Frank Roberts's Reviews > Time Enough for Love

Time Enough for Love by Robert A. Heinlein
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Jul 02, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: science-fiction
Read from July 08 to 12, 2011

I'm of two minds in regards to this novel.

Pros: it is full of great sci-fi, including time travel, computers taking on human form, extremely long-life. Heinlein is a great story-teller, and the protagonist is very engaging. Certain episodes, especially the Dora story and the time-travel story at the end, were fantastic. The book is full of great aphorisms and comments on politics, religion, and society. I do think that Heinlein's intent was to examine all the sorts of love, love for self, love for parent, love for spouse, love for child, love for friends, love for animals, even love for our machines. I was intrigued by the idea of a future society that had lost the concept of "love", even the word for it.

Cons: in nearly every case, Heinlein uses sex as the expression of love. His loving family is basically a massive polyamorous compound. There is no self-restraint expected of anyone, sexually--it is assumed that brothers and sisters will want to bang each other if no alternatives are available, and might do so anyway. I find all this ridiculous, and it actually demeaned his characters in my eyes. Only the chief protagonist shows any sexual restraint, and that he usually abandons once his limited criteria (will it cause genetically deformed offspring?) are satisfied. Is Heinlein so convinced that future humanity will have no sexual mores? I find it interesting that the two most compelling sections of the novel are the ones where sexual faithfulness are integral to the story: again, the Dora story and the return to the Past.
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