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Starman Jones Paperback – October 4, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Baen (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451637497
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451637496
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 6.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #936,543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Here is science fiction."--The New York Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Like many people, I go way, way back with Heinlein. My very favorite book (and one that stands out in my mind--and with much affection--to this day) is Tunnel in the Sky. I really, really wanted to go off to explore new worlds with a covered wagon and horses, like the hero does at the very end of the book. But one of the nice things about Robert Heinlein is that he's got something for everyone. One of my best friends has a different favorite: Podkayne of Mars. Go figure.
                        --Shelly Shapiro, Executive Editor --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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It is a good story with engaging characters.
Rick
Like all novels from the master of science fiction, this is a fantastic example of classic science fiction literature.
S. E. Reader
Even though I have this book in paperback, I spent the money to add it to my e-book collection.
Donald W. May

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Lee Gaiteri on August 4, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Starman Jones isn't one that I'd recommend for the sci-fi primer; if you're new to the genre there are just too many good books to read, and a lot of them are other Heinlein novels. But for a person who's past that point and is just looking for more good books, this one's worth it.
I guess I'd call Starman Jones a "formula" Heinlein novel. Its main character is a boy who dreams of becoming an astrogator, who gets his chance the hard way. It's full of a lot of the same types of characters, including father/mentor types like the ship's captain, and has those same hard life lessons and idealism that exemplify his other books. Still like every book Heinlein wrote, there is a uniqueness to the story of this one that makes it worth reading.
Like other Heinleins, there are a few dated elements. In Starman Jones, his habit of consistently writing computers as big, clunky things incapable of more than simple calculations pops up in force because it becomes an important element of the story. Still that dating gives it some charm and adds a little sense of what-if to the tale. As a Heinlein fan I find it easy to forgive his few misses at foresight and squint past the rougher spots to read the story for what it is. But that's why I say this shouldn't be a first Heinlein for anyone; it's not a good introduction to his work and won't be as fully appreciated by someone who hasn't read and enjoyed his more classic books.
This book will satisfy younger readers (and older ones) well, but I'd still recommend "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress", "Have Space Suit--Will Travel", "The Rolling Stones", and "Tunnel In The Sky" (all by Heinlein) before this one to anyone who hasn't read them yet. People who have read and appreciate those books will find this one more enjoyable for it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 11, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Max Jones is blessed with an eidetic memory and dreams of becoming an "astrogator" (Heinlein's neologism for "starship navigator"). Every evening he watches the ballistic train streak by his property, bound for Earthport, the launching facility for the big ships, and wishes that he could go there. But Max is committed to supporting his father's widow by working their Ozark farm, and the requirements for getting into the Astrogators' Guild are strict; most slots are inherited from previous guild members. One evening, Max's stepmother comes home with a new husband, a shiftless, drunken lout who announces that he has sold the farm and threatens to beat Max up when he protests. Max has no recourse but to gather up his reference books on astrogation (left to him by his deceased uncle Chet, an astrogator), and flee for Earthport. But when he presents himself at the Astrogators' Guild hall, he is told that his uncle Chet never nominated Max to the guild before he died, and the reference books are confiscated to "protect trade secrets." Max is in a pickle.
Written in 1953, Starman Jones is a solid work of craftsmanship, of interest both to adults and children. It outlines a crowded Earth in which satisfying, interesting work is truly scarce, locked into a strict system of guilds. Faced with that barrier, what is an ambitious, talented boy like Max to do? The book deals in large part with the ethical dilemmas created by this situation, and by Max's subsequent forgery of documents enabling him to land a position aboard the starship Asgard. In the mysterious, wily old starship crewman, Sam, Heinlein creates a memorable, complex character, much in keeping with the Swope Park hobo/hero Heinlein mentions several times in speeches and writing (A good account of this story can be found in Expanded Universe). All in all, Starman Jones is a fast-moving, yet weighty read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rachel E. Watkins on August 1, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Young Jones is a farmer, who hates being a farmer and can think of nothing better than to head out into space. His uncle was an astrogator, and left his books to Jones when he died. After an upheval of his home life(which he wasn't really attached to anyway) he decides it's time to head out on his own, hopefully to become an astrogator.
Being young and nieve, he makes some bad calls in charachters of someone he meets on the way, and finds out the hard way that you can't trust everyone who seems nice. I'd write more, but don't want to give away the storyline. Being one of heinlein's early 'juvies' this book isn't as involved as his later and better known works, and at times I felt it was too predictable. But, Heinlein was a master of portraying people, thier dreams and desires and fears.
This is a fun young adult book about growing up.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Robert James on July 15, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Heinlein's series of juveniles has never been matched by any other series writer for teenagers, with the possible exception of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, which has much the same narrative drive and interest for both young people and adults. "Starman Jones" grabs the reader by the neck on the first page, and never lets you go. Although the science has become badly dated (NO science fiction writer predicted what computers would be like by the end of the twentieth century), the situations and surprises still ring true. Max Jones is a great Heinlein character, full of the grit and intelligence that so often marked his protagonists. Yet the character's humility and innocence also come through to the reader. I read this in high school, and loved it; I just reread it, and felt even stronger about this book. A great read.
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