Sunday, June 09, 2013

Space Cadet - Robert Heinlein

Here is the first of my one-book-at-a-time bookshelf.

I really like science fiction from the golden age and this is one of many.

The opening of this classic science fiction story uses a tried and true plot device. The protagonist makes a friend whilst traveling to cadet school. The friend becomes an integral part of the story. This is the Harry and Ron moment on the way to Hogwarts, and the Kirk and Bones moment in the 2009 Star Trek movie. An old device but a good one.

I also like the way the protagonist pulls a telephone out of his back pack to make a call to his father. This is part of the scene setting for a story written in the 1940’s but set in 2085. The modern reader will probably not notice as mobile phones are now ubiquitous.

In all other respects this is a story best read with a nod to the historical context of the 1940's, not be distracted by the technology assumptions and paternalistic attitude to women. I try to imaging how I might have been influenced by it if I'd read it as a teenager at that time. I would have been excited and inspired.

It is also just a good read.

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