Space Cadet Paperback – 31 Oct 2006
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|Paperback, 31 Oct 2006||
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"Good, colorful fiction by an author who can write it ably and entertainingly."
"The lively story of a group of boys--Matt and Tex, from Terra; Oscar, from Venus; Pierre, from one of Jupiter's moons; and others--who train to uphold the peace of the solar system. This account of their training and their subsequent adventures is good, colorful fiction by an author who can write it ably and entertainingly."
"--Chicago Tribune "on" Space Cadet"
"Throughout the story there is a constant stream of Heinlein's noted wit and satire, superbly told . . . The Hugo Award committee need look no further."
--"San Francisco Chronicle "on "Glory Road"
"Heinlein...wrote adventure stories grounded in credible scientific speculation. Even the wonderful stories collected here feature his trademark cool reasoning. . . .Superb stories - old friends, really - that are well worth the book's price."
"--Booklist "on "The Fantasies of Robert A. Heinlein"
The lively story of a group of boys--Matt and Tex, from Terra; Oscar, from Venus; Pierre, from one of Jupiter's moons; and others--who train to uphold the peace of the solar system. This account of their training and their subsequent adventures is good, colorful fiction by an author who can write it ably and entertainingly. "Chicago Tribune on Space Cadet"
Throughout the story there is a constant stream of Heinlein's noted wit and satire, superbly told . . . The Hugo Award committee need look no further. "San Francisco Chronicle on Glory Road"
Heinlein...wrote adventure stories grounded in credible scientific speculation. Even the wonderful stories collected here feature his trademark cool reasoning. . . .Superb stories - old friends, really - that are well worth the book's price. "Booklist on The Fantasies of Robert A. Heinlein""
About the Author
Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) is widely acknowledged to have been the single most important and influential author of science fiction in the twentieth century. He won science fiction's Hugo Award for Best Novel four times, and in addition, three of his novels were given Retrospective Hugos fifty years after publication. He won Science Fiction Writers of America's first Grand Master Award for his lifetime achievement.
Born in Butler, Missouri, Heinlein graduated from the United States Naval Academy and served as an officer in the navy for five years. He started writing to help pay off his mortgage, and his first story was published in "Astounding Science-Fiction" magazine in 1939. In 1947, he published a story in "The Saturday Evening Post," making him the first science-fiction writer to break into the mainstream market. Long involved in politics, Heinlein was deeply affected by events such as the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Cold War, and his fiction tended to convey strong social and political messages. His many influential novels include "Starship Troopers," "Stranger in a Strange Land," "The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress," and "Time Enough for Love." At the time of his death in 1988, he was living in Carmel, California with his wife Virginia.
Top Customer Reviews
First published in 1948, Space Cadet follows the adventures of Matt Dodson as he works his way through the training necessary to become a member of the prestigious Space Patrol. Along the way Heinlein explores a number of themes, including racism (the Patrol is made up of members from pretty much every nation and ethnicity imaginable) and national pride (cadets are expected to abandon their loyalty to their homelands and instead focus on loyalty to humanity), as well as providing a surprisingly accurate depiction of space travel over a decade before Yuri Gagarin made his first orbit of the Earth.
Despite the book's age it still manages to present us with a good story, and along the way shows off Heinlein's ability to educate as well as entertain; much of the science and technology presented in Space Cadet was cutting edge back in the late forties. There's even a throwaway line regarding the protagonist's mobile phone, a device we take for granted nowadays but which would have seemed almost miraculous to contemporary readers.
I really do think this is one of Heinlein's better books, and would heartily recommend it to anyone wanting to get a feel for what he was capable of, especially in the early years of his career. It presents us with an optimistic and somewhat rose-tinted view of the future, but doesn't suffer any because of that.
Written in 1949 and perhaps over-shadowed with the author's musings on the on-set of what became the "Cold War", this is an enthralling tale of a young man undergoing the unique and transformative experience of preparation for a life in space - and the development from adolescent to adult in the process. The vintage is such that the author includes aspects [such as exploring a lushly tropical Venus] that more modern, scientific work has rendered tellingly obsolete, but, for all that, loses nothing in impact - especially the way that he describes the Cadets of the story adjusting to cultures completely alien to the one they know. In that, Heinlein was oddly prescient - the tale feels very close to the present distinction between what we today call Western and Eastern views.
This tale is perfect for any youngster who would enjoy a riveting "space yarn", or, for that matter, any nostalgic parent or grand-parent who would like a reminder of why they love classic, traditional science fiction stories.
Here is a tale from one of the all time greats in science fiction, from a writer who inspired the likes of Peter Hamilton, Iain Banks and all those who were to follow. This is simply perfect bed-time story material, written in a way that has the potential to instill a sense of adventure and a love of reading that will last a life-time.
Twenty-some years later I found a paperback and began reading it to my daughter for a bedtime story. This was the first book that she decided she had to finish herself; she could not wait for another week or so to find out what happened.
I picked it up a couple of hours ago for the first time in decades, and all the memories came flooding back. I've just finished reading it again, and it still holds up fifty-seven years after being written.
The characters are realistic and mainly sympathetic, the plot is sufficiently well worked as to be convincing, and the narrative is superb. The characters use a fair amount of slang in their dialogue, but this was invented for the story, so does not date. On a deeper level there is a strong vein of satire running through the whole book, something to amuse the adult reading the bedtime story.
It might seem technical, but really it is all simple pseudo-science used as window-dressing, and although quite a lot of it is reasonably accurate, if you did any of the sums you would soon find out just how much dramatic license has been extracted.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
Reading Heinlein for the first time but disappointed. I was 3/4 through the book before anything interesting happenedPublished 22 months ago by Roger S.