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The Past Through Tomorrow (Future History or "Heinlein Timeline")

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  12,079 ratings  ·  84 reviews
Here in one monumental volume are all 21 of the stories, novellas and novels making up Heinlein's famous Future History—the rich, imaginative architecture of Man's destiny that many consider his greatest and most prophetic work.

* Introduction - Damon Knight
* Life-Line
* The Roads Must Roll
* Blowups Happen
* The Man Who Sold the Moon
* Delilah and the Space-Rigger
* Sp
Paperback, 830 pages
Published July 15th 1987 by Ace (first published January 1st 1966)
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Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardDune by Frank Herbert1984 by George OrwellFahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyBrave New World by Aldous Huxley
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294th out of 4,853 books — 16,879 voters
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Best Science Fiction Series
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Community Reviews

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On the afternoon of Saturday, October 4th, 1975, having just turned thirteen years old a few weeks before, I rode my bicycle about 2 1/2 miles to the nearest bookstore to my house that sold science fiction books--the long-defunct Books & Friends in Oakton, VA. I know this not because I remember the event, but because I wrote it in the back of a paperback copy of "The Past Through Tomorrow," an 830-page collection of Robert Heinlein's "Future History" stories. What I do remember is that I did ...more
‘ Ésta es la historia no del futuro, sino de un futuro’. Según las palabras dichas por Heinlein, los dos volúmenes que conforman ‘Historia del futuro’ es un conjunto de relatos y novelas cortas de un probable horizonte alternativo, que aunque el hombre quisiese quitarse méritos, nada descabellados y algunos de ellos ciertamente proféticos en parte. Con una sólida y plausible base científica a la vez que social ( SIEMPRE HA SIDO UN GENIO COMBINANDO AMBAS CIENCIAS EN SUS ESCRITOS), el autor nos ad ...more
This is a compilation of 21 Heinlein short stories in his 'Future History'. If you've never read Heinlein & want a good introduction, this is probably the best single book of his works you can buy. You'll see quite a range of his best.

The paperback is as fat as one of Jordan's books & contains some novella length stories - two, "Revolt in 2100" & "Methuselah's Children" were published as novels. Others are title stories from other short story collections "The Green Hills of Earth" &
Though I greatly enjoy Heinlen's writing, I didn't think I'd read very many of his short stories. Surprisingly, I had read "Life-Line", which is the first story in this book. But I didn't mind re-reading it one bit! One thing I had not realized before was that it was the first short story Heinlen had ever submitted for publication. I think the book is worth getting for it alone.

Now, not only is this book just an incredible collection of plain good 'ole fashioned story-telling at it's best, but t
Russell Fletcher
The Past Through Tomorrow is a book of short stories by Robert A. Heinlein. It is my favorite science fiction book. (It may be my favorite book period.) Even though there are plenty of other things to read, I have to every year or two. The character D.D. Harriman is certainly an inventor ahead of his time, even though in his timeline he had different inventions to get into space.

Now for divergent thoughts not in this book but brought on by thinking about this book.
Speaking of inventors
Jessica Zoop
Entertaining on the whole but Heinlein's high handed opinion of men, coupled with his disdain /annoyance of women, children, and parents got old. It feels like SciFi based Ayn Rand diatribe with a hatred of heavy handed government meddling in the affairs of get-the-job-done men.
This, along with "Time Enough for Love" (currently reading) is Heinlein's magnum ous. This volume has some 800 pages of small-type stories, novellas and novels, culminating in '"Methuselah's Children" (which I have already read - see my review- and found out subsequently that there was a great number of stories that antedated that novel. These are published in this volume in the order given in a table close to the beginning of "Methuselah's Children" but somewhat out of order in terms of publica ...more
I've done more thorough reviews of the stories in the four books that make up this tome, but there are two Future history stories that aren't in the other collections.

Searchlight (1962) 2.5/5 Stars
It was originally written as part of an advertisement which accounts for its brevity and lack of character. It presents some interesting concepts about how to find someone in space though.

