adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B0821SC3ZP
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B0821SC3ZP

Try our newest plan – unlimited listening to select audiobooks, Audible Originals, and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
$7.95 a month after 30 day trial. Upgrade or cancel anytime.
Buy for $20.97

Buy for $20.97

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Lost in space.

Hugh had been taught that, according to the ancient sacred writings, the Ship was on a voyage to faraway Centaurus. But he also understood this was just allegory for a voyage to spiritual perfection. Indeed, how could the Ship move, since its miles and miles of metal corridors were all there was of creation? Science knew that the Ship was all the universe, and as long as the sacred Converter was fed, the lights would continue to glow, the air would flow, and the Creator's Plan would be fulfilled.

Of course, there were the muties, grotesquely deformed parodies of humans, who lurked in the upper reaches of the Ship, where gravity was weaker. Were they evil incarnate, or merely a divine check on the population, keeping humanity from expanding past the capacity of the Ship to support?

Then Hugh was captured by the muties and met their leader (or leaders) - Joe-Jim, with two heads on one body - and learned the true nature of the Ship and its mission between the stars. But could he make his people believe him before it was too late? Could he make them believe that he must be allowed to fly the Ship?

©1951 Robert A. Heinlein (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Orphans of the Sky

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    307
  • 4 Stars
    162
  • 3 Stars
    91
  • 2 Stars
    23
  • 1 Stars
    4
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    347
  • 4 Stars
    145
  • 3 Stars
    46
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    273
  • 4 Stars
    140
  • 3 Stars
    90
  • 2 Stars
    26
  • 1 Stars
    8

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Deprecated generation ship

Orphans of the Sky is a novella by Robert A Heinlein. The tale opens with a generation ship that has experienced a past traumatic event. The current situation is a bifurcated population of the original crew and 'muties' who are physically deformed existing in different parts of the ship. The original 'crew' has degenerated into peasant stock the feeds the crew, officers who run things, and 'scientists' who have contrived a theological basis of their universe. They have lost the concept of the ship as a transport medium and regard the ship as just their world and nothing else. A young curious apprentice tries to progress their perspective of the universe and unite the two factions.

Heinlein creates a realistic devolutionary scenario where an apparent accident with the nuclear reactors has led to the current state of affairs. Science texts are reinterpreted in terms of religious metaphors and the human reluctance to evolve perspectives in light of new information abounds. Although a few intrepid explorers make it off the ship to complete their journey, the bulk persist in their beliefs in the finite nature of their world.

The narration is reasonable with acceptable character distinction and brisk pacing.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing....

The first Heinlein book I ever read, it turned me into a true fan and since then I have read every book he ever authored.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Would have been a great read if not for the female characters

Good book with an interesting premise, but it is old and I found myself annoyed by the writing of the female characters as basically sex objects and servants. Seemed completely unnecessary to the storyline

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

One of the early stories, and good enough.

A good enough story, but not one of Hienlien's masterpieces written during, and after the mid fifties.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

another great Heinlein book.

Heinlein is steadfast science fiction. I love reading him and I always return to him time and time again for my scifi fix. He is solidly in the science while able to weave a wonderful story.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good up until the ending

Good story up until the ending. Really just kinda gave up writing. Still considerably better than Non-Stop.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good read

I liked it. However I cringed internally at the treatment of women. Then I realized it was written in 194x when that was considered acceptable. I'm not advocating rewriting those parts but just that the reader know that up front.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

I could have skipped this one

The voice acting was spot on and it wasn't hard to try and get into the story, but this wasn't one of Heinlein's best. Story seeks unfinished or hurried and is a bit thin all around.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

orphans of the sky

as always RAH's books are superbly written. I've read all of his books many times.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not one of Heinlein's best

This seems to have been written when Heinlein was still in his "women are not capable" period. It does not hold well over time as some of his others have.
Basically -- a colony ship has left Earth and over the centuries, the people on the ship lose their identity and think that the ship will always be their home. As the ship is finally approaching Alpha Centauri, a group of the people resume their belief in the real mission and learn how to depart the ship.
The narrator does his best, but, as I said, in my opinion not one of Heinlein's better efforts.