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Podkayne of Mars

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  8,246 ratings  ·  411 reviews
Podkayne Fries, a clever Martian maid with dreams of becoming the first female starship pilot, is delighted to join her diplomatic uncle on an interstellar journey. But her uncle's power makes her a political target.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 28th 2005 by Ace (first published February 1st 1963)
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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Lyn
Oct 14, 2011 rated it liked it
I like Robert A. Heinlein, he is certainly one of my favorite authors. So I am biased and am here, his apologist.

While I can understand many feminists dislike of him and of this book in particular, I even winced at some passages, I would remind some that he was progressive minded when he wrote these, and was born in 1907, in Missouri, and attended a very different Naval Academy from the one we know today.

This was entertaining, a little thin, but a well played use of science fiction politics an
...more
Nandakishore Varma
I loved the book when I first read it as a teen, because I liked the character of Podkayne and was blissfully ignorant of bad things like sexism. Also, the cover was really sexy. My mom saw me with it once, and I had a hard time explaining to her that it was a Science Fiction novel and not what she thought it was.
Adrian
Aug 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
RAH was one of the first authors that I read way back in the mid 70s in my early teens as I got into sci-fi in a big way (Wells, Asimov and Clarke were also amongst the first). He was still merrily writing away as I grew up and started reading his early novels. I never did quite catch up with his prolific output as in my honest opinion his standard declined rapidly, and so I had (and still have) no desire to read some of his later novels.
This book is seen now as one of his YA novels, although in
...more
Manuel Antão
Jul 21, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1980, 1993
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.



Sexual Mores: "Podkayne of Mars" by Robert A. Heinlein





(Original Review, 1980-08-06)



I was not a Heinlein fan before. I've probably read most of his work, but there are only 3 of his books I've kept to enjoy reading again. I've kept more than 3 of a LOT of other authors, such as Leinster, McCaffrey, Dickson, James White, and even Philip E. High. Nor did I "cut my teeth" on RAH, so I've no sentimental associations or long-standing loyalti
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Ungelic_is_us
Oct 07, 2010 rated it did not like it
Here's what I learned from Podkayne of Mars, courtesy of Professor Heinlein (blech):

A woman should always hide how smart she is, so she doesn't scare off the men.

If a woman wants to get a man's attention and get the information she needs to further her career, she should just act like a moron coquette.

It doesn't matter if a girl is a complete innocent from a Puritan society: she'll naturally know how to be a cocktease.

Introduce an infant into a situation, even if it is of a different species, an
...more
Flannery
Aug 21, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: If you're writing a book and need a world that was created but never used.
Recommended to Flannery by: My YA space addiction
So this was a bit ridiculous. I listened to all five discs rather quickly, as it started out as a fun space story. Then suddenly I was on disc four and thinking to myself, "Sooo, nothing much has happened yet." This book is about creating a world, setting the stage for what could be a cool story about a future female space pilot and then having the main character talk herself out of her ambitions because childbirth and mothering are the most important aspirations for women in the world and blahb ...more
Scott
Mar 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
So much to rant about here, so little time. When I finished the first chapter of Podkayne my grin was so wide I damn near cut my own face off. Heinlein had an indisuptable gift for killer openings (see for example "The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag") and this one promised absolute glory to come. The trouble is, the glory never comes. The magnificent possibilities of the first chapter and its coda are set aside. The plot meanders, and then in classically half-assed fashion picks up witho ...more
Jessie
I've just finished re-reading this book, which I first read when I was about 12 years old, right after it was published. I'd been reading science fiction for a few years, though there wasn't much available in my small town library and a bookstore was unheard of. The librarian always held the new arrivals for me as I devoured everything available.

Podkayne hit me right between the eyes. A pretty, likable, intelligent girl my age (well, a little older) who was confident and courageous and didn't wa
...more
The Fizza
Not your average Robert A. Heinlein book... Really, how often do you hear that?!

Robert Heinlein was one of the most influential and controversial authors of his time. He wrote all kinds of books, from the Young Adult market to pseudo-sexual revolutionary stories. He even went so far as penning books where the characters knew they were in a story and end up cussing him out, as to the way events were unfolding. With all that it might be hard to believe that this story is a little different, yet i
...more
Manny
Feb 16, 2009 rated it liked it
There's a short story by Isaac Asimov, What is this thing called love?, which he apparently wrote because he was tired of people telling him he couldn't do sex scenes. I am the great Asimov, and I can do anything! I imagine him saying, as he turned out what is actually a quite competent and funny story with a fair amount of sex.

