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Starman Jones (Heinlein Juveniles #7)

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  5,929 Ratings  ·  168 Reviews
From the First Golden Age of SF master Robert A. Heinlein, this is the so-called juvenile (written, Heinlein always claims, just as much for adults) that started them all and made Heinlein a legend for multiple generations of readers. A poor young man seeks his fortune in space and comes of age a ship’s officer and hero.
The stars were closed to Max Jones. To get into spa
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 19th 2005 by Pocket Books (first published January 1st 1953)
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Jul 24, 2016 Lyn rated it liked it
Astrogators in space!

One of Heinlein's earlier juvenile novels, this is one where RAH describes in great detail the machinations of the astrogators, quite a bit dated now with computers and it is amusing to imagine as he did a trio of math geniuses sitting in chairs with slide rules charting out a space ship's course, but that was part of his charm.

Some thin characterizations along with some very 1950sish language, but Heinlein was working his very peculiar magic and this is all the while a fin
Mike (the Paladin)
Mar 05, 2015 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I like this dated novel. A human civilization that was pictured or imagined before our present level of computer and electronic technology was even imagined. A young man "inherits" somewhat informally a set of "astrogator's" texts and then sets out to get "sponsored" to get into the Astrogator's guild", the only way to become an astrogator, someone who plots the course of starships through deep space.

One of Heinlein's so called teen novels and a good read. It dates back to 1953 and as I said is
Oct 22, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An SF Juvenile originally published 60 years ago, 1953, & it shows its age in a few places, but was still a wonderful yarn with one of my favorite characters in it, Sam. Hardly the perfect hero or role model, he was a lot of fun & showed the main character, Max, the ropes.

The age of the story was most apparent in the technology. Max has to study a computer by opening a panel & tracing circuits. Logs were pulled out of the tables in books (Anyone else remember those?), problems were m
Oct 21, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi, 2fiction, 1paper
Another typical (great!) Heinlein YA novel about a farm boy who makes good. The main characters in this book aren't angels. They break the law - bad ones mostly - for reasons they think are sufficient (I always thought so) & reap the consequences afterward, but still come out ahead.

Max is a hillbilly & has an impossible situation at home. He runs away, gets fake ID with the help of a rough, but kind stranger. He gets a job on a space ship cleaning pet cages. Menial, but honest work that
I read a lot of Heinlein's juveniles when I was younger, but I missed this one and it was on sale from Audible, so it was nice to enjoy one of his earlier works, before he started getting old and wanky. Everything from Friday on was pretty much Heinlein getting his freak on, but his earlier novels are still sci-fi classics for good reason.

Starman Jones is your basic boys' adventure story: Max is a kid from Earth who runs away from home when his stepmother marries an abusive bum. He meets an amia
Heinlein's anachronistic elements are often recognized when dealing with technical issues. Other aspects are less obvious. I've lived in the Ozarks area (the boundaries between mountain ranges are necessarily nebulous). I was once lost in a state park. I made my way out by following excessively bright lights to a prison.

That was some years ago, but things have gotten worse everywhere. There are no longer any places that get dark at night. (Possibly with the exception of Arizona, where the astro
Carena Wood beimler
This novel is written towards boys who have not yet been twitterpated. And it's written well. As I am not the target demographic, being female and I've most definitely been twitterpated, this book doesn't follow along the natural paths I expect it to. However, it is still an amazing book.
Doug Turnbull
Aug 01, 2012 Doug Turnbull rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Starman Jones was copyrighted in 1953 by Robert A. Heinlein and published that same year by Charles Scribner’s Sons of New York. The sixth of the Heinlein Juveniles, it is the last one to be fully illustrated by Clifford Geary.

It is also the first of his juveniles to postulate interstellar travel. All of the earlier books confined travel within the solar system. The protagonist, Maximilian Jones, or Max as he is known, comes from unspecified hill country, possibly the Ozarks, where he is living
Aug 19, 2010 Loren rated it really liked it

Reputations accrete in funny ways, and often we end up with a mental picture of a person or his work that's less than accurate. Take Robert A. Heinlein for example, the so-called dean of science fiction writers. Though Heinlein's career spanned nearly half a century, most folks today know him for the militaristic Starship Troopers, whose characters blasted not only intergalactic arachnids but Marxism as well. But theme-heavy SF doesn't compose the entirety of his oeuvre
Jeff Yoak
I enjoyed reading this several times on my own, but really enjoyed reading it (in small bits) with the kids in 2013. It is the second Heinlein novel I went through with them, after The Star Beast and they loved them both. Come to think of it, it has been over the time that we've been reading this that Lily first declared her intention to become an astronaut when she grows up (with the proviso that it might be too hard, and if it is, she's going to become a "smoothie girl.") Somehow that combinat ...more
Jan 18, 2013 Hyarrowen rated it really liked it
This is the book that got nine-year-old me started on a fifteen-year science fiction binge, until the genre started to get darker and edgier (and duller). I loved the fast-paced story-telling and the wish-fulfilment; farm boy becomes... well, I'm not going to spoil it but it's a great ride.

