Blood Drive

2022 marks the 14th year that WonderCon will host the Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Blood Drive. The drive is co-sponsored by the Heinlein Society. In 2019 we collected 181 units, and we hope to do even better this year. The Red Cross will be at the Anaheim Convention Center in Room 204AB to collect blood donations from 12:15 to 6:15 on Friday, and from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday. You can make a reservation to donate by visiting

To help speed up the donation process, you can use RapidPass online by going to this link on the morning of your scheduled donation. Once there, please read the educational materials, complete your health history, and print or have your pass emailed to you so you can display it when asked. The site is compatible with most mobile devices, however, if it’s not compatible with yours, you may have to use a desktop or laptop. Onsite, you can visit the Blood Drive Desk in Lobby B/C for more information.

We hope you will take a brief break from your other convention activities to help save lives by giving blood, and have some cookies and juice while you’re at it. Blood donations are cruicially needed, especially now, and we appreciate every donation received. Each donor will receive a cloisonné pin designed by Heinlein himself for the first WorldCon blood drive in Kansas City in 1976, as our way of saying, “Thank you for helping.”

WonderCon 2022 Blood Drive


Robert A. Heinlein

Robert A. Heinlein at San Diego Comic-Con in 1977.

Photo by Jackie Estrada

About Robert A. Heinlein

Robert Anson Heinlein (July 7, 1907 - May 8, 1988) was one of the most popular and respected science fiction authors of the 20th Century. By setting a high standard for science and engineering plausibility, he helped raise the genre's standards of literary quality. He was the first writer to break into mainstream magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post in the late 1940s with unvarnished science fiction. He was also among the first authors of bestselling novel-length science fiction in the modern mass-market era.

Four of Heinlein's novels (Double Star, Starship Troopers, Stranger in a Strange Land, and The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress) won Hugo Awards in the years they were published. In 2001, another novel (Farmer in the Sky) and a novella (The Man Who Sold the Moon) received "Retro Hugos&qut; for the year 1951, and the movie Destination Moon, which was based on a Heinlein story, received the "Retro Hugo" for best dramatic presentation. He was the first writer to be named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America for lifetime achievement.

Heinlein was known as the "Dean of Science Fiction Writers," but he was much more. He was a philanthropist who helped many charitable causes and individuals. When asked how he could be repaid for his help, he would reply, "You can't pay me back, you have to pay it forward."

One cause that was of great importance to him was blood donation. Having a rare blood type himself (AB+), he was a frequent donor and a supporter of the National Rare Blood Club, which was an integral part of his novel I Will Fear No Evil. In 1976, at the 34th World Science Fiction Convention in Kansas City, he helped organize the first of many science fiction convention blood drives. In 1977, he did the same at the San Diego Comic-Con, and 2018 marks the 42nd year of the Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Blood Drive as an integral part of that event, and the 12th year at WonderCon.


The Heinlein Society

The Heinlein Society was formed in 2000 to preserve the legacy of Robert A. Heinlein by "paying it forward." One of the ways the society is doing this is by promoting blood donation around the world. The group began this effort with an Internet blood drive, encouraging fans to donate at their local blood banks and send their names to the society to be entered into its honor roll, presented to the late Mrs. Virginia Heinlein.

In 2001, at the 59th World Science Fiction Convention in Philadelphia, the society sponsored its first onsite blood drive, with the Red Cross collecting 60 units of blood. Since then the organization has sponsored more than 170 drives, generating more than 30,000 units of blood and saving potentially tens of thousands of lives.

You can learn more about Robert Heinlein and the Heinlein Society at Please join us in "paying it forward" by donating blood at WonderCon Anaheim.