This is the same, but reversed. Perhaps also tired of people's snide remarks, Heinlein writes a book in which the central character is an attractive girl who doesn't have
...more
Jeff Yoak
I always tear up at the end of Podkayne. It's funny that I insist on remembering it the way Heinlein wrote which isn't the way it is published. The really odd thing is that when I learned that he wanted a different ending, I was puzzled and assumed that in later editions such as the one I had that they published it as he had originally written it, but not so. He just so leads up to a natural conclusion that you remember it even though he never draws it.

Poddy is one of Heinlein's classic juvenile
...more
Ivana Books Are Magic
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Podkanye is a charming female protagonist, a young girl dreaming of becoming a spaceship captain. Named after a saint from Mars, we quickly learn that Podkanye is very devoted to her birthplace i.e. Mars, but also how much she is very much looking forward to visiting other planets in an upcoming family trip. Right from the start Podkanye reminded me of another teenage female protagonist, Holly the heroine of Heinlein's short story The Menace From Earth. Like Podkanye, Holly was born and raised a ...more
Sable
Aug 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book very much. Podkayne is a brave, clever, and compassionate heroine whose compassion is ultimately her downfall and possibly her brother's salvation. I don't want to talk too much about the plot because it would give it away. But this gives me an opportunity to address something that, as a classic sci-fi fan, I find difficult, and that is that I think Heinlein is often deeply misunderstood by modern readers.

The most recent film adaptation of Starship Troopers interpreted Heinle
...more
Gail Gibbs
I'm giving this three stars, as there are two groups of people who shouldn't read this book: preteen girls, who might actually consider Podkayne a role model, and those who are Easily Outraged. To the second group I would point out the futility of expending a lot of feminist outrage, since author Robert Heinlein passed away in 1988 and wouldn't be a bit concerned.

I think I understand what happened. By 1962, science fiction master Heinlein had written a dozen Young Adult novels, all starring boys

...more
Kathy
Apr 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Good story, different than expected.
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
I recommend reading both endings to this book. Personally I think Heinlein should have been allowed to keep his original ending, but regardless, this book is one of his that has not aged well. I've been a Heinlein fan for years and enjoyed many of his books, and he knows his science, but this one is not one i would recommend unless you're a Heinlein completist.
N
May 04, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: english
In a world... where gender roles are still stuck in the 1950s, teen feminist space heroine Poddy Fries rebels against the patriarchy by... by, erm... well, I must have missed that bit.

Podkayne spends the entire book conforming to other people's ideas of how women should act. She suppresses her intellect in front of men so as not to scare them off, and adopts a "puzzled kitten" expression instead. She stops herself from cursing because it's unbecoming of a woman. She wants to be a pilot, which a
...more
David Sarkies
Feb 08, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sci-fi fans
Recommended to David by: One of my Bosses
Shelves: sci-fi
A Girl's First Space Adventure
12 February 2012

It is interesting that this is the third Heinlein book that I have read and a quick flick through some of the reviews I notice a lot of people carrying on about how outdated and sexist this book is. Look, come off it, not only was this book written in 1963, meaning that it was before our own 'enlightened' society in regards to sexual equality (and come on, while I am all for sexual equality, putting a completely unskilled woman into the role of dire
...more
Jacob
An enjoyable story about a girl native to Mars who goes on a trip to visit Earth with her brother and uncle. The format is the girl's journal, so the feel (and ultimate development) is actually a lot like Feed, but I liked the writing better here. I was also tickled to discover that "Podkayne" is the girl's name. I always thought that referenced a title or occupation, and for some reason I think it fits as a girl's name (the issue actually comes up in the book).

A lot of the side comments are int
...more
Helen
Aug 01, 2012 rated it did not like it
If Podkayne is Heinlein's most remarkable heroine, I'm glad I haven't read any of his other stuff because Podkayne of Mars is a wimpy, passive, airhead who lets the men in the story do all the thinking. I understand that social moires were different when this was written, but just because I understand that doesn't mean I have to like this book. The plot was all right, but I was too frustrated with the main character to enjoy the book.
Natalie aka Tannat
Well, I stopped short of wanting to throw the book across the room but overall it was a disappointment. And a lot of stuff with the bomb just doesn’t make sense to me.

