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The Past Through Tomorrow

(Future History or "Heinlein Timeline" #1-21)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  15,176 ratings  ·  126 reviews
Here in one monumental volume are all 21 of the stories, novellas and novels making up Heinlein's famous Future History—the rich, imaginative architecture of Man's destiny that many consider his greatest and most prophetic work.

* Introduction - Damon Knight
* Life-Line
* The Roads Must Roll
* Blowups Happen
* The Man Who Sold the Moon
* Delilah and the Space-Rigger
* Sp
Mass Market Paperback, 830 pages
Published July 15th 1987 by Ace (first published March 28th 1967)
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Brian Huddleston Ha! Answered my own question - a publisher called "Gateway" has one published in 2014 - the Amazon link here on GoodReads just goes to a general…moreHa! Answered my own question - a publisher called "Gateway" has one published in 2014 - the Amazon link here on GoodReads just goes to a general listing for this title.(less)

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May 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On the afternoon of Saturday, October 4th, 1975, having just turned thirteen years old a few weeks before, I rode my bicycle about 2 1/2 miles to the nearest bookstore to my house that sold science fiction books--the long-defunct Books & Friends in Oakton, VA. I know this not because I remember the event, but because I wrote it in the back of a paperback copy of "The Past Through Tomorrow," an 830-page collection of Robert Heinlein's "Future History" stories. What I do remember is that I did ...more
Manuel Antão
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1980
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Conveyor Belts: "The Past Through Tomorrow" by Robert A. Heinlein

(Original Review, 1980-10-13)

People have complained about roads as conveyor belts as represented in Heinlein's THE ROADS MUST ROLL as being an inefficient means of transportation because of a number of reasons, some of those being energy efficiency and the problems of handicapped people using them. Instead of building them as a single conveyor belt, how about building the
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favoritos, sci-fi
‘ Ésta es la historia no del futuro, sino de un futuro’. Según las palabras dichas por Heinlein, los dos volúmenes que conforman ‘Historia del futuro’ es un conjunto de relatos y novelas cortas de un probable horizonte alternativo, que aunque el hombre quisiese quitarse méritos, nada descabellados y algunos de ellos ciertamente proféticos en parte. Con una sólida y plausible base científica a la vez que social ( SIEMPRE HA SIDO UN GENIO COMBINANDO AMBAS CIENCIAS EN SUS ESCRITOS), el autor nos ad ...more
Polémicas aparte, no cabe duda de que Robert A. Heinlein fue y es uno de los grandes de la ciencia ficción, junto a Isaac Asimov y Arthur C. Clarke. Quizás actualmente esté un tanto olvidado por los lectores, pero muchas de sus ideas todavía siguen vigentes hoy en día y llevan a la reflexión. Hay que tener en cuenta que una cosa es el autor y otra su obra. Heinlein fue una persona compleja, y tacharla de fascista por una única obra (‘Starship Troopers’) me parece excesivo.

Pero vamos con la pres
Jan 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi, 1paper, 2fiction
This is a compilation of 21 Heinlein short stories in his 'Future History'. If you've never read Heinlein & want a good introduction, this is probably the best single book of his works you can buy. You'll see quite a range of his best.

The paperback is as fat as one of Jordan's books & contains some novella length stories - two, "Revolt in 2100" & "Methuselah's Children" were published as novels. Others are title stories from other short story collections "The Green Hills of Earth" &
Al "Tank"
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a huge tomb: 830 pages and and inch-and-three-quarters thick. It contains 21 stories, some of which are novel-length for that time (50,000 words). The last story, "Methuselah's Children" has been published as a stand-alone novel (yes, I have it).

I won't try to review all of the stories for fear of boring everyone. It's enough that most of them are highly entertaining, even by today's standards, and all fit within Heinlein's "future history" timeline.

Of the stories, "Methuselah's Children
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
A worthy read for Heinlein's fans. The quality of the stories varies a bit, as they were written at different times, but having them in this collection and chronologically ordered helps keep the "future history" timeline straight.

