3.5 stars This set of short stories plus the title Novella is a good introduction to Heinlein s Future History especially the title novella and The Roads Must Roll The latter is my favorite from the collection and was included as one of the best short stories of all time by the Science Fiction Writers of America. There it is, dad Cold light at a bare fraction of the cost of ordinary lightning The second one in his Future History timeline Two scientists are responsible for creating a new source of energy in the form of light panels This draws the attention of the Power Syndicate, a group of companies from the power production industry that will try to stop their invention from reaching the market. More Heinlein Not planned It just so happened that this paperback was on the New Books shelf at the library, so I snatched it up In fact, it s a double feature, with Orphans of the Sky as the second book This edition has an afterword, two introductions to The Man Who Sold the Moon, as well as a preface from Heinlein It is saturated If you like Heinlein, buy this edition TheI read Heinlein, thethe experience becomes a reaction to how his writing is so old, but not quite old enough.We could get into a rousing late night discussion about the first science fiction stories I m all for crediting Mary Shelley with the first SF novel, though I m aware there are numerous earlier claimants to the looser story title Few would dispute, however, that Jules Verne and H.G Wells are two names who loom large when we discuss the earliest science fiction novelists or is it science fantasy Hard to say.Still, no one reading Verne or Wells really expects the books to feel scientifically accurate They were writing adventure novels with a fantastic science component, inspired by the cutting edge scientific discoveries of their time, but not necessarily bound by any need to be accurate.Heinlein is closer to us in time, close enough, indeed, that he feels like he should be all properly scientific So when his works deviate from science or historical fact because science and history have outpaced them well, that feels weird Because of his competency with technobabble, I had to keep reminding myself that Heinlein is writing this in the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s well before satellites, let alone the low Earth orbit or moon landings.What Heinlein has in common with Wells and Verne, however, is definitely his role as a monumental inspiration for future scientists and explorers This is the paradoxical ourobouros that is science fiction writers describe these technologies and places that don t yet or can t exist young people read their stories and then they grow up, inspired to become scientists and explorers and create or find those things Reading the stories in this anthology in that light, then, I can totally see why so many people cite Heinlein as their favourite science fiction author The fervour for technological process displayed by Douglas, or Martin, or Gaines, or Harriman, is infectious Despite the note of careful cynicism running throughout these stories, Heinlein cannot avoid communicating an boundless enthusiasm for humanity s apparently limitless ability to surmount obstacles and strive to reach the stars.Reading Heinlein at this age and in this time also allows me to contrast it withrecent science fiction and see how the genre has changed In both style and subject, science fiction in Heinlein s day was markedly different from science fiction now.In his introduction to The Man Who Sold the Moon, John W Campbell, Jr makes much the same point, only contrasting Heinlein s writing with earlier works His voice comes across as folksy while he says this, talking about how Bob Heinlein sent in a yarn, and that just sounds cute to me But he soon gets serious and literary and contrasts Heinlein with, yes, Wells But Wells method was to spend two chapters or so describing In the leisurely 18 90s and early twentieth century, that was permissible The reader accepted it Long descriptive passages were common Today, the reader won t stand for pages of description of what the author thinks the character is like let the character act, and show his character.He then goes on to use the word dilly, and I just want to bring him home and show him off to everyone like some kind of cantankerous grandfather figure.Anyway, Campbell was, of course, right Heinlein s prose tends to be lean It is at its most dense when he gets carried away describing technology like I said earlier, I think Heinlein is an unapologetic technobabbler, but I m fine with that As far as people, though, in his descriptions of them and their actions Heinlein becomes positively stingy Much of these stories consists of dialogue with very little description This actually seems to be coming back into vogue and I m struck, also, by how much it resembles a lot of young adult novels Maybe that s one reason we never had a massive YA presence before World War II much of adult literature was taking on the snappy YA like pacing such that it could be read by children and adults alike Certainly, I can see Heinlein s stories at home in the hands