The stars were closed to Max Jones. To get into space you either needed connections, a membership in the Guild, or a whole lot more money than Max, the son of a widowed, poor mother, was every going to have. What Max does have going for him are his uncle’s prized astrogation manuals—book on star navigation that Max literally commits to memory word for word, equation for...more
One of Heinlein's earlier juvenile novels, this is one where RAH describes in great detail the machinations of the astrogators, quite a bit dated now with computers and it is amusing to imagine as he did a trio of math geniuses sitting in chairs with slide rules charting out a space ship's course, but that was part of his charm.
Some thin characterizations along with some very 1950sish language, but Heinlein was working his very peculiar magic and this is all the while a ...more
One of Heinlein's so called teen novels and a good read. It dates back to 1953 and as I said is ...more
Binary Equivalents: "Starman Jones" by Robert A. Heinlein
(Original Review, 1980-07-24)
Random rumblings on our inability to predict the future.
Pop-up display screens and visual aiming (guiding a missile by looking at the target) for fighter pilots is discussed in the recent fiction paperback "FoxFire.'' The technology for visual aiming is actually quite old. It is derived from the device (I'm not sure what it is called) used by ...more
Max is a hillbilly & has an impossible situation at home. He runs away, gets fake ID with the help of a rough, but kind stranger. He gets a job on a space ship cleaning pet cages. Menial, but honest work that ...more
The age of the story was most apparent in the technology. Max has to study a computer by opening a panel & tracing circuits. Logs were pulled out of the tables in books (Anyone else remember those?), problems were ...more
Starman Jones is your basic boys' adventure story: Max is a kid from Earth who runs away from home when his stepmother marries an abusive bum. He meets an ...more
That was some years ago, but things have gotten worse everywhere. There are no longer any places that get dark at night. (Possibly with the exception of Arizona, where the ...more
Max Jones is a young farmer, working hard to support his unlovable stepmother after his father's death, but he dreams of the life his Uncle Chet lived, as a member of the Astrogators' Guild. Chet had promised him that he'd nominate him for membership, but died while Max was still too young to join, and then Max's father, before he died also, made him promise to take care of his stepmother.
But when his stepmother remarries and she and her new ...more
The main character, a few extra characters and of course space were interesting. What didn't work was it feel very old. The book ...more
Whenever, I feel the need to rekindle that feeling of wonder and need to explore or advance, I re-read this book.
This one holds up to time as a rollicking space adventure for our main character, a poor farm boy, Max Jones, who joins on to a spaceship, run by the form of Navy, first under an assumed name, then through all mishaps and misadventures, becomes a legitimate member of the ship.
It was a quick and enjoyable read.
The story itself is excellent. Max and Sam are aboard a starship by ...more
Of course, I've read enough Heinlein now, that I'm starting to realize that's kind of ...more
I always feel myself groan inwardly when someone writes characters from rural areas stereotypically. Yes, we get he grew up on a farm, he does not need to say things like "Well golly ma'am!" every few sentences.
Most of the characters are flat. The plot drags on, and the conclusion was pretty ...more
It is also the first of his juveniles to postulate interstellar travel. All of the earlier books confined travel within the solar system. The protagonist, Maximilian Jones, or Max as he is known, comes from unspecified hill country, possibly the Ozarks, where he is living ...more
Let's get one thing straight: Like most science fiction of its era, this book did not age well in that its science is somewhere between fluffy and dumb. There is wireless power ...more
Reputations accrete in funny ways, and often we end up with a mental picture of a person or his work that's less than accurate. Take Robert A. Heinlein for example, the so-called dean of science fiction writers. Though Heinlein's career spanned nearly half a century, most folks today know him for the militaristic Starship Troopers, whose characters blasted not only intergalactic arachnids but Marxism as well. But theme-heavy SF doesn't compose the entirety of his ...more
Yes, some aspects are ...more
On re-reading the book recently, I winced a bit at some of the attitudes towards women, but that was par for the course in 1953 and the female protagonist was a tough cookie, as were some of the other women. ...more
I first read Starman Jones in the early 1970s. It was a good read then, and it's a good read now. Robert Heinlein wrote it in 1953 for a largely YA ...more
This book is suitable for younger audiences, and was a light and easy read. Don't let the synopsis fool you - most of this book happens BEFORE Starman Jones is forced to save the ship. Like some other books Heinlein wrote about this time, the main character is lucky. In ...more
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 ...more