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The Green Hills of Earth

(Future History or "Heinlein Timeline" #16)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  7,763 ratings  ·  152 reviews
THE GREEN HILLS OF EARTH is a collection of short stories from one of the masters of science fiction who has held readers spellbound for over fifty years. This collection includes:
Delilah and the Space-Rigger
The Long Watch
Gentlemen Be Seated
The Black Pits of Luna
It's Great to Be Back
We Also Walk Dogs
Ordeal in Space
The Green Hills of Earth
Logic of Empire
Paperback, 270 pages
Published April 1st 2003 by Baen Books (first published April 26th 1947)
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May 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Dated. Campy. Corny. Sexist – and wonderfully, absolutely Heinlein.

His 1951 collection of “Future History” short stories, all written in the 1940s, represents some of his earlier works. Fans of his juveniles will especially like this publication.

Modern readers will point to stories like "Delilah and the Space Rigger" and "Space Jockey" and will scream that Heinlein was a male chauvinist pig; but progressive for his time Heinlein was carrying Rosie the Riveter into space and expanding her
May 29, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
In Robert Heinlein's short story collection, we get to read about a future history that never happened, where the Solar System is colonized by a bunch of ambitious, optimistic, happy-go-lucky space entrepreneurs. They cut corners, break the rules, and quite often get themselves killed. But it works. The American dream reaches the stars, or at least the planets.

In the real world, manned space-flight reached its peak around 1970 with the Apollo landings and then stagnated. Reagan went into the
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the great short story books of my youth & it was wonderful to revisit them. The stories were some of my first introductions to space at a time when we were first landing on the moon which made them especially exciting. Each is a common issue on Earth in a space setting full of little bits & facts that make space real without lecturing. Very well done.

I knew some of the settings were unreal, but that didn't hurt them. Mars is peopled by a dying race & has canals. Venus
Jan 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Despite the title, Earth is mostly in the background in this wonderful collection of short stories. It's mostly concerned with everyday life off the planet. Heinlein has taken a lot of mundane situations & put them a head a century or three. People are still people, although they've traded in their cars for spaceships.

Some of the stories are a bit dated, such as "Delilah & the Space Rigger" - what happens when a girl shows up to work on a space project with an all boy crew? Heinlein
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Short stories—some great; others mediocre.
This is an early collection of stories by Heinlein. As a Heinlein fan, I found some of them corny and dated, but others were not bad. They seemed to improve as I progressed through the book.
Jun 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
This collection of short stories is classic Heinlein. That is to say, sexism, chauvinism, rocketry without computers, a bit of magic, and heaps of bravery. The later is the most fun.

I find the rockets without computers quaint; it reminds me, not surprisingly, of the Apollo Program. It's seldom boring, because Heinlein so often insists on teaching the reader something.

Sometimes, though, the bad guys go out of their way too much to be bad. Like the guy who wouldn't let girls on the space station,
Kevin Kuhn
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Classic Heinlein short stories. One minute I think its dated, but then I remember he wrote it 60/70 years ago. Despite trying to take on some heavier themes, it has a certain innocence that is charming. And more than anything a cracker of a title!
Yep ... I love the stories of Robert A. Heinlein. Got a problem with that?

The Green Hills of Earth, the titular short, and Logic of Empire are particularly excellent.
My first 2019 read; only 74 to go to achieve my 2019 reading challenge. Although this short story collection was published in the early 50s, it includes fourteen science fiction stories, part of his Future History series, written in the 40s. Most are set on space ships, space stations or in a moon colony. Most of these stories deal with the psychological and social impact of living in space rather than the technology itself. The physics appear accurate for what was known during the 40s, but the ...more
Angela Blount
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, short-story
Suggested Alternate Title: SPACE BARD--PORT TO PORT

"I pray for one last landing
On the globe that gave me birth;
Let me rest my eyes in the fleecy skies
And the cool, green hills of Earth."