It started out promisingly enough, and I thought Poddy’s (Podkayne’s) jocular tone was fun at first. Her mother is even a big shot engineer, so I thought there might actually be some truth in Heinlein’s earlier stuff being better. But boy oh boy does he start showing his true colours as the story progresses. It started with little
...more
Nooilforpacifists
Mar 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Heinlein’s first, but by no means last, experiment with female narrators.
Judy
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I guess I'm into the Sci-Fi genre these days - and Heinlein seems to be a good choice. I read some of his books many eons ago and now I'm going to read some more. If I can fit them into the schedule, lol. Anyway, I liked this one as I guess you can tell by the 4 stars. :) This one has the original ending that Heinlein wrote, along with a letter to his agent at the end explaining why he prefers it to the one the publisher asked him to write and which was the version initially released. Now I'm cu ...more
Alan Marchant
Jul 12, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, fiction
Back to the Future

I remember enjoying this book 45 years ago. But now the funnest thing about this old copy of Podkayne of Mars (Ace Science Fiction) is the misdirectional blurb on the back cover: "An interplanetary bombshell who rocked the constellations when she invaded the Venus Hilton and attacked the mighty mechanical men with a strange, overpowering blast of Sex Appeal."

A good rule of thumb is never to re-read adolescent fiction. Leave it alone with your subconscious. But because of that b
...more
wally
May 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: heinlein
good story. i don't know. i don't get it. they claim "feminists" dislike heinlein? truth? one of the big paradoxes of our time is when the so-called pro-choice crowd demands that nobody be allowed to keep and bear arms, women included, who should could would ought to consider doing so, what with the need to make their way to the clinic. i mean, why should they have to resort to back-alley arming? heinlein, i'd hazard, is a proponent for the keeping and baring of...arms. so it is mind-boggling th ...more
Anna
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physical-copies, 2019
The f*** did I just read. I'm now hella confused and slightly annoyed about it. At the moment I'm thinking 2.5, maybe 3 stars at the most?

Look, I loved Ender's Game and that's why I decided to pick up this random sci-fi book at the library. I'd heard of Robert Heinlein, the cover looked alright, and I read the first couple of pages and liked it. But now I've finished it... I mean, the blurb says this book features 'the Grand Master of Science Fiction's most remarkable heroine', and that makes m
...more
Richard Buro
The short version first . . .

The first novel I ever read by the iconic science fiction author, Robert A. Heinlein was Podkayne of Mars. Considered to be the Grand Master of the genre, Mr. Heinlein was a prolific writer of both short and long fiction pieces. This novel was first published in 1963, and it was one of the first books I read after my initial trip to the library at the junior high (middle now) school which I attended in my Central Texas hometown. Up to this time, my reading had been f
...more
Perry Whitford
Podkayne Frie isn't your average teenage girl from the far-future. Heinlein didn't advocate the average. Daughter of an advanced scientist and an eminent anthropologist, she has some pretty high ambitions herself, aiming at becoming a deep-space exploration commander, and sooner rather than later.

For the time being, she wants more than anything else to take a trip to Terra. She doesn't believe for a second that human life actually started on Earth - after all the atmosphere is likely to give yo
...more
Miramira Endevall
Feb 16, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrew
Feb 03, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First to set the edition - this is the version of the book with the single ending - those of you who are aware know that its publishers demanded a rewrite as they were not happy with the original ending Heinlein wrote.
The second point to make is - take a look at the stories original publication date - my version is dated 1963.
The reason for these two points is that reading other peoples review they seem to either love it or hate it, glossing over or ridiculing many of its aspects - from characte
...more
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Hoyt's Huns: May 2015 - Siblings -- Podkayne of Mars -- no spoilers 4 10 May 16, 2015 05:02PM  
Long Live Heinlein: Discussion group on Poddy 4 38 Jun 27, 2013 09:40AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Missing cover art 2 29 Oct 27, 2011 09:48AM  
Goodreads Librari...: How to note ending in an edition 6 139 Aug 17, 2011 05:24AM  

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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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