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Green Hills Of Earth [Mass Market Paperback]

Robert A. Heinlein
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Feb 1997
Heinlein's "Future History" Epic: On the Moon, Mars and Space Station One, it's pure Heinlein all the way in a stunning vision of adventure and courage set against a masterfully realized future.


Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Baen Books; Reprint edition (1 Feb 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671578537
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671578534
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.7 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,533,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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SURE, we had trouble building Space Station One but the trouble was people. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
In 'The Green Hills of Earth', the reader is given many short stories that deal with how the future might be, in respect to technology and sociology. With storys that touch on future colonies on the moon, interplanitary relations (there are Martians!), and a host of other topics, this book is, as the experssion goes, hard to put down. I reccomend it to anyone with an interest in the future of earth.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic early short stories by Heinlein 28 Nov 2002
By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Robert Heinlein was writing great science fiction before a lot of people even knew what it was. The Green Hills of Earth features ten early short stories from the 1940s; all of these stories are set in outer space, but these are more sociological and entertaining than technical in the way of hard science fiction. In "Delilah and the Space Rigger," the head of the space station construction project is horrified to discover that his new engineer is a woman. His fear of having one woman working among a crew of 200 men is never alleviated, but the modern-day Delilah makes good use of her undeniable engineering skills to win a victory of sorts in the end. "Space Jockey" is basically a story of a space pilot and his stay-at-home wife. It basically explores the issues of a traditional marriage in which the husband is away from home more than either partner would like for him to be. These two stories' treatment of women is far from sexist in my opinion. "The Long Watch" and "Gentlemen, Be Seated" are stories of bravery and heroism. In the first, a spaceman risks his radiation-vulnerable life to stop a military coup from taking place, while the second describes the heroism of three men trapped in a tunnel collapse in Luna City. "The Black Pits of Luna" is a story of a normal family whose youngest son (referred to lovingly as "the brat") wanders off by himself on a tour of the moon. The search for the little guy offers us some clues as to what sorts of qualities a space man should have (as well as the qualities of individuals who should never have been allowed on the moon to start with).
"It's Great to be Back" is enjoyable yet wholly predictable.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Workaday Tales of Life in Space 17 Dec 2000
By Randy Stafford - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This collection is fifty years old and, yes, the tales, with their atomic rockets and homegrown aliens in our own solar system, have dated. But most of the stories are still worth reading with one genuine classic and a couple of near-classics.
The stories are built around two general themes: workaday life in a future where space travel is common and genuine heroism.
On the workaday side is "Delilah and the Space Rigger", a tale about how the only woman on a space construction project affects her hundreds of male co-workers. "Space Jockey" moves a common situation, the strains work can place on a marriage, into the future when a rocket pilot must decide whether to quit his job or possibly leave his wife. In "Gentlemen, Be Seated", a moonquake puts some lives at risks in the tunnels under Luna City. It's work of an unusual sort in "'-We Also Walk Dogs'". It shows the inner workings of General Services, a company whose boast, that no job is too large or too small, is put to the test when the laws of physics have to be modified for an alien trade conference.
A couple of other stories are not built around work per se but still feature domestic matters. "The Black Pits of Luna" concerns a tourist from Earth, a small boy, getting lost on the moon's surface. Its juvenile narrator foreshadows the young adult science fiction novels Heinlein later wrote. The ironically titled "It's Great to Be Back" features a family returning to Earth after three years stay on the moon. The old planet doesn't live up to their cherished memories.
It's work of a grim sort in the near-classic "Logic of Empire" about slavery and colonial exploitation on Venus. It doesn't end happily and, by this point in Heinlein's Future History, Prophet Nehemiah Scudder looms on the horizon.
Tales of heroism figure in the rest of the collection's stories. The hero of "Ordeal in Space" has to retire after picking up a debilitating case of acrophobia when he saves a luxury space liner from destruction. He finds a cure in an unlikely place. "The Long Watch" is another almost classic. In it, one man foils a military coup that threatens Earth.
The undisputed classic here is "The Green Hills of Earth", a biography of the blind poet Rhysling. Part Homer, part Robert Burns, and part Rudyard Kipling, he travels through space and to Venus and Mars and recites some pretty good poetry before meeting a tragic end.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic early short stories by Heinlein 15 Nov 2002
By Daniel Jolley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Robert Heinlein was writing great science fiction before a lot of people even knew what it was. The Green Hills of Earth features ten early short stories from the 1940s; all of these stories are set in outer space, but these are more sociological and entertaining than technical in the way of hard science fiction. In "Delilah and the Space Rigger," the head of the space station construction project is horrified to discover that his new engineer is a woman. His fear of having one woman working among a crew of 200 men is never alleviated, but the modern-day Delilah makes good use of her undeniable engineering skills to win a victory of sorts in the end. "Space Jockey" is basically a story of a space pilot and his stay-at-home wife. It basically explores the issues of a traditional marriage in which the husband is away from home more than either partner would like for him to be. These two stories' treatment of women is far from sexist in my opinion. "The Long Watch" and "Gentlemen, Be Seated" are stories of bravery and heroism. In the first, a spaceman risks his radiation-vulnerable life to stop a military coup from taking place, while the second describes the heroism of three men trapped in a tunnel collapse in Luna City. "The Black Pits of Luna" is a story of a normal family whose youngest son (referred to lovingly as "the brat") wanders off by himself on a tour of the moon. The search for the little guy offers us some clues as to what sorts of qualities a space man should have (as well as the qualities of individuals who should never have been allowed on the moon to start with).