On re-reading the book recently, I winced a bit at some of the attitudes towards women, but that was par for the course in 1953 and the female protagonist was a tough cookie, as were some of the other women.
Feb 20, 2009 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I just read this book, and now on Goodreads see that I read it in 1988; this is probably the 3rd or 4th time I've read it. It's a good story, good quality sf for 1953. It's funny how Heinlein made the future seem so real in his books, but he's always got one leg stuck directly in the past (or perhaps half his body). In this future of starships, the main character still grows up isolated on a farm (which is one reason I identified with the thing when I read it when I was in the 7th or 8th ...more
Satyajit Nadkarni
Dec 08, 2015 Satyajit Nadkarni rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
What is Science fiction? The art of weaving a fantastic adventure and making it seem plausible - using science. Make no mistake, it is an art and one that the likes of Heinlein and Asimov, practice with finesse. Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, and Isaac Asimov are the grandmasters of the SciFi tradition. They defined the genre, IMO. And you can read Starman Jones to figure out why Heinlein counts among them.

Come with an open mind, a spirit of adventure and wonder. Look at the stars and wonder
Feb 23, 2016 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, sci-fi, drama, adventure
Almost a coming of age, growing up story arc of a lad that was barefoot poor on a 1950s era farmstead that grew into a captain lost in space, who saves the day. A simple book, but some good hard sci-fi elements included. I always like Heinlein's way of writing that makes things feel like real life. Some of the characters were kind of stereotypical, and it included some dated sexism from characters that shows this book is from 1951. But it was still quite enjoyable.
Michael Pryor
Mar 23, 2011 Michael Pryor rated it really liked it
Gloriously old-fashioned 'juvenile' SF. Yes, the technology outlook is laughable (using books of tables to navigate a starship by) but the heart of the book is a young man's growing up through hardship and challenges. I read this first when I was a teenager, and it was one of the books that made me a committed SF fan. Sense of wonder? Check. Strong narrative? Check. Careful backgrounding of future scenario? Check. Great stuff.
Timothy Boyd
Feb 04, 2016 Timothy Boyd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the Juvenile SiFi books Heinlein wrote to introduce SiFi to young readers. An excellent book for young readers to start reading SiFi stories. Heinlein as always writes a very good interesting story that has just enough pure science in it to perk your interest. Very recommended.
Feb 22, 2013 Dennis rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. A lot of modern sci-fi themes and ideas can be traced back to this book; warp speed, possible parallel universes, etc. Good story and characters, geared toward young readers because it's more or less a coming of age story, but I loved it and I'm nearly 40. Hard to beat.
May 28, 2016 tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
review of
Robert A. Heinlein's Starman Jones
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - May 28, 2016

I might as well add Heinlein to my pantheon of favorite SF writers even though I feel like I 'left him behind' around 46 yrs ago. Starman Jones is another great example of Heinlein's promotion of the idea that people of 'humble' 'unpromising' origins can develop their latent extraordinary abilities & succeed under highly challenging circumstances.

Max Jones starts off as a farmer living in straightened
This is typical Heinlein youth fiction. Though, this isn’t the best of the youth novels; it certainly isn’t the worst. Heinlein takes a stab at the injustice of the class system. He loves his guns, the constitution, freedom, etc. My favorite part of the book is Max’s (the protagonist) obsession with his library book. Of course it is dated, but it was written in the early 50s. Usually I find Heinlein’s sexism almost endearing, but in this book, I was almost offended. I didn’t think that he really ...more
Scott Kardel
Dec 05, 2016 Scott Kardel rated it really liked it
I read a lot of Robert Heinlein books in my youth. That was a while ago and, frankly I'm not 100% sure if I read Starman Jones back then, so I decided to give it a read. Like the other Heinlein "juveniles" it is good fun. It doesn't match my favorite (Have Spacesuit, Will Travel), but even more than 60 years after its publication it it still a good read.
This was a fun book to read. It is a 'coming of age' story in which a young man flees a bad home life and tries to better himself. Even though he starts out his 'new life' based on lies, he eventually comes clean and is able to attain his life's dream. Make no mistake - there are consequences for his actions, but his friends amongst the crew help him reach his life's goals.

