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Expanded Universe

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  4,267 ratings  ·  82 reviews

The Wit and Wisdom of Robert A. Heinlein, author of multiple New York Times best sellers, on subjects ranging form Crime and Punishment to the Love life of the American Teenager; from Nuclear Power to the Pragmatics of Patriotism; from Prophecy to Destiny; from Geopolitic to Post-Holocaust America; fro the Nature of Courage to the Nature of Reality; it's all here and it's
Paperback, 582 pages
Published April 15th 1985 by Ace (first published October 1980)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  4,267 ratings  ·  82 reviews

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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
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.
Sep 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Nathan Titus
Sep 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
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
It was a short story I had in my collection, so I read it. It's about local politics, presumably sometime in the 50s. Definitely not in any way science fiction, though the characters and dialogue were still pretty standard Heinlein. It was interesting to see how grassroots politics were at that time (maybe they still are in some places?) as well as interesting to see the idea of politics that were essentially uncorrupted in their goals (though a bit corrupted in their methods). Overall, an inter ...more
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
If you've read the book 'Past Through Tomorrow' by the same author, you will recognize some of the stories in here. However, some of these stories have been tweaked, and some of the entries in here are actually essays on various things such as the future or politics. Overall this is definitely a good addition to any Heinlein collection.
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.
Scott Golden
It's a barrel-scraping exercise. Some of it is interesting; other items, not so much.
Austin Wright
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really didn't enjoy this one. Too lengthy.

Merged review:

Simple Political story.

Merged review:

A short short short story from 1940!

Merged review:

Heinlein's 1980 collection "Expanded Universe", he released three short stories all related to the consequences of the A-bomb, all three were previously rejected:

"The Last Days of the United States"
"How to Be a Survivor"
"Pie from the Sky"

All three should be read together as one story/dialogue.

He most interesting part I found was when a character asks He
Chris Presta-Valachovic
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Nothing Ever Happens On The Moon is actually a short story originally published in Boy's Life, the Boy Scout magazine. It can now be found in Heinlein's Expanded Universe #2.

It is rare for me to rate Heinlein this low, but this story was not so much a story as it was an explanation about how various Boy Scout activities might be performed on the moon. It was interesting, but I skimmed many paragraphs because they were too technically detailed. Still, interesting concept and worth reading once.
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.
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.
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.
Raymond Nicholas
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This has a good variety of stories, all able to entertain a grand audience. There is a good mix of stories leaning towards the sci-fi genre. The stories are coherent and entertaining. One of the absolute best books in the genre.
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.
Nicholas Bobbitt
When it stuck to SF, this was a good collection, but, alas, Heinlein felt he needed to insert non-fiction segments.
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not great literature, but it is pure unadulterated Heinlein.
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
Politically irritating.
Nick de Vera
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first real Heinlein book, back in high school. I'd read Menace From Earth and part of The Puppet Masters in grade school, but I didn't pay attention to author names then. A good intro, shows Heinlein on a range of topics. I re-read this sometimes to refresh my memory and to see how my own thinking and attitudes have changed.
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another collection of short stories both real life and science fiction from the Grandmaster. It's hard to put down yet it is designed to be read in tasty bits. Some of them, mostly the real life stories, are a bit dated, but the science fiction can be timeless. This is a classic.
Kathleen Mck
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Informative, interesting, a great mind, all of which makes Heinlein a great read
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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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