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Robert Heinlein's Shadow: The Seven Starlings and "How Aeneas Browning Got Rich" [Paperback]

Michael Crowe
1.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 11.95
Price: 10.02 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

27 Mar 2007
What kind of world is left after the H5N1 Bird Flu Pandemic? What is our future likely to look like? Will humans be cloned and their genetics engineered? What changes to the human genome might the conditions of a moon colony produce? Where is all that extra mass in the universe? A thought provoking science fiction book after the old style with lots of correct science, where the questions being asked encourage readers to become more familiar with the various disciplines [genetics ,mineralogy, anthropology, math etc.] which are glanced upon, and accurately portrayed. The theme is "love that never will be" and the hero of the first story is a four hundred pound, hairy but lovable, slightly mutated foot ball player named Hugh, and the five, eleven year old girls who end up in his charge. This is a good book.

Product details

  • Paperback: 214 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (27 Mar 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595437117
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595437115
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 14.7 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,022,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

The author lives on a pacific island surrounded by progeny and friends, he owns a five pound wonder dog more intelligent than many of the people who will read these words, and a Browning semi automatic shotgun with which he has, over many years, shot 26 deer. He has recently joined his daughter in the kind of vegetarianism where sea creatures such as fish and shrimps are still eaten, although privately, he intends to stretch the aquatic creatures rule to include ducks and geese if given the chance, {in fact even sea gulls, fullmars, gannets, and puffins are starting to look pretty good}. He recommends to all with a true desire to Grok and become waterbrothers that they Grok the sundance and begin to pray in the sweat lodge.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars In Dire Need of an Editor 3 Sep 2009
Anyone with chutzpah to use one of Heinlein's character's names as his own had better be a very good writer. Unfortunately, this is not the case here. The problems with this book are many:

1. Grammar: run-on and incomplete sentences, inappropriately placed commas, semi-colons, quotation marks, near-random improper capitalization, disagreement between subject and verb, use of the wrong homonym ('there' for `their'), spelling, verb tense-the list continues on and on. A lot of this would have been caught by any standard word processor, which obviously wasn't used, and this really can't be blamed on the typesetter, as there were just too many of the things (and even if it was, even a cursory proof-read should have caught and fixed most of this).

2. Lack of definition of precisely where in time a scene was. Apparently this author did not know how to indicate a break in the action or a shift in time, leading to many cases of reading two or three paragraphs before realizing that the focus had shifted to a time point several days after the preceding scene.

3. Chapter breaks not related to an actual conclusion of a particular scene. This sometimes led to `chapters' as short as a half-page, and the succeeding chapter directly continuing the preceding artificially short chapter's action. This also indicated a larger point: much of the work was not constructed in normal setup- conflict-resolution fashion, indicating the author did not have a good handle on where he wanted his story to go from one page to the next.

4. Introducing and then dropping large numbers of characters (sometimes by killing them off, sometimes merely by forgetting to ever mention them again).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat Disappointing 25 April 2009
I have been a Heinlein fan for nigh on 50 years. I bought this book on the strength of the title line "Robert Heinlein's Shadow" and the author's name Jubal Harshaw, taken from a character in "Stranger in a Strange Land."

Sadly, the book did not live up to its promise. "The Seven Starlings" has some clever story ideas, and is much the longer of the two stories. However, it is badly let down by appalling spelling errors and grammatical mistakes. Some are so bad it makes deciphering the meaning of the sentence difficult! I can only assume the proof-reader, if there was one, was having an off-day. Or week. A pity. With the right editor, this might have been a good story.

"How Aeneas Browning Got Rich" is an amusing little tale, but some clever ideas were introduced and then not developed. Could have been much better. Again, let down by poor grammar and bad editing.
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Amazon.com: 2.3 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Another lamer hijacking RAH's name 24 Jun 2007
By Jesse Wendel - Published on Amazon.com
Just another lamer hijacking the Old Man's name so this poorly copy-edited, badly-written excuse for a book will come up in RAH's search results.

Don't waste your time; this book is a waste of time. Seriously. The author isn't Robert Heinlein. He isn't even fit to take out the Old Man's trash, although RAH would be unlikely to be so impolite as to say so.

Attempting to grab one's fifteen minutes of fame on the back of RAH's Grand Mastery, simply strikes me as rude. Rude and lame.

Don't buy this book please. Not only does it genuinely suck. It's written by a lamer, attempting to use the Old Man's reputation to get search results from people whom aren't paying close attention. And if there's one thing Robert Anson Heinlein wanted you to do besides think for yourself, it is to pay attention.

One Star -- and that's being generous. Jubal Harshaw would have set Michael loose on him. *smiles sweetly*
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Heinlein's Shadow Deserves Better 28 Jun 2007
By Skip Hughes - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Clever idea and good stories, even nicely Heinlein-like. But attention to detail in story-line (something Heinlein himself seldom missed a trick on) is lacking. And proof-reading by author, editor, or anyone at all would have improved the end-product enormously. Was Harshaw in a hell of a hurry on this? By the way, for "future reference," Jubal Harshaw (in "Stranger in a Strange Land") has a middle initial: "E."
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Three stars for story, but one for presentation 27 Jun 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
The "yarn" itself is not a bad one. The story has a semi-fantastic, but reasonably plausibly "spun" premise out of modern-day science fact themes. Clearly "Mr. Harshaw" is also trying to set it in his own future history. He even captures some of the ludicrously sublime wording that one could find in some of Heinlein's juveniles--the line that's sticking out for me in this vein was something like: "Then Mom nuked another city."

The problem, as other reviews have aptly noted, was that this author made a mistake that Heinlein never did. He [or she] failed to retain a competent editor--or if there was an editor, they were poorly heeded.

There's "sheer" instead of "shear," an early warning of what's to come. I stopped short for precious seconds at a capital letter used mid-sentence. The offending character followed a lower-cased, period-delimited abbreviation, "d.n.a." [sic] This flaw made it obvious that the author was drafting in Microsoft Word. A word to the wise: "Auto-Correct" may be automatic, but it's not automatically correct.

Throughout the text there were parenthetical comments {or sometimes curly-brace comments [sometimes brackets were. The fact that these constructs contained anything from run-on sentences to nonsensical fragments only added to their distracting power.

If you like a decent yarn, and can get past all the painful syntax and outright errors, then do give this a try. I'd spend my valuable time with some of the well-crafted works of other SF authors that will give you great stories, without all of the amateurish defects.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Why can't I rate this trash a minus ten?? 29 Oct 2008
By Norman Strojny - Published on Amazon.com
I read as much of this trash as I could before throwing it out and barfing. I wish I could give this thing a negative rating!

It is terrible writing. Heinlein wrote better stuff on his worst day. As best as I can tell the real Heinlein had nothing to do with this travesty and this is a total rip-off of Heinlein's reputation.

"Jubal Harshaw" is one of Heinlein's characters and should be under copywrite. If the author using this pseudonym isn't already paying the Heinlein trust a bunch of money, I hope he/she has to pay much, much, more money in the near future for harm to Heinlein's legacy.

Do not buy this book. Do not read this book. Grump at Amazon for carrying such trash.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars comments posted at the official Heinlein website 25 May 2007
By S. Crowe - Published on Amazon.com
amongst many criticisms of the proof reading and printing of this book[many extra commas etc.} Author Bill Patterson posting at the official Heinlein website says that the writer"may have succeeded in creating a book that Heinlein himself would have liked" I myself initially refused to continue reading this book on account of the way too many typos,but at my brothers insistence I finally read the much shorter[and better] second story[how aeneas browning got rich] and liked it a lot.
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