Books

Short works

Other information

They didn't want it good, they wanted it Wednesday.

-- Robert A. Heinlein (on writing for the pulps)

Books : reviews

Robert A. Heinlein.
Tramp Royale.
Baen. 1992

[written 1954]

Robert A. Heinlein.
The Best of Robert A Heinlein.
1973

(read but not reviewed)

Contents

' All You Zombies ---'. 1959
The best time travel short story, ever
Life-Line. 1939
The Roads Must Roll. 1940
'--- And He Built a Crooked House'. 1940
Fun with tesseracts
The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag. 1942
Does he really want to find out who The Sons of the Bird are?
The Green Hills of Earth. 1947
The Long Watch. 1949
The Man Who Sold the Moon. 1950

Robert A. Heinlein.
The Door Into Summer.
1957

rating : 2 : great stuff

An inventor is screwed by his wife, but discovers the perfect revenge.

Robert A. Heinlein.
Double Star.
1956

rating : 2 : great stuff

Third-rate actor Lorenzo Smythe gets the part of his life.

Robert A. Heinlein.
Expanded Universe.
Ace. 1980

(read but not reviewed)

Contents

Life-Line. 1939
Blowups Happen. 1940
Successful Operation. 1980
Solution Unsatisfactory. 1968
The Last Days of the United States. 1980
How to Be a Survivor. 1980
Pie from the Sky. 1980
They Do It With Mirrors. 1974
Free Men. 1966
No Bands Playing, No Flags Flying -. 1973
A Bathroom of Her Own. 1980
On the Slopes of Vesuvius. 1980
Nothing Ever Happens on the Moon. 1976
Pandora's Box. == >Where To?. 1952
Where To?. == (Pandora's Box). 1980
Cliff and the Calories. 1950
Ray Guns and Rocket Ships. 1980
The Third Millenium Opens. 1956
Who Are the Heirs of Patrick Henry?. 1980
"Pravda" Means "Truth". 1960
Inside Intourist. 1980
Searchlight. 1962
The Pragmatics of Patriotism. 1973
Paul Dirac, Antimatter, and You. 1975
English is not appropriate language; abstract mathematics is the language required for precice statements in physical theory. (Try writing the score of a symphony solely in words with no musical symbols whatsoever.)
Larger Than Life. 1980
Spinoff. 1980
The Happy Days Ahead. 1980

Robert A. Heinlein.
Friday.
New English Library. 1982

rating : 3 : worth reading

Robert A. Heinlein.
The Green Hills of Earth.
1951

rating : 1 : unmissable

Second volume of Heinlein's "Future History" short stories

Contents

The Green Hills of Earth. 1947
The Long Watch. 1949
'It's Great To Be Back!'.
Ordeal in Space. 1951
'- We Also Walk Dogs'. 1951
Delilah and the Space-Rigger. 1951
Space Jockey. 1951
Gentlemen, Be Seated. 1951
Logic of Empire. 1951
The Black Pits of Luna. 1951

Robert A. Heinlein.
Have Space Suit - Will Travel.
1958

rating : 1.5 : unmissable

Kip and Peewee are kidnapped by evil aliens. But their troubles don't really begin until they are rescued by good aliens. [Just read that early description of the space suit -- that's how seamless info-dumping should be done.]

Robert A. Heinlein.
The Man Who Sold the Moon.
1950

rating : 1.5 : unmissable

First volume of Heinlein's "Future History" short stories

Contents

Life-Line. 1939
The Roads Must Roll. 1940
The Man Who Sold the Moon. 1950
Blowups Happen. 1940
Requiem. 1940
Delos D Harriman, "The Man Who Sold the Moon", has never been there himself, now because of ill health and old age. But what's the point of being a multi-millionaire if you can't satisfy your heart's desire?
'Let There Be Light'. 1950

Robert A. Heinlein.
The Menace from Earth.
1959

rating : 1.5 : unmissable

Contents

Project Nightmare. 1953
Columbus Was a Dope. 1947
By His Bootstraps. 1941
Sky Lift. 1953
Water Is For Washing. 1947
The Menace from Earth. 1957
The Year of the Jackpot. 1952
Goldfish Bowl. 1942

Robert A. Heinlein.
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.
1966

rating : 1.5 : unmissable

The moon is revolting

Robert A. Heinlein.
Orphans of the Sky.
1963

(read but not reviewed)

Contents

Common Sense. 1941
Universe. 1941

Robert A. Heinlein.
Podkayne of Mars.
1963

(read but not reviewed)

Robert A. Heinlein.
Revolt in 2100.
1953

(read but not reviewed)

Contents

Coventry. 1953
'If This Goes On -'. 1953
Misfit. 1953

Robert A. Heinlein.
Starman Jones.
1953

rating : 2 : great stuff

All you need to survive and prosper is courage, hard work, and a photographic memory.