"It's Great to be Back" is enjoyable yet wholly predictable. After three years on the moon, a couple absolutely yearns to go back home to earth, only to find that their idea of home has changed immensely during their sojourn in Luna City. "-We Also Walk Dogs" is probably the most singular story in this collection. General Services basically serves any request made by its customers, offering a service borne of the old tradition of walking dogs for rich folks. Their commitment to do whatever job needs to be done is put to the ultimate test when a bureaucrat asks them to make hay with the laws of gravity in order to pave the way for an ultra-important international business meeting on earth. "Ordeal in Space" is another hero story-"Mr. Saunders" is a space hero who has become deathly afraid of heights as the result of a terribly frightening yet heroic ordeal above the earth. He is so afraid of heights that he can't even look up at the sky without getting queasy. When he reluctantly accepts a dinner invitation and ends up spending the night in an apartment 35 stories above the ground, the meowing of a kitten stuck out on the ledge challenges him to overcome his fears. As an acrophobic person myself, it was all I could do to get through some of Heinlein's realistic descriptions of the heights involved in this kitten rescue mission. "The Green Hills of Earth" is the story of the unofficial poet laureate of outer space, but I found it to be the only slightly disappointing story in the book. Finally, "Logic of Empire" rounds out the collection. Humphrey Wingate gets into a heated discussion about the reality of indentured servitude on Venus, refusing to see it as a modern form of chattel slavery. When his friend asks him to put his money where his mouth is, he has the great misfortune of being very drunk. Upon awakening, he finds himself on a ship bound for Venus, where he quickly develops a brand new standpoint on the subject of Venusian servitude.
These are all great stories which the passage of time has not hurt one iota. Set in a science fiction setting, they are all essentially stories of people and their interaction with one another. Any fan of Heinlein or science fiction in general is missing a rare treat if he/she overlooks The Green Hills of Earth.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little dated, but classic sci-fi 20 Sep 2000
By Micheal O Mealoid - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a collection of ten short stories, all set in the not too distant future, but somehow the characters all maintain a 1950's feeling about them. It's quite a small book, which makes each of the stories quite short too, good for young and old. When you compare this against some of Heinlein's novels, it simply doesn't have the breadth or the complexity of the novels, but then, I suppose how could it?
The style is fairly simple and to the point. The stories all have a beginning, middle and end. Some short stories, by other authors, seem to start somewhere in the middle of some crisis, and leave you there to figure it out. Not this, each story explains itself right from the beginning, and you know what's going on all the time.
The themes of the stories range from what would happen if a woman went to work among an all male crew assembling a space station (yes, I know! Shocking!), to how one man had a traumatic experience being left floating in space and ended up with terminal vertigo. Another tells the story of how a family long to go home to earth from their job on the moon, but find themselves instead longing to go "home" to the moon again. As you can see, fairly innocent stuff.
But what is good about this book, is to see what a man who clearly thought about the future and science predicted for the future. At this stage in Science Fiction's development, atomic rockets were all the rage, the moon was called "luna", anyone who stayed on earth and who didn't want to go out into space was obviously some form of backwards trogladyte, colonies on mars and venus were commercial and politically viable, and several forms of alien life had been discovered all over the solar system. The characters are very obviously nineteen fifties in their behaviour, although "modern" at the same time, really totally different from actual behaviour nowadays. You can almost visualise the men still wearing hats indoors, and the women wearing high heeled shoes and nylon stockings with seams up the back. But enough of my fantasising! (Mmmm, nylons...)
If you're a budding fan of sci-fi, then get this book. It'll give you a good idea of where things were in the early days, and from one of the greats too. If you're only just getting into it, then leave this 'till later, but do get it eventually. For veterans, this is a good nostalgia piece, great for train or plane rides, as you can dip in and out as you please.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Heinlein 9 Jun 2010
By M - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a nice volume which collects some of Heinlein's Future History books. Personally, I find the collection 'Past Through Tomorrow' to be a better collection of Heinlein's short Future History stories, but of course you could always go with the shorter books if you don't want to deal with a really thick book. This collection features some nice classics, my personal favorite being 'Delilah and the Space Rigger' as well as 'We Also Walk Dogs'. With Heinlein, you can't go wrong with this book. Enjoy!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Days of Future Past 4 May 2006
By Jeanne Tassotto - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This volume contains 10 of Heinlein's Future History stories written during the 1940's.

The first, 'Delilah and the Space Rigger' (1949) concerns the arrival of women's liberation on a construction site in space.

'Space Jockey' (1947) describes the problems of long distance relationships.

'The Long Watch' (1948) sometimes being a hero means being in the wrong place at the right time

'Gentlemen, Be Seated' (1948) a journalist discovers what it takes to survive on the moon up close and personal

'The Black Pits of Luna' (1947) some children should be neither seen nor heard

'It's Great to be Back' (1946) a young couple learns that home is where the heart is

'-We Also Walk Dogs' (1941) a very enterprising group of business people tackle some very surprising problems

'Ordeal in Space' (1947) a grounded spaceman faces his demons aided by a most surprising ally

'The Green Hills of Earth' (1947) the life and times of the poet laureate of space

'Logic of Empire' (1941) two wealthy young businessmen investigate the colonial problem

These stories laid a very solid foundation to the Future History stories. Many of the characters and/or incidents described return in later stories in this series making this a good place for a newcomer to RAH's work to begin or provid background for anyone who has read the later stories.
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