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Podkayne of Mars

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  7,742 ratings  ·  369 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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3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,742 ratings  ·  369 reviews

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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
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.
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
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
Manuel Antão
Jul 21, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1993, 1980
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
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
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
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
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
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
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

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
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
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
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.
Mar 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Heinlein’s first, but by no means last, experiment with female narrators.
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
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
Apr 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
¿Buscáis un Heinlein CÓMICO, ÁCIDO Y EVASIVO (en lo referente a distracción), pero, como siempre, SIN ELUDIR LA CRÍTICA Y DENUNCIA SOCIAL?; éste es vuestro libro!.
Pero voy allá con el argumento y demás observaciones respecto a la obra...

Podkayne Fries, es una jovencita marciana (dejémoslo en eso..) , despierta, decidida y segura de sus armas femeninas, exótica, extrovertida, curiosa y descarada; pero sumamente sentimental y algo inocente. Con una pintoresca (y liosa) familia que completa el cuad
Alan Marchant
Jul 12, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, sci-fi
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
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
Perry Whitford
Podkayne Frie isn't your usual type of teenage girl from the far-future. Daughter of an advanced scientist and an eminent anthropologist from Mars, 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 you hernias and heart tro
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.
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
Kilian Metcalf
Aug 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Neither fish, nor flesh, nor good red herring, this book isn't quite sure what it is. It's usually included among RH's juvenile books, but it doesn't follow the usual tropes of what we would call YA today. It has a female protagonist, but she is presented as shallow and stupid, constantly the butt of her younger brother's scorn and pranks. RH is sometimes labeled a racist and sexist, but I don't see it. The primary family is racially mixed, and the mother of the protagonist has a thriving indepe ...more
Nov 18, 2013 rated it liked it
-Ejercicio de costumbrismo juvenil pero de género.-

Género. Ciencia-Ficción.

Lo que nos cuenta. Podkayne Fries, más conocida como Poddy, es una jovencita de unos 16 años (terrestres) que vive en Marte y que está a punto de viajar a la Tierra con su familia. Una serie de acontecimientos hacen que el viaje se cancele pero Poddy terminará viajando hacia Venus y la Tierra por la intervención de su tío, héroe de la Rebelión, que la acompañará a ella y a su hermano Clark en la travesía espacial.

Feb 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
The less-than-stellar reviews on goodreads do not lie. RAH created an interesting world, and then in the last quarter of the book used it as a podium to talk about women caring for babies and simpering to men. Almost as if the book was written in two sittings, the latter from a much older and grumpier man.
Jose Moa
Oct 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
A fun growing up theme with a martian girl named Podkayne adventures in a journey to earth
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
Jose Sanz
Muy flojo Heinlein aquí asumiendo perspectiva femenina quizá para tumbar su imagen de faxa.

Y encima llega el hijo de puta al final y mete un "la mujer madre lo que ha de hacer es quedarse en casa cuidando de la camada" (más o menos significa eso, si bien no son palabras literales) que, bueno, El Payo Juan Manuel te lo canta y te ríes porque sabes que luego lo compensa con otra sobrada para admitir que las xicas nos pasan el xoxo por la cara a los xicos de lo listas que son y lo bien que se escaq
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Goodreads Librari...: Missing cover art 2 29 Oct 27, 2011 12:48AM  
Goodreads Librari...: How to note ending in an edition 6 139 Aug 16, 2011 08:24PM  
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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
“Politics is not evil; politics is the human race’s most magnificent achievement.” 2 likes
“Think about it. Politics is just a name for the way we get things done ... without fighting. We dicker and compromise and everybody thinks he has received a raw deal, but somehow after a tedious amount of talk we come up with some jury-rigged way to do it without getting anybody's head bashed in. That's politics. The only other way to settle a dispute is by bashing a few heads in ... and that is what happens when one or both sides is no longer willing to dicker. That's why I say politics is good even when it is bad
because the only alternative is force-and somebody gets hurt. -- Senator Tom Fries”
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