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Revolt in 2100/Methuselah's Children by…

Revolt in 2100/Methuselah's Children (edition 1998)

by Robert A. Heinlein (Author)

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Title:Revolt in 2100/Methuselah's Children
Authors:Robert A. Heinlein (Author)
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Revolt in 2100 & Methuselah's Children by Robert A. Heinlein



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There are two ways to appreciate this collection of two short stories, a novella, and a novel.

First is on its own merit. The novella "Revolt in 2100" stands at the beginning of a long tradition of undergrounds battling future tyrannys. Here Heinlein gives us a Masonic cabal subverting a future American theocracy. Its protagonist gradually finds himself, for the love of a woman, transformed from guard of the Prophet to a revolutionary and questioning his own most basic beliefs. "Coventry" is one of those stories about what happens when convicts are allowed to build their own societies without supervision. Its literary critic protagonist doesn't find the liberating anarchy he expects amongst society's outcasts. In the novel METHUSELAH'S CHILDREN, a group of long-lived humans flee a resentful Earth and head out to the stars. It's neatly divided between a first half featuring a chase thriller and the more philosophical second half with its multiple alien contacts and what they say about man's purpose in the universe.

One story, "Misfit", is not that interesting in itself, but, like the entire collection, reveals a lot about Heinlein's appeal. It's detail-filled tale of a mathematical genius working on a futuristic Cosmic Construction Corps project to turn an asteroid into a space station probably inspired many a future aerospace engineer. Those familiar with the science fiction of the late thirties and forties, when Heinlein got his start, will be reminded, by these tales, why he was so appealing. His tales are filled with minutae of political thought, engineering, military tactics, biology, and human psychology. Almost as much a Renaissance man as his famous Lazarus Long, first introduced in METHUSELAH'S CHILDREN, Heinlein speculated on the future of many things.

However, as this collection shows, he was also a man of his time. Think FDR's CCC for the Cosmic Construction Corps or note the references to Freud and Alfred Korzybski's General Semantics, remnants of the days when science fiction writers were convinced social sciences would soon produce the predictability of the physical sciences.

Heinlein fans unfamiliar with this edition will appreciate notes by Heinlein on the Future History stories he didn't write and why.

Those who have categorized Heinlein as a fascist or anarchist may want to rethink their opinions after reading this collection, especially "Coventry". ( )
1 vote RandyStafford | Nov 11, 2011 |
This is actually two novellas condensed into a single volume. The first is Revolt which is about a corrupt religious government and the subsequent revolution. The second novella is Methuselah's Children which is the original Lazarus Long story. ( )
  thomasJamo | Jan 15, 2010 |
A Third Collection of Heinlein's future history series, this is my favorite of the three. All of the science and technology developed in the early short stories come together along with the very human traits of misplaced faith, fanaticism, and jealousy. At the end of the book mankind has managed to solve a lot of the problems that they have inherently, such as violence towards each other and religion, and they have manage to extend their life span as well. ( )
  burningtodd | Oct 17, 2009 |
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Presents two novels by Robert A. Heinlen in which Americans fight must fight against threats to their freedom.

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