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General SF&F discussion > Podkayne of Mars -Spoilers wanted

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message 1: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) Earlier this week I read Crown of Empire. In the back of the book, there was ad to vote on the ending of Heinlein's Podkayne of Mars, the original ending vs the printed one. (The copyright of the book is 1995). I've looked the book up here, and it seems in one version the title character dies.

I have been scarred by Stranger in a Strange Land. Can some please explain this whole debate to me? What I've seen on the reviews here doesn't make me want to read the book, but I'm curious.

message 2: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) In the original ending of Podkayne, Poddy dies because she goes back to rescue a baby alien & a small nuclear device goes off, killing her. It was set by her brother, the purpose being to live free or take the bastards with them.

In the published version, her story (it's told as her diary) is finished by her brother who suddenly finds his humanity & is caring for the baby alien. She's seriously ill, but will live. There's a bit with the uncle blaming the parents for the brother's maladjustment & therefore Poddy's injuries.

Heinlein apparently didn't want to change it, but was forced to by the editor or publisher. I think it was one of his Schribner books.

If you want a better explanation, including a plot summary, there's a Wikipedia entry:

I read the second ending first & kind of liked it, although I really empathized with Carl, the brother, & never thought he was particularly damaged, so I didn't like the Uncle blaming the parents bit. I've read both & would probably pick the original. Heinlein's work, he gets to end it how he likes.

Why in the world would you be scarred by Stranger?

message 3: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) I thought Stranger was really bad and really insulting.

Thanks for the answer.

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