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''All You Zombies - -'' | Five Classic Stories (1959)

by Robert A. Heinlein

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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17813116,255 (3.81)16
Featuring "All You Zombies-," the basis for the movie Predestination This collection from Grand Master Robert A. Heinlein includes five short stories sure to please science fiction fans everywhere. The title story tells the tale of a young man who meets a time-traveling bartender whose origins-and relation to the young man-are more complex and stranger than the Ouroboros ring on the barkeep's finger. In The Man Who Traveled in Elephants-one of both Heinlein and Spider Robinson's all-time favorite stories-we join a former traveling salesman on a bus. The man and his wife had once traveled with a host of imaginary animals searching for places to sell elephants. "They-" takes listeners inside a mental institution, where a man suffering from delusions has been confined. In Our Fair City, a parking attendant named Pappy, a sentient whirlwind named Kitten, and a crusading reporter named Pete aim to take down their corrupt city government. Lastly, in "-And He Built a Crooked House," a clever architect designs a house in the shape of the shadow of a tesseract, but it collapses through the fourth dimension when an earthquake shakes it into a more stable form.… (more)
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» See also 16 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Half of a book that's been among my very favorites for a half-dozen decades. These are outside Heinlein's "Future History," which freed him to write some really odd/interesting stuff. Crooked House and Our Fair City are particular favorites; they're not just among Heinlein's best work but among the best short stories I've ever read.

Now I'm off to reread The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag. I really don't understand why they've clipped the book in half, but at least the combined price is reasonable. ( )
  joeldinda | Mar 7, 2021 |
Re-read 6/2/18:

Nostalgia hits again. :) Thinking about doing a lot more Heinlein reads fairly soon. :)

Original Review:

I had to reread this after just watching Predestination on which it was based. I was impressed with the movie but even more so with the story. I guess I picked up more nuances this time. It was all the more impressive because of how the character study really played out and what wasn't said but could be deduced. I think I can thank the movie more for that aspect, although one storyline hadn't existed in the short story.

Even so, very impressive ideas and a minimalist style that was so understated that I'm not too surprised I missed it the first time. Preferred some of his other short stories more, but maybe I need to revisit them all and see how my grown-up-self takes them.

What can I say? It was tight and impactive and so very easy to see how it informed the later third of his novels in both strangeness and, dare I say it, incestuousness? Absolutely, but I'm of a mind that Heinlein is still the Grandmaster and should retain the title forever, regardless of the kinds of stunts he has been known to play. After all, he's not merely informative and didactic. He's one hell of a storyteller. ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
All You Zombies, by Robert Heinlein


I was inspired to read this as it was the basis for the film Predestination. In Predestination, the guy who goes back in time is trying to find a killer who also seems elusive, as if he too is using time to do his bombing and terrorism.

The story by Heinlein is a bit less violent, a bit more humane and a lot more interesting.

Read it, very cool look at what might be.


( )
  James_Mourgos | May 19, 2020 |

This audiobook of stories by Robert Heinlein was pretty good. The narrator had a little bit of a monotone going on, but overall I did enjoy this collection. ( )
  Charrlygirl | Mar 22, 2020 |
I realize GR is for book reviews, not movies, but I just watched Predestination, which is based on "All you zombies" and my mind is fucked. Well and truly fucked. To quote Geto Boys, my mind's playing tricks on me. OMG. BRILLIANT movie. Ethan Hawke was magnificent and Sarah Snook was incredible.

Now I've got to read this book.
  Gaia_Sol | Sep 1, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert A. Heinleinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Robinson, SpiderNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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2217 Time Zone V (set) 7 Nov 1970 NYC - "Pop's Place": I was polishing a brandy snifter when the Unmarried Mother came in.
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Featuring "All You Zombies-," the basis for the movie Predestination This collection from Grand Master Robert A. Heinlein includes five short stories sure to please science fiction fans everywhere. The title story tells the tale of a young man who meets a time-traveling bartender whose origins-and relation to the young man-are more complex and stranger than the Ouroboros ring on the barkeep's finger. In The Man Who Traveled in Elephants-one of both Heinlein and Spider Robinson's all-time favorite stories-we join a former traveling salesman on a bus. The man and his wife had once traveled with a host of imaginary animals searching for places to sell elephants. "They-" takes listeners inside a mental institution, where a man suffering from delusions has been confined. In Our Fair City, a parking attendant named Pappy, a sentient whirlwind named Kitten, and a crusading reporter named Pete aim to take down their corrupt city government. Lastly, in "-And He Built a Crooked House," a clever architect designs a house in the shape of the shadow of a tesseract, but it collapses through the fourth dimension when an earthquake shakes it into a more stable form.

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