- Mass Market Paperback
- Publisher: Ace Books; Reissue edition (1 Jan. 1989)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0441639135
- ISBN-13: 978-0441639137
- Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.5 x 12.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,587,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Orphans of the Sky Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jan 1989
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'The all-time most important writer of genre sf' The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.
About the Author
Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) was educated at the University of Missouri and the US Naval Academy, Annapolis. He served as a naval officer for five years but retired in 1934 due to ill health. He then studied physics at UCLA before beginning to publish sf with 'Lifeline' for Astounding Science Fiction in 1939. Among his many novels are The Door into Summer, Double Star, Starship Troopers, Stranger in a Strange Land and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.
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Top Customer Reviews
The inhabitants of this starship, due to a long ago mutiny that eliminated all the ship's officers and their knowledge, have forgotten that where they live is a ship, and that it is supposed to go somewhere. For them, the ship's interior is their entire universe, and even the idea that something might exist `Outside' the ship is so foreign a concept that most can't even imagine it, somewhat like trying to imagine what a fourth spatial dimension is really like. Their lives revolve around the simple necessities of eating, reproducing, and feeding the matter converter, as controlled by the high priesthood of `scientists'. In opposition we find the `muties' who live in `high country' (the ship's upper decks), outcasts from the main society who have formed their own society, under the nominal leadership of a two-headed mutant. When the story's protagonist, a young man with ambitions of becoming a scientist, is forcibly thrown into the muties company and has his eyes opened to what the ship truly is, the battle is joined to educate all the inhabitants and put the ship back on track.
Though the concept of this plot is not bad, the actual execution suffers quite a bit from Heinlein's less-than-complete mastery of story-telling skills at this very early point in his career.Read more ›
Without giving too much away, Hugh begins to explore the ship in an attempt to understand the truth. He encounters a variety of characters, most of which are reasonably well fleshed out, and gets into a variety of scrapes, most of which are a bit improbable. It's a shame that the ship and the societies aren't described in a bit more detail, but the story moves along at quite a pace and it pretty exciting, so I didn't find this to be too much of an issue.
An enjoyable story overall.
The ship, sent to colonise a nearby star system at sublight speeds, is huge and equipped with everything required for a flight generations long. Somewhere on route to its destination something went wrong; most of the crew died and all knowledge of Earth was lost.
The book follows the protagonist on a journey through the ship. In a world where science had become mystical and guarded by a select few, literacy is rare and society revolves around a cult dedicated to "the company" with "the captain" at its head. He befriends the "Muties" who live in the weightless levels and embarks on a journey of discovery which will shake the foundations of his world.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Pre space/ computer but not pre atomic age sci-fi, aimed at a younger audiance than I am. I missed the juvinile fiction in the discription, a generational space ship gone wrong. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
This early Heinlein is one of his best. A gripping and bizarre fantasy, a ship intended to last several generations to reach Alpha Centauri has suffered a social collapse and... Read morePublished 23 months ago by GwydionM
Heinlein had a brilliant idea with this concept of a world within a starship. For those who have not yet read it, the book has similarities to Pandorum - An enclosed world, mutants... Read morePublished on 24 Jun. 2012 by Nicodemus
Heinlein is one of my favourite SF authors, and I believe this to be one of his best novels. It ought to be a movie soon, if it doesn't get too twisted. Read morePublished on 4 Sept. 2010 by Babbens
What no-one has mentioned about this novel is that it is a satire on religion, suggesting that existing religion may be a misunderstanding of its origins. Read morePublished on 6 July 2008 by Draypoker
It seems a shame to me that this, actually darn good, book has very little recognition on this site: no reviews, synopsis or even a cover image. Read morePublished on 27 Aug. 2006 by D.A.H.