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Day after Tomorrow

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  3,354 ratings  ·  131 reviews
Sixth Column, aka The Day After Tomorrow, is a Robert A. Heinlein novel based on a John W. Campbell story about a USA conquered by a Sino-Japanese PanAsian combination. Published in Astounding Science Fiction (1-3/41 by 'Anson MacDonald') it came out in hardback in '49.

A secret research facility in the Colorado mountains is the US Army's last outpost after defeat by the Pa
Paperback, Third Edition, 144 pages
Published April 28th 1965 by Signet (first published January 1st 1949)
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Feb 01, 2013 Manny rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Members of the Ku Klux Klan, people who watch too much Fox News
Bird Brian's review of Prayers for the Assassin reminded me of this steaming pile of crap, which I read when I was about 12. So the slitty-eyed yellow hordes have invaded the good ol' US and are crushing it under their bamboo heel. But luckily there are six all-American heroes left in this underground mountain research establishment, and they invent this incredible cool weapon based on superior Aryan science, and wow! even though they're up against four hundred million Japanese-Chinese-Vietnames ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I just reread this one and I want to update my review a bit. I like the book. Having read it back in the 1970s and rereading it again now I wanted to be sure I'd pointed out some of the things readers from the 21st century should be aware of going in.

You'll need to remember the time frame in which this book was written. The racial attitudes on display are informed by WW2, Korea and America's situation with respect to "Red China". The book is I want to say up front not at all "PC". Please remembe
Heinlein has his faults, I'll admit. Who can forget the ending of Podkayne of Mars where the heroine decides that captaincy of a space ship sounds like too much work, and instead she'll set her sights on marrying a captain?

But until The Day After Tomorrow I have never actually been disgusted by a book of his. An amazon review charitably says it "reflects the fears and concerns of the time period he wrote the book in." Granted, in 1941, paranoia about Japan was probably sane, but he wrote this be
Ed [Redacted]
Pretty disappointed with this one. The premise of this book is that the US was taken over by the "Pan Asians". The last remaining vestige of the US military consists of a few scientists and an advertising writer. Rather than give up, the ad guy decides to use the time honored military tactic of making up a fake religion and using the newly invented "Ledbetter Effect*" to beat back the yellow menace once and for all.

The book is just absurd wish fulfillment. Utterly goofy and filled with racial pe
Jeff Yoak
Modern-day America tends toward self-loathing. I often wonder if we could survive in the face of a persistent enemy with moral conviction. It is virtually impossible to find an intellectual that doesn't somewhere between apologize for America or just outright regard it as a villain -- inside or outside of the country. The attitude increasingly permeates through the rest of our culture.

It is often one of the underlying things in Heinlein's work that I enjoy that both his personal values and the t
An amazing reworking of a lesser plot by John Campbell, Jr., written on commission for $600 in 1941. And yet Heinlein forges an exciting story of 6 men who overthrow the vastly superior force of "PanAsians" using highly sophisticated science. Practically all the elements of Heinlein in his prime are here, so early in his career. And he manages to play down the racial aspects of Campbell's premise as much as possible. Definitely worth re-reading once you've read everything else by Heinlein.

No, I
Kurt Reichenbaugh
Only the 2nd Heinlein novel I've read. I've given others a chance but couldn't get through them. This one was okay as a novel of ideas about war, race, religion and politics, but there are is a lot of clunky philosophy that falls flat. Granted, it should be considered as a book of its time, and is another version of a story by Astounding's editor John W. Campbell, which was apparently wacky to the extreme.

In this novel, a group of American soldiers plot the revolt against the evil PanAsians who
Joe Stamber
Bit of an old curiosity this one. First published in 1940, it has an odd and outdated attitude to just about every subject it comes across. For those reviewers who whine about bigotry, sexism et cetera all I can say is... get a grip! It's a story (that means made up) and was written over 70 years ago - when we start telling writers what they can and can't write about we may as well give up reading.

Like many older novels, Sixth Column is quite talky and ponderous, especially considering its rathe
Miramira Endevall
Racist asswipe.

