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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good example of early Heinlein writing.
There are two major Heinlein camps and a few crossovers. This may account for the wide variation in what people think of this book. Artists in any field paint what is real, and then what is real to them. Realists like the early works that they can relate to on their daily lives and see the later works as off the deep end. Others see the early works as silly or something...
Published on 14 Sep 2001 by bernie

versus
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mostly for fans...
Heinlein is one of my all time favorite, with F. Herbert, J. Vance, P.J. Farmer, and a few others. I trully love 'Stranger in a Strange Land', 'Friday', 'Time Enough for Love', and 'Starship Troopers'. This book doesn't get even close to those.
As far as I'm concerned, the merit of a book can be most safely assessed by asking oneself the question "Had this book...
Published on 13 Nov 2000 by Joss Delage


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mostly for fans..., 13 Nov 2000
By 
Joss Delage (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Heinlein is one of my all time favorite, with F. Herbert, J. Vance, P.J. Farmer, and a few others. I trully love 'Stranger in a Strange Land', 'Friday', 'Time Enough for Love', and 'Starship Troopers'. This book doesn't get even close to those.
As far as I'm concerned, the merit of a book can be most safely assessed by asking oneself the question "Had this book been written by a total stranger rather than the Grand Master himself, would it (1) still be in print, and (2) sell as much?" In this case, I think that the answer would be a clear no. The stories are very dated, both in their vision of science and in cultural references (blacks are "negroes", women are treated in a superbly paternalistic way...) The story-telling itself is not up to Heinlein's standard: most of them are half finished at best. Finally, the stories totally lack the humor and wittiness that makes Heinlein such a great author.
I'll grant that this book looks into some serious themes, and fosters reflexion. However, some of the themes are just silly.
'Friday', 'Stranger...', and 'Starship...' are as much if not more thought provoking, and the storytelling is light years better than 'Assignment...'
Overall, I would recommend this book to Heinlein's fans - not to people who do not know his work or enjoy it more casually.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars From Ape to Superman, 14 Feb 2006
By 
Patrick Shepherd "hyperpat" (San Jose, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is a collection of various stories that did not fit into Heinlein's Future History series (at least not at the time they were first published). Like most collections, the quality varies considerably from one story to the next.
"Gulf" first appeared in the Nov-Dec 1949 issues of Astounding magazine, and is the best fleshed out story here. A novella, the first portion of this reads like a James Bond thriller (perhaps better), the action is fast paced and our hero's actions make sense. But it quickly becomes apparent that he is far more than an average man, in fact he is something of a superman in terms of intelligence, reaction time, and decision making, items which are not lost on an entire society of such individuals, who recruit and train him. Some of the science presented here about how such a group of people came to be and the methods used for training them will seem a little dubious to today's readers, and the moral points raised (is a superior being justified in eliminating, without recourse to the law, those he feel are a threat to his society?) might raise a few hackles, but this is still a fun, fast read that will make you do a little thinking. Kettle Bailey is introduced in this story, and it might be considered a prequel to his much later novel Friday, which dealt with some of the same moral issues. Like almost everything else he wrote, this story was tied into his Future History in his last books.
