Robert A. Heinlein is widely and justly regarded as the greatest practitioner of the art of science fiction who has ever lived. Here are two of his greatest short novels:
Gulf, in which the greatest super-spy of them all is revealed as the leader of a league of supermen and women who can’t quite decide what to do with the rest of us. And Lost Legacy, in which it is proved that we are all members of that league - or would be, if we but had eyes to see.
This collection also contains two great stories, a pair of the master’s finest: one on the nature of being, the other on what it means to be a man.
©1981 Robert A. Heinlein (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“The word that comes to mind for him is essential. As a writer - eloquent, impassioned, technically innovative - he reshaped science fiction in a way that defined it for every writer who followed him.... He was the most significant science fiction writer since H. G. Wells.” (Robert Silverberg)
“He made footsteps big enough for a whole country to follow.... We proceed down a path marked by his ideas. He showed us where the future is.” (Tom Clancy)
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This is classic Heinlein, spinning one of his classic story-lines...
Heinlein believed that people who read Sci-Fi are a bit more intelligent than the average member of society. He was not a fan of "Readability Formulas" that suggested authors write at a grade level no higher than 7.81 so that the average person could keep up with the information being presented; Rather his opinion seemed to be that if a person is presented with information written at a higher level, they would naturally learn to comprehend at a higher level if that information was presented in such a way as to make the reader WANT to understand it.
Heinlein motivated people to become smarter by writing enjoyable Science Fiction that was not only fun to read, but was also designed to help the reader become more imaginative and well rounded in a variety of subjects. Heinlein didn't just write to provide the reader with a little escapism, he wrote to "teach". He frequently motivated readers by making them feel as if they were a part of a secret club, open only to the more intelligent... "Someone that could think, and therefore learn to think even better". He tried to make the reader feel just a little "special".
The above is also pretty much the basis for his book "Assignment in Eternity". The book starts out as light Sci-Fi, but gradually becomes more in-depth so that the smarter the reader is, the more enjoyment they get from nuances and lessons buried in the story.
"Intelligence" aside, it's a fun read, even if a bit dated (although being a little dated doesn't detract from the story-line)... It's well worth the credit... Besides, who doesn't like being in a secret club? ;)
This book has 3 fun and thought provoking stories that move quickly. Bronson Pinchot does a great job (I also love his Bronson Pinchot Project) bringing the characters to life.
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
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The first time I tried listening to this I did not realize it was four short stories. The first story Gulf, is pretty long and pretty silly. I listened for two hours and deleted it from my player. Later, I found out it was four stories, so I started over. I tried again for over two hours on the first story and ended up skipping to the next story.
This story is better, but not by much. This involves time travel to alternate earths and the different concepts on different societies is interesting. The moral of the story seems to be that you have to believe.
I liked this story, and it seemed to be quite deep. It also seemed a bit liberal for Heinlein, a lot different from the man who wrote Starship Troopers. This group of people try to change the world to make it more peaceful. They use telepathy, immortal god like people and the Boys Scouts. I thought it would make a great comic book.
Jerry Was A Man
This story was excellent. It was a sort of satire on Intelligence, slavery and what it means to be human. It may have been one of the best things I have ever read from RAH.
I am not crazy about the narrator, nothing I can but my finger on, and not bad enough to keep me from enjoying the book, he just ain't my favorite.
Fanatical Endurance Athlete, who listens to a lot of books while training.
I loved tho book, but then I love all Heinlein's work. He has a great style and the issues he addressed in the past still remain.
Its hard to come up with a favourite character as there are so many.
NO, but this book is a series of short stories and I didn't want to get up to leave until each story was completed.
Its surprising that a book written so long ago has so many themes that are relevant in current society.
This collection of short stories still plays well 60 years after it first hit the shelves. While delivering a look into some of the attitudes and morality from the 1950s, we can see that people have not changed all that much through the passage of time. This one made the miles go by quickly.
Heinlein Early Years
The roots to many later novels by the grandmaster. You can see the development of the concepts that run through many of his later works.
Awesome Characterization!! I had already feel in love with his narration of Glory Road!! I loved the life he gave to many old favorite characters.
I doubt that Hollywood will touch any of these stories as is. Look what they did to Starship Troops and Puppet Masters.
I keep hoping that Expanded Universe would be converted to Audio. This was a good additional to the audio library of Heinlein work.
These are four short tales by Science Fiction Grand Master Robert Heinlein. They all date to early on in his career and do not represent his best work. Jerry Was a Man is perhaps the best story in this collection and, unfortunately, the shorted. It's a satire having to do with genetically altered animals which are exploited as expendable laborers or -- as is the case with an intelligent miniature elephant -- custom-made pets for rich people. The narration is OK, but doesn't add any excitement to the tales. If you have never read any Heinlein, I would recommend The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Double Star or Starship Troopers. Those are much better books and represent the Grand Master at his finest.
Shiloh Bound Doc! University of Iowa graduate. Iowa Writer's Workshop fan. Hawkeye Fan! Believer. Husband. Father. Physician.
5 is excellent.
4 is good.
3 is OK.
Heinlein fans will enjoy this, especially considering it was published in 1953 and the short story contents were previously written from 1941 and later.
Thematically the short stories consider intelligence and humanity and occasionally the plot action suffers from overlong rumination.
I am a Heinlein fan and have been since the late 1950's -- however I would consider only a couple of these shorts amount his better caliber of works. 😱
Sometimes I treat old books as if they were old wine, savoring the story matured during decades. But sometimes they go sour, lose their flavor, and I just spit them out. I mean I give up reading. This is what happened to me reading Assignment in Eternity.
It took off well, the first story, "Gulf" was promising. I like fast paced action, so I followed the story with interest. Then the fast flow of events slowed down like a river leaving the mountains and spreading out wide on the plains. What followed was a boring discussion about people with super abilities. I found myself falling to sleep. By the end it started to be interesting again, but then BAMM, the protagonist died. End of story. I was left dumbfounded.
I found the next one, "Elsewhen" better. Interesting way of travelling in time, alternate Earths, different stages of evolution.
I gave up at the third one, when doctors started to discuss supernatural abilities. The subject itself was interesting, but the scene was so boring, I just didn't care to continue.
Heinlein is a fine writer, but this book isn't up to his writing talent.
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