- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Del Rey; Reprint edition (June 17, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0345414004
- ISBN-13: 978-0345414007
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 274 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,922,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Friday Paperback – June 17, 1997
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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
From the Inside Flap
OUS TO READ AS IT IS PROVOCATIVE . . . Friday is all woman . . . She is as strong and resourceful and decisive as any Heinlein hero; in addition she is loving (oh, yes) and tender and very, very female."
--Los Angeles Times
Friday is a secret courier. She is employed by a man known to her only as "Boss." Operating from and over a near-future Earth, where chaos is the happy norm, she finds herself on assignment at Boss's seemingly whimsical behest. From New Zealand to Canada, from one to another of the new states of America's disunion, she keeps her balance nimbly with quick, expeditious solutions to one calamity and scrape after another.
Not since Valentine Michael Smith, hero of the bestselling Stranger in a Strange Land, has Robert Heinlein created a more captivating protagonist. Friday proves once again why Robert Heinlein's novels have sold more than 50 million copies, have won countless awards, and have earned him the title of Grand Master of Science
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Readers should note that the transition from ink to electrons was not without errors galore. I suspect this too is a condition we live with in 2017.
While some of the sci-fi techobabble is dated, the narrative really is about Friday and her internal evolution. The human condition is always THE best parts to the best sci-fi stories and here you see a view point written from the 1980's; our opportunity to compare and contrast then with now (and the Heinlein future) makes for a fun read, in my opinion.
Lastly, the racial background of Friday is of interest, as in the story she has a permanent tan (American Indian, plus other assorted races) while every book cover I have seen shows a white woman. I own the original hardcover and can say that, due to the distance Friday is from the point of view, her race is less obvious. Why does it matter? It doesn't execpt for what publishers think the prospective reader will appreciate. I am sorry the cover to this eBook continues this disconnection to the material.
By Bob Gelms
For me, reading a book by Robert A. Heinlein is a special treat. He never fails me. He always delivers a novel with interesting characters spiced with social criticism set in wonderful places that are certainly exotic. His plots serve the story and amplify the destinies of the main characters. They never overpowered what the characters are going through.
Fans of Mr. Heinlein think he is the greatest science fiction writer to have ever lived. The who's-the-best discussion has been going on since the late 50’s. Almost as many people think it is Arthur C. Clarke and there are a few voices crying out in the wilderness for Isaac Asimov. The three writers themselves, when asked who's the best, agreed to say the other two. I think we can say that they are all tied for first. It helps that they all have distinctive styles and wrote about very different things.
Mr. Heinlein has won the Hugo Award more than any other writer. He won his first one for the controversial novel, Starship Trooper, and the controversy always followed him around. Well, you know what they say, if they are shooting at you, you must be doing something right. His second Hugo was written a year later, the masterwork, Stranger in a Strange Land, which became one of the great novels of the twentieth century. The third Hugo winner was written 6 years later; The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.
Heinlein's books were constantly being nominated for scads of awards. This is an indication of how influential he was. Robert A. Heinlein influenced EVERYBODY from the late 50’s right up to his death in 1988 at the age of 81. The novel we are looking at in this issue, Friday, is one of his later works. It was published in 1982 and was nominated for a Nebula, a Hugo and a Locus Science Fiction Award.
I am enchanted with this book because of the central character. She is a young woman in her 20’s, pretty but not beautiful. She is astonishingly bright, with an almost supernatural ability to process numbers in nearly every possible way you can think of…all in her head. Oh yes, she is the most dangerous person you might ever meet. She doesn’t need a weapon to kill you but can easily do that with either hand, either foot, or her head.
Sometimes her name is Marjorie Baldwin, sometimes it is Friday Jones but most often it is just Friday. I almost forgot, Friday is not human; she is what is called an artificial person (AP). She was, um, in a word, manufactured. She was designed in Tri-University Life Engineering Laboratory. Her, uh, I guess you’d have to say, inception was formulated by Mendelian Associates, Zurich. All of her senses are heightened and she actually has an eidetic memory.
Humans think they can tell the difference between a human and an AP but they can’t. Friday looks human, all of her parts are biological and if she went to a doctor and had an X-ray he couldn’t tell the difference.
Friday had a contract with an individual to train as a doxy (middle English word used a lot in the Canterbury Tales; means prostitute). A man Friday only knows as Boss bought her contract and spent large amounts of money educating and training her as a courier for his business. It was a perilous job and Friday was perfect for it.
Some terrible political upheaval in the distant past caused complete border changes in North America. Now each little section is its own country. It involved an assassination for what apparently was no reason. No one knows what's going on. Getting across borders is difficult at best. If you are a courier you have to figure this out. It affects your job.
Artificial humans are widely resented and are subjected to racism. Friday spends far too much time and energy in the book trying to keep her situation from slipping out, hiding it from everyone. That is thorny because she has been genetically engineered to be far superior to humans in every way possible and sometimes it’s tough to keep that under a bushel basket.
Heinlein published one of the first sci-fi novels with a woman as a main character. Although Friday is not human she is somewhat empowering…wouldn’t you say?
Friday by Robert A. Heinlein is a joy to read. I might have a little crush on Friday even though she isn’t a human. Hmmmmmmm
You might not understand this until you have read the book. From another one of Robert Heinlein’s bigger than life characters, Scar Gordon from Glory Road, “Logic is a way of saying that anything which didn’t happen yesterday, won’t happen tomorrow.”
Most recent customer reviews
The only reason it is getting four stars is that whoever translated it to the Kindle edition couldn't be bothered...Read more
The story still holds up even after the decades since it was written.