of a fourteen or a fifty year old.But I digress Heinlein is the Aaron Sorkin of science fiction here inways than one see depiction of women, below He has mastered the literary walk n talk.As far as subject goes, well atomic power It is a significant motif in most of the stories in this collection Blowups Happen doubts that we could harness atomic power safely and while Heinlein was not entirely right on this point, he also wasn t entirely wrong , whereas The Man Who Sold the Moon and Requiem allow that maybe we could produce some usable fuel from these unstable monstrosities of reactors In general, though, the book provides great insight into how an author who lived through World War II and saw humanity enter the Atomic Age which he dubbed the Power Age envisioned the rest of the century unfolding.I had a much longer paragraph about the subject matter of science fiction today, but I realized it was getting untenable I wanted to talk about it, however, so I spun it off into a separate blog post.Anyway, unlike some people I can t really tell a personal story about my Heinlein I read him as something of historical interest he informs my reading of the rest of science fiction, and provides insight into the zeitgeist of his time I totally understand why a lot of people were inspired by him if they read his stories growing up, though I suspect not a lot of those people were women, though.What strikes me about The Man Who Sold the Moon is that, unlike The Moon is a Harsh Mistress of twenty years later, women aren t merely objectified in these stories they are practically erased There are a few women characters in the stories, but they are secretaries or wives, minimized and put in their place All the characters of action are men it is inconceivable, indeed, that there could be a woman person of business all that stuff is manly The only notable exception is Dr Mary Lou Martin from Let There Be Light However, she is a biologist life sciences being acceptable for a woman because it doesn t require her to do math, since math is hard And she is objectified to a nauseating degree.Look, apologists will point out that Heinlein is of his time, and harsher critics will then trot out the fact that Heinlein had some ideas about sex and sexuality that were weird for his time and that s just not the point here I m reading this from a historical perspective, and so what I m seeing is how important it is to have that diverse representation in a story Because it s true that Heinlein s stories are of a calibre great enough to inspire people to become scientists and engineers but how well could they motivate women to go into STEM if all these brilliant people are men I m pleased to say we ve come a long way since Heinlein wrote these stories in that regard we regularly depict women as scientists, at least Also, I saw a great discussion on Twitter the other day about how Gillian Anderson inspired a generation of women to enter STEM with her portrayal of Scully And I think Amanda Tapping deserves an honourable mention for her stellar portrayal of Captain Major Colonel Samantha Carter, the scientist warrior of Stargate SG 1 Also, I am a dude talking about the portrayal of women in SF, so let me just say that I m aware I m not saying anything new here I m just trying to use my privilege to amplify what I ve heard many women say Because while things have improved, there is still a tendency to fridge women and to objectify or marginalize women, even when they are in scientific roles.But I digress As I tend to do, and as I ve done in this review quite a bit, because I don t actually have much to say about this book This is a solid collection of stories I don t think it s a matter of recommending or panning Heinlein I would say that you should read at least one Heinlein story, just because he is unarguably a juggernaut in the field of science fiction Whether you continue on the journey is entirely up to you I ll probably keep reading Heinlein, leisurely over the years, just to continue getting a good perspective on how science fiction has changed over the past century After all, Campbell was right these are some good yarns. A collection of some of RAH s older stories they vary a lot by edition, I think This edition starts off with a really good foreword by John Campbell who discovered RAH A happy slush pile find of Life Line published a lot of his short stories over the years Campbell points out how difficult it is for SF short story writers to put the reader into the world of the story quickly completely There aren t pages of description cultural s shift a lot In some places cultures, the biggest liar thief is the most highly regarded while that s not the case in our society at least publicly So the ability to make the future world seem real put a great story into it is one of RAH s strengths.Both he RAH later, in the Preface agree that RAH s Future History isn t to be taken too seriously He was not trying for prophecy It is a framework he swiped from Sinclair Lewis that he uses to keep his stories straight He points out that he put the first moon landing in 1978, but won t make any bets on when it will happen