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Have Space Suit, Will Travel (Heinlein Juveniles #12)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  17,942 ratings  ·  518 reviews
When Kip Russell wins a used space suit, he has no idea it will lead to his abduction by aliens, much less that he will wind up crossing the galaxy with a pint-sized genius named Pee Wee and an empathetic alien creature called the "Mother Thing."It's agalaxy spanning adventure from the greatest science fiction writer of all time. ...more
Audio CD, Economy edition, 0 pages
Published June 1st 2006 by Full Cast Audio (first published 1958)
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PUBLISHER: R.H., we just got done reading your new book, and I have to say, bravo. This is your best one yet! The young boys of 1958 are going to love it. Heck, I love it. The whole setup was so clever, with the boy entering a jingle-writing contest for soap to win a trip to the moon? My wife really got a kick out of that -- i told her about it when she was washing dishes last night and she couldn't stop laughing! She sure does love soap commercials.

And having the boy win a spacesuit instead of
A librarian friend of mine suggested this as my introduction to Heinlein and I was not disappointed. Apart from the delicious technical details of making a spacesuit work; faster than light travels to Pluto, to the Magellanic Cloud, and beyond; the horrors of being held hostage by an alien race that views other sentient beings as animals; another alien race with indefinable, changeable physical form and the ability to convey the kind of warmth, peace and comfort of being mothered feels like; thi ...more
I decided I needed to break it into two parts - one, the story itself and two, Heinlein’s tirade against society.

Have Space Suit Will Travel is set in the 1950's and is one of his juvenile pieces of literature. Kip Russell dreams of going to the stars, and when Skyway Soap has a contest for best lingo with the prize being a trip to the Moon, Kip collects and submits 5000 entries. He doesn’t win the trip to the moon, but a space suit instead. If he returns the space suit to Goodyear by September
Sometimes you find a book at exactly the right point in your life. I was fortunate enough to read Have Space Suit - Will Travel when I was a geeky 12 year old boy, and I loved it. If YOU'RE a geeky 12 year old boy, there's a fair chance you'll love it too! He enters this cut-out-the-coupon-and-complete-the-slogan competition (a lot of description of how he intelligently maximizes his chances) and wins an old ex-NASA space suit. He fixes it up, and there are some great passages showing how much f ...more
Danny Tyran
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 22, 2014 David rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Heinlein fans, Precocious 10-year-olds, Boys who want to be spacemen when they grow up
One of Heinlein's early juveniles, this one has all the elements seen throughout his juvenile series: a plucky boy hero who's always wanted to go to space, precocious girl heroine (who fortunately is too young to be mooning over boys), Father Knows Best who turns out to be a hidden genius and former Very Important Person in the government, and interesting 50ish aliens.

The thing I like about Heinlein's juveniles is that they still hold up pretty well 50 years later, if you can ignore all the refe
Oct 26, 2010 Rasheed rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all readers of SF, adventure and juvenille fiction
Wow! Almost anything I read too soon after this will probably sound bad! This was my first Full Cast Audio, and I must say that the performances of the entire cast was so superb, I wouldn't have been able to imagine the characters any better had I read it. That Peewee character, especially, was just too cute. Even some of the bad guys were so comically well done that it makes me feel bad calling them bad guys!
G.R. Reader
I read this when I was seven and wanted to be Peewee so bad! But then I discovered Sophocles and decided I wanted to be Antigone instead. Looking back on it, I think Mom was happier with my Peewee phase.
This book stands out among Heinlein's juveniles - arguably the best of the batch.

But it's more than just a great book. It's also a defining moment in an entire movement in SF towards realistic science. This doesn't mean that the characterization or plot needs to take on secondary or incidental importance. It just means that all efforts must be taken to ensure that the science works.

So, it's the exact opposite type of novel from what A.E. van Vogt was writing. In his works (somewhat common for th

Full cast audio from the library. Classic if at times silly ya story, with lots of science tidbits. Young actors are charming if amateurish. (You can't buy it anymore. What the heck? But it's online at my library.)