Robert A. Heinlein.
Starship Troopers.
1959

rating : 1 : unmissable

Read the book. Don't see the film.

Robert A. Heinlein.
Time Enough for Love.
1973

(read but not reviewed)

p371. A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain.

Robert A. Heinlein.
The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag.
1959

rating : 1 : unmissable

Contents

' All You Zombies ---'. 1959
The best time travel short story, ever
'--- And He Built a Crooked House'. 1940
Fun with tesseracts
The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag. 1942
Does he really want to find out who The Sons of the Bird are?
They. 1941
Delicious paranoid solopsist nightmare
The Man Who Travelled In Elephants. == The Elephant Circuit. 1959
I always cry when I read this one
Our Fair City. 1948
Kitten the whirlwind helps with the election

Robert A. Heinlein.
Waldo & Magic, Inc..
1950

(read but not reviewed)

Contents

Waldo. 1950
Magic, Inc.. 1950

Robert A. Heinlein.
The Worlds of Robert Heinlein.
1968

(read but not reviewed)

Contents

Blowups Happen. 1940
Solution Unsatisfactory. 1968
Free Men. 1966
Pandora's Box. == >Where To?. 1952
Searchlight. 1962

Robert A. Heinlein, Yoji Kondo, eds.
Requiem.
Tor. 1992

rating : 3.5 : worth reading
review : 28 May 2000

Robert Anson Heinlein died in 1988. Those of us who grew up profoundly influenced by his work were greatly saddened by the news. This memorial volume brings together some of his famous moonflight stories, some previously unpublished works, some speeches, and many glowing testimonials from other SF luminaries. Most of the best has already appeared elsewhere, but this volume stands as a fitting tribute to arguably the most influential SF writer of all time.

Contents

Robert A. Heinlein. Requiem. 1940
Delos D Harriman, "The Man Who Sold the Moon", has never been there himself, now because of ill health and old age. But what's the point of being a multi-millionaire if you can't satisfy your heart's desire?
Spider Robinson. Rah Rah R.A.H.!. 1980
Robert A. Heinlein. This I Believe. 1989
RAH's tribute to humanity
Robert A. Heinlein. A Tenderfoot on Space. 1958
Boy Scouts on Venus
Robert A. Heinlein. Destination Moon. 1950
The novelette of the film
Robert A. Heinlein. Shooting 'Destination Moon'. 1950
Anecdotes about making George Pal's 1950 SF film, which won an Oscar for its realistic special effects. Heinlein wrote much of the screenplay, and was technical advisor. (Many members of NASA and the space programme have testified they chose their careers because of the inspiration of this film, and of Heinlein's stories.)
Robert A. Heinlein. The Witch's Daughters. 1988
A short poem [written August 1946]
Robert A. Heinlein. The Bulletin Board. 1950
Maureen and her boyfriend Cliff throw a surprise birthday party
Robert A. Heinlein. Poor Daddy. 1950
Maureen and her family learn to ice-skate
Robert A. Heinlein. Guest of Honor Speech at the Third World Science Fiction Convention - Denver, 1941. 1992
Robert A. Heinlein. Guest of Honor Speech at the XIXth World Science Fiction Convention - Seattle, 1961. 1992
Robert A. Heinlein. Guest of Honor Speech - Rio de Janeiro Movie Festival, 1969. 1992
Robert A. Heinlein. Guest of Honor Speech at the XXXIVth World Science Fiction Convention - Kansas City, 1976. 1992
Yoji Kondo. National Air and Space Museum Heinlein Retrospective - 6 October 1988. 1992
Poul Anderson. RAH: A Memoir. 1992
Jim Baen. Jim Baen's RAH Story. 1992
Greg Bear. Remembering Robert Heinlein. 1992
J. Hartley Bowen Jr. Recalling Robert Anson Heinlein. 1992
Arthur C. Clarke. Robert Heinlein. 1992
Gordon R. Dickson. Robert Heinlein. 1992
Joe Haldeman. Robert A. Heinlein and Us. 1992
Larry Niven. The Return of William Proxmire. 1992
Spider Robinson. Robert. 1992
Robert Silverberg. Heinlein. 1992
Harry Turtledove. Thank You. 1992
Jack Williamson. Who Was Robert Heinlein?. 1992
Yoji Kondo, Charles Sheffield. Farewell to the Master. 1992