It could happen even sooner, but 1978 is unlikely He wrote this in the 50s Of course, things didn t take off right after that as they do in his stories That s OK They are good stories.Yes, there s some racism sexism, although he tries pretty hard to avoid both He s fairly clunky about it, but it was the times His effort to avoid both is one of the surprising things about his good relationship with Campbell.Cold Light is a neat story about the entrenched power of the 1% how tough it is to upset the status quo if inventions cause economic problems for them Very relevant today probably where a lot of conspiracy theories were born.Lifeline similar to the above with the status quo issue His very first SF story that he sold to Campbell.The Roads Must Roll is sort of a silly device, but fun The roads are slide ways that span the continent run from 5mph up to 100mph carrying cargo, commuter traffic even have cafes on the 100mph slide so that people can enjoy themselves while traveling The main story is about labor issues, though He makes a lot of good points about the importance of a job both individually en mass The Man Who Sold The Moon is pretty good I generally liked the shorter stories better, but there is a lot to love about the story todaythan ever with the surge of private spaceship companies Musk others are the DD Harimans of the story They re not following this script, but are making quick headway against the odds It s really cool how he puts it all on the line for his dream.Requiem is a continuation of the previous story MUST be read in that order or it loses a lot of its impact Not particularly realistic, but very moving.Blowups Happen is very much a part of the previous 2 stories is chronologically before them so I m not sure why it was last in the collection It shouldn t have been, but doesn t really hurt it much Again, not particularly realistic in some of the science, but the overall idea was very true well done.If you re interested, the actual order should be Life Line Let There Be Light The Roads Must Roll Blowups Happen The Man Who Sold the Moon Delilah and the Space Rigger Space Jockey Requiem The struck through titles are usually included in The Green Hills of Earth collection, although they vary My Signet paperback of this book doesn t include a couple of the stories in this audio edition Speaking of which, I don t think this one is correct Mine is an old cassette rip from used library tapes George Guidall narrated this edition did a good job of it.Anyway, this was an enjoyable blast from the past He makes me remember falling in love with the idea of space travel, social business government inertia, the realization that as screwed up as the world often seems, it s damn good right now. Heinlein S Monumental Future History Series Continues Two Scientists Develop Cheap Solar Power And Threaten The Industrial Status Quo The Nation S Cities Are Linked By A System Of Moving Roads And A Strike Can Bring The Entire Country To A Halt Workers In An Experimental Atomic Plant Crack Under The Mental Strain And The Space Frontier Is Opened By An Unlikely Hero D D Harriman, A Billionaire With A Dream The Dream Of Space For All Mankind The Method Anything That Works Maybe, In Fact, Harriman Goes Too Far But He Will Give Us The StarsContents Preface The Man Who Sold The MoonLet There Be Light Future HistoryThe Roads Must Roll Future HistoryThe Man Who Sold The Moon D D HarrimanRequiem D D Harriman This is a short story collection covering a lot of the stories that set up the common timeline that Robert Heinlein set a lot of his later stories like The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and others in One of the interesting parts was the preface, which Heinlein began with a quote from L Sprague de Camp It does not pay a profit to be too specific The stories that follow are textbook Heinlein fast paced and fun with just enough pseudo science to make them sound plausible enough for fun There are the usual didactic characters each one of them a bastion of reason in a sea of weak unreason and they spout the usually odd, off kilter politics of Heinlein I think that s my favorite part about Heinlein s politics and the only reason he got away with so much preaching in his books he s utterly and totally heterodox Every time you think you ve got him pinned down, he launches some fusillade that totally upends the box you had carefully place him inside of Let that be a lesson, folks you can get away with pontification as long as you never get predictable. This is a collection of short stories from the master of Science Fiction, Heinlein I ve been a big fan of his for years, devouring a lot of his novels Amy bought this for me for Christmas thinking that it was a novel I was, admittedly, a little put off from reading it initially because I don t typically enjoy short stories But I read the foreword and discovered that Heinlein had written several of his books with the same overarching story such that the events of one story are the history and background of another.The first story is of an inventor who, working with a colleague, invents solar panels in the process of inventing