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Starman Jones by Robert A. Heinlein

Starman Jones (1953)

by Robert A. Heinlein

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Adolescent fiction. Was a fun read over half a century ago but less satisfying for my taste now. ( )
  Tatoosh | May 4, 2016 |
I really like Heinlein's juvenile SciFi. He tells a great story and his descriptions of things of the future are sometimes uncanny.

In this book a hillbilly kid runs away from home to smuggle aboard a spaceship. To get to the port he gets a ride with a freighter. He describes how the faster the futuristic 18 wheeler goes the closer it hugs the ground. This book was written in 1953... this was not tried in racing Formula 1 racers until 1961 by first using spoiler wings and later by passing air under the chassis to create a negative pressure to cause the racer to "hug" the road.

He also describes checkpoints along the roads and drivers of these rigs required to have logbooks and having to prove they haven't driven the vehicle for more than 8 hours without a sleep... I doubt that was in effect in 1953 but such logs are certainly required now.

The story while aimed at the 12 - 17 year old still stands up for an adult audience over 50 years later.

Two thumbs up ( )
  Lynxear | Mar 19, 2015 |
A 1953, classic science fiction from the grand master Robert A. Heinlein is about a Ozark farm boy who travels to the stars when he is forced to run away from home. A not easy feat to accomplish because entering the trades is tightly controlled. You must pay large amounts of money and for an astrogator you must be recommended. Max Jones has learned from his uncle and his eidetic memory doesn’t hurt either. He becomes a stowaway on board a intergalactic spaceship. The pilot dies and the charts and tables destroyed. The survival of the ship will depend on Max. This series called, Heinlein juveniles series, is easy to read because it is written for young boys and the book reads as a stand alone book. The book may be written for youth but the author folds in an adult theme of labor unions. Max is triumphant because he has noble character even though he has misled to obtain a place on the ship, he later confesses. The computer is an important part of space travel but in the book still dependent on man to run them unlike computers we have now. The computer was just making is debut and it was big and chunky. There is also mathematics in this book with the explanation of congruence (like a folded scarf) as a way to go from one place to another that is many light years away. ( )
  Kristelh | Nov 16, 2013 |
Books read in the past:

I think of this as the exemplar of Heinlein's writing in this period. The hero is a sympathetic lad with special talents, the mentor is old but not a lecherous coot, the plot complications involve interpersonal tension as well as external problems, the problems are both technical and alien-mediated, and the solutions require the protagonist to shoulder responsibilities and become a man. This is a fine young adult novel and one of two science fiction novels (the other being [b:Farmer in the Sky|50851|Farmer in the Sky|Robert A. Heinlein|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1170372013s/50851.jpg|2422376]) that my father and I both read in adolescence. ( )
  OshoOsho | Mar 30, 2013 |
This is one of Heinlein's "juveniles"--that is, what we now call young adult. I tend to prefer quite a few of those to his adult novels such as Stranger in a Strange Land. I wouldn't count this among his best in that category though--of which my favorite is Citizen of the Galaxy. I'd say it's only about average for Heinlein--which still means it's very good indeed. This is the coming of age tale of a boy who goes from dirt between the toes farm boy to the stars.

Yes, some aspects are dated--social aspects such as the relations between the sexes and the technology, especially computer tech seems...quaint. But hey, this was published in 1953, and I'm willing to make allowances--regardless it's still a very entertaining story. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Oct 29, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Heinlein, Robert A.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Berkey, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Geary, CliffordCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, PaulineCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosanblatt, LeeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sternback, RickCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my friend Jim Smith
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Max liked this time of day, this time of year.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345328116, Mass Market Paperback)

Where were they? In fact, when were they? and how could they get back?

It's easy to stow away on an intergalactic spaceship, if you're a smart lad like Max Jones. But it's quite another thing when the spaceship touches down on an unknown planet after passage through a time warp...perhaps an unknown century. Especially when the spaceship's pilot dies, and his charts and are destroyed. Now survival was up to Max...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:59 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

When his stepmother's remarriage drives him from home, Max and a hobo fake their way into the Space Stewards, Cooks, and Purser's Clerks brotherhood to get an opportunity for space travel in an age when only the wealthy are privileged.

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