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Farmer in the Sky | [Robert A. Heinlein]

Farmer in the Sky

Farmer In The Sky is a 1953 science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein about a teenage boy who emigrates with his family to Jupiter's moon Ganymede, which is in the process of being terraformed. A condensed version of the novel was published in serial form in 1950 in Boys' Life magazine (August, September, October, November), under the title "Satellite Scout".
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Publisher's Summary

Farmer In The Sky is a 1953 science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein about a teenage boy who emigrates with his family to Jupiter's moon Ganymede, which is in the process of being terraformed. A condensed version of the novel was published in serial form in 1950 in Boys' Life magazine (August, September, October, November), under the title "Satellite Scout".

©1955 Robert A. Heinlein (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (177 )
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Story
4.4 (162 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Don Upton 01-07-15
    Don Upton 01-07-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Outstanding classic"
    What did you love best about Farmer in the Sky?

    Heinlein's approach to the characters is fresh and personal


    What did you like best about this story?

    detail of the story itself


    Which character – as performed by Nick Podehl – was your favorite?

    Bill the main character


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    No

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anika Page 01-31-14
    Anika Page 01-31-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent teen fiction"
    If you could sum up Farmer in the Sky in three words, what would they be?

    His finest work.


    Any additional comments?

    The greatest of Heinlenns junenile fiction, and quite possibly the best book he ever wrote. No annoying politics, just TANSTAAFL, ecology and the most excellent of people. I see it as examples of great role models for people to emulate. I have both read and listened to this countless times and it never gets old.

    The most essential book of the Heinlenn library.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ma Hen Atlanta, GA 05-28-13
    Ma Hen Atlanta, GA 05-28-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Sentimental journey"
    What did you like best about this story?

    The concept of terraforming and colonizing our solar system. I read this book when I was in my teens - a looong time ago in other words. In my heart I always hoped that these opportunities would be available in my lifetime. How sad that we have the runaway population growth and the hunger that goes along with it, but not the ability to expand our living space - into space.


    Have you listened to any of Nick Podehl’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This was written quite a while ago and in some respects has not aged well. But it was written for a Scouting magazine in the vernacular of the time. The concept is more timely than ever. If Heinlein were writing it now I'm sure he would revise some of the technical details but human nature hasn't changed and the motivations of the characters to be pioneers would be much the same, I think.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Not a thing. He sounds just like Bill should.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert ziemba 07-31-15 Member Since 2015
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    "An interesting story about a new world"

    I likes the character development and it had a Hemingway - esque emphasis on self reliance and survival on one's own merit

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Curious 04-08-15
    Curious 04-08-15

    If you ask me, I'll probably tell you. If you don't want to know, don't ask. If you ask anyway, that's where the 1% non-truthful comes in.

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    "Heinlein Juvenile ... What more can you say?"

    I cut my science fiction teeth on Robert Heinlein's juvenile fiction about as fat as he could write it--and later learned that for most of my young life I had never lived more than 50 miles from where he and Virginia lived, both in Colorado and California. I guess all my fretting for his next book kept him writing for the young ones. As if. No, this classic has been in my library and read and read and listened to and listened to. He earned his Grand Mastership for all he wrote. I was greatly pleased with Nick Podehl's rendering of the story and would gladly listen to another of his Pentagon's.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chris LOVELOCK, NV, US 01-26-15
    chris LOVELOCK, NV, US 01-26-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Classic scifi at its best!"

    Likely most would skip this based on the title and miss a great story.
    Classic scifi with a twist!
    Enjoy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nobody 08-28-14
    Nobody 08-28-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Where is the ending?"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    This is a book without an ending. There is no conclusion or explanation for anything.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    envchemist Columbia, SC USA 08-04-14
    envchemist Columbia, SC USA 08-04-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Good story, and great performance!"
    If you could sum up Farmer in the Sky in three words, what would they be?

    It's a typical Heinlein Juvenille work.


    What other book might you compare Farmer in the Sky to and why?

    Space Cadet also by Heinlein


    What does Nick Podehl bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Nick is a master of accents and voices. At one point, I was asking myself---is that the same guy?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary WESTERLO, NY, United States 12-12-12
    Mary WESTERLO, NY, United States 12-12-12 Member Since 2012
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    "the reader must be new. looses the story"
    Would you try another book from Robert A. Heinlein and/or Nick Podehl?

    Heinlein, Yes! Nick Podehl, NO!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Farmer in the Sky?

    the aftermath of the line up of the planets


    Would you be willing to try another one of Nick Podehl’s performances?

    No. not until he has more training


    Do you think Farmer in the Sky needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. Heinlein is gon.


    Any additional comments?

    Scott Brick performed this book outstandinly. He is one of the best. I have to be more careful about verifying readers from one foremat to another.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine St. Johns, FL, United States 07-10-12
    Katherine St. Johns, FL, United States 07-10-12 Member Since 2014

    I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!

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    "A Heinlein Juvenile"

    3.5 stars. Originally posted at FanLit.

    I used to be a fan of Robert A. Heinlein???s ???Juveniles??? when I was a kid. I give Heinlein much of the credit for turning me into a speculative fiction lover at a young age.

    Farmer in the Sky took me back to my childhood ??? when I loved to think about riding in spaceships while most girls were thinking about riding horses. In this story, Earth is overcrowded and food is rationed, so 16 year old Bill and his father George decide to emigrate to Ganymede, one of Jupiter???s moons. There???s a new colony on Ganymede and they???re struggling to survive as Earth, to ease its population tensions, keeps sending spaceship-loads of new settlers. Terraforming Jupiter???s moons is a difficult and dangerous enterprise, but Bill is determined to succeed by making his own farm productive. The skills he learned in Boy Scouts prove to be helpful for this and other tasks he undertakes to help his new colony.

    You can???t get much more exciting than taking a spaceship to Ganymede to build a new colony, so youngsters looking for speculative adventure will surely enjoy Farmer in the Sky. But I think the book is also appealing to kids who enjoy frontier stories such as Little House on the Prairie. In addition to homesteading skills, they???ll learn a bit of science, too.

    Though Bill is having a life-changing experience, he???s still easy to relate to. He???s a normal kid with normal kid desires and problems ??? he???s concerned about his Boy Scout uniform and badges, he???s mourning the death of his mother and upset about his father???s new relationship, he doesn???t like girls, and he has to deal with bullies and a few stupid adults. During the course of the story, Bill experiences both triumph and tragedy, and the reader feels them, too.

    Brilliance Audio???s version was read by Nick Podehl who does a great job reading stories with young men as protagonists (e.g., Patrick Rothfuss???s KINGKILLER CHRONICLE). When I see Nick Podehl???s name on the cover, I know it???s going to be a great audio production.

    A shorter version of Farmer in the Sky was originally serialized in Boy???s Life magazine in the fall of 1950 under the title ???Satellite Scout,??? so that gives you a good sense of its target audience. However, I recommend Farmer in the Sky for both teens and adults who love a good wholesome SF adventure. Farmer in the Sky was published as a novel in 1953 and won the Retro Hugo award.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful

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