*********************Spoilers Below******************************

I was really, really enjoying this book. The idea is that the PanAsian government (based upon "all the bad and none of the good" combined characteristics of the Chinese and Japanese governments in the '40's and '50's) has conquered and utterly subjugated the American people. A hidden enclave of scientists comes up with a discriminate weapon that targets specific hemoglobin types, allowing them to target based on race
Nuno Magalhães
Neste livro, Robert A. Heinlein confronta-nos com um cenário bélico em que os EUA são invadidos e dominados por um poderoso exército Asiático que passa a controlar todo o território. A história do livro centra-se na resistência que é construída a partir de um centro de investigação militar que escapa à detecção dos invasores por se encontrar estabelecido em instalações dissimuladas no interior de uma montanha. Incluindo pormenores muito interessantes sobre uma arma que explora supostos campos gr ...more
Will Thomas
I re-re-re-re-re-read Heinlein novels the way I re-re-re-re-re-revisit old friends. This is one I've been reading since I was about 11.

Heinlein walks a narrow tightrope here. His near-racism is entirely uncharacteristic of Heinlein. And he goes 'WAY out of his way to demonstrate that there's nothing wrong with Asians as a race. But this whole book smells horribly like anti-Asian bias.

That said, it is a fabulous story! An enjoyable read, a fun trip to take, even to take over and over, as I do.

Joe Martin
I learned several things about this book. It was the second novel that Heinlein ever wrote and the first that he ever had published. That, alone, makes it interesting. It wasn't a Heinlein original story. The outline was from John Campbell—Heinlein just filled it out. The book gets a lot of grief for its racist elements. Both the foreword and the afterword make good arguments that those elements do not reflect Heinlein's own beliefs. (As if his later novels didn't already bear that out.) He did ...more
I'm about a third of the way through this book and I just want to comment about the racism and bigotry presented so far.

Yes, the characters are racist (both the Americans and Pan-Asians) but I think it is important to take this in context. Not just with regard to the time this book was written but with regard to a central premise of the story.

After WWII, the cold war had begun but had continued to freeze well beyond the level it actually did historically. The Pan-Asian countries had maintained
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Meuser
Wow... what can I say? I normally love Heinlein, but this book was bad. Not in a poor literature sense, but in a racist sense. I understand that literature should always be considered in the context of the era in which it was written, and I can usually dismiss the cultural clash with modern sensitivities, but I would expect to find this book to be on the Stormfront must read list.

(view spoiler)
I really like Heinlein and so gave this a shot on Audible. This book takes place shortly after the Pan-Asians, a unified Chinese-Japanese force takes over the United States and leaves only a rag tag group of military folks who believe they are the last bastion of the United States. We also find out that a terrible experiment killed msot of the folks in the mountain lab.

They end up finding out the experiment allows for inbetween waves, like a mix of gravity and radio, which allows them to do some
Scott Golden
This novel serves as textual proof that Heinlein could take even the weakest, ugliest story idea imaginable and somehow make it readable. But "readable" does not necessarily equate to 'good,' and this book is decidedly NOT good.
Pulpy writing -- in addition to the exclamation points (!!!) his favorite multiple-use adverb this time around is "diffidently" (never used in a manner that matches the dialogue to which it is attached); logic & credulity stretched up to and sometimes beyond the brea
Procrastinador Diletante
Depois de "Starship Troopers, este é o segundo livro de Robert Heinlein que leio...e a nota vai ser a mesma, três estrelas.

No fundo, a situação voltou-se a repetir - se tivesse sido escrito nos nossos dias, provavelmente levava duas estrelas ou até uma, mas como a publicação original foi em 1941, leva um ponto extra, pela imaginação e criatividade para a época.

Isto no que diz respeito aos vários dispositivos e ciências mirabolantes utilizadas pelos protagonistas, porque relativamente ao enredo,
I'm going to tell you upfront that this book has not aged well. In the politically correct times we live in, most people will cry racism without giving this book a chance, but I enjoyed the story.

Having said that, the racist slurs do grate on you after awhile, but underneath all that is a great scifi story. I think the subjugating horde could have been accomplished by aliens with an Asian mindset, but alas that is not what was written.

So, if you take this book for what it is: a short novella, t
Grandmaster Robert A. Heinlein's debut science fiction novel. Remember the novel was published in 1941 (and so was written shortly before Pearl Harbor) and has the U.S. defeated by the "Pan-Asians". A few holdouts form a resistance with a clever and entertaining premise. Unfortunately it is not quite good enough to overcome the dated feel of a 70+ year old "pulp" story.