"Elsewhen" is very minor Heinlein, with almost no characterization and very little plot. It originally appeared in Sept 1941 issue of Astounding (as by 'Caleb Saunders'), and clearly showed that Heinlein was still learning the craft of writing at that time. But it introduces the idea of time having multiple dimensions: the normal time flow, the 'parallel universe' branching time flow, and the 'time' dimension associated with author created universes. This was an idea Heinlein would return to in much greater depth (and much better written) in The Number of the Beast, the first of the 'World-as-Myth' books.
"Lost Legacy" is the other long piece here, first appearing in the Oct 1941 issue of Super Science Stories (as by 'Lyle Monroe'). Here again the idea of 'supermen' is tackled, this time positing that in the 'unused' areas of the brain lie the capabilities for the paranormal - telepathy, telekinesis, levitation, etc; talents which have been 'lost' after the fall of Mu and Antlantis. This one is only fair - characterization is somewhat lacking (and the shown expectation level for women is definitely grounded in the '40s stereotype - something that showed up in a lot of Heinlein's work from this period), and the 'bad guys' motivations don't seem totally believable (though perhaps that's just me - I've never understood people whose main drive is power over others). The solution to the problem of training people to remember these hidden talents, though, is a good one. This story may have been a re-working of some ideas that first appeared in "Beyond Doubt", his only known fictional collaboration (with Elma Wentz), which appeared in April of 1941 (and which he referred to as one of his 'stinkeroos' - it is pretty bad).
"Jerry was a Man" is perhaps the story of most relevance to today's world. First appearing in the Oct 1947 issue of Thrilling Wonder Stories, it is a world of genetic engineering marvels, from six-legged dogs and pint-sized flying horses to 'enhanced' monkeys - enhanced to the point that they have become a major factor in providing the labor for the 'dirty' jobs of society. The story is an investigation into just where the line can (or should) be drawn between 'animal' and 'man', couched in Heinlein's typical acid humor of court-room shenanigans, shysters, and money-hungry corporations.
These stories are certainly not the best things Heinlein ever wrote, but there is surprisingly little dating to them other than the cultural attitudes of the day, and they still entertaining and in some cases very thought provoking. Recommended for any Heinlein fan looking to see what he was capable of during his 'early' period outside of the Future History, and good for anyone who enjoys science fiction.
--- Reviewed by Patrick Shepherd (hyperpat)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good example of early Heinlein writing., 14 Sep 2001
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
There are two major Heinlein camps and a few crossovers. This may account for the wide variation in what people think of this book. Artists in any field paint what is real, and then what is real to them. Realists like the early works that they can relate to on their daily lives and see the later works as off the deep end. Others see the early works as silly or something that they could do better and the later works as profound and insightful. They see two people instead of one in the process of transition.
The reason I bought this book is for a story that deals with transition. "Lost Legacy" (1941) I do not want to go into too much detail as it is fun to have the story unfold in its time. However the story speculates as to what the so-called unused portion of our brain is for. Heinlein is not the first to speculate, but he does put together a great story combining many previous speculations.
While enjoying his story, look at the rudiments that will be used in later Heinlein writing, [Stranger in a Strange Land]. Even some of the names are the same
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good example of early Heinlein, 8 Aug 2013
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Assignment In Eternity (Paperback)
There are two major Heinlein camps and a few crossovers. This may account for the wide variation in what people think of this book. Artists in any field paint what is real, and then what is real to them. Realists like the early works that they can relate to on their daily lives and see the later works as off the deep end. Others see the early works as silly or something that they could do better and the later works as profound and insightful. They see two people instead of one in the process of transition.