Robert A. Heinlein.
Take Back Your Government!.
Baen. 1992

[written 1946]

Robert A. Heinlein.
For Us, The Living.
Pocket. 2004

rating : 3.5 : worth reading
review : 16 October 2005

No-one infodumps quite like Heinlein. This was originally written in 1939, before any of Heinlein's published SF, but only discovered and published recently, after Heinlein's death. It is an utterly fascinating work for Heinlein fans and scholars, as it captures many of his ideas espoused in his later works -- free love, rolling roads, general semantics, economics, Nehemiah Scudder, and more -- in a classic "tour of Utopia" style. It's not a novel, it's an essentially plotless 300 page lecture, demonstrating that his later harangues weren't a degeneration, but a reversion to what he was really about. Since that lecture is in true Heinlein voice, it's a worthwhile read, to see the early form of some of his ideas, and to see his already masterly handling of the infodump. But don't bother if you want just a story.

Robert A. Heinlein, Spider Robinson.
Variable Star.
Tor. 2006

rating : 3 : worth reading
review : 3 January 2008

After Robert Heinlein's death, several pages of notes that he wrote in 1955 outlining the idea for a novel were found, and Spider Robinson given the task of turning them into a novel.

It's 2286. Joel Johnstone is a poor but talented musician, who is desperately in love with Jinny Hamilton, and she with him, but they can't afford to marry. However, Joel discovers something that makes him run far far away, so far and so fast that Jinny can never catch up with him. The main story is then his "coming of age" over the next several years in a small community, finished off with a mind-blowing catastrophe, and a hastily wrapped-up ending.

Is this a Heinlein, or a Robinson? Well, it feels a lot like a Heinlein. In fact, it's a very strange experience, reading a novel that feels like an early Heinlein (early enough that it's a jolly good story, not just an interesting lecture), yet clearly, from events and technology, written in the 21st century. It's a world initially consistent with Heinlein's future history, so Neil Armstrong didn't happen, and Prophet Nehemiah Scudder and the Covenant did. But it's also a world in which 9/11 happened. And I don't remember the mind-blowing catastrophe towards the end (you'll know it when you get to it) from Future History, either.

There are clearly Robinson touches, such as the dancing, and, of course, the puns. But the number of people who die, and stay dead, definitely points to Heinlein rather than Robinson. As does the coming of age feel, and the competent-but-naive Heinlein-esque hero. The lack of major female characters is also typical of (early) Heinlein (the female characters are strong, but not major).

A good page-turner, and it's marvellous to have a new Heinlein novel to read. Well done Spider!

Robert A. Heinlein.
Assignment in Eternity Volume 1.
1953

(read but not reviewed)

Contents

Gulf. 1953
Elsewhen. 1953

Robert A. Heinlein.
Assignment in Eternity Volume 2.
1953

(read but not reviewed)

Contents

Lost Legacy. 1941
Jerry Was a Man. 1947

Robert A. Heinlein.
The Puppet Masters.
1951

rating : 1.5 : unmissable

Alien mind controlling slugs invade the earth; humanity's main defence is nakedness. [And the film is surprisingly good.]

Robert A. Heinlein.
The Puppet Masters (uncut).
Del Rey. 1992

rating : 1.5 : unmissable

Robert A. Heinlein.
Stranger in a Strange Land.
1961

rating : 1 : unmissable

The book that ushered in the sixties, and added "grok" to the English language

Robert A. Heinlein.
Stranger in a Strange Land (uncut).
NEL. 1991

rating : 1 : unmissable