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Podkayne of Mars Paperback – January 5, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Trade; Reprint edition (January 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441018343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441018345
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #540,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


About the Author

Robert Anson Heinlein was born in Missouri in 1907, and was raised there. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1929, but was forced by illness to retire from the Navy in 1934. He settled in California and over the next five years held a variety of jobs while doing post-graduate work in mathematics and physics at the University of California. In 1939 he sold his first science fiction story to Astounding magazine and soon devoted himself to the genre.

He was a four-time winner of the Hugo Award for his novels Stranger in a Strange Land (1961), Starship Troopers (1959), Double Star (1956), and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1966). His Future History series, incorporating both short stories and novels, was first mapped out in 1941. The series charts the social, political, and technological changes shaping human society from the present through several centuries into the future.

Robert A. Heinlein's books were among the first works of science fiction to reach bestseller status in both hardcover and paperback. he continued to work into his eighties, and his work never ceased to amaze, to entertain, and to generate controversy. By the time hed died, in 1988, it was evident that he was one of the formative talents of science fiction: a writer whose unique vision, unflagging energy, and persistence, over the course of five decades, made a great impact on the American mind.

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Customer Reviews

Say it ain't so, Almighty God!
Paul Camp
I think if you've read and liked any of the other Heinlein juveniles, this is probably one of the best.
Utah Blaine
This book has been in print for decades.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Monica J. Kern VINE VOICE on March 18, 2010
Format: Paperback
Podkayne of Mars tells the story of a young woman whose dreams of interplanetary travel come true when she and her younger brother, Clark--a rascally genius--accompany their uncle on a space cruise. Unbeknownst to Podkayne, her uncle is using the trip as a cover for some high-stakes political lobbying, and Podkayne quickly finds herself swept up in all sorts of nasty intrigue and trouble.

Heinlein is possibly the finest science fiction novelist the world has witnessed. His novels fall into two main categories: those written for adults and a series of juvenile fiction, in which this book falls. However, adults as well as teens will enjoy the novel for its plotting, characterization, and setting. I often do not enjoy reading old science fiction because the real world has usually progressed far beyond that imagined by the authors writing then. Heinlein, though, possessed such vision that his futuristic novels still ring both futuristic and plausible. It's amazing to think that he envisioned the practice of creating and banking human embryos (the scenario that starts the novel) way back in 1963--but he did, and it would not surprise me in the least if creches materialize in the way he so perceptively described back then.

Heinlein peppers his novels with strong and interesting protagonists, and Podkayne is no exception. In fact, in many ways I like her better as a heroine than some of the female characters in his later adult novels who come across as being TOO perfect. Poddy is a teenager, with a teenager's unique combination of self-confidence and insecurity. I quite liked Clark, too, though I suspect I would share Poddy's exasperation if I had to actually live with him.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 25, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was looking for good science fiction written for school age children since the genre is lacking in its representation in this area. For some reason, even though Heinlein is my favorite science fiction author, I had never read his juvenile novels from the 40s and 50s. I decided to check these out last summer and to my surprise, they were as well written as his adult novels, without the adult themes. On top of that, it is really cool to read his predictions for the future written back then and see how spot on he was. He is an amazing author and I wish some polititions would read some of his novels where he speaks of alternate forms of government and finance.
Back to Podkayne. Buy it for your school age child and by all means, read it yourself. You will not be dissapointed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bart Cline on September 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
Podkayne, known as Poddy, is the titular character in this book. She's an opinionated teenage girl who was raised on Mars. Her opinions range across several subjects, mainly the superiority of women, the superiority of Martians, and her own ambitions to be a career space pilots. And she shares her opinions. A lot.

Her musings on femininity are pointed and interesting. She explains many different ways that women should use their feminine advantages and disadvantages to get what they want. Some reviewers say that she is a proto-feminist, while others say that she is a mouthpiece for the author's misogyny. To me, much of her advice seems very hardheaded and grounded in the real world. She doesn't deal in idealism or wishful thinking, but tells it how it is. For the kind of comments she makes, see the other reviews. Personally, I'm not so sure that she is simply Heinlein's mouthpiece. The author has created a fictional world here, and her views about Martians, Venerians, and Earth people could also be seen to be very prejudicial in the same way. But the character of Podkayne isn't meant to be so much a product of our time and place as of her time and place. If you expect an idealised version of future extra terrestrial colonisation from Mr Heinlein, you'll be disappointed. One observation of the book is that human nature doesn't change -- not today, not tomorrow, not in a few hundred years. He seems to be telling us that we can expect the same kinds of racism, nationalism, sexism, and all the other isms in the future, which is a point of view I agree with.

So Poddy is an opinionated girl. As the story progresses she is brought down to size a little bit.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David on December 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My daughter called this the chocolate book while she was reading it. I asked her, "Why do you call it that?" She replied, "Because when I read it, I get the same feeling I do when I eat chocolate." What better endorsement can you get than that?

This is a great book for kids, but adults will also enjoy it. I know I did.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lesley Appleby on July 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Heinlein was 55 years old when he wrote this book. I read it a few years after it was published and thought it was wonderful. Now I read others comments about the book being about the old notions that a woman's place was taking care of babies. Rereading this book 50 years later brings me face-to-face with the HUGE shifts in perspective that have occurred in my lifetime. But has the world really changed? In many families I know, the women who are married with children consider themselves to be first in the female pecking order as knowing "the most about life"; followed by divorced women with kids... and last on the bottom of the totem pole are the unmarried women with no kids. So has life changed in reality? The main difference is that most women today HAVE to work while raising their kids so take offense to the idea that they should stay home with their kids. But that doesn't seem to stop the hierarchy mentioned above! We have a lot farther to go -and one cannot reproach Heinlein for finding pregnant, bare-footed women sexy-as is evidenced in a lot of his books. People should be grateful that so many of his female characters are brilliant scientists.
What I find interesting - and most people don't seem to pick up on - is the fact that Clark, the brother, is an amoral sociopath. The alternate ending (read Wikipedia) smacks us with THAT reality which suggests that Heinlein had been confronted somewhere along the line with an awareness of the direction that society was heading. Do you know that back in the 40's, 50's and 60's, movies never had successful robberies or acts of violence (other than wars or killing Indians) that went unpunished?
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