What do you think?
Rate this book
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 equation.
From the First Golden Age of Heinlein, this is the so-called juvenile (written, Heinlein always claims, just as much for adults) that started them all and made Heinlein a legend for multiple generations of readers.
252 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1953
One of Heinlein’s juveniles, this is a coming of age story wrapped in a space travel adventure. Max Jones is a poor farm boy who wants to go to space, but space travel is restricted to the wealthy and to the Guilds. So Max resorts to fraud, becomes a crewmember, and eventually rises through the ranks. All the while, there are adventures.
This was a fun read, combining some of Heinlein’s best qualities with a lack of most of his worst ones. I think I would put this on a very short list of best sci-fi novels of the era.
(I have published a longer review on my website.)