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Expanded Universe

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  4,015 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
The Wit and Wisdom of Robert A. Heinlein, author of multiple New York Times best sellers, on subjects ranging from Crime and Punishment to the Love life of the American Teenager; from Nuclear Power to the Pragmatics of Patriotism; from Prophecy to Destiny; from Geopolitics to Post-Holocaust America; from the Nature of Courage to the Nature of Reality; it's all here and it' ...more
Paperback, 582 pages
Published October 1st 1980 by Penguin Adult Hc/Tr
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Dec 19, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: heinlein
Most of the short fiction in this volume I have read in other collections - so mainly I read this for the non-fiction. The stories are a little interesting, but for most people, feel free to skip this, unless you are super anal and have to read EVERYTHING by your favorite authors.

Most of the tales start out on one track, but devolve into a 70-something year old guy complaining - Todays kids are stupid, foreign countries try to rob tourists, money doesnt mean anything if not backed by gold, and e
Bob Rust
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Foreword (Expanded Universe) • (1980) • essay by Robert A. Heinlein
Life-Line • [Future History] • (1939) • short story by Robert A. Heinlein
Successful Operation • (1940) • short story by Robert A. Heinlein
Blowups Happen • [Future History] • (1940) • novelette by Robert A. Heinlein
Solution Unsatisfactory • (1941) • novelette by Robert A. Heinlein
The Last Days of the United States • (1980) • essay by Robert A. Heinlein
How to Be a Survivor • (1980) • essay by Robert A. Heinlein
Pie from the Sky • (1
Nov 28, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Lots of fun miscellaneous writings from Heinlein, from a cabaret detective story to a boy scout lunar tale. There's quite a bit of nonfiction, mostly relating to nuclear power, nuclear armaments, patriotism, the armed forces, Russia, and the Cold War. A couple of essays detail the encounter with "pravda" ("truth") that Mr. and Mrs. Heinlein experienced in their trip to the Soviet Union in 1960. There are many prognostications, ranging from alarmingly accurate to quaint in showing their age.

Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The Heinlein completist
Short stories and essays presented chronologically. A couple of short stories are hard to find elsewhere, but the best ones can be found in other volumes. The book is filled out with Heinlein's essays, which seem to get more and more out of touch as both he and the twentieth century age.
I just realized the irony of deciding to stop reading this on Memorial Day, given all of the pro-military jingoism on display in many of Heinlein's essays. I swear it wasn't intentional -- I just coincidentally figured out today that about half of these 500+ pages were ideologically conservative non-fiction instead of the sci-fi short stories I was expecting.

I have no personal need for that paranoid tripe, especially when a solid majority of Heinlein's political and technological predictions we
Sep 28, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Of all the Heinlein I have read, this was by far his weakest collection, and one of the worst books I've read. I'm so glad it was free, because if I'd paid even 10 cents for this book, I'd want my money back.
Nathan Titus
Mainly nonfiction and fairly uninteresting short stories. I never realized how much of a pro military pro police state neoconservative heinlein was.since the bulk of this book came from 5 hat perspective I found it quite unpleasant. I really liked the last part of the final essay, where he briefly switches to fiction and gas a president solve all the pathetic problems of the usa in just a few years with a radically common sense approach. Reading it, you almost think it could work. Ended the book ...more
The W
Nov 10, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
W Rating : B

