- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Del Rey (June 17, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0345413997
- ISBN-13: 978-0345413994
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.9 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 406 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #999,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Door into Summer Paperback – June 17, 1997
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From the Publisher
After Heinlein passed away, Del Rey published a book called Grumbles from the Grave, and I had the great pleasure of working with Virginia Heinlein on gathering photos and other material to accompany the letters and text that made up the book. While at her house, I was introduced to a cat named Pixel.
It must not have been this particular feline that inspired the cat in A Door into Summer, but it certainly could have been, and I re-read the book as soon as I could.
If you haven't read Henlein, you haven't read science fiction, and if you haven't read this, you haven't read Heinlein. It's the quintessential time travel-paradox story. It's exciting, it's fun, and of course, there's the cat.
--Alex Klapwald, Director of Production
From the Inside Flap
ly America's premier writer of speculative fiction, but the greatest writer of such fiction in the world. He remains today as a sort of trademark for all that is finest in American imaginative fiction."
Electronics engineer Dan Davis has finally made the invention of a lifetime: a household robot with extraordinary abilities, destined to dramatically change the landscape of everyday routine. Then, with wild success just within reach, Dan's greedy partner and greedier fiancée trick him into taking the long sleep--suspended animation for thirty years. They never imagine that the future time in which Dan will awaken has mastered time travel, giving him a way to get back to them--and at them . . .
Once again, the author of Stranger in a Strange Land and Starship Troopers displays his genius. The Door in to Summer proves why Robert Heinlein's books have sold more than 50 million copies, winning countless awards, and earning him the title of Grand Mas
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Dan Davis is so bolluxed up after his best invention and sure-fire way to wealth is shanghaied by his fiancee that he tries running away into the future. After equivocating about this childish tantrum, he gets a helpful boot from his lady love and ends up in year 2000, thirty years in the future. And then...discovered his carefully laid plans were hacked by the perfidious Belle.
This novel was said to have been written in two weeks, and it shows. It lacks the depth of the better works of Heinlein but still, it has its charms. It's lighthearted and the double-crossing of Belle and Davis are amusing and dastardly. The Whispersync feature is available and the narration of the audio book is tolerably good and actually makes for good car listening. Is this a great novel? No. But it's fun, and it's classic Heinlein, even if it's not his best.
A lot of the details in this book are really dated--the "future" this book thrusts its main character into is *gasp* the year 2000. Despite that, this is a fun book with some great characters. It's also a great intro to the early years of sci-fi writing.
Despite (or maybe because of) people's fears of atomic war, a lot of early science fiction books took a very positive view of the future. This book fits right in with that. The main character, Daniel Boone Davis, is an engineer/inventor who creates the first autonomous robot designed to do housework. Despite being swindled by his partners, separated from his sidekick cat, Petronius the Arbiter (Pete), and thrust ignominiously thirty years into the future, Daniel lands on his feet and finds a way to make everything right.
Yes, it's a bit simplistic. However, this book really is a genuine time machine: it captures the attitude of a generation, their fascination with space, and their hope for the future. So read this book, and return to a time when anything seemed possible--even getting the business, the girl, the cat, and the future, all at once.
The whole genre of Science Fiction was born out of saying "what if" to scientific advancements of the 1940's and 50's, and nobody did that better than Heinlein. (Yes, Isaac Asimov is also one of the greats, but he lacks Heinlein's sense of cosmic poetry). You'll understand what I'm saying when you read the last chapter and how he describes a time anomaly. Another example of Heinlein's sense of poetry is how he describes technological advances as "art". He plays with the fact that maybe Leonardo daVinci was a time traveler and muses about how Leo must have felt to find himself, an engineer, so far out of his timeline. "...but doomed to frustration because you simply can't do the things we do today without centuries of former art to build on."
The story first takes place in 1970, and then the year 2000 with the help of a chyrogenics "Long Sleep". It's not so remarkable in itself until you consider that the story was written in 1956 so Heinlein was already writing about 14 and then 45 years into his future. If he was a little optimistic about what 1970 would hold for us, it was fun to read his interpretation.
He's been called the grandfather master of Science Fiction for a good reason. Not only was he "ahead of his time" (and you have to love how a time travel science fiction writer has been described that way), his plots are plausible even to new readers of the genre because they're character driven, rather than driven by scientific gimmick. If the women in the story aren't as intricately sketched as a writer of 2015 might write, you still have to give him credit for his feministic outlook of 1956. Like time, even character development is relative.