Bruce's Reviews > Have Space Suit—Will Travel

Have Space Suit—Will Travel by Robert A. Heinlein
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Apr 12, 10

Kip Russell is working in the soda shop hoping to earn some money for college. He enters the Skyway Soap contest that promises him a trip to the moon, a place he’s always wanted to go. He calculates that he can increase his chances with more entries, so he enters a few thousand. His reward is not the grand prize, but a prize nevertheless, a used spacesuit. The spacesuit turns into Kip’s summer before college hobby. He patches it up, uses the air compressor in the garage to pressurize it, adds a few improvements, and takes strolls though the back yard in the evening when the stars are out. It’s not quite like being on the moon, but it’s still fun, and he plans to sell the rebuilt suit back to the manufacturer for some tuition money in the fall. He even gives the suit a name, Oscar.

One late summer evening Kip gets into Oscar for a last walk around the yard. Just for fun he flicks on the radio, tuned to the frequency used by astronauts and calls out. Imagine his surprise when he gets an answer. And not just an answer, the next thing he knows a spaceship crashes in his back yard and out of it stumbles a very unworldly creature. She (Kip later comes to know her as the MotherThing) promptly collapses. Kip rushes over to offer assistance to a fellow astronaut. As he does so another spacecraft lands and out jump two very different aliens. They grab Kip and the MotherThing and hustle them off into their flying saucer. They’ve been abducted by the worst sort of aliens, gangster aliens led by the evil crime boss known as Wormface. The prisoners are joined by a third victim, PeeWee, a spoiled rich, pre-teen girl who, incidentally, is also a genius. Next stop: a frigid cave on Pluto, but it’s not their last stop.

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