Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Man Who Sold The Moon/Orphans of the Sky-Robert A. Heinlein

The Man Who Sold The Moon/Orphans of the Sky

Robert A. Heinlein

Baen, Sep 3 2013, $15.00

ISBN: 9781451639223

This fabulous Future History collection contains an accompanying timeline dating the stories over several centuries while also summarizing the significant events and characters. All the entries are well written and many timely today while also influencing movies and books; though in some tales the characters are underdeveloped (to fit magazine space) and the science wrong. Readers will appreciate the intriguing brilliant underlying social and political concepts as Robert A. Heinlein shows his genius with these shorts.

“The Man Who Sold The Moon”: In "Life Line" the machine tells when a person will die, but not how they and their loved ones will react. They discover an efficient effective electric source but the power companies say no to "Let There Be Light." Society depends on those who insure "The Roads Must Roll" as the only means of transportation. The workers feel the pressure of keeping atomic energy safe aware of "Blowups Happen." Harriman needs financial backing for his planned space trip so "The Man Who Sold the Moon" produces a scheme to turn a profit from investors. Much older and ailing, Harriman still dreams of going to the moon in "Requiem."

“Orphans of the Sky”: Since the mutiny several generations ago, the multi-generational lower level voyagers think their “Universe” consist of the ship drifting through space; as none believe in existence outside the vessel until Hoyland meets upper level mutants who teach him the truth. Using “Common Sense” Hoyland tries to persuade his people that their acceptable belief system is false.

Harriet Klausner

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