I was editor of Galaxy at the time. I had hired AJ as our official book reviewer, a job which he took seriously and performed well, and when Heinlein published a major new novel called Stranger in a Strange Land, AJ went all out in a detailed and penetrating criticism — which, when he delivered it and I began to read, filled me with horror.
If there was one thing I knew about Heinlein it was that he was almost pathologically protective of his privacy — had threatened to sue people who invaded it — and, I was pretty sure, would take a dim view of some of AJ’s quite perceptive remarks. So there was a dilemma. I didn’t want to deprive AJ of an audience for a piece of good, hard work. I also didn’t want to get Robert mad at me. I stewed over the problem for a while, finally decided to leave the decision up to Robert himself and shipped off a copy of the review to him, pleased with myself for having solved the problem.
Then, a week or two later, the mailman handed me a large and heavy manila envelope with Heinlein’s return address on it and, “My God,” I said out loud, “Bob has written me a novelette!”
I was wrong about that, though. The twenty or thirty closely typed pages in the envelope weren’t fiction, they were an impassioned denunciation of the review, of invasive reviews in general and of the person who had written it — who, Robert conjectured, was some effete New York bookworm who had never traveled more than a few dozen miles from his home and had no knowledge of what the real world was like.
This was a factual error on Robert’s part, because AJ was actually born in Lithuania, the son of a high-ranking diplomat who was assigned first to Nazi Germany and then, while AJ was still a young boy, the United States. (English was actually AJ’s third language, after Lithuanian and German.) However, I could recognize a cry of pain when I heard it, so I ash-canned the review and told both Robert and AJ that it wouldn’t be published.
I am still not sure that I made the morally correct decision, but anyway it had a happy ending. At the Seattle Worldcon a little later I had the pleasure of introducing AJ to Robert. They hit it off and became friends.