The stories suffer from Heinlein's usual flaws (i.e. female characters) but also showcase his strengths (e.g. pushing new social and political ideas, a love and veneration of science). This collection is a good example of why Heinlein is considered one of the big three
This is probably one of Heinlein's greatest works in terms of weaving together many stories with a self consistent story line. In it he introduces his best known character, Lazarus Long. Probably his next best character in terms of references to the character in other stories, would be D.D. Harriman. And to be honest, in many ways Harriman was a more likable character than Lazarus Long. Lazarus Long is sexist (gets much worse in other books and isn't all that noticeable in this one), selfish, se ...more
Nicholas Whyte
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it

Heinlein's mammoth future history: 21 stories published as a collection in 1967, though in fact all but two originally came out between 1939 and 1949, outlining the future development of humanity through the coming centuries.

Heinlein misses a lot of things - notably the rise of information technology; his 23rd century spaceships are still running with slide rules. Some of these are a bit too sentimental, some based on concepts that don't really resonat
Russell Fletcher
Jan 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Past Through Tomorrow is a book of short stories by Robert A. Heinlein. It is my favorite science fiction book. (It may be my favorite book period.) Even though there are plenty of other things to read, I have to every year or two. The character D.D. Harriman is certainly an inventor ahead of his time, even though in his timeline he had different inventions to get into space.

Now for divergent thoughts not in this book but brought on by thinking about this book.
Speaking of inventors
Jul 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Though I greatly enjoy Heinlen's writing, I didn't think I'd read very many of his short stories. Surprisingly, I had read "Life-Line", which is the first story in this book. But I didn't mind re-reading it one bit! One thing I had not realized before was that it was the first short story Heinlen had ever submitted for publication. I think the book is worth getting for it alone.

Now, not only is this book just an incredible collection of plain good 'ole fashioned story-telling at it's best, but t
Aug 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best of Heinlein's classic future history short fiction. Arguably the best single-author collection of science fiction ever. I'd say that these stories did more to shape modern sf than any other works.
Jessica Zoop
Entertaining on the whole but Heinlein's high handed opinion of men, coupled with his disdain /annoyance of women, children, and parents got old. It feels like SciFi based Ayn Rand diatribe with a hatred of heavy handed government meddling in the affairs of get-the-job-done men.
Apr 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
I think Heinlein was a better SF writer at shorter lengths, though this book is over 800 pages long. Methuseluh's Children is the best of them.
Nandakishore Varma
Sep 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I got this for a song at the roadside. I never knew that it was a compendium of stories describing Heinlein's future universe: its development through time and space. Very enjoyable reading.
Michael Battaglia
I don't know if Robert Heinlein had the first "future history" as we (and John Campbell) understood it, although he was probably one of the more extensive ones that had come down the pike thus far in the world of SF. While other writers may have written stories that appeared to happen in the same universe, no one had really taken a series of stories spread out chronologically over hundreds of years and explicitly set them in the same timeline (the closest I can think of is maybe Olaf Stapleton b ...more
Feb 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: heinlein
This is a collection of the core Short Stories & Novellas that are collectively known to make up Robert Heinlein's "Future History"

Since these were written in the early days (many in the 1940's and 50's) much of the "future" part is now past tense at least in terms of the year on the calendar. Also, most of these have that feeling to them I would describe as pulpy, which I think most people would consider fair, since they were actually first published (not all but many) in magazines.

