©1953 Robert Heinlein; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
Robert A Heinlein had a long and extensive future history mapped out in his mind. Many of his short stories and some of his novels fit into this future history. There are three book-length collections of his future history short stories. The first is "The Man Who Sold the Moon." It is not yet available from Audible. "The Green Hills of Earth" is next and it is my favorite of the three. It is available from Audible. The third is this book, "Revolt in 2100." It contains a novella called "If This Goes On" and two short stories: "Coventry" and "Misfit." It is not necessary to read the stories in order to enjoy them.
The first story in this book, "If This Goes On" takes place in a future America which is under the rule of a theocracy headed by a corrupt prophet. Think of Medieval Europe as controlled by the corrupt Catholic church and then add in modern snooping and surveillance techniques and wait for your blood to curdle. Let's hear it for separation of church and state!
The second story, "Coventry," is about a different way of handling lawbreakers in the future. The third story deals with the building of a space station halfway between Earth and Mars.
These stories were written in 1939 and 1940, so in some ways they are dated. However, Heinlein's ideas and philosophy seem to me to be still quite relevant. I had not reread this book in a number of years, and as I was listening to it, I realized how much Heinlein's ideas (which I first encountered as a teenager) have shaped my entire life.
I recommend both this book and Heinlein's works in general to you.
It's a bit dated of course but nonetheless a classic of "what if".... and "if this goes on" rings as true today as it did upon the original publication.
This book fills in some crucial parts of Heinleins overall timeline. He refers back to the events of this book in several others and it's interesting to fill in the gaps. Otherwise it's classic Heinlein with interesting characters and moral conundrums. Similar to Starship Troopers the main character gets sucked into a larger movement because of a woman and ends up transforming into something he never expected. Great book overall.
It was pleasant to here this classic story in audio format. I wish the performance of the narrator had been more inspiring.
It probably wouldn't fare well as a movie.
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