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Space Family Stone by Robert A. Heinlein
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Space Family Stone (original 1952; edition 1985)

by Robert A. Heinlein (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,762205,972 (3.63)52
Member:JESGalway
Title:Space Family Stone
Authors:Robert A. Heinlein (Author)
Info:Hodder & Stoughton General Division (1985)
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:American Fiction, Science Fiction

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The Rolling Stones by Robert A. Heinlein (1952)

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» See also 52 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
It doesn’t seem likely for twins to have the same middle name. Even so, it’s clear that Castor and Pollux Stone both have "Trouble" written in that spot on their birth certificates. Of course, anyone who’s met their grandmother Hazel would know that they came by it honestly…

Join the Stone twins as they connive, cajole, and bamboozle their way across the Solar System in the company of the most high-spirited and hilarious family in all of science fiction. This light-hearted tale has some of Heinlein’s sassiest dialogue (not to mention the famous Flat Cats incident!). Oddly enough, it’s also a true example of real family values–for when you’re a Stone, your family is your highest priority.
  JESGalway | Feb 11, 2019 |
(Original Review, 1980)

THE ROLLING STONES happens to be a fascinating example of degeneration --- Grandma quit engineering because three less-competent men were promoted over her, Mother is a competent but very womanly doctor, and Daughter (what little we find out of her) is mostly hormones. I think it's also fair to say that TRS is the most liberal portrayal of women that Heinlein has ever created. Granted, Heinlein liked to write most of his famous material to well-defined audiences (THE STAR BEAST, complete with tiresome mother and conniving female chum, might have been written to order for BOY'S LIFE, but my copy doesn't mention any serialization (means nothing, though; I have the Ace reissue and they are among the worst at crediting prior publication). Not even Anne McCaffrey, perhaps the most conservative serious female SF writer, has a good word for Podkayne --- calls her "that unbelievable minx". As for Joan Eunice Smith --- when Laumer included a short piece (in THE TIME TRAP) assuming that attitudes were the result of biology, at least he made it funny/.

As for Spider Robinson --- well, both of the Robinsons are friends and I value them, but Spider's literary judgment simply isn't of the highest or most balanced (someone put it very neatly: "Spider worships the ground Heinlein walks above.") For a good example, see his vitriolic review of Clute's and Nicholls' THE SCIENCE FICTION ENCYCLOPEDIA in the latest (well, latest but one by now) ANALOG; having read the sections he bitches about, I'll grant that Disch may be over-praised but Heinlein is not treated nearly as brutally as Spider claims. The author of the RAH article is quite right that RAH has difficulties with sex (even though he fills books with it). Look at “Time Enough to Screw Around”: a man bedding his mother is a classic fantasy; a man being tripped into bed by his daughters is becoming a stock modern fantasy (the "funny uncle" is a much smaller part of child molestation today than the father after his daughter; there's even a substantial slice of the porn market devoted to this appetite); and his claim that a woman is at her most beautiful when she's 8-9 months pregnant is the result of his own bile at never having had kids --- in this direction, strangely enough, the closest author thematically (although both of them would probably deny it furiously) is Spinrad, who has written several books in which the leading woman is there mostly because she has a thing for strong men's implements.

Oh well, enough flaming (well, almost). Probably some of you will consider this ridiculously puritanical of me, but I think the strongest condemnation of NUMBER OF THE BEAST was the monstrous advance paid for it. Most of us started reading SF because it offered entertainment on a level completely removed from both the "literature" beloved of schoolteachers and the sludge that winds up as popular fiction; that Fawcett saw such a goldmine in this that they were willing to advance $600,000 is an indicator of how far towards the trivially marketable RAH has gone. ( )
  antao | Oct 26, 2018 |
An absolutely wonderful audio production of a favorite Heinlein juvenile.


Castor and Pollux Stone may be the most entertaining twins in sf for the reader, but it's hard to imagine why their parents didn't strangle them at birth to preserve their own sanity. Ever since the adults (Luna Founding Father grandmother Hazel Meade Stone, mother Dr. Edith Stone, and father Roger Stone, engineer, former mayor of Luna City, and screenwriter) let their guard slip long enough to let the twins invent something genuinely useful (the frostproof rebreather valve) these native-born Lunatics have been scheming to repeat the accomplishment—at least the money-making part of it—with the not very well thought-out goal of eluding adult control before they've learned enough caution to keep themselves alive, out of debt, and out of jail. When their latest caper involves an attempt to buy a spaceship and launch their own trade expedition to the asteroid belt, grandmotherly and paternal restlessness morphs the scheme into a family tour of the planets, starting with Mars and possibly stretching to include the rings of Saturn.

