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Starman Jones (Heinlein Juveniles #7)

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,817 Ratings  ·  163 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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Jul 24, 2016 Lyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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)
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 18, 2013 Hyarrowen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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  ·  review of another edition

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
Feb 23, 2016 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
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 grad ...more
Satyajit Nadkarni
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
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
"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
Mark Muckerman
Jan 24, 2015 Mark Muckerman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Soooo Good.

Not his best, but better than most, and a "good" work by Heinlein is a Great work by mere mortal scribes.

I'm an admitted fan of Heinlein, and of most all works of SciFi's golden age of prose, but Starman Jones is a solid, solid piece: as a story, as a piece of literature, and as a successful exercise in story writing.

First published in 1953, so RAH hasn't yet hit his sci-fi and quasi-political allegorical rhythm that we'll see masterfully delivered in Starship Troopers, The Moon is a
Tom Britz
Aug 21, 2016 Tom Britz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was written in the early 50's, yet the story line wasn't too badly dated. It was a straight through space adventure. Heinlein's right leaning politics flashed through occasionally, but that was a sign of the times.

The story itself revolved around a young Max Jones left pretty much on his own after his father died. His step mother apparently wasn't the family type, as she didn't do much to help around the farm that was left them. When she shows up with Max's new step father, things dete
Michael Pryor
Mar 23, 2011 Michael Pryor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 27, 2015 Jesse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
As I continue working my way through Heinlein's works, its fun to see the progression of his style. Having started with the earliest publishing date, I can really get a sense of the universe he is trying to create, as well as see similar themes throughout his work.

This novel was a turning point in his style. Prior to this, at least the stuff that I've read, everything had that "written for a magazine" feel to it; several climatic moments that were then resolved easily (as I assume a week had pa
Steven Witt
Jun 02, 2016 Steven Witt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 escapi ...more
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
Feb 22, 2013 Dennis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Mar 14, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#7 of 12 YA novels written by Heinlein. RAH wrote a YA SF novel each year beginning with Rocket Ship Galileo (1947). He stopped writing the series when Starship Troopers (1959) was rejected by the publisher. Starman Jones is a coming of age novel in which Max Jones, possessed of memories of conversations with his late space-going astrogator uncle and a photographic memory of his uncle's astrogation manuals, manages to get signed onto the crew of a spaceship. A series of circumstances leave the a ...more
Die Geschichte von Max Jones, einem jungen Mann auf einer übervölkerten Erde, dessen inständiger Wunsch es ist, Sternenfahrer zu werden und es schließlich durch einen Zufall auch schafft, ist einer der besten Jugendromane Heinleins.
Auf einem der größten Raumschiffe der Erde findet er einen Platz. Nach einer Passage durch ein Zeitloch kommt das Schiff vom Kurs ab und gerät in Bereiche der Galaxie, die noch nicht erforscht und kartographiert wurden. Doch der kleine Junge, "Starman Jones", rettet d
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
Terry Gates
Mar 05, 2014 Terry Gates rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
NJ Wong
Jan 22, 2016 NJ Wong rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a light hearted but extremely entertaining read. Robert A Heinlein's description about life on a spaceship - written back in the 1950s, is very well depicted, no doubt informed by Heinlein's experience as a naval officer from 1929 to 1934. Although this novel is actually targeted at youths (protagonist Maximilian Jones is a farm boy in his teens), it is more specifically targeted at boys. I couldn't help thinking of Tom Sawyer or Harry Potter and other coming-of-age stories, except that ...more
Nov 02, 2015 Shane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four and a half stars. I love the early works of Heinlein! I grew up with these stories, starting in Boy's Life and moving on to the novels.

This is another 'coming of age' story as so many of Heinlein's works from this period. It seems an odd mix of improbabilities with steadfast characters. It follows a nice development curve and Max our hero grows at a steady rate. It is interesting to see starships worked by hand calculation and sightings with the 'computer' little better then an adding machi
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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)
  • Rocket Ship Galileo
  • Space Cadet
  • Red Planet
  • Farmer in the Sky
  • Between Planets
  • The Rolling Stones
  • The Star Beast
  • Tunnel in the Sky
  • Time for the Stars
  • Citizen of the Galaxy

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