This "Future History" short story is essentially an account of the life and death of a renowned minstrel named Rhysling--a man who'd worked haphazardly on many a space mission until a radiation accident left him blind and he continued making his way by playing his accordion, writing songs, and hitch-hiking his
Mary JL
Nov 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: any science fiction fan
Shelves: main-sf-fantasy
This a another of the very few Robert Heinlein short story collections. They ten stories are all quite good. Speical favorties of mine among the then stories are "The Green Hills of Earth" and "Ordeal in Space".

Heinlein's short stories are not as well known as his novels, but he is a good story teller whether writing novels or short stories.
Jeff Yoak
This is a fantastic short story. I came to love "Noisy" from his appearances as a minor character in other Heinlein stories, but this this short piece describing his history and heroic end always gets me right here.
Feb 02, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Green Hills of Earth is generally regarded as the second collection of Heinlein’s Future History stories, which showed us, in the Golden Age of SF, how Heinlein saw humans expanding beyond Earth into space. It includes love, sibling rivalry, annoying parents and ancient Martians.

After the stories of the first collection (The Man Who Sold the Moon,), we now see the result of Delos D. Harriman’s efforts. Mankind has extended beyond Earth and is now not only building more space-stations but
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book about fifty years ago (my Dad had the Shasta 1951 first edition with the Hubert Rogers cover and the Future History timeline printed on the end pages), and I'm sure I've read all of the stories at least two or three times again in the intervening years. I've enjoyed listening to this audio version and seeing how well I remembered them. My favorite remains "- We Also Walk Dogs," along with the title story. I never did care overly much for "Logic of Empire" in comparison ...more
Feb 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

A collection of short stories in his Future History series. I quite enjoyed most of these, but couldn't get into The Green Hills of Earth. They seem quite dated in many ways, and of course sexist, but still fun.
This had been one of the books that Heinlein was known for, in one version or another. Heinlein's strength I think was in novel length books, not short stories, which this is. The book is dated both scientifically (which likely Heinlein would be among the first to acknowledge) and sociology. The stories were written throughout the 1940s, for magazines. One example was how in the last story: "Logic of Empire", he uses the N word deliberately as a synonym for slave. I don't believe he meant it in ...more
John Mccullough
Jul 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Science fiction lovers
The Green Hills …. is a sci-fi classic by a justly-famous author. With 10 short stories Heinlein tells tales filled with problems that are common to those in a complex society, especially those that might deal with complex technologies. It begins with a story highlighting the unnecessary and counter-productive discrimination against women in the workplace - here it is construction of a space station. This is still a bone of contention; was it a reflexion of what was happening t the time Heinlein ...more
Erik Graff
Apr 26, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Heinlein fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
I was born with almost perfect teeth--except for one canine which was a bit bent out of line. To treat this Dr. Rice gave me a retainer to wear to bed. It worked well enough to allow the resulting cavity at the root to fill with fluids and become infected, leading to a tremendous fever which hit during the last week of junior high. Other than some interesting hallucinations the most memorable part of that period was the day Dad's mother, Lajla, came by to fill in for my working parents. The ...more
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
1977 grade A
1994 grade A
2018 grade A-

