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Time for the Stars | [Robert A. Heinlein]

Time for the Stars

Travel to other planets is now a reality, and with overpopulation stretching the resources of Earth, the necessity of finding habitable worlds is growing ever more urgent. There’s a problem though—because the spaceships are slower than light, any communication between the exploring ships and Earth would take years.

Tom and Pat are identical twin teenagers. As twins they’ve always been close, so close that it seemed like they could read each other’s minds.

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Publisher's Summary

Travel to other planets is now a reality, and with overpopulation stretching the resources of Earth, the necessity of finding habitable worlds is growing ever more urgent. There’s a problem though—because the spaceships are slower than light, any communication between the exploring ships and Earth would take years.

Tom and Pat are identical twin teenagers. As twins they’ve always been close, so close that it seemed like they could read each other’s minds. When they are recruited by the Long Range Foundation, the twins find out that they can, indeed, peer into each other’s thoughts. Along with other telepathic duos, they are enlisted to be the human transmitters and receivers that will keep the ships in contact with Earth. But there’s a catch: one of the twins has to stay behind—and that one will grow old—while the other explores the depths of space and returns as a young man still.

©1956 ; 1983 by Robert A. Heinlein; 2003 by the Robert A. and Virginia Heinlein Prize Trust (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“One of the superb Heinlein stories that has excitement, urbanity, humanity, rationality, pace, understanding, and is a joy to read.” (New York Times)

“Rarely has Heinlein pushed his imagination further…A vivid, stirring experience.” (Chicago Tribune)

“He showed us where the future is.” (Tom Clancy)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (625 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Nothing really matters Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 04-30-15
    Nothing really matters Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 04-30-15 Member Since 2014

    Rob Thomas

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Twin Paradox Brought to Life."

    When I started reading this I had forgotten this was a book intended for younger readers (it was part of Robert Heinlein’s “Juveniles Series”). I can’t pretend to know whether kids these days would still like this sort of sci fi tale, but I’d imagine that they would.

    The focus of the book is not interstellar action and derring do, although there is a bit of action towards the end. The book is partly about relationships, primarily twin sibling relationships. It's also about man’s efforts to explore and discover his world/universe.

    The ending was somewhat more profound than I had expected it to be. Also interesting, the plot also brings the twin paradox to life.

    I recommend this book if you are interested in vintage sci fi or, perhaps, the themes of discovery and sibling relationships.

    [Spoiler alert: ] The book is a product of its time, and ends with the main character marrying his great-grandniece. That, I'd suggest, is a bit icky by today’s standards.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brad JACKSONVILLE, ARKANSAS, United States 02-02-15
    Brad JACKSONVILLE, ARKANSAS, United States 02-02-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Thought Provoking"
    What made the experience of listening to Time for the Stars the most enjoyable?

    Heinlein takes some thing that tickles the realm of possibility and explores it to the fullest. Also beyond the science and setting, he focuses in on the relationships and personalities of the characters. These are the things with meaning and it's what he explores against the backdrop of the fantastic.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It's a story of growing.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Most likely when the main character realizes his independence.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    To the stars.... Of course.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa 12-17-14
    Lisa 12-17-14
    ratings
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    6
    6
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    Story
    "Good, but not wonderful"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes


    What did you like best about this story?

    Character development was good.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Include some emotion in his voice.


    Any additional comments?

    Story needs a better ending, kind of just.....ends.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ozgribbo Australia 10-01-14
    ozgribbo Australia 10-01-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Dated but worth a listen"

    I've been going through my 70's SF UK-bought paperbacks (shoulder reconstruction meant forced idleness) and realised that Heinlein was about 50% of my reading then. (Moorcock/AsimovVan Vogt/Vance made up the rest.) Didn't ring a bell when I saw the title name so bought it. Pleasantly surprised. It's no "Door into summer" but very good use of time dilation (I teach chemistry not physics!). If you like Heinlein, you'll like this- much shorter and more readable (possible younger audience?) than "Stranger in a strange land" etc.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katie Daniel 09-19-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Pretty Good"
    Any additional comments?

    This book was pretty good, but not quite as good as Stranger in a Strangeland.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Jones Dallas, Texas 09-09-14
    K. Jones Dallas, Texas 09-09-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Good story. Ahead of it's time. Boring Narrator"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. Narrator has no life to his reading. The whole book had the same tone.


    Did Barrett Whitener do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Not so much. It didn't sound like he had much enthusiasm or emotion at all when reading this. This left the characters feeling lacking in emotion.


    Any additional comments?

    It's a good story for the younger audience. I was surprised to hear it was copywrite in the 50's considering the topics discussed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GW 08-28-14
    GW 08-28-14 Member Since 2012

    I enjoy mysteries, science fiction, Stephen King, and some fantasy novels. Now and again I like a biography and a bit of history. No romance!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Memories!"
    What made the experience of listening to Time for the Stars the most enjoyable?

    I had read this book back when I was in school and the author was a favorite of mine. I went through the school library hunting all of his books and read each one so it brought back great memories for me to sit and listen to this story again as an adult. I was pleased to find that it has held up very well over the years.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Time for the Stars?

    There is a moment in the story where the characters believe they are safe from harm and are enjoying what they consider to be a victory of sorts and thinking about a job well done. They are completely caught off guard by what happens next and for me, that is a defining moment in the story.


    Which character – as performed by Barrett Whitener – was your favorite?

    My favorite character was Tom. The story centers around his life and his adventures and it is through his eyes that you see everyone else in the story.


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

    There is a moment when you realize that some of what you've thought to be true about the main characters, Tom and Pat, isn't exactly so. For me that is the most emotional part of the story.


    Any additional comments?

    Great Science Fiction from a master.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blasingame 07-29-14
    Blasingame 07-29-14
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    "My First Favorite"
    Any additional comments?

    Eons ago when I was a young lad, this was the first Heinlein book I read and it has long been a favorite, even decades later. It doesn't matter than the science it behind the times, it's still a good story and a good adventure. In addition, Barrett Whitner has become one of my favorite Audible narrators and he does an excellent job with this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marisa Dover, NH, United States 03-05-14
    Marisa Dover, NH, United States 03-05-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just plain great story telling"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Time for the Stars to be better than the print version?

    Quite possibly. Barrett Whitner sounds perfect as the lead character.


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

    He perfectly captures the personality of the lead character. He could've been almost telling youn a story about himself.


    Any additional comments?

    I am always a little leary of reading older sci-fi books. You never know how outdated some of the science may be. But Heinlein, like Asimov and Arthur C. Clark, manages to keep to the story and the characters and not get bogged down in pseudo science that is doomed to be outdated someday.
    GREAT READ!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SciFi Kindle Cheshire, CT USA 06-21-13
    SciFi Kindle Cheshire, CT USA 06-21-13 Member Since 2013

    I'm a Hard SF & Space Opera-loving, alien android from the future. I bring gifts of SciFi eBooks & accessories for your leader's Kindle. Take me to him/her/it.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Takes one SF idea & dissects it thoroughly"

    When one looks past the dated dialogue that identifies this as being authored in 1956, the concepts of time dilation at relativistic speeds has some fantastic possibilities for drama. "Don't look so dang sourpuss," and "Gee, that's swell" are actual lines, but it is almost as if Heinlein anticipates the linguistic drift that would occur in the decades to follow publication when his protagonist, removed from his descendants by decades spent traveling the stars at light speed, encounters difficulties deciphering the euphemisms and vernacular when he speaks to those of the younger generations. The discoveries and marvels encountered on the voyage are really secondary to the human drama of inter-generational strain as lives proceed at two different paces, forcing divided families to adapt.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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