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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars heinlein at his best, 16 May 2006
RAMON (Santander, SPAIN) - See all my reviews
This is the first science fiction book I liked (before that I had read the time machine and the war of the worlds).

The plot is easy enough: Earth is overcrowded, new colonies are being stablished in Ganimede. The hero decides to go there with his newly married father and his step mother and sister. Once there, they'll have to take part in the post terraforming effort, and become farmers much in the old colonial style. They suffer from earthquake (can you use that word?) and several other penalties, and in the end they become true human beings.

For the modern reader, Heinlein's rethoric, full of outfashioned machismo, matter-of-fact virility, easigoing logic about life and existence seems outdated and even sounds sarcastic. The hero rules his world by his boy scout code, and all the characters shape reality with perjudice rather than mentality or ideas. I rather liked it as a teenager, everything seemed so easy (quote "survivors survive")

However... the book is very well written, action soars, situations are superbly described, one wishes the author had some more ideas about places or adventures for the hero. He does not refuse to write nasty things when he has to: future is not that nice, even in this pack of healthy pioneers you can find some samples of the stupid, the corrupt, the inept who make community life a headache.

So... for me this is Heinlein at his best: full of life, action, enthusiasm about mankind and the possibilities - and limiations - of our race . It should go with "The puppet masters" and even that undercover fascist manifesto "Starship troopers".

Enjoy a shake!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Satellite Scout, 18 Dec 2013
John M. Ford "johnDC" (near DC, MD USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Farmer in the Sky (Mass Market Paperback)
Teenager Bill Lermer travels to Ganymede with his father, and his new step-mother and step-sister. Readers get a Bill's-eye view of a future resource-depleted Earth; life on board an interplanetary colony ship; dirt-level terraforming of Ganymede; and the challenges of adolescence. The latter include adjusting to his blended family, conflicts with others his age, and finding the right distance to maintain from girls.

This novel originally appeared as a serial in Boy's Life magazine. There is a strong Boy Scout influence in the story which blends well with the frontier setting and skills needed to survive in it. This is classic Robert Heinlein science fiction from the 1950s. The science is dated, but charmingly so. The adventure of space colonization nicely parallels the main character's coming of age.

One disappointed observation--the story could have gone on longer or easily supported a sequel. It's odd that a prolific writer like Heinlein did not follow up with one. Perhaps some detail of the licensing arrangement with Boy's Life explains this.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars jupiter has you've never seen it before, 20 May 2003
This review is from: Farmer in the Sky (Paperback)
how would a son feel if a parent decided to emigate, upset, disappointed, abandoned? when bill lermer gets the news that his dad is emigrating he feels all of these but he finds out his dad is going to JUPITER!!! bill decides he wants to go and they have an adventure on the way, but how will the two men get on in the new land??
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Farmer in the Sky
Farmer in the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein (Mass Market Paperback - 30 Jun 2009)
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