Ten stories ranging in length from 9 to 41 pages. Six at Grade A and four at Grade B. Some are rather out of date but still good.
Abbreviated titles, grades, page count, and notes:
Deliah... A- 11
Space Jocket A 16 out of date but good
Long Watch A- 13 sad but very good
Gentlemen... A+ 9
Black Pits... B 12
It's Great... B- 16
"--We Also..." A- 21
Ordeal... A+ 14
Green Hills... B+ 10 sad but good
Logic of... B- 41 out of date
Hal Brodsky
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: own
I am a fan of Robert Heinlein's novels and consider "Stranger in a Strange Land" a must read for, well, everyone.
This collection of very old, very dated pulp fiction really should be set aside for fans only. Each story (with the exception of the final,longer piece) is a single event, simple often predictable plot often featuring a single anachronistic idea.
Unless you are trying to read all of Heinlein's work, there is better material out there more worthy of your time.
Oct 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a fun anthology of short stories by Heinlein. All of the stories revolve around colonization of planets in our solar system. The themes are not about the technology, but about contemporary problems and dilemmas that we still have today; indentured service as slavery, prejudice against women in the workplace, young brats given too much freedom and too little discipline, phobias, and more. These contemporary themes help to explain the "staying power" of Heinlein's stories.
Bob Wolniak
Aug 14, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
A series of short stories connected to Heinlein's future history and all mentioning or taking place in Luna City (Moon colony) at some point. I liked the last novella, The Logic of Empire, the most. It tells a story how slavery seems inevitable in colonization of planets. There is a wide array of types of tales here, some about adjusting to the moon, the technological challenges of meetings from people from different gravitational constants, marriage issues, overcoming agoraphobia, etc.
Mar 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Some great stories here. You know it. I know it.
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I haven’t read a lot of Heinlein, so without being able to set this in the context of his entire oeuvre, all I can share are impressions of this collection. The stories are really interesting in that although they’re set in the future, they’re still so ‘50s. Occasionally there are details in a story that seem so odd, and then you remember that, oh yeah, these were written before humans had actually been in space, and then the things he got right seem all the more prescient. For example, people ...more
Chris Todd
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
You should be forewarned that the stories in this book were written in the 1940’s and you will find many things in it therefore insensitive. If you are able to read on with that grain of salt, you will find thought provoking insight along the way. I wonder if Heinlein was aware of his time and how to best edge us all closer to the possibilities of the future. First you have to get people to listen.
The last story left me really considering my own stances on how the world would best be changed. I
Jeffrey Poehlmann
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this dated work of science fiction. It was especially fun to read with my daughter, partly because the timeline placed these fantastically futuristic stories in the recent past (it was written in the 40s, when our time was still so very distant), and partly because of the really outdated social aspects of the stories, especially their treatment of the female characters (I did run a little damage control to put them into context). And yet the stories themselves are all actually ...more
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good Heinlein; not his best, but it offers multiple perspectives and situations that do a good job of showcasing his creativity, wit, and ideology. In some ways it was reminiscent of Bradbury's Martian Chronicles, in that this handful of short stories all take place in the same universe, in the same section of our solar system, and show multiple facets of a larger story; but where Bradbury tends towards the poetic, with his beautiful descriptions and use of language, Heinlein is terse, and his ...more
Edward III
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Green Hills of Earth by Robert Heinlein is classic SF at its best. All these stories are solid, and I had only read one prior. All of the tales are about near Earth space travel, and was first published in 1951, most of the stories having first appeared in the classic pulps of the day. My top three in this one are "Delilah and the Space-Rigger," a tale about chauvinism in space, a topic well before its day, and "The Green Hills of Earth" and "Logic of Empire." Recommended, as is all of this ...more
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Listened to on CD. Tom Wiener is by far one of my favorite narrators. His different voices that he uses for the various characters is brilliant! Made listening to this a real treat.

Read most of these when I was a kid in the early 80s. Really enjoyed them again as an adult. Logic of Empire ended rather abruptly. Would've liked to hear more on the Heinlein's answer to slavery in regards to economics.
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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

Other books in the series

Future History or "Heinlein Timeline" (1 - 10 of 23 books)
  • Life Line
  • The Roads Must Roll
  • Astounding Science Fiction, September 1940
  • The Man Who Sold the Moon
  • Delilah & The Space Rigger
  • Astounding Science Fiction, January 1940
  • The Long Watch
  • Gentlemen Be Seated
  • The Black Pits of Luna
  • It's Great to Be Back!
“You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity.” 744 likes
“We pray for one last landing
On the globe that gave us birth;
Let us rest our eyes on fleecy skies
And the cool, green hills of Earth.”
More quotes…