2nd reading:

Lots of good quotes, as you can tell from my status updates. My favorite part is the beginning, with all the enthusiasm over getting a space suit into top condition. The plot gets more and more outrageous from there. But there's plenty of science to back it up. In one part
There's considerable charm in the opening of this book, and it's likely to entertain kids and adults as the story follows small-town boy Kip on his quest to reach the moon. Kip has little money, few connections, and the odds seem against him, but his methodical determination sees him entering competitions, and then repairing a decommissioned space suit. This section of HSS-WT is, I think, the best part of the story. Who can't connect with the idea of having big dreams and scant chance to fulfil ...more
Henry Avila
Clifford "Kip" Russell, a teenager ,wants to go to the Moon.Set in the future, when Lunar bases have been established(this is a science fiction book). Centerville High Schooler, part time soda jerk, from a poor family, enters a soap company contest,literally sending thousands of slogans.First prize for best entry, is a trip to Luna .Mildly disappointed winning the second prize , an old Space Suit.His eccentric father DR. Russell, lets his son do anything he wishes ,as long as it doesn't cost the ...more
Jeff Miller
What a fun read and I am pretty sure I have never even read this one before. I so much enjoy Heinlein's "Juveniles" over his later works
Buck Ward
This is the first of Heinlein's juvenile series that I've read. It's obvious from the writing that this book was intended for children. It was quite enjoyable to this old geezer nevertheless. I've read a couple of other children's science fiction books that are highly regarded - A Wrinkle in Time and The Giver. Have Space Suit-Will Travel is far superior to both of them.

Kip wins a used space suit in a contest and his refurbishing of it seems technologically authentic. When he walks out in the b
As long as you keep in mind that this is a YA novel and was written in the mid-fifties, how can you not like this book? It is a simple story simply told. While perhaps not timeless, the writing style is such that this novel will be around for a long time. My only criticism is a minor one: I prefer that authors air their grievances about society through the story and not directly. Heinlein is bit too direct. But overall I like the book.
I first read this when I was in grade 8 back in the 1970s. I couldn't remember much of it but thought it would be a good one for my son. So, on a road trip my 12 year old, a female 12 year old and a male 10 year old all listened to it on audiobook. The adventure and science appealed to all of them, the funny things they would say (it was written long beofre their time after all) added some levity.

All in all a timeless book.
I read this book after having read _Stranger in a Strange Land_, and was pleasantly surprised. Unlike _Stranger_, _Have Space Suit, Will Travel_ is a joyride through the pre-spaceprogram vision of outerspace and the moon. The heroe's story also gave me pause- learning how to make something as complex as a spacesuit appears less readily available, particularly from such common outlets as mail order catalogues, than it was then.
Luke Burrage
Fun stuff! Loads of great passages and scenes and quotes. Some issues though.

Full discussion on the SFFaudio episode #256.
Michael Burnam-fink
I seem to have trouble hitting 'enter' on reviews of Heinlein novels, but who cares, cause there's only two types of Heinlein novels: Weird as hell, and totally awesome.

This is the second, with lots of smart 1950s space science about interplanetary travel with flying saucer drives, some really fascinating aliens, brave and capable characters (including a girl. Yay Peewee!). You just have to love how Kip and Peewee never give up, even when kidnapped by horrible bug-eyed monsters, running out of a
Turok Tucker
You're just not maximizing efficiency meat....Parts of this novel shine: humanities trial by higher aliens, space suit logistics, conjecture at a universal undercurrent of all livings things that flash to either empathetic or destructive.

The bad: anything but M.I.T. isn't a real education, public education is worse than no education at all, a very austere moral and cultural code that Heinlein relays through juxtaposing Kip and Pewee with Fat, Slim, and "Nature's Obvious Mistakes."

A book that do
It's been a while since I've read Heinlein, and I've honestly read mostly his adult stuff (Stranger in a Strange Land, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, etc.) Those books are great despite his crotchety philosophizing. Have Space Suit lacks a lot of the depth, but also most of the crotchety old-man diatribes. In short: it's fun.

