Space Cadet
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Space Cadet (Heinlein Juveniles #2)

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  4,775 ratings  ·  119 reviews
This is the seminal novel of a young man's education as a member of the Solar patrol, an elite, paternalistic non-military organization dedicated to preserving human civilization. Space Cadet is a provocative parallel to Heinlein's famous later novel, Starship Troopers (which is about the military). Only the best and brightest, the strongest and most courageous ever become...more
172 pages
Published 1977 by New English Library (first published January 1st 1948)
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Joe
Mar 05, 2008 Joe rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone, especially gifted pre-teens
Another of Heinlein's classic juveniles, this book chronicles the adventures of a young man training to become a "Space Cadet" of the Space Patrol, a world wide force keeping peace in the solar system. from arrival at the training facility forward, Heinlein presents many sophisticated ideas while never talking down to his readers. Concepts like world government, a solution to the threat of nuclear war, as well as prognostications of technology such as cell phones. Not the only author to do so bu...more
Manny
Young Matt Dodson, an all-American 18-year-old from Iowa, joins the Space Academy. Their key task is to ensure world peace by dropping nuclear weapons on anyone who tries to do anything bad.

I know what you're going to say. But many of Matt's classmates come from outside the US! Not only that, they even have a sign up on the wall saying Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

So that's alright then.
Andrea
Books written about the future inevitably at some point become alternate histories. First published in 1948, "Space Cadet" builds a post-2100 solar system where Venus is not only habitable, but inhabited, where Mars and Ganymede are colonisable, and spaceships are rocket-shaped and can take a couple of years to travel between planets.

Military academy stories share many of the same beats and cadences of boarding school and wizard school stories: newcomer arrives at school, gains an antagonist, bu...more
Walter Underwood
You’d probably pass this one up because of the title, but you’d be wrong. Yes, a lot of the plot is predictable, but it there is something interesting going on besides the regular academy and coming-of-age stuff. The Space Patrol is in charge of a global deterrent, orbiting nuclear weapons. The folk on the ground are so used to peace that even talking about the bombs is impolite. Could we make a lasting peace out of Mutually Assured Destruction? What kind of guardians would we need to make that...more
Lyn
As Space Cadet by Robert A. Heinlein begins, a candidate for a space program takes a phone out of his bag and calls his father. Modern readers may pass by this communication with little notice, but describing a cell phone in 1948, the year this was first published, was at the time the height of science fiction.

The second published of his Scribner’s juvenile works, this very early Heinlein displays his talent for telling a good, hard science fiction story. One cannot read this without noticing a...more
Valerie
This is one of the earlier of Heinlein's works. Some of the assumptions in this book are found in many of the others. The notion of stopping wars by militarizing space was shot down first, because one of the few things all parties could agree to was that they didn't want nuclear weapons in orbit. The fear that one group or another would put them there played a major part in Cold War maneuvering, but the general result was to prevent any such union as Heinlein described from materializing.

Other a...more
Mark
This is one of an ongoing series of rereads, as I work through the Virginia Editions of Heinlein’s novels.

Space Cadet was Heinlein’s second published novel, after Rocketship Galileo (reviewed here). It is seen as the second in Heinlein’s ‘juvenile novels’ that were written for a teenage and predominantly male readership.

These days the term Space Cadet is one of the most recognised in SF. The story is now easily summarised as ‘boy leaves home, goes into space, trains as a space cadet and becomes...more
Pam
Since i'm unlikely to read any adult Heinlein-I thought I'd read one of the kid books. My husband said he read it in 3rd grade. Yeah, right. I enjoyed the book, but felt the story only really got started near the end when the cadets go to Venus and have to face real difficulties versus the problems faced in cadet training. Training and the fitness required were well thought out and described by Heinlein (only 2 years after the Bell X-1) yet I found it a little tedious. Also was not surprised, b...more
Mary JL
Mar 30, 2009 Mary JL rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any science fiction fan
Shelves: main-sf-fantasy
This is another of Heinlein's strong juveniles. Heinlein attended the U S Naval Academy and the military life is often presented in his work.

It is an interesting story of the changing of a young civilian into a Patrolman. Later, in the book, there is an adventure on the planet Venus, with a peek at a fascinating Venusian culture.