The Menace from Earth (1957) 4/5 Stars
15 year old Holly is a moon guide who dreams of being a ship designer. One
This is a collection of the core Short Stories & Novellas that are collectively known to make up Robert Heinlein's "Future History"

Since these were written in the early days (many in the 1940's and 50's) much of the "future" part is now past tense at least in terms of the year on the calendar. Also, most of these have that feeling to them I would describe as pulpy, which I think most people would consider fair, since they were actually first published (not all but many) in magazines.

You hear
Carena Wood beimler
Some of the stories are better than others, what I really enjoyed about this was that the books and short stories were in chronological order, so the young fellow wanting to go to the moon many pages ago eventually invents space flight, and then several stories later does get to go. It makes you feel like you have more invested in the series, as well.
One day I want to own all of the books and to read them all in linear order.
The all-encompassing range of this collection draws in the reader as it covers a period of centuries, illustrating each episode with an interesting, somewhat political, drama as characters struggle against various challenges, both human and beyond, successfully and unsuccessfully. By only focusing on specific, interesting events, this work ties together various elements into a compelling journey through Heinlein's future history.
While much of the described situations will clearly not occur, as

Here in one monumental volume are all 21 of the stories, novellas and novels making up Heinlein's famous Future History—the rich, imaginative architecture of Man's destiny that many consider his greatest and most prophetic work.

Introduction - Damon Knight
The Roads Must Roll
Blowups Happen
The Man Who Sold the Moon
Delilah and the Space-Rigger
Space Jockey
The Long Watch
Gentleman, Be Seated
The Black Pits of Luna
"It's Great to Be Back!"
"—We Also Walk Dogs"

Always amusing to go back and read classic sci-fi and see which predictions were far-seeing and which ones failed to pan out. I understand why highways were never replaced with "rolling roads", but someone tell me why we haven't colonized the moon yet?
The best of Heinlein's classic future history short fiction. Arguably the best single-author collection of science fiction ever. I'd say that these stories did more to shape modern sf than any other works.
Fredrick Danysh
This is a collection of twenty-one vintage Heinlein short stories with a wide variety of plots. This is a great read for the science fiction fan. There are several classics in the collection.
Another of my all-time favorites. Heinlein,while not as famous as Asimov, is at least his equal. The stories in this book, written over decades, paint a galaxy that is fascinating and complex.
Oct 17, 2007 Bob rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone at all
Shelves: sf, short-stories
Heinlein's "Future History" all wrapped up in one volume. An important starting point for Time Enough For Love and pretty much all of his later books.
Jun 13, 2009 Lindig rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: sf
Spider Robinson be damned, RAH is a closet misogynist and male chauvinist pig, and his later stuff doesn't change that.
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 21, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Science Fiction Fans
This is a collection of 21 stories that fit into Heinlein's "Future History." As Damon Knight's introduction relates, this isn't the future history, one that should be seen as predictive, but a future history. And it definitely has to be read in that spirit, otherwise especially in the beginning the works could be seen as hopelessly dated. The earliest story here--the earliest Heinlein ever published, "Life-Line," came out in 1939 (and it's remarkable for a first story). All but "Searchlight" pr ...more
This rather hefty book contains 21 short stories and short novels from Heinlein's earlier days, organized in chronological order (according to the dates when the stories take place, not when they were published). They are all unrelated and can be read stand-alone, but each story forms a foundation for the next one to build upon in terms of technology and human progress (or lack thereof, in some cases). The time-line is our own until (I would guess) about the time that WW2 comes to a close, at wh ...more
Kelanth, numquam risit ubi dracones vivunt
Questo volume raccoglie il primo ciclo di racconti, rigorosamente in ordine cronologico delle vicende immaginate da Heinlein e non di scrittura della Storia Futura.