It moved at a good clip. I had forgotten how it started out - it has been long enough since I last read it I thought he was
Robert Scott
+Another juvenile or YA novel by the master. Would probably deserve a higher rating if I and the current date were younger. Max Jones is an Ozark hillbilly farm boy who runs away from home and meets an amoral promoter along the road. Somehow they con their way aboard a star cruiser. Max has memorized the texts that his uncle had left with him after retiring from the astrogator's guild. Aboard ship he is drafted to assist and apprentice in the "worry hole" after being a lowly servant to pets and ...more
Glenn Schmelzle
May 09, 2009 Glenn Schmelzle rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 14, 2015 George rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Μετά το Ο δρόμος της δόξας, αυτό είναι το δεύτερο βιβλίο που διαβάζω από Ρόμπερτ Χάινλαϊν και μου φάνηκε λίγο καλύτερο από το πρώτο. Το βιβλίο αυτό είναι περισσότερο για εφήβους αλλά διαβάζεται και από μεγαλύτερους, δεν υπάρχει πρόβλημα.

Η ιστορία γνωστή, ένα αγροτόπαιδο από τη Γη, φεύγει από το σπίτι του με το οποίο δεν τον ενώνει τίποτα πλέον, και ύστερα από κάποιες μπαγαποντιές, χάρη σε έναν μικροαπατεώνα αλλά όχι κακό άνθρωπο που συνάντησε στο δρόμο του, καταφέρνει να κάνει το όνειρο του πρα
M.G. Mason
Aug 18, 2012 M.G. Mason rated it liked it
Starman Jones is one of the lesser known of Heinlein's work. Coming in at a mere 200 pages, it tells the story of a stowaway on board a starship who has always dreamed of being a navigator. When he is caught and his obvious talent spotted, he becomes part of the crew and soon finds himself on command deck when his family tie is revealed.

Sometime later the chief 'Astrogater' dies and the ship is seemingly lost in uncharted space. The Captain cannot cope. They land upon the nearest habitable world
"Starman Jones" is listed as a Heinlein Juvenile novel but it covers serious subjects. I really liked it, but parents should know it covers the subject of step-parents... a really crappy step-father, actually.

The Story: Max Jones is having a difficult time with his scheming new step-father so he sets out on his own to find his fortune. He can't raise enough money to get into the guild but he meets a fellow who claims he can get him on a space ship with the little money Max has. Thus begins his a
Steven Witt
Jun 02, 2016 Steven Witt rated it it was amazing
I received a first edition copy of Starman Jones by Robert Heinlein as a 60th birthday present from my brother. What an awesome present! I’m a big science and speculative fiction fan and have read many books by Robert Heinlein but never Starman Jones. This was written in the early 50’s and one of his early novels that is a great read for younger and older science fiction fans. It’s a fun, well told story in the 50’s mold of traveling the stars with an excellent main character in Max Jones ...more
Dec 24, 2011 Kristel rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
A 1953, classic science fiction from the grand master Robert A. Heinlein is about a Ozark farm boy who travels to the stars when he is forced to run away from home. A not easy feat to accomplish because entering the trades is tightly controlled. You must pay large amounts of money and for an astrogator you must be recommended. Max Jones has learned from his uncle and his eidetic memory doesn’t hurt either. He becomes a stowaway on board a intergalactic spaceship. The pilot dies and the charts ...more
Lis Carey
Feb 20, 2011 Lis Carey rated it really liked it
Shelves: f-sf
This Heinlein guy was pretty good at telling a story.

Max Jones is a young farmer, working hard to support his unlovable stepmother after his father's death, but he dreams of the life his Uncle Chet lived, as a member of the Astrogators' Guild. Chet had promised him that he'd nominate him for membership, but died while Max was still too young to join, and then Max's father, before he died also, made him promise to take care of his stepmother.

But when his stepmother remarries and she and her new h
Nutshell: bucolic twerp with plot-significant eidetic memory defrauds his way aboard spaceship, flirts with rich girl, has a big adventure, &c.

YA and pulpy, but moves quickly, with characteristic heinleinian asides regarding law, politics, and science. Some nifty geeking out on the science of FTL travel.

Some have said that the text lays out a critique of labor unions, which may be the case. But it's not unambiguous, as the setting involves less unions than guilds, a significant distinction.
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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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Heinlein Juveniles (1 - 10 of 12 books)
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  • Space Cadet
  • Red Planet
  • Farmer in the Sky
  • Between Planets
  • The Rolling Stones
  • The Star Beast
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