The story isn't really realistic (even by sci-fi standards) and it is rather didactic about public education, self-sufficiency, hard work, and other patriotic American male
Oleg Kagan
Have Space Suit-Will Travel is the last of Robert Heinlein's juvenile novels and it fits with the successful precedents set by its predecessors. Like many of the other juvies, Have Space Suit-Will Travel has a young, reasonably intelligent, male protagonist who goes on a journey into outer(in this case WAY outer) space and becomes a more confident person because of it.

While there was nothing extraordinary about Have Space Suit-Will Travel, other than it being a Hugo Award nominee in '59, there
Kinda episodic, sorta YA, definitely pulpy.

Picks up considerably toward the end with some intergalactic jurisprudence and genocide inflicted per court order. The tribunal admits that it is not a court of justice, but rather a security council (232). Narrator is cast into the role of attorney for humanity. (This is where, incidentally, Star Trek : The Next Generation got its opening and closing frames.)

Certainly can see that Adams took books like this one as the primary target of his mockery in
(sigh...) Why don't they write them like this anymore? The witty repartee, the snarky wit, and the pop-cultural references (to the 1950s), all with a little bit of hard science thrown in, made this book great despite the somewhat cheesy plot. Kip's main goal in life is to go to the moon, so while he's working on one day becoming an engineer, he enters a jingle-writing contest whose first prize is a moon trip. Instead of the trip, he wins a space suit. And one day, as he's wearing his space suit, ...more
Teenager, Kip Russel has been longing to travel to the moon. Faced with the option of becoming a soldier (to be stationed at the moon base), an engineer (which requires getting accepted to a good college), or as a tourist (as part of the newly opened space travel industry). Kip's father has been pushing Kip to increase the coursework that he takes to get him ready for life in college. But Kip has not heard back from any of the schools that he has applied to. So when a slogan contest is announced ...more
Barry Behrmann
I listened to this as an audiobook and found it to be just okay. Heinlein was one of the best classic sci-fi novelist ever, so when I saw this book available I thought I'd give it a listen. The story was mildly entertaining, but I found it delving too often into advanced scientific details which I felt detracted from the story itself. I felt like I was back in the university library reading through one of my engineering books at times! I just wasn't drawn into this novel, and after finishing it ...more
Clifford Russell wins a spacesuit in a competition (although he was actually aiming for a trip to the moon). He fixes it up, takes care of it, and eventually decides to sell it to pay for college. He takes it out for one last spin, accidentally gets kidnapped by aliens and eventually ends up pleading for the future of the Human race in an inter-galactic court.

I enjoyed the actual story in this book, Clifford's tale of inter-stellar derring do, but this kept being interrupted by Heinlien's politi
AUDIO) Another off my list of Top100 Scifi books. One of Heinlein's "juvenile" novels. Written in the '50s its the story of a boy who dreams of going to the moon and wins a space suit from a write-in contest for a soap company. While he's trying out the suit, he gets picked up in a flying saucer and goes on an adventure where he battles evil space aliens, is befriended by other aliens. They get to travel to the ends of the solar system and beyond.

Its a little dated, and definitely an easy read.
After attempting to slog through 'For Us, The Living', I decided to return to one of Heinlein's more lighthearted works before continuing. This book fit perfectly with what I had in mind. As with most of his works, this book contains a lot of structure, politics and mathematics. I expected no less of a Heinlein novel. While reading, I often found it surprising that it was considered young adult, as some of it's content would tend to go over the heads of young readers nowadays. Other reviews comp ...more
This was a fun romp and an interesting storyline. I was impressed by how much attention Heinlein actually paid to the mechanics and logistics of the spacesuit; particularly considering when it was written and how difficult researching such details must have been.

About the only element that bothered me about this story was that the narrator was far too wise and knowledgeable about the universe and history than was believable. (Yes, interestingly, I could buy the impossible space travel and the al
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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
More about Robert A. Heinlein...

Other Books in the Series

Heinlein Juveniles (1 - 10 of 12 books)
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  • Space Cadet
  • Red Planet
  • Farmer in the Sky
  • Between Planets
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Starman Jones
  • The Star Beast
  • Tunnel in the Sky
  • Time for the Stars
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