Starman Jones
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Starman Jones (Heinlein Juveniles #7)

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  4,427 ratings  ·  127 reviews
When his step-mother marries a no-count man, a country lad joins a hobo and together they fake their way into the Space Stewards, Cooks, and Purser's Clerks brotherhood to get an opportunity for space travel in an age when only the wealthy are privileged.
Audio CD, 7 pages
Published August 1st 2008 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published January 1st 1953)
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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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
Mike (the Paladin)
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...more
Doug Turnbull
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...more

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...more
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.
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
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....more
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 grad...more
Michael Pryor
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.
Paul Hancock
The engaging story of Max, a farmer boy who has his sights on space travel, and his shonky friend Sam who shows him how to get what he wants.

The blurb on the back of the book pretty much covers 80% of the story line so you don't really feel much of the drama in the story until you pass this mark. The last 20% of the story seemed to be a little out of place but was a rather creative diversion from all the space travel. In the end i was left wanting more, but no necessarily in a bad way.

There are...more
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.
Gabriel Salter
There are only two things I can fault this book for:

1. It's geared toward a juvenile audience, and consequently it's a little too short and simplistic at times, especially compared to Heinlein's best work.
2. Because of its chosen genre, hard science fiction, it sometimes sacrifices dramatic effect for scientific accuracy. That's not exactly a problem, but it detracts from the story if you're not a hard-core fan of hard science fiction (forgive the pun).

However, this is still a good book, relat...more
Terry Gates
Sharman Jones

Sharman Jones

Once again Heinlein crosses boundaries of culture and all each society practices. It's a coming of age with high adventure. Heinlein manages to create characters that are believable even recognizable in each readers life. There is hope and reward for having and using proper virtues. And he does it without resorting to vulgarity and over done sex merely for stimulation. Don't get me wrong I like sex and it is an important part of me and my wife of 34 years. It just ain't...more
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 an...more
None of these editions seem to be the one I read.

The hero of this Alger-esque story has an identic memory. Whatever he reads, he remembers. He's told not to rely on this, as what matters to an astrogator (read: astronautical navigator) is knowing how to do (and check) the calculations. They have records, but to use said records without knowing how to check them is to perpetuate errors.

Turns out that the eidetic memory is not (quite) irrelevant, after all--but the initial advice was good, as the...more
M.G. Mason
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...more
Lis Carey
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...more
Glenn Schmelzle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gerald Heath
It was a desperate time, when one's next meal and the comforts of home couldn't be taken for granted. Max Jones, a practical, hard-working young man, found his escape in his beloved astronomy books. When reality comes crashing in and his troubled home life forces him out on the road, Max finds himself adrift in a downtrodden land. Until an unexpected, ultimate adventure � as a stowaway aboard an intergalactic spaceship � carries him away...but to where? And when? And how could he ever get back?

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....more

Starman Jones è una favola. Il pubblico a cui è rivolto è piuttosto un pubblico adolescenziale. La storia è semplice e senza troppe pretese. Max Jones è appunto un adolescente che scappa di casa per fuggire dalla matrigna e dal patrigno cattivi, dopo che anche il padre è passato a miglior vita. C'è un po' di tutto nel libro. C'è un'astronave che solca lo spazio districandosi nello spazio-tempo, c'è una mezza storia d'amore, c'è il cattivo di turno e poi ci...more
This book was a blast (pun not intended). One of Heinlein's "juvenile" novels, it's easy to see why this story remains a perennial favorite amongst his fans. It's good enough that even though I missed the intended teenage window on my first reading, I still enjoyed it.

As a young adult space adventure novel, it's fantastic. A likeable protagonist, a sidekick redemption story, FTL ships, beating impossible odds with sheer skill... everything that such a story should be. I particularly enjoyed that...more
Enjoyed this today as much as I did when I read it in middle school. Great book for showing kids the importance of science and math, plus hard work and honesty pay off. Granted the main character does break some laws to pursue his dream of becoming a space pilot, however; the laws were unjust in that only the children of current guild members were allowed to learn astronavigation. Eventually, the main character comes clean, and the fair-minded people give him a chance. So the lessons of taking r...more
Nils Jeppe
Hm. On the one hand, Starman Jones is a cool sci fi adventure, and was great escapism to me as a teenager who just wanted OFF THE PLANET. On the other hand, the climax is kinda dumb (the alien planet they visit), and Jones himself has just a little bit too much luck.

As usual for Heinlein books, the characters aren't all that great, but this isn't a character study, it's an adventure novel, so that's OK. No weird Heinlein notions like incest or sex with minors either. I recently re-read Starman J...more
Tiffany Robbins
This was a great book of star exploration as seen from a mid twentieth century writer. He’s very specific about the ships cockpit along with long hand math calculations and analog print outs. I appreciated it purely for its vintage sci-fi feel, though the story was grand as well.

I found Jones to be a very typical Heinlein hero – abused boy running off to make a better life for himself. Of course, he finds a girl in his explorations and for some odd reason she’s into him. He’s into her too, but o...more
Sometime one just needs a good dose of Heinlein to cleanse the literary palate. This book is so full of wrong science and computer technology but it still is a fun read. Perhaps I have a soft spot for it because it was the first Heinlein novel I read. Whatever the reason, reading it was like visiting an old friend I hadn't seen in many, many years.
Steve Moseley
Jun 18, 2010 Steve Moseley rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids
Shelves: sci-fi
Farm boy Max has dreams to grow up and be an astrogator (astronaut) like his uncle, but since he is a run-away with no money, and no credentials to get him into space; he must con his way in with the help of con-artist friend whom Max meets on the run named Sam.

This is a classic coming of age story, with enough twist and turns to stay interested in it. I especially like that the story contains some elements of redemption for its main characters, especially Sam.

For a Science Fiction book written...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...
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