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Now, I'm intrigued. I read it so long ago. Can you please let me in on the joke?

It's surpremely self-referential! The characters discuss Heinlein and dis some of his work - Stranger in a Stange Land in Particular. There's some discussion about bad writing and how annoying it is when authors use lame plot devices instead of constructing a plot - and every time they start talking about this, another alien bad guy shows up or they hie off to another planet/timeline. Lastly, several names in the books are anagrams of Heinlein'sname, his wife's name, a pseudonym he used, and a friend's name. Those are all the details I can remember!

The following is a loving explanation.

http://www.heinleinsociety.org/numberbeast.html

-mapletree
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