Robert James was born on Skull Island and raised in Freedonia. He played baseball with Gary Cooper, fell in love in Paris with a suspicious Swede, got a pet leopard with a penchant for love songs, raised children in Oz, grew old (slowly) in Shangri-La, was killed by biplanes on the top of the Empire State Building when he was out on a date, and was then brought back from the dead in Dr. Frankenstein’s lab, just in time to be chased by an angry mob.
Or so he likes to believe.
In a more fantastic reality, he was born and raised in Santa Ana, California in a blue-collar family. His father and mother, being typical Americans of their generation, believed in the movies in the same way they believed in reading, the Constitution, hard work, family, barbeque, and the greatness of the American Way. They also believed Richard Nixon, but they couldn’t get it all right, now could they?
Robert went to public schools at a time when they still worked reasonably well. He wasn’t the first person in his family to pursue higher education, but he was the first one who tried to make a career of it. Once he received his Ph.D. from UCLA, he came to the abrupt realization that he had to actually work for a paycheck instead of a report card.
He promptly became a teacher, and he’s never recovered from it. Neither have his students. Or his wallet.
Along with his beautiful wife, with whom he has raised six children – some of whom he actually helped make – he enjoys reading, music, talking, traveling, cooking, sleeping, and other nocturnal activities.
Somehow along the way, he has also managed to become a well-known authority on Robert A. Heinlein and other science fiction writers. He’s been called the “Indiana Jones” of Heinlein studies, having tracked down numerous artifacts from Heinlein’s life which had either been lost or never known. His most famous find was the last remaining copy of Heinlein’s first unpublished novel, which Scribners published in 2004, with an afterword by Robert James.
Put him in front of an audience and good things happen. Just ask any number of students, attendees at numerous conventions, and the Naval Academy at Annapolis, where he’s been a guest speaker. His students sometimes refer to him as the Voice of God, but he doesn’t claim more than his fair share of omnipotence.
Finally, he has enjoyed writing for friends, family, and students for many years, and is very pleased to have finally turned out a book series, WHO Won?!? An Irreverent Look at the Oscars, which you should all be going to buy and read right now rather than wasting your time reading this author biography.
If you’d like to buy my book, “WHO Won?!? An Irreverent Look at the Oscars, V. 1: 1927-1943″ please follow the link above — and thanks for having such good taste!