Originally published in 1949, it has held up very well and still a very entertaning story. Highly recommended.
Talyseon Talyseon
This classic still holds up after 63 years because it focuses on what turns a boy into a man, and not on the trappings of space flight. While Venus may not be the swampy jungle Heinlein saw, his vision of how to deal with nukes was spot on. Also, Civil Rights, long before the Civil Rights Movement. Check out my full review. http://bit.ly/eGhzDo
Carmen Serra
I enjoyed the stories of young men in space academy. Funny in that future people still smoked in the office and they don't talk politics to the little ladies they wouldn't understand. Lol
Roddy Williams
FROM MARS TO VENUS – TO DANGER-FILLED ADVENTURES DEEP IN OUTER SPACE

Only the best and brightest – the strongest and the most courageous – ever managed to become Space Cadets. They were the elite guard of the solar system, accepting missions others feared, taking risks no others dared, and upholding the peace of the star system for the benefit of all.

But before Matt could earn his rightful place in the ranks, his mettle would be tested in the most severe and extraordinary ways- ways that would ch...more
Tim
I continue to love the Full-Cast Audio productions of these YA Heinlein books. That said, for a YA book targeted at boys, there isn't a lot of action. Instead, it's about a boy and his friends as space cadets, so it's mostly about their experience at that academy (which happens to be on a space ship). One thing to note, because of the time (and possibly the target audience), there's no women space cadets so they're basically non-existent in the book. The only juvenile of his with a female lead (...more
Kristen
After “Starship Troopers,” I just had to check out more books by Robert A. Heinlein. So, I went to the library and picked up “Space Cadet."

I enjoyed it. I would say that “Starship” was much better. “Space Cadet” reminded me a lot of “Ender’s Game,” with how they were training the cadets, etc. I know this book was written in 1948, but still.

I was still a really interesting storyline. A lot more space stuff in this one, with a little more explanation … not too much but it was definitely borderline...more
Michael Burnam-fink
The question of "what did Heinlein really think?" is open to debate. Is he a free love hippie, a la Stranger in a Strange Land? The ur-fascist militarist of Starship Troopers? The staunch survivalist of Time Enough for Love? The creepy racist and incest fan of books which shall not be mentioned?

I think that the 'real Heinlein' is on display here, in Space Cadet. Sure, it's one of his juveniles, but it deal with big issues, like what kind of people and institutions can be trusted to police a sola...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
This is one of Heinlein's "juveniles"--that is, what we now call young adult. I tend to prefer quite a few of those to his adult novels such as Stranger in a Strange Land. I wouldn't count this among his best in that category though--of which my favorite is Citizen of the Galaxy. I'd say it's only about average for Heinlein--which still means it's very good indeed. This one centers on the "Space Patrol" (think Starfleet) which polices the solar system. I've seen this called a space opera version...more
Terri
I loved this novel the first time I read it, many years ago. It was a treat to re-read it, especially given the time lapse. I remember laughing to myself when I first read it in high school (that was in the early 60's!)- Matt is on his way to Patrol Cadet training and gets a phone call from his Dad. He's understandably excited about what is ahead and cuts the call short. His new-found friend, Tex, tells him, "I took care of that - packed my phone in my bag so they couldn't reach me!" A phone yo...more
Jay Daze
Reading Heinlein's juveniles, his books written for boys, I can see why he is such a foundational, and highly influential writer in the sf field. If Heinlein got to you young (which he did for me reading him first in the 80s as a young teen) he got into your head and for good and ill shaped you. The good is that he's a pretty subversive and subtle writer. I especially like the end of the novel where main character Matt isn't the hero and the main lesson he learns is that he is going to have to e...more
Doug Turnbull
Space cadet is the second of the Heinlein Juveniles. Copyrighted in 1948, it was published by Charles Scribner’s Sons of New York in that same year. Unlike Rocket Ship Galileo, Space Cadet is set in the late 21st century, far in the future for the time it was written.

The story concerns the challenges and adventures encountered by Matt Dodson and his three friends Tex, Oscar and Pete, all of whom enter the academy of the elite Space Patrol on the same day. The Patrol is charged with keeping the p...more
Justwinter
Taking a trip down Memory Lane. As a kid I read everything I could get my grubby mitts on & there are a handful of juvenile stories that I recall fuzzily but fondly. Madeline Le Engle, Heinlein, the My Bookhouse Books (wonderful collections!), Nancy Drew--I could go on. And on.

There are 12 Heinlein 'juveniles' written early in his career. I'm really fond of (many of) them. Although originally intended for boys, the stories appeal to all kids--as just about any "coming of age story" will for...more
Lynette ~ Escaping Reality – One Book at a Time ~
Read full review here: http://escapingrealitybookreviews.wor...