Un ciclo che ogni amante della fantascienza dovrebbe aver letto: l'autore qui getta uno sguardo sull'immaginario e crea situazioni come quella di predire la morte di una persona, lo sfruttamento economico della Luna che dopo essere stata raggiunta viene colonizzata, l'invenzioni di strade che si muovono, ma soprattutto il senso di app
Se penso che fino a pochi anni fa neanche conoscevo Robert Hanson Heinelin mi chiedo ancora come facessi a definirmi appassionato di fantascienza.Perché se è vero che Asimov è stato l’emblema della fantascienza classica e che Dick è stato il rivoluzionario visionario, Heinlein è stato, semplicemente, il genio razionale.Ho già parlato tempo fa di romanzi come Lazarus Long o Straniero in terra straniera, ma solo ora ho avuto modo di cominciare a leggere il ciclo di racconti che, tutto insieme, cos ...more
I just read "The Man Who Sold the Moon," and wish that I hadn't. I've never been much of a Heinlein fan, and this story illustrates my reasons perfectly. Essentially, this is the story of the first moon expedition. In Heinlein's telling (long before the Apollo missions), it's a private corporation that reaches the moon first. There's some interesting speculation about who owns the moon, based upon traditional legal theory (supposedly, all property owners on earth own a section of the earth that ...more
Ted Mendelssohn
This is one of the classic collections of science fiction. Anyone who enjoys the genre - and certainly anyone who aspires to write in it - should read these stories at least once.

As a writer, Heinlein was a uniquely 20th Century American phenomenon: A man who had trained for the military and as an engineer, but who also retained the storytelling ability of his fellow Missouri native, Mark Twain. His story were often "firsts" (the first to consider the implications of a particular sci-fi possibil
Dominic Munsill
It's interesting to realize that all of these works were published prior to the moon landing, a pinnacle in the history of mankind,; in Heinlein's Future History we are well past the moon by 1969 and "Luna City" has already been founded thereupon. This is not so much a prediction of future events so much as an alternate universe, a universe where we have reached interstellar flight by the mid-2000's and the idea of flying to Mars is no more frightening than a few hours flight from one side of th ...more
Warren R.
What an incredible series of short stories from a brilliant sci-fi author. I loved every one, but my favorites included: "Life-Line", "The Roads Must Roll", "The Long Watch", "Gentlemen, Be Seated", "Requiem", "It's Great to be Back",
"Searchlight", "Logic of Empire", and "The Menace from Earth".
Sean Tilley
I have a lot of very fond memories of this book. It was one of my first serious introductions to science fiction as a teenager, and many of the stories in it are captivating. Heinlein does something in writing that I've only seen done by a few others- specifically, Isaac Asimov- in which the author creates a contained story universe with history, technology, and geography that are all shared between titles. I could go on and on about each individual story and why I loved it, but to save time I'l ...more
La linea della vita Le strade devono correre A volte esplodono L'uomo che vendette la Luna Dalila e il costruttore spaziale Autista spaziale Requiem La lunga guardia Signori, seduti I neri pozzi della Luna «È bello tornare a casa!» "Portiamo anche a spasso i cani" Luce musicale Mal di spazio Le verdi colline della Terra Logica dell'impero Minaccia dalla Terra "Se continua così" Confino Disadattato I figli di Matusalemme
S.A. Parham
This is a collection of Heinlein's "Future History" stories, set in chronological order by story. Some of these were boring enough to make me want to cry rather than read more... others were much more interesting. The real disappointment of the book was the novella bit in it, "If This Goes On---". It had terrific buildup, a good protagonists, then fell flat on its face with a mundane and boring ending. I'd rate the book overall 3 stars out of 5, simply because the few gems, while shiny and good, ...more
A combo of anthology and omnibus; it has his "Future Histories" stories and 3 of the novels. I'd already read the majority of the short stories, and seeing how they all tied into a single time line was a bit more interesting than the stories taken individually. I'd never read any of the novels before.

Not bad enough to stop reading - just very, very shallow.

Though, Number of the Beasts might make more sense now that I've read Methuselah's Children. Ok, maybe not. I think psychotropic drugs are ne
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Robert Anson Heinlein was an American novelist and science fiction writer. Often called "the dean of science fiction writers", he is one of the most popular, influential, and controversial authors of "hard science fiction".

He set a high standard for science and engineering plausibility and helped to raise the genre's standards of literary quality. He was the first SF writer to break into mainstre
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Other Books in the Series

Future History or "Heinlein Timeline" (4 books)
  • The Man Who Sold the Moon
  • The Green Hills of Earth
  • Methuselah's Children
Stranger in a Strange Land Starship Troopers The Moon is a Harsh Mistress Time Enough for Love The Puppet Masters

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