- Mass Market Paperback
- Publisher: Nel (1974)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0450020401
- ISBN-13: 978-0450020407
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.2 x 0.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
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Podkayne of Mars Mass Market Paperback – 1974
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|Mass Market Paperback, 1974||
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Top Customer Reviews
The last unambiguously juvenile novel was _Have Spacesuit, Will Travel_. _Starship Troopers_ is supposedly a juvenile, but I really have my doubts. _Podkayne_ is a novel that comes early in the period in which Heinlein was finally writing more or less what he wanted, rather than writing for specific markets.
The entire book is composed of Podkayne's diary, with a couple of secret entries made by her younger brother Clark, in invisible ink. The reason for this is obvious once you have read the book: no spoilers here!
The story is about Podkayne and her younger brother Clark accompanying their Uncle Tom on a trip to Venus and then to Earth (the trip never gets past Venus). There's a lot more here than meets the eye, because Tom is actually on a secret diplomatic mission to the upcoming Three Planets conference, and Poddy and Clark are along just to provide cover.
At first everything seems to be perfectly innocent, but then a stranger gets Clark to smuggle a package on board the spaceliner. Clark is a lot smarter than the stranger gives him credit for; the kid figures out that he's been given an atomic bomb that's been set to go off shortly after they leave Mars. Clark, being a boy genius, finds a way to defuse it.Read more ›
Podkayne (named after a Martain saint, but just "Poddy" to her friends) and her younger amoral genius-level brother Clark get to take a trip to Earth with a side stop at Venus accompanied only by their retired Martian senator uncle Tom, as their parents are unexpectedly having to deal with three newly decanted babies due to a crèche mix-up. Most of the story is a detailing of the events during their journey on the spaceship and the sights, people, and society of Venus, as carefully recorded in Poddy's diary (with occasional inserts by Clark). This method of telling a story is difficult to do effectively, but for the most part it comes across very well in this book.
Poddy is a very likeable, friendly person who is, unfortunately, a little too naïve, a little too cute, a little too much preoccupied with babies, boys, and proving herself to be `just as good as a man' to be quite believable as a (supposedly) highly intelligent but otherwise normal teen-age girl. Clark, on the other hand, is all too believable as a boy with adult knowledge and a child's `me' centered view of the universe. Clark is the prime mover of the events, but for the most part he remains offstage, and we only learn about what he has done as filtered by Poddy's perceptions.Read more ›
Obviously it's a stretch for a middle-aged man to write a 1st-person account as a 15-year-old (in Earth years!) girl. Podkayne's goal in life is to become an explorer pilot, even though it's a male-dominated profession, even though she will not be educated in the top schools, and even though she is of questionable anscestry (born on the former penal colony of Mars). She gets the chance to see first-hand what space travel is like when her uncle (a senator for the Martian Republic, and ex-transported convict) agrees to take her to Venus and then Earth. A 3-planet conference is taking place on the Moon that he will attend. Unknown to Podkayne at the time of departure: radical elements do not want the Senator to make it to the conference, and others want to use him to push their own agendas contrary to the Senator's beliefs.
If this sounds complex for a "juvenile novel," I think it is. The reason it's classified as such is that the main characters are young (Podkayne and her even younger brother), and the dialogue is relatively simple, even when the ideas are complex. In comparison to, say, Between Planets or Rocket Ship Galileo, the plot is much darker and more subtle.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a Heinlein fan and a lover of classic sci fi, I was happy to find this (especially after having seen all the good reviews). Then oh so disappointed. Read morePublished 3 days ago by R. Song
Heinlein occasionally bragged that he had written, early on, teen angst pot-boilers from the female point of view. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Brent Butler
This is the version of Podkayne with Heinlein's preferred ending, not the sanitized for children thrust upon him by editorial (and librarian fiat). Read morePublished 13 days ago by Clell Harmon
I've been reading Robert Heinlein since the 4th grade (we won't say how long ago that was), although this had a different ending than the one I read then it is still as good as... Read morePublished 29 days ago by Linda Duncan
First, I wholeheartedly agree with, and highly recommend, the review by The Iron Fisted Homemaker.
I'm old and grew up reading many of Heinlein's novels in the... Read more
I was pretty disappointed with this book, and Heinlein is probably my favorite author. The story just isn't very compelling.Published 2 months ago by KOTJMF
Robert A. Heinlein's "Podkayne of Mars" is a typically great Heinlein short novel written for young adults. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Craig S. Werner