I’ve read a couple of Heinlein’s books that I loved, so I had very high expectations for this book, which is probably why I only gave it a 3 star. I liked it, don’t get me wrong, but it just didn’t have quite the same effect as the others…

The first half of the book focuses mainly on Matt and his friends’ training and education, which I found sadly lacking. I love the in-depth studies of special training schools, and Space Cadet just...more
Lucy
This children's book is by one of the greats of science fiction. However, much of it is dated and shows its age. In the late 40s most science fiction was written for adolescent boys, and females have only small roles. It's a boys' adventure story and you have to really keep this in mind. That said, this version with the Full Cast Family of numerous voices is an excellent rendition, though I did get tired of the dumb-sounding "Huh?" response to too many questions.
I remember reading it in the 50s....more
The Fza
It's the year 2075 and Matt Dodson has just graduated, now it's either college or the Space Patrol... and for this stargazer it's an easy choice.

After competing physical, mental, and ethical tests he is accepted as a cadet. Making friends with fellow cadets 'Tex' Jarman, Venusian-born Oscar Jensen, and Pierre Armand, from the colony on Ganymede, the boys start their education on the orbiting school ship PRS James Randolph.

We follow the boys though training, where it's no Biloxi Blues, as these b...more
Leigh Kimmel
It's interesting to read a book that was written a decade before the inception of Project Mercury, and see how Heinlein's vision of the future differs from what actually came to pass. For instance, Heinlein simply presupposes a naval model for the command structure of the Patrol, while actual NASA mission structures tend to have more of an Air Force feel to them. Of course Heinlein was a former US Navy officer and a graduate of the US Naval Academy (also the alma mater of two of the Mercury astr...more
Sarah
Sep 23, 2007 Sarah rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those looking to remediate their classic sci-fi repertoire
Shelves: sci-fi
My girlfriend, a science-fiction author, despairs over my lack of familiarity with the classic canon. "How did I end up living with a woman who's never read Heinlein?"

I shrugged. "Want to come up with a remedial curriculum?"

As a packed for a business trip, she shoved a copy of Space Cadet into my hands. "Start with the juveniles and work your way up."

What a fabulous start to my reading course. Great story, great characters, and great Caesar's ghost, why don't we have spaceships yet?

It's amazing...more
E. K. Strider
I really enjoyed the basic idea behind the story - which is really a classic coming of age tale about a boy (or rather, small group of boys) with the confines of the sci-fi genre. While all of the characters were pretty straight forward and borderline caricatures, and much of the plot was fairly routine and predictable, I did enjoy many of the hard sci-fi elements as well as the tremendous amount of worldbuilding that went into the star system as a whole and Venus in particular. Heinlein's take...more
Tracey
Sep 09, 2007 Tracey rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone looking for a fast-paced, semi-pulp sci-fi read
I was thrilled to fill in an empty space in my Heinlein collection with a paperback of Space Cadet, especially for a dollar!

Written in 1948, it seemed to me a precursor to Starship Troopers. Matthew Dodson receives an cadet appointment to the Space Patrol. After passing grueling tests, both physical and psychological, he and his new-found friends, "Tex" Jarman, Oscar Jensen & Pierre Armand head out to the space station for the remainder of their training. Matt, Tex and Oscar end up assigned...more
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
My elementary school library had a copy of this, and I read it when I was in the fourth grade or so. After we toured a submarine, my boyfriend made a remark about something in this book, and I had to go back and re-read it, because I'd forgotten that part completely. (It's a conversation about how the Navy-equivalent doesn't need the medals and ostentatious traditions of the Marines-equivalent. Heinlein, himself a Navy veteran, had some interesting ideas about the armed forces. Including that th...more
Alan Jeddeloh
This book is notable in that, in the very first pages, Heinlein not only predicts the cell phone but nails the teenage attitude. Our young hero has just gotten off the train and is heading up the walk to the Space Academy and has just met his soon-to-be best bud when Dad calls to make sure he has arrived safely. Hero assures Dad that all is well and hangs up. Soon-to-be best friend allows that he was smart and packed his phone in his luggage so his parents couldn't call and bug him.
Iso
OK, so this was the first full-length novel that I read, which means the five stars here are based on that reading and subsequent re-readings, none of which make it out of the 80's. I did think about re-reading it again a couple of years ago, but decided against in case I ruined the memories. But to the 1979/1980-83 me, this was THE book! Think I read it in about a day, to a day and a half, the first time on a rainy holiday in a caravan in the New Forest, then promptly read it again once we got...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...more
More about Robert A. Heinlein...
Stranger in a Strange Land Starship Troopers The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress Time Enough for Love (The World As Myth) The Puppet Masters

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