Red Planet (Heinlein Juveniles #3)
THE GOOD: Heinlein's early treatment of his Martians (the ones used nearly two decades later in STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND) is excellent. These guys are subtle and weird and so far beyond earth norms that every interaction with them is fraught and puzzling. Also, while you can see prototypical versions of many of his stock characters (crusty old Dr. MacReady is a strip...more
Heinlien's young heroes are boy scouts, good kids with good intentions who buck the odds to do the right thing. They make discoveries beyond what the adults have done & face danger. They tough it out & make good,...more
Red Planet was Heinlein’s third published novel, after Space Cadet (reviewed here). It is seen as the third in Heinlein’s ‘juvenile novels’ that were written for a teenage and predominantly (though not exclusively) male readership.
If I remember right, it was possibly my second or third Heinlein read, after Tunnel in the Sky, which I found, rather lost and forgotten, at the back of my school...more
That said, there are several things Heinlein COULD have known, and didn't. Examples? Heinlein didn't know quite how low the atmospeheric pressure was, so he couldn't reasonably have known that it was so low that surface tension couldn't be sustained, so that water would boil away at so close to freezing temperature that it wouldn't mostly go into liquid form at all. But...more
I found I had also sort of blanked out the ways ma...more
There are a lot of points in this novel where it seems like Heinlein isn't sure who he's writing for. What starts as an enjoyable, accessible children's adventure unexpectedly t...more
Red Planet treats Mars as...more
Heinlein just has such a...more
What I remembered most about this book was Willis, the funny little Martian bouncer who turned out to be more than anyone thought. Willis is still a delight. There were things I...more
I'm glad I did. I feel like this book might be the begining of a segway for Heinlein. I've read several of his adolesnt works, and this one, while still maintaining the fast paced entertainment and having teenaged protagonists, also touched on some more adult issues. The author really focused on "our God given rights", such as the right to bar...more
If Heinlein were alive today he'd be leading the TEA Party.
I never read any of the Heinlein juveniles when I was growing up (that I recall, anyway). And not many Heinlein books are available as e-books. But this one was, so I plunged in with relish. I wasn't disappointed, because it was exactly what I had always heard RAH's juvenile works described as.
This book was first published in 1949 and is set in some unnamed year in the future. What I found intriguing and jarring was not the overcome-by-time science (intelligent Martians, canals filled with ice,...more
This is one of Heinlein's classic juveniles. Because of that, the science is dated as well as the attitudes expressed in the book, especially in the views towards women. Since this is from 1949, women are viewed as to be protected by the men and work in the home. If one l...more
You know... teenager with some sort of basic maths/engineering background gets wisked off on some crazy adventure into space, makes some new friends (human or alien) has a conflict or two with a bullying...more
Now picture someone in 1949 (Heinlein) trying to do the same thing with the limited knowledge available at the time. The story is a YA tale, with a pair of boys as the protagonists and a cute but mysterious Martian crittur, Willis, as the...more
Once I’d finished Tunnel in the Sky (it was such a quick read), I wasn’t ready to be done with Heinlein. And I had this book sitting around, checked out from the library. So I went ahead and read it. It’s another of Heinlein’s juveniles. It’s not as much of a coming of age story as Tunnel in the Sky. It certainly has elements of that but it’s a bit more focused on the line between authority and tyranny.
Heinlein hits on some familiar themes: responsibility is a matter of maturity and skill, not...more
Jim Marlowe is a young boy, who is the son of two colonists on Mars. He has a pet named Willis. Willis is an indigenous species to Mars, and can record and play back any conve...more
The book opens with our teenage heroes - Jim Marlowe and Frank Sutton - visiting Doc MacRae so the doctor can check on Jim's seemingly ill Martian "pet" - Willis. Doc MacRae finds reason to lecture the boys about freedom. The good doctor is concerned about the Mars colony being ruled by bureaucrats who live tens of millions of miles away. This s...more
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...more