SciFi - After the US is conquered and occupied by the Pan-Asians, it is up to a force of a few Army research scientists to recap
Robert Clark
One of Heinlein's first novels, and not one of his best, but even his worst is better than 99% of the sci fi ever published, and this isn't his worst. Actually, I'm not sure he had a worst. If he did, it was still excellent. This one has to be viewed in the context of when it was written, 1941, and it isn't surprising the Asians were the bad guys. Even so, Heinlein was already taking subtle pokes at racial and religious prejudice against a background of the United States, invaded and "conquered" ...more
Very pulp fiction-y feel to this one compared to RH's later works.

I can see where the comments about racism come from in other reviews. While "it was another time" doesn't excuse it, it certainly helps explain it.

I found the book intriguing from a problem solving perspective: magic notwithstanding, how do we solve a problem with x stage of technology? How do we change the plan as technology advances?

One interesting approach popped out at me that good bosses/leaders might consider: asking a worke
First serialized in Astounding Science Fiction in early 1941 under Heinlein's "Anson MacDonald" pen name, naturally there's a lot of World War II haunting this story. Pearl Harbor hadn't been attacked yet in the real world, the USA hadn't entered the war, and we endure a couple of quick lectures about the foolhardiness of thinking you can stay out of a conflict just by declaring you're going to stay out of it.

Heinlein didn't regard this novel as one that worked very well. He was right. There are
A secret research facility in the Colorado mountains is the US Army's last outpost after defeat by the PanAsians. The conquerors had absorbed the USSR after being attacked by them & had then absorbed India. They're ruthless, having crushed a rebellion by killing 150,000 civilians as punishment.

The lab is in turmoil. All but six of the personnel have died due to unknown forces released by an experiment operating within the newly-discovered magneto-gravitic or electro-gravitic spectra. Survivo
Gareth Griffiths
'Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.'

The "Leadbetter effect" in Sixth Column might as well be magic given how quickly it is deployed after its discovery and in the multifaceted ways in which it is utilised. Forget for a moment the implausible scientific principles explaining the effect; forget the extreme abbreviation of the R&D phase under stressful circumstances (with the inventor himself dead no less); forget also the ease with which the effect is manipul
Franklin  Hummel
"'Sixth Column', also known under the title 'The Day After Tomorrow', is a science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein, based on a story by editor John W. Campbell, and set in a United States that has been conquered by the PanAsians, a combination of Chinese and Japanese. Originally published as a serial in Astounding Science Fiction (January, February, March 1941, using the pen name Anson MacDonald) it was published in hardcover in 1949."

Carl V.
6 Men–against 400,000,000

So the dramatic language of the back cover states, a battle against impossible odds, “the adventures of a handful of soldiers of the future, fighting to save America from a deadly invasion”.

Major Ardmore has just arrived at the secret location of a small scientific enclave as the news is broken that the United States has been summarily defeated by a combined Japanese/Chinese force referred to in this undisclosed future as the PanAsians. In an effort to stay protected fro
First, this book comes across as kind of racist at times, but I partially attribute that to when it was originally written (1941 in magazines, 1949 in hardcover). The US is overrun by "Pan-Asians" and the stereotypes are really in evidence in this book. That said, the basic plot is interesting. After the military has been wiped out, a small group of the military working on scientific projects is basically all that's left. They've developed truly fantastic new technology that's better than anythi ...more
Oleg Kagan
Compared to Philip K. Dick's Man in the High Castle (1962), Heinlein's 1941/1949 pulp-style action-adventure story of an alt-history where Pan Asians won WWII comes up way short. Perhaps holding them side-by-side is unfair though. Dick's book was an attempt at plot-driven literature (it won a Hugo Award), Heinlein's book came at a time when the author would still be writing juvies for another ten years.

Dick's book is respectful of Japanese culture, treating it with understanding and some awe. I
Lisa (Harmonybites)
In this novel America has been conquered by the Pan-Asians. The story deals with the rebellion. I've seen this book attacked as racist. I probably should reread this--and it is a very slender book that could probably be read in one sitting, but for what it's worth, if it was racist, I was oblivious to it. The invaders could have been from Mars--what I took from it wasn't some warning about some kind of "yellow peril" but more a book about fighting for your freedom. I'd note that one of the Ameri ...more
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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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