Castor and Pollux of course do not let up on their money-making schemes, and figure out that they can buy used bicycles cheap on Luna, fix them up on the way to Mars, and sell them to prospectors there for a fraction of the price of new bikes shipped from Earth's much deeper gravity well, while still making a huge profit.

They do not, of course, ask themselves why no one before them has been smart enough to come up with this idea, and that's a recurring theme as the Unheavenly Twins wreak hilarious havoc across the solar system, with brushes with jail, bankruptcy, and assorted mayhem.

(One very funny episode will seem oddly familiar to anyone whose age and background caused them to encounter the original Star Trek first. However, Heinlein's flat cats predated the tribbles by about fifteen years.)

Great fun. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
Castor and Pollux Stone may be the most entertaining twins in sf for the reader, but it's hard to imagine why their parents didn't strangle them at birth to preserve their own sanity. Ever since the adults (Luna Founding Father grandmother Hazel Meade Stone, mother Dr. Edith Stone, and father Roger Stone, engineer, former mayor of Luna City, and screenwriter) let their guard slip long enough to let the twins invent something genuinely useful (the frostproof rebreather valve) these native-born Lunatics have been scheming to repeat the accomplishment—at least the money-making part of it—with the not very well thought-out goal of eluding adult control before they've learned enough caution to keep themselves alive, out of debt, and out of jail. When their latest caper involves an attempt to buy a spaceship and launch their own trade expedition to the asteroid belt, grandmotherly and paternal restlessness morphs the scheme into a family tour of the planets, starting with Mars and possibly stretching to include the rings of Saturn.

Castor and Pollux of course do not let up on their money-making schemes, and figure out that they can buy used bicycles cheap on Luna, fix them up on the way to Mars, and sell them to prospectors there for a fraction of the price of new bikes shipped from Earth's much deeper gravity well, while still making a huge profit.

They do not, of course, ask themselves why no one before them has been smart enough to come up with this idea, and that's a recurring theme as the Unheavenly Twins wreak hilarious havoc across the solar system, with brushes with jail, bankruptcy, and assorted mayhem.

(One very funny episode will seem oddly familiar to anyone whose age and background caused them to encounter the original Star Trek first. However, Heinlein's flat cats predated the tribbles by about fifteen years.)

Great fun. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
Hard to figure out what Heinlein was going for on this one; part Hardy Boys, part sitcom without the laugh track (think Partridge family), part soap opera, part Hatfields/granny Clampett, with a measure of Eastern mysticism thrown in...with a Harold Ramis/Dan Ackroyd screenplay dialogue ... all wrapped in a sciency blanket. As I read his books in (mostly) the order of publication, I keep wondering when the Heinlein of fame will make an appearance. ( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert A. Heinleinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Davis, Gorden CCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eggleton, BobCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Geary, CliffordCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hughes, Steve A.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sweet, Darrell K.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For LUCKY and DOC and BARBARA
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THE UNHEAVENLY TWINS - The two brothers stood looking the old wreck over.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 034532451X, Mass Market Paperback)

When the Stone twins made up their minds to leave Lunar City in a secondhand spaceship, they hadn't planned on having their whole family accompany them. But the Stones were not your ordinary Lunar family -- no way! -- and their voyage through the solar system sure proved it.

What began as a simple business expedition to Mars soon mushroomed into a dangerous situation when Grandma Stone was lost in space. Then, just when everything seemed to be getting better, a Martian flatcat came aboard and fouled up the works.

But the real trouble didn't get underway until the Stones headed for the asteroid belt to take up a mining proposition they, somehow, couldn't refuse . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:45 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"It all started when the twins, Castor and Pollux Stone, decided that life on the Lunar colony was too dull and decided to buy their own spaceship and go into business for themselves. Their father thought that was a fine, idea, except that he and Grandma Hazel bought the spaceship and the whole Stone Family were on their way out into the far reaches of the Solar System, with stops on Mars(where the twins got a lesson in the interplanetary economics of bicycles and the adorable little critters called flatcats who, it turned out, bred like rabbits; or perhaps, Tribbles ...), out to the asteroids, where Mrs. Stone, an M.D., was needed to treat a dangerous outbreak of disease, even further out, to Titan and beyond."--Publisher description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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