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Beyond This Horizon (Post-Utopia) MP3 CD – 7 Oct 2014

3.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio; MP3 Una edition (7 Oct. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 149154645X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1491546451
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.3 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,234,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Robert A. Heinlein was the grand master of science fiction in the twentieth century. Over the course of his long career he won numerous awards and many of his novels have cemented their place in history as science fiction classics, including STARSHIP TROOPERS, THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS, and the beloved STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Published in 1942, Beyond This Horizon gives clear evidence of the genius and writing power that Heinlein possessed, but this early novel is definitely less than perfect. In the process of churning it out for publication in Astounding Stories (published under the pseudonym of Anson MacDonald), he privately confessed to editor John W. Campbell, Jr., that "it stinks." The ideas behind the story fascinated him, yet he struggled to distill a good story out of them. It is my opinion that Heinlein set his sights too high for this short novel, as it basically revolves around the very reason for man's existence. The premise is quite promising: genetic engineering has produced a "perfect" world, one free of disease, war, poverty, hunger, etc. "All of them should have been happy," as Heinlein begins the narrative, yet they are not. The protagonist in particular is not happy and has no desire to bring children into a seemingly pointless existence. This is a cause for concern for the local sociopolitical moderator because Hamilton Felix hails from a true star line of men. His genetic code represents one of the more impressive accomplishments of social and genetic engineers working over the course of three centuries, and his line will be essentially perfected in the course of two successive generations-if he can be induced to father a child. Of course, one of a very select group of females must be selected, and the chromosomes of the match must be carefully manipulated, but society needs him to reproduce. In fact, the powers that be agree to begin a scientific search for the meaning of life in order to talk him into becoming a father.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Beyond This Horizon, is the second of Heinlein's published novels, and introduces us to a future utopia where poverty no longer exists and genetic engineering has advanced to a point where it is possible to selectively breed children for increased health, intelligence and longevity. The biggest problem faced by most of this world's denizens is what to do with their time, leading to a society in which decadence is the norm and duelling with sidearms is considered an acceptable way of resolving disputes. Non-advanced citizens also exist, known as control normals, and are seen by the majority of others as a baseline with which to compare the genetic improvements found in the general populace.

The main bulk of the story follows the adventures of Hamilton Felix, a notably superior (others refer to him as an example of a star line), albeit mildly disillusioned citizen of this world's breeding program and his attempts to find a meaning in life. When he is approached by a synthesist (effectively an administrator of the breeding program) with a request to help propagate the next generation of advanced humans Felix's apathy towards the future, along with an unwillingness to propagate initially leads him to decline, but only after he is convinced to agree that if the synthesist can provide him with proof that a man's life is more than just the existence he experiences then he would be willing to reconsider.

Along the way he is also drawn into a burgeoning conspiracy by a group of citizens who feel that the current system needs to be overthrown, and that their society needs to be restructured under their control.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Heinlein started his publishing career with quite a bang, with three novels, a couple of novellas, and numerous short stories all published in a short two-and-a-half-year time span. Due to this copious output, he frequently had more than one story in a single issue of Astounding magazine, necessitating his use of several pen names. This story, as it did not fall into his 'Future History' chart, was first published as by Anson MacDonald, though its style and subject material, being so different from most of what was being published at that time, pretty clearly marked who the author really was.
This is a book of many and various ideas, both social and scientific, some of which may seem a little ludicrous, others of which are very valid and of great import to today's society. One of the most confounding ideas presented here is the idea that government should not be taxing people, but rather should be distributing money to all citizens so as to provide as much new money in circulation as there has been in new production of products. Next up is an idea that an openly armed citizen will command respect and demand polite behavior, while those who choose to go unarmed are to some degree second class citizens - an idea that probably was not very well thought out for all of its implications, unusual for Heinlein. But most prevalent is the idea of managing the human genome to produce a 'better' human, better in this case being defined as 'entity most able to survive under changing conditions'. The converse of this is also shown, of what happens when genetics are manipulated to produce particular types of supermen (or monsters, depending on your point of view).
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