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review 2020-06-10 23:45
Podkayne of Mars by Robert A. Heinlein
Podkayne of Mars - Robert A. Heinlein


Well, I stopped short of wanting to throw the book across the room but overall it was a disappointment. And a lot of stuff with the bomb just doesn’t make sense to me.


It started out promisingly enough, and I thought Poddy’s (Podkayne’s) jocular tone was fun at first. Her mother is even a big shot engineer, so I thought there might actually be some truth in Heinlein’s earlier stuff being better. But boy oh boy does he start showing his true colours as the story progresses. It started with little things, like comments about how all a woman has is her looks, despite any other accomplishments. That scene with the makeup was just cringeworthy. And I’ve honestly never met a teenage girl who was baby crazy, or who judged that her hips made her designed for making babies. Maybe things were different back then, but…I’m thinking it was some authorial projection. I’m not saying she can’t like babies, it’s just the way it’s presented, you know? Up to that point she’d been spaceship crazy. The book presents forgetting about trying for traditionally male careers as “growing up”, to which this engineer offers a middle-fingered salute.


Oh, and in the end Poddy’s mother is portrayed as being negligent for having a career instead of spending all her time raising her kids, so between that and the ending…I’d generally recommend taking a hard pass on this one.


It’s so depressing to think that Heinlein is still worshipped today as a master of SF.


Previous updates:

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text 2020-06-10 02:34
Reading progress update: I've read 52%.
Podkayne of Mars - Robert A. Heinlein

Pokayne's opinion of how different languages sound is...interesting...


German sounds like a man being choked to death, French sounds like a cat fight, while Spanish sounds like molasses gurgling gently out of a jug. Cantonese—well, think of a man trying to vocalize Bach who doesn’t like Bach very much to start with.

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review 2020-05-03 14:16
Review - The Door into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein.
The Door Into Summer - Robert A. Heinlein


I ended up quite liking this but it could have gone either way right up until the last few chapters.  This isn't so much a review as a random collection of my thoughts about the book.  All over the place, but then so was the book...


It's a time travel book written in 1957 about a man living in 1975 and he travels forward in time to 2001 via cryogenics then back again to 1975 via a time machine...basically he jumps about more than once (and takes his cat Pete with him) and my mind gave up wondering about paradoxes after a while.  It's not without it's issues and is dated in many ways and at times the author sounds a bit sexist and racist.  It was written in the 50's, I get it, times were different but reading it in 2020 makes the differences stand out a bit.  All the way through there's a running dialogue between the main character and his business partner's 11 year old daughter which was weird and I'm still giving him the side-eye about that, now that I know how it ends.


Technological and scientific advancements would probably been a bit of a stab in the dark to try and predict between 1957 1975 and even harder to envisage for 2001 but he had a stab at it.

The newspapers were still made of paper but they were sort of laminated and looked like one big shiny sheet, but he got the 'page curl' thing right where a tap on the sheet corner made the old page just curl away to nothing and revealed the page underneath.  No computers though.


Clothes were not much different to what he knew in his own time, just a bit more colourful and mis-matched with the addition of 'stiktite' instead of zips.  I still have no idea what stiktite is but some ladies wore nothing but stitktite on the beach and were quite 'inventive' with it, or so I'm told. My mind boggles.  Nurses wore all white and still wore those little stiff cap things.


New words made up to sound like gibberish, ie - Going to the movies = going to the grabbies to see the grabbie stars.  Taking the 'Lays' to get around town.   'Kink' was a word that almost got him his lights punched out when he said it to a woman.


He made a show of having wired telephones in homes if you could afford them which was probably far fetched in the 50's and when outside of the home people still had to use payphones on street corners.  He had to send a postal order to the patents office in 2001 as they didn't accept cheques.  He wanted to get a message to an acquaintence while in 2001 and had to send him a card in the post as the quickest way.


The common cold was eliminated and cigarettes had been made harmless and you just waved it about in the air a bit to get them lit and Dr's were smoking them in the hospital...in 2001.


Money was a hard one for him to predict I think.  He thought that a handyman would be charging an extortionate $5 an hour to repair his robot and that a hospital room would cost him about $100 a night.  Going out to dinner would cost $10


All things considered though he did okay and in the end I got an almost 5 star read to kick off my month and I managed to finish one of my very overdue library books.



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text 2020-05-03 11:55
Reading progress update: I've read 14 out of 178 pages.
The Door Into Summer - Robert A. Heinlein

Daniel Davis - "Maybe that shot in the fanny had been nothing more than B1; if so, it was jet-propelled"



If I was in any doubt that the author was American (and I wasn't), that line would have confirmed it.  No UK bloke would be so cavalier about a shot of B1 in his vagina...

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text 2020-04-29 07:47
The Door Into Summer - Robert A. Heinlein

Finally getting round to starting one of my very overdue library books.

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