cold light or a light source that doesn t emit a lot of heat Mind you, this book was written in the 50 s The second story is about getting rid of cars and having moving walkways like in airports that go up to 100 mph.The main story is about an entrepreneur who wants to travel to the moon But he goes through a convoluted process of buying the moon so that he can make money off the cost of developing a rocket to get to the moon, and then doing so It s sad because he does this because of his lifelong dream of going to the moon, but his partners refuse to let him go because of the risk if he should die We learn in the next story that he never made it to the moon, by the time the risk was gone, he was too frail to make the journey now regulated by the government So he hires a couple of decommissioned pilots and engineers to build him a ship and fly him to the moon illegally When he gets there, he has just a moment of bliss, and dies It was sad, but fulfilling.So, this is very classic Sci Fi, dating back to the 50 s if you enjoy classic Sci Fi you should really enjoy these short stories. 1989 grade B 2019 grade B Series book FH1This book contains 5 short stories and one short novel The publishing dates range from 1939 to 1953 so some of them are rather out of date actually all of them, but only Blowups is so bad as to be unreadable The science discrepancies are understandable considering successful basic rockets were only developed in WW2 The stories also have a fictional chronology and one story will include an occurrence from a previous story I will cover the stories individually below in book order with C for the copyright date, O for the fictional order, and Pg for the page count.The title story is the short novel It is about very wealthy and powerful tycoon who wants to go to the moon so bad that he sells everything he owns and any moon right he can get to fund the project The Requiem ends the Moon story and is recommended even if sad As with most Heinlein books, these stories remind me of a cake with a small frosting center The cake being the bulk of the story which is about people and the center being a proper core of hard SciFi C1940, 19Pg, O 1, grade A , Let There Be Light C1940, 45Pg, O 2, grade A , The Roads Must Roll C1950, 106P, O 4, grade B , The Man Who Sold The MoonC1940, 20Pg, O 5, grade A, RequiemC1939, 22Pg, O , grade C , Life Line optional C1940, 54Pg, O 3, grade C , Blowups Happen, can be skipped As you can see, the four better stories are at the front and in fictional order. Awesome story Could not stop reading it Highly recommend, especially for those getting into sci fi and looking for something short to peak their interest. Difficult to review, evenso than the regular collection of short stories.This is, almost by definition, classic science fiction, practically historical sci fi, if there can be such a thing Heinlein was one of the founding greats of the genera, he had foresight, vision and very exciting concepts But, at times, the execution of the concepts does not enhance them as it should This is a collections of stories showing in a fairly linear fashion, how mankind in Heinlein s universe made it to the moon Some of them are quite good but all of them revolve around Heinlein s standard, favourite leading man He is a man s man, charismatic, opinionated, a bit of a shady dealer but honest by his own lights Heinlein loves this proto character and I think everything I have ever read by him has one In The man who sold the moon, the signature story, is basically all about this favourite character and how he got mankind to the moon, which requires a certain tolerance from the modern reader.You know how some peoples fathers were so overbearing and patriarchal they were family dictators and their children inevitably rebelled That is this guy, in The Man Who Sold The Moon for 89 pages of small type If not for the historic element I might not have made it through and I did NOT make it through Blow Ups Happen, the story of the development of the fuel they needed for space flight It was too tedious for me On the Flip side, I thoroughly enjoyed The Roads Must Roll both in concept and execution even though it is as dated as the rest of the writing It is worth mentioning this story collection was first published in 1957 The Sputnik was launched that year, men walking on the moon was wholly speculative The stories all explore scientific discoveries, real or imagined, all based on science of the day to greater or lesser extent However, while imagining the society of the future, Heinlein is still writing from the society he belonged to with unfortunate effects at times The levels of sexism were horrific, as any google of adverts from that year will show so it is not surprising that females barely exist in these stories There are a few nagging wives and a diner owner, there is a woman in Life Line written with the intent, I suspect, of making a scientist and intellectual equal, but it is embarrassingly tough to read Younger women, in particular may find this series of stories difficult to read for this reason.Not easy to read, though some of the shorter stories are memorable.