Includes Gulf, Lost Legacy, Elsewhen, Jerry Was A Man.

The reason I bought this book is for a story that deals with transition. "Lost Legacy" (1941) I do not want to go into too much detail as it is fun to have the story unfold in its time. However the story speculates as to what the so-called unused portion of our brain is for. Heinlein is not the first to speculate, but he does put together a great story combining many previous speculations.

While enjoying his story, look at the rudiments that will be used in later Heinlein writing, "Stranger in a Strange Land." Even some of the names are the same.

Stranger in a Strange Land
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good example of early Heinlein, 5 Aug 2013
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Assignment in Eternity (Paperback)
There are two major Heinlein camps and a few crossovers. This may account for the wide variation in what people think of this book. Artists in any field paint what is real, and then what is real to them. Realists like the early works that they can relate to on their daily lives and see the later works as off the deep end. Others see the early works as silly or something that they could do better and the later works as profound and insightful. They see two people instead of one in the process of transition.

The reason I bought this book is for a story that deals with transition. "Lost Legacy" (1941) I do not want to go into too much detail as it is fun to have the story unfold in its time. However the story speculates as to what the so-called unused portion of our brain is for. Heinlein is not the first to speculate, but he does put together a great story combining many previous speculations.

While enjoying his story, look at the rudiments that will be used in later Heinlein writing, "Stranger in a Strange Land." Even some of the names are the same.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good example of early Heinlein, 28 July 2013
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Assignment in Eternity (Paperback)
There are two major Heinlein camps and a few crossovers. This may account for the wide variation in what people think of this book. Artists in any field paint what is real, and then what is real to them. Realists like the early works that they can relate to on their daily lives and see the later works as off the deep end. Others see the early works as silly or something that they could do better and the later works as profound and insightful. They see two people instead of one in the process of transition.

Includes Gulf, Lost Legacy, Elsewhen, Jerry Was A Man.

The reason I bought this book is for a story that deals with transition. "Lost Legacy" (1941) I do not want to go into too much detail as it is fun to have the story unfold in its time. However the story speculates as to what the so-called unused portion of our brain is for. Heinlein is not the first to speculate, but he does put together a great story combining many previous speculations.

While enjoying his story, look at the rudiments that will be used in later Heinlein writing, "Stranger in a Strange Land." Even some of the names are the same.

Stranger in a Strange Land
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good example of early Heinlein, 1 July 2013
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Assignment in Eternity (Hardcover)
There are two major Heinlein camps and a few crossovers. This may account for the wide variation in what people think of this book. Artists in any field paint what is real, and then what is real to them. Realists like the early works that they can relate to on their daily lives and see the later works as off the deep end. Others see the early works as silly or something that they could do better and the later works as profound and insightful. They see two people instead of one in the process of transition.

The reason I bought this book is for a story that deals with transition. "Lost Legacy" (1941) I do not want to go into too much detail as it is fun to have the story unfold in its time. However the story speculates as to what the so-called unused portion of our brain is for. Heinlein is not the first to speculate, but he does put together a great story combining many previous speculations.

While enjoying his story, look at the rudiments that will be used in later Heinlein writing, "Stranger in a Strange Land." Even some of the names are the same.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good example of early Heinlein, 12 Feb 2011
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
There are two major Heinlein camps and a few crossovers. This may account for the wide variation in what people think of this book. Artists in any field paint what is real, and then what is real to them. Realists like the early works that they can relate to on their daily lives and see the later works as off the deep end. Others see the early works as silly or something that they could do better and the later works as profound and insightful. They see two people instead of one in the process of transition.

The reason I bought this book is for a story that deals with transition. "Lost Legacy" (1941) I do not want to go into too much detail as it is fun to have the story unfold in its time. However the story speculates as to what the so-called unused portion of our brain is for. Heinlein is not the first to speculate, but he does put together a great story combining many previous speculations.

While enjoying his story, look at the rudiments that will be used in later Heinlein writing, "Stranger in a Strange Land." Even some of the names are the same.
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5.0 out of 5 stars heinlein, 29 July 2010
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Assignment in Eternity (Paperback)
Like all recent deliveries by amazon.co.uk the one above merits five stars well deserved!

yours'

Volker
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good example of early Heinlein, 23 May 2010
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
There are two major Heinlein camps and a few crossovers. This may account for the wide variation in what people think of this book. Artists in any field paint what is real, and then what is real to them. Realists like the early works that they can relate to on their daily lives and see the later works as off the deep end. Others see the early works as silly or something that they could do better and the later works as profound and insightful. They see two people instead of one in the process of transition.

The reason I bought this book is for a story that deals with transition. "Lost Legacy" (1941) I do not want to go into too much detail as it is fun to have the story unfold in its time. However the story speculates as to what the so-called unused portion of our brain is for. Heinlein is not the first to speculate, but he does put together a great story combining many previous speculations.

While enjoying his story, look at the rudiments that will be used in later Heinlein writing, "Stranger in a Strange Land." Even some of the names are the same.
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Assignment In Eternity
Assignment In Eternity by Robert A. Heinlein (Mass Market Paperback - 6 Aug 2013)
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