This was a fun book. This was Heinlein's Rivan Codex. Many non sci fi stories and papers Heinlein has written with his own personal comments throughout. Read if you like Heinlein and/or getting author jokes.
Jun 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great collection of early stories and articles and commentaries on them. Shows the development of Heinlein as a writer.
Sep 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Ian
Recommended to Valerie by: Mom
Although I do not usually read short stories, I will make an exception for Heinlein, now and then.
Scott Golden
It's a barrel-scraping exercise. Some of it is interesting; other items, not so much.
Owen Spencer
This short story compilation includes a mix of fiction and nonfiction. Most of it is really outdated, especially the warnings and prophecies that didn't come true. Some parts are interesting, and I learned a few things, but I skipped a lot of pages because it just wasn't compelling enough. Heinlein was scared to death of atomic weapons and he repeatedly tried to warn the public about the high likelihood of a nuclear apocalypse. It's too bad Heinlein didn't live another couple of decades because ...more
Cathy Savage
I was expecting a collection of his fiction stories only to find several (the last third of the book) to be non-fiction essays written in response to the conditions of the day. As these are all old news and not of particular interest to me so I skimmed. The fiction stories were good as long as you remembered the era in which they were written. I find that I prefer his full length novels to his short stories. I guess I just like a "meatier" story. None the less I did enjoy the reread. I have many ...more
Olha Pankiv
50/100 Можна сказати що мене трусило від фразочок цитую дослівно "Аллан, загони баб в угол, чтобы под ногами не путались!", "в Аллане заговорил здравый смысл, -"бабам показывать не стоит, напугаются дуры"", а те як круті мужики вибирають собі самиць, і дають їм імена, або і не дають..не можу я таке сприймати і закривати очі. Мені все враження про книжку ця твердолобість зіпсувала!
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Heinlein tome! Some really great stories in here. I enjoyed the forewords and afterwords, which gave great insight into the mind of Heinlein. His opinions on education are well-founded, but a bit misguided.
Joseph Carrabis
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like Time Enough for Love, I gathered many quotes from this book. It cemented for me that Heinlein was more futurist than science-fiction author, simply a futurist whose outlet was fictional more than directly predictional.
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is interesting that in the last story of this book, Robert Heinlein writes about the great American culture and about a black woman president who tears down the fence between the USA and Mexico. How extremely disappointed he would have been to see who you actually elected and what he has done.
Austin Wright
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Considered Heinlein's greatest compendium. Spanning 1939-1980. Took me a month to go through the 600 pages.
Nicholas Bobbitt
When it stuck to SF, this was a good collection, but, alas, Heinlein felt he needed to insert non-fiction segments.
Jun 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was put together in the late 19th from stories written in the late 19th and early 10 plus a few essays. Quite dated
May 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is a bit dated. However, it gives good insight into the thinking about the A-bomb just after WWII.
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not great literature, but it is pure unadulterated Heinlein.
Oct 01, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone. Citizens, Scientists, Soldiers, Pacifists,
I got my start on Heinlein when I was about ten years old, and sometime between ten and fourteen I picked up EU and then shelved it because the essays were not the action adventure and daring-do of Glory Road, or Tunnel in the Sky. The politics, philosophy etc. were lost on me at the time. This time around things are different.
I've read some of the previous reviews of this work, and am frankly disappointed that people who claim to be Heinlein fans, to appreciate Heinlein, would be turned off by
John Bruni
May 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the book I've always wanted from Heinlein. Most of the pieces in here are essays, and they're full of such aggravation that I could read them forever. He was very progressive for his time, so it's interesting to read something from him that wasn't his usual Trojan horse into his readers minds. In these pieces, he flat-out speaks his mind, and it's an amazing thing to behold. My favorite has to be "Pie from the Sky," in which he once again tries to save the world from nuclear annihilation ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Heinlein Fans
I remember loving this book in my teens, and I still consider Robert A Heinlein one of my favorite authors, but if you’re not a fan already, I wouldn’t recommend this book to begin with. This contains 27 of Heinlein’s short pieces, of which about half are essays, but it’s not a collection of his best, nor one that say pulls together all his “Future History” stories such as The Past Through Tomorrow, which would make a good introduction. There are a few strong stories here. For a work published i ...more
Thom Dunn
May 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As I recall, only the initial tale, "Universe" is any good, but it is a must-read for all those interested in the possibility of interstellar travel. Asimov thought we couldn't do it. Clarke came to believe that rapid interstellar travel remained a fantasy. Bradbury seemed not interested in the phenomenon. Stargate I, the TV sci-fi channel's uptake of Fred Pohl's Gateway concept, acknowledges by its silence on the matter the impossibility of "getting there" without taking advantage of some bridg ...more
Jul 29, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Expanded Universe is a collection of short stories and other publications. Some of the shorts have been published in other collections. Most of the other stuff I thought was just a little boring, although, probably more interesting during the time it was actually published. He writes a lot about Atomics and what-if scenarios for a WWIII situation. Most of these publications were written after WWII when Hiroshima was still on a lot of peoples minds. The two articles I believe are must reads are " ...more
Curt Jeffreys
Robert Heilnlein must've been a curmudgeonly old fart from the day he was born. A grandmaster of SF and a founding father of the genre, Heinlein loved to hear himself pontificate on the state of the country and the ills of society. His views on voting ( voting is not a right but a privelege that should be earned ) are particularly worrisome. As Isaac Asimov said, any system where a voter must prove himself worthy is problematic -just who decides whether you are worthy enough to enter the booth?

Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting look back to see how RAH's outlook changed and didn't change over the years. Fascinating description of a Soviet trip. Some of the stories I already read in "The Past Through Tomorrow" . And a story about a black woman nominated to be eye candy for a presidential candidate, who wins. After the president is killed in the first 10 days of office, she takes over, to the chagrin of the "machine", and turns Washington DC upside down - and reinstates the gold standard. You could see this h ...more
Jes. Cavanaugh
This is a fun book that expands greatly on Heinlein as a writer. Most only know him for Stranger in a Strange Land and/or Starship Troopers, but the Expanded Universe shows him as writing in many more genres and being as much of a progressive (though possibly less of an activist) as Orwell.

I enjoyed his fiction much more than his (as we know now, post-Cold War) paranoid rantings about the impending destruction of the US by nuclear holocaust, but to see his dire warnings give an interesting pers
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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
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“The 3-legged stool of understanding is held up by history, languages, and mathematics. Equipped with those three you can learn anything you want to learn. But if you lack any one of them you are just another ignorant peasant with dung on your boots.” 30 likes
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