover sketches being designed by award-winning artist Scott Grimando. The sketch with the most votes will be selected as to be finalized as the cover for the new book. 

APRIL 17, 2019

The title for the new novel is under re-consideration due to a number of reasons. We hope to announce the a new title soon.

FEBRUARY 5, 2019

In our February 1 announcement (which has been corrected) we reported that the alternate text was written in the late-eighties. This should have been reported as late-seventies.

february 3, 2019

Click here to see a PDF of one of the pages from the new manuscript (with Heinlein's cuts and notes). Hundreds of pages like this were used to restore the complete manuscript.

february 1, 2019 - announcement

A New Robert A. Heinlein Book to be Published Based on Newly Recovered Manuscript.

The complete text of a new book by Robert A. Heinlein has been recovered and restored and will be published by Phoenix Pick in November 2019.

Rockville Maryland. February 1, 2019


Phoenix Pick recently announced that, working with the Heinlein Prize Trust, they have been able to reconstruct the complete text of an unpublished novel written by Robert A. Heinlein.

Heinlein wrote this as an alternate text for The Number of the Beast. This text of approximately 185,000 words largely mirrors the first third of The Number of the Beast, but then deviates completely with an entirely different story-line and ending.

This newly reconstructed text also pays extensive homage to two authors Heinlein himself admired: Edgar Rice Burroughs and E. E. “Doc” Smith, who became a good friend. Heinlein dedicated his book Methuselah’s Children to Smith, and partially dedicated Friday to Smith’s daughter, Verna.

The alternate text, especially the ending, is much more in line with more traditional Heinlein books, and moves away from many of the controversial aspects of The Number of the Beast.

There has been speculation over the years about a possible alternate text, and the reason it was written, particularly since one text is not just a redo of the other ─ these are two completely different books.

It is possible that Heinlein was having fun with the text as “The Number of the Beast” and the new book both deal with parallel universes. Given his sense of humor, it would not be surprising for Heinlein to have written two parallel texts for a book about parallel universes.

The new book was pieced together from notes and typed manuscript pages left behind by the author. It is currently under editorial review by award-winning editor, Patrick LoBrutto .

Phoenix Pick expects to publish both The Number of the Beast and the new book, tentatively titled Six-Six-Six, just ahead of this year’s holiday season.

The Heinlein Prize Trust manages most of Robert A. Heinlein's literary assets and is purposed to encourage and reward progress in commercial space activities. It also publishes the deluxe 46 volume collectors set of the complete works of Robert A. Heinlein known as the Virginia Edition.

Phoenix Pick is the science fiction and fantasy imprint of Arc Manor Publishers. It publishes some of the top names in science fiction and fantasy including Larry Niven, Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint, Harry Turtledove and many others. It also publishes the bi-monthly magazine Galaxy’s Edge.

January 28, 2019

The middle of November (2019) is set as the target publication date by Phoenix Pick.



January 27, 2019

Award-winning editor Patrick LoBrutto has been tasked with editing the new Heinlein manuscript. Patrick won the World Fantasy Award for editing and has worked with Isaac Asimov, Stephen King, Spider Robinson and scores of other authors in the genre.

He has held the position of editor, senior editor, and editor-in-chief at various publishing houses, including Bantam, Doubleday Kensington and others.

December, 2018

Six-Six-Six is selected as the tentative title for the book. It has the advantage of being an independent title (signifying a new book by Robert A. Heinlein) but still related to the original The Number of the Beast. The number six raised to the power of six raised to the power of six also has a special significance in both the originally published The Number of the Beast as well as the new book.


November, 2018

The reconstruction of the manuscript for the alternate text from the typewritten fragments of the manuscript left behind by Robert A. Heinlein, and his hand written notes is completed and certain logistical issues related to the publication of the book are resolved.

AUGUST, 2018

Work continues in reconstructing the text. Various titles are discussed. Heinlein had referred to the alternate text as the Parsi-Barsoom version, but that is considered more of a working title.

DECEMBER 11, 2017

Arc Manor (Phoenix Pick) and the Heinlein Prize Trust reach an agreement for Phoenix Pick to re-issue The Number of the Beast and to see if Phoenix Pick can reconstruct and publish the alternate text to the title based on the notes and pages Robert A. Heinlein has left behind in his archives.