Dustin's Reviews > Waldo and Magic, Inc.

Waldo and Magic, Inc. by Robert A. Heinlein
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Nov 13, 2008

really liked it
Recommended to Dustin by: Kevin Clark
Recommended for: persons
Read in November, 2008 , read count: 1

This compilation of the two stories was first published as a book in 1950, but written in '40 ('Waldo') and '42 ('Magic, Inc.')... right about the time people realized computing was something computers were pretty good at.

In 'Waldo,' Heinlein's story is set in a world reliant on "radiant power" - energy beamed through thin air. The power company hasn't ever bothered to check if this is harmful to humans (it is) and the technology is so enmeshed into society there's no going back. Think: CELLPHONES. Waldo does some next level-type shit, though, and saves the day.

Seriously, I think Star Wars stole directly from this story too...it features a trip to a hostile planet to visit a ancient Yoda-like character who uses and instructs Waldo how to use a power they refer to, at times, as "the force," a power that gives Waldo amazing physical and magical abilities.

Then, "Magic, Inc." is more focused on how we understand technology and how we absorb them politically and socially. And it's good too. Especially for 1942.



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