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The Door Into Summer Paperback – 24 Aug 2000

4.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Paperback, 24 Aug 2000

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; Gollancz Collectors' Edition edition (24 Aug. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575070544
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575070547
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,469,078 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) was educated at the University of Missouri and the US Naval Academy, Annapolis. He served as a naval officer for five years but retired in 1934 due to ill health. He then studied physics at UCLA and worked in a number of jobs before beginning to publish science fiction in 1939. Among his many novels are Double Star, Starship Troopers, Stranger in a Strange Land and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 Nov. 2002
Format: Hardcover
There have been many science fiction novels written about time travel, but The Door Into Summer is my pick for the greatest among them. It comes remarkably close to conveying the very theory of the subject in layman's terms. I'm not saying Heinlein's arguments are correct, but they darn near make sense. The experiment with the two coins and with the two guinea pigs (just one, actually) is fascinating, and Heinlein's introduction of several paradoxes in the protagonist's actual temporal dislocation lends his science even more believability. Time travel doesn't even enter into the pages of the first half of the novel (not directly, at least), but the whole story is totally engrossing from the very start. Dan is an engineer and a darn good one. His inventions have been designed with the view of easing the housework of women everywhere: Hired Girl cleans floor; Window Willie washes windows, and Flexible Frank, his newest creation, will be able to do just about anything around the house, from changing a diaper to washing dishes. Life seemed to be treating Dan pretty well. Then his fiancé and business partner swindle him out of their business, and he decides to take the Long Sleep (cryogenic suspended animation) for thirty years so that he can come back to chastise an ex-fiancé who will be thirty years older than he will be. Of course, he won't do it without his best friend Pete, his feisty, ginger ale-loving tomcat and true friend. He sends his remaining shares in the company he created to his partner's young daughter Ricky, his only other friend in the world, trying to make sure that those don't fall into the wrong hands as well. His only mistake is in confronting his traitorous friends one last time.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Heinlein deals with the topic of time travel against a backdrop of personal and corporate betrayal. Dan Davis, the ideas man and inventor starts his own business with the aim of creating robots for domestic use with the aim of improving everyone's quality of life. His partner, Miles is the business brain behind the venture, and Belle, Dan's wife, deals with all of their admin.
In a deft double betrayal, Belle and Miles effectively steal the business from under Dan's nose, abandoning him to the affections of his last true friend, Pete, his cat. Dan is then plunged into a series of events in which he travels in time the slow way and the fast way.
This book doesn't waste time in lengthy discussion of the ethics and problems of time travel or the question of paradox. All of the relevant issues are dealt with, but are so well woven into the fabric of the story that you will only notice your mind reeling with the torrent of ideas when you put the book down to put the kettle on. Old Heinlein fans will be able to recognize his characterizations immediately and the familiar personalities only add to the peculiar sense of family that one seems to develop when reading Heinlein's books. Those of you new to Heinlein, however, will not find the characters difficult to identify with, you just may find them a little stereotyped or cliched, initially, but this only makes them that much more accessible. Welcome to the family.
Any fan of Heinlein will recognise immediately the moral, sociological and political fish swimming just beneath the surface of the story. As usual, Heinlein cannot resist questioning the social mores by which we live our lives and judge others, but you won't find any diatribes or sermons in what he writes.
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Format: Hardcover
I must have read this first in the 60s (it was first published in the 50s), so coming to it again, it was almost, but not quite, like reading it for the first time. A couple of Heinlein's perennial themes come through - love of cats and engineering, the hero being a cat-loving engineer. Despite being neither or these, nor, indeed, particularly heroic, I enjoyed the book. It is set largely in 1970 and 2000, neither of which is at all recognisable to those of us who have lived through them - a constant problem with old sf. I suggest you assume it took place in a parallel universe where many things are significantly in advance of our universe, but some things, communications and much of computing, for example, are far behind. The hero in 1970 invents what are, to all intents and purposes, domestic robots, is cheated out of his rights, goes into cold sleep, wakes 30 years in the future, travels back to 1970 invents some more, goes back into cold sleep, gets the girl and lives happily ever after. We also get some interesting comments on time paradoxes. Does this précis do justice to the book? Of course not. Although by today's standards it is a rather short novel, it shows that Heinlein is beginning to develop the style that later led to his major works. Interesting from that point of view, but, above all, a good read. Get it.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was one of the first SF books I ever read, at about age 14 some 40 years ago, and was one of the books which gave me a lifelong love of SF novels. One of the reasons why I think it is an outstanding example of the genre, is that someone like myself, at age 14 with absolutely no knowledge of physics was able to read the book without having to skip through pages and pages of technobabble (something which still irritates me today - if I want to read a story, give me a story, if I wanted physics 101, I would find the relevant literature).

Something that struck me as interesting after completing the book this time round, is that although the part of the story set in the year 2000 is now history, I wasn't bothered by the lack of current (then, future unimagined technology like PC's) in the story. At no time did I sit there thinking for example: ''well that's just stupid, why wouldn't the hero just Google his niece'' To me, this just confirms the superiority of plot and writing ability which has lasted right up to the present day, without ageing and becoming unreadable.
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