You hear
Nov 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This, along with "Time Enough for Love" (currently reading) is Heinlein's magnum ous. This volume has some 800 pages of small-type stories, novellas and novels, culminating in '"Methuselah's Children" (which I have already read - see my review- and found out subsequently that there was a great number of stories that antedated that novel. These are published in this volume in the order given in a table close to the beginning of "Methuselah's Children" but somewhat out of order in terms of publica ...more
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is probably the third time I have read this book, but it has been many, many years since the last read. What I found most interesting is...the stories were written in the 30's and 40's. The science was different then but so was the attitude towards women...and ethnic groups...and smoking! Overall this bunch of stories is very good for a lot of reasons. They certainly speak to how people generally interacted with each other. If you have a bit of a scientific bend...then all the references wi ...more
Carena Wood beimler
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Some of the stories are better than others, what I really enjoyed about this was that the books and short stories were in chronological order, so the young fellow wanting to go to the moon many pages ago eventually invents space flight, and then several stories later does get to go. It makes you feel like you have more invested in the series, as well.
One day I want to own all of the books and to read them all in linear order.
Always amusing to go back and read classic sci-fi and see which predictions were far-seeing and which ones failed to pan out. I understand why highways were never replaced with "rolling roads", but someone tell me why we haven't colonized the moon yet?
Jun 13, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
Spider Robinson be damned, RAH is a closet misogynist and male chauvinist pig, and his later stuff doesn't change that.
Oct 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone at all
Shelves: sf, short-stories
Heinlein's "Future History" all wrapped up in one volume. An important starting point for Time Enough For Love and pretty much all of his later books.
Fredrick Danysh
Jun 20, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This is a collection of twenty-one vintage Heinlein short stories with a wide variety of plots. This is a great read for the science fiction fan. There are several classics in the collection.
Jul 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Another of my all-time favorites. Heinlein,while not as famous as Asimov, is at least his equal. The stories in this book, written over decades, paint a galaxy that is fascinating and complex.
Austin Wright
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In 1966, the Hugo Awards presented a one-time award for "Best All-time Series. The 5 candidates were:

"Foundation" by Isaac Asimov
"Barsoom" by Edgar Rice Burroughs
"Future History" by Robert A. Heinlein
"Lensmen" by E. E. Smith
"The Lord of the Rings" by J. R. R. Tolkien

Foundation won.

I pick up this book and was pleasantly surprised to find that it had almost the entire collection of "Future History" (it is missing 3 stories totaling about 130 pages).

There were some jaw-dropping amazing moments,
Michael Norwitz
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Over a period of more than 20 years, Robert Heinlein had in mind a future history of Earth, and he wrote 21 stories (not sequentially) which took place in this history (before it resolved into the Lazarus Long/Howard Families series of novels). This collection completes that series, finalising with "Methuselah's Children." Unfortunately I suspect most of it will be harder going for many readers ... his style and characterisation (particularly of women, before he catches up with feminism) will st ...more
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heinleinen nobela pare bat irakurri nituen eta egia esan, ez zitzaizkidan gehiegi gustatu, baina istorio hauek benetan zoragarriak iruditu zaizkit. Istorio gehienak balizko etorkizunean Ilargiaren esplorazio eta kokaleku bezala erabiltzean oinarritzen dira.
Había leído un par de novelas de Heinlein y no me habían gustado demasiado, pero estos relatos me han parecido maravillosos. La mayoría de ellos se basan en una hipotética exploración y asentamiento en la Luna.
Read Ng
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
A collection of Heinlein's Future History stories. They all take place within his little universe. Originally written as installments in a science fiction based magazine?

I enjoyed this old style of science fiction. It is what I grew up on. There are a lot of stereo types typical of the time they were written. It give me some hint of how much society has changed over the years.

Have a GoodReads.
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Heinlein, Robert A. The Past Through Tomorrow. Introd. Damon Knight. 1967. Ace, 1987.
If you are a Heinlein fan, you have probably read most of these short stories and novels in this 800-page volume, but it is interesting to see if a case can be made for a consistent future history in Heinlein’s work. I am not sure that it can. Certainly, he did not set out to create such a thing, even if we may find it after the fact. In any case, rereading Heinlein is always fun.
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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

Other books in the series

Future History or "Heinlein Timeline" (6 books)
  • The Man Who Sold the Moon
  • Requiem
  • The Green Hills of Earth
  • Methuselah's Children
  • Orphans of the Sky
“I was just pulling your leg and it came off in my hand.” 8 likes
“It comes from exercising care in the choice of parents.” 4 likes
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