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Title: Number of the Beast – unpublished versions - Novel

Written:  1977     Pages: 1071



Part 1, 150 pages, contains scattered manuscript pages and notes. Two copies of an ending to the story. 

Part 2, 251 pages, contains manuscript pages 215 to 504, with extensive edits.

Part 3, 151 pages, contains manuscript pages 598-688, 713-769, end. It’s a different ending to the novel than in Part 1, and different from that published. Header sheet says “suppressed”, and “original, first-pass edited”. Title “Panki-Barsoom Number of the Beast”

Part 4, 250 pages, contains manuscript pages 256-502 of “suppressed” version of “Panki-Barsoom Number of the Beast”. No edits.

Part 5, 269 pages, contains manuscript pages 503-769, end of “suppressed” version of “Panki-Barsoom Number of the Beast”. No edits.





Bill Patterson notes: With an alternate ending, at about 190,250 words, and cut to 150,000 words before being suppressed as “not best work.” Paradoxically, Heinlein repeatedly left instructions for this to be destroyed and not sent to the Archive, but he nevertheless sent it to the Archive where it is shelved with the manuscripts, with a red Restricted flag. No instructions are extant for ever making this manuscript public. The book is a first sketch of the novel later published as The Number of the Beast in 1980.


Deb Houdek Rule notes: This manuscript file does exist in the Archives collection, though appears to be incomplete. The first several hundred pages appear to be missing, but the following approximately 500 pages to the end exist in varying versions, some with extensive hand-editing. At least two different alternate endings are included. The story and characters are recognizably those from the published “Number of the Beast”, but the story is distinctly different.

OPUS 176ve - Number of the Beast – unpublished