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Space Cadet Paperback – 1 Jul 1993


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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; New Ed edition (1 July 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0450007375
  • ISBN-13: 978-0450007378
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 1.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,016,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

While protecting the Solar System, a boy turns into a man

About the Author

Robert A. Heinlein was one of the greatest science fiction writers of the century and won the coveted Hugo Award on several occasions. He died in 1989.

Customer Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Shepherd on 9 Nov. 2003
Format: Paperback
I hadn't read this one of Heinlein's in many, many years when I picked it up and was leafing through it in search of an answer to a trivia question. Doing this with any Heinlein novel is dangerous; in short order I was snagged into re-reading the entirety of this one. Heinlein has often been cited by many of today's scientists and engineers as their inspiration for getting into the sciences, and this book is a prime example of why. As the story of Matt Dodson, young man in training to be a Space Patrol officer, it is a very typical adolescent-to-man portrayal. The first half of the book deals with his training, from the rigorous testing to eliminate those who don't have what it takes to descriptions of the myriad of subjects an officer is expected to know. The second half details his experiences and on-the-job training as a school graduate, from long boring hours in space transit, to the finding of a missing Patrol ship, to his experiences in the art of negotiation with Venusian natives. At no point does this book ever become boring; I fully believe Heinlein could have written a twenty page exposition on watching grass grow and kept his readers totally engrossed. Some of the details he presents on the art of astrogation and space flight may go over the heads of some younger readers of this book, but it is precisely such details that will get those readers interested in studying such subjects.
This book was written in 1948, and some allowances must be made for that reason, such as the description of Venus as mainly a hot and very wet but habitable planet (at the time he wrote this, this was one of the main scientific suppositions about conditions on the this planet).
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Format: Paperback
I read 'Space Cadet' after reading 'Starship Troopers' and as a result the similarities between the two became heavily obvious. But in spite of the fact that Heinlein aimed 'Space Cadet' for a younger market than 'Starship Troopers' can can't help but find the former to be an all-round better and more enjoyable read.

My criticisms of 'Starship Troopers' ultimately boiled down to two points. The characters were one-dimensional, and they served only as mouthpieces for Heinlein's political views. I knew as little about Juan Rico by the end of the book as I did at the beginning and was tired of the author's lectures on how great the military was.

By comparison 'Space Cadet', which follows much the same story, was a far more enjoyable read. The main character and his companions all have some depth to them and while Heinlein's politics are present in the writing you aren't being beaten around the head with them.

I got through 'Space Cadet' in a day, unable to really put it down, and finished with a feeling of just how good 'Starship Troopers' could have been if Heinlein hadn't turned it into an author tract. If you enjoy Heinlein then this makes for some fun light reading, and if you were annoyed by the tone of 'Starship Troopers' then you'll probably find it a nice way to calm yourself down.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Feb. 2001
Format: Paperback
A good example of his 'teen' sci-fi. A bit 'Boy's Own', with similar political overtones to Starship Troopers (but ST was aimed more at the adult market). It's nice and short and can be read in one sitting.
However, it doesn't really stand out from the rest of his writing, hence the 3 star rating.
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By Les J on 25 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good books, a bit dated now but a good read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rod Williams on 17 Mar. 2004
Format: Paperback
A minor yet appealing work from Heinlein which reads a little like a tamer version of 'Starship Troopers' in that a teenager enrols in 'The Patrol', makes friends and works his way through the trials of his cadetship.
It's an unashamed wish-fulfilment fantasy aimed at a specific demographic but is nonetheless notable for the odd seductiveness of Heinlein's style. Other critics have pointed out that even though readers may violently disagree with Heinlein's rather right-wing (and naïve) view of human nature, he creates a very cosy atmosphere in which to express it.
Matt Dobson is our hero, a young man of 'the right stuff' who applies to become a cadet in The Patrol and makes friends with not only 'Tex' Jarman, a Texan, but also Oscar and Pierre who hail from Venus & Ganymede.
Following initial testing and training, and the elimination of weak links, the successful candidates are posted to the Randolph school ship where physical training is augmented by forced education under hypnosis.
The Patrol is an interplanetary peace-keeping force which - one presumes - rather in the manner of Gort's robots from 'The Day The Earth Stood Still' - keeps the peace between worlds and nations by threatening to nuke the aggressor. The Earth is, for instance, surrounded by a ring of nuclear bombs, stretching between the poles, capable of striking any point on the planet's surface.
Heinlein doesn't go out of his way to explore the morality of this issue, other than a brief discussion between Matt and his father on the topic which is hastily curtailed for fear of sending Matt's mother into hysterics. Matt's mother, being a woman, is naturally hysterical and doesn't know what keeps the moon up in the sky.
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