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The Pursuit of the Pankera: A Parallel Novel About Parallel Universes by [Robert A. Heinlein, David Weber]
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The Pursuit of the Pankera: A Parallel Novel About Parallel Universes Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 739 ratings

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Length: 545 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews


Yes, this is a new Robert Heinlein novel. The first one hundred fifty-nine pages are identical to those in Number of the Beast. That was a visitation and embracing of other writers and mythos, a sort of farewell. Herein, we are gifted with the opportunity to visit familiar and widely beloved worlds of imagination. Of course, Mr. Heinlein puts his own unique stamp on all of them, with touches of hilarity and over-the-top extrapolation. After that lead-in, the crew of the Gay Deceiver (I hasten to point out that at time of writing, “gay” had not acquired its current meaning) embark on a roaming of otherworldly dimensions, venturing into realms defined by literary expositions.

The voice is heartbreakingly Heinleinian, and it ranges from whimsy to the chest-out strutting of Lazarus Long revisiting his own past. By the by, Lazarus is mentioned and involved with our heroes’ lives, though under an alias.

Interpersonal relations, sexual tensions, and pleasurable titillations abound. Familial hierarchies, or the societal kowtowing to them, are reminiscent of fifties morality, but not to the point of being stifling. If anything, they are employed masterfully to maintain loving conflict.

I will reveal no more; all Heinlein fans deserve to experience this wondrous revisiting for themselves.

-- David Lloyd Sutton, Manhattan Book Review --This text refers to the paperback edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Zebadiah (perspective)

“At once, Captain Zebadiah Carter!” With no spoken command, the three thoats executed ‘Troopers left about!’ and headed at ground-shaking speed for the shoulder of the hill where they had appeared. Deety and Jake closed in quickly. Deety hugged me, banging me on the back of my noggin with the barrel of her shotgun in doing so.

“Oh, my captain, I’m so proud of you!”

I kissed her. “Hilda is the hero, not me.”

“I’m proud of Hilda, too. Aunt Hilda, are you all right, honey?”

Hilda stopped nuzzling her man long enough to answer. “That big lunk bruised my ribs. But he couldn’t help it. He’s rather sweet, actually. Handsome, too.”

“ ‘Handsome’!”

“Deety baby, you don’t expect a Great Dane to be pretty by the same rules as a butterfly.”

Deety looked thoughtful. “That’s logical. I must look at him again, with unprejudiced eye.”

“Postpone the debate, girls, and listen. Jake, can you manage a sword salute?”

“Eh? Certainly!”

“Okay, here’s the drill. We line up, Jake on the right, Hilda next, Deety next, me beside Deety―Deety, you can ‘Present arms’ with a gun?”

“I’ve seen it. I can fake it.”

“Good. Hilda, all you have to do is a Girl Scout salute. I give ‘Draw―Swords!’ You gals do nothing; Jake and I draw and come to order arms in three counts. Then I give ‘Present―Arms!’ Jake and I do it, two counts, one for each word―but Deety, don’t move until I say ‘Arms!’ ”

“I’ll be out of step,” Deety objected.

“They won’t be critical. When I ‘Return … swords!’ you come back to order arms―and I’ll say, “Fall out” and Doctor Burroughs―you’re Doctor Burroughs in public from now on and you two are always ‘princess’ and I’m always ‘captain.’ Protocol. Any questions? I hear them coming.”

We lined up. The thundering herd rounded the shoulder and came straight at us, lances at charge, only this time it was the starboard wing man who was about to skewer me. They didn’t slow and I was ready to beat the Barsoomian record for backward broad jump―but couldn’t because both women remained rock steady.

When it seemed impossible that they could stop, the thoats slammed on brakes with all twenty-four legs, and stopped dead as three lances swung up vertically into perfect salutes. My boy almost brushed the tip of my nose with his, but upright his lance was four meters away.

“Draw!―Swords!” (Grab―Draw―Down! Hup! two! three!)―and Sharpie tossed in her own variations. No Girl Scout salute for her―she followed our motions, right on the beat, with her hunting knife.

“ ‘Present’!”―hilts to three chins―“Harmp!” Blades flashed down while Deety chucked her gun into the air, caught it with both hands. I’ve seen it done more by the book, but never with more snap.

The three giants let out wild yells, which I chose to interpret as cheers. I waited a long beat, then dismissed my “troops.”

But the big boys weren’t through. Tawm Takus glanced right and left, and suddenly bunting bloomed from those upright lances, joined together into one big banner (magnets? magic?), spelling:


Greater Helium Chamber of Commerce

--This text refers to the paperback edition.

Product details

  • ASIN : B082838YYY
  • Publisher : CAEZIK SF & Fantasy (March 24, 2020)
  • File size : 2210 KB
  • Publication date : March 24, 2020
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print length : 545 pages
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • Lending : Enabled
  • Language: : English
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
  • X-Ray : Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 739 ratings

Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
739 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on March 24, 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

Phyllis Griffiths
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Fun from The Grand Master of Science Fiction
Reviewed in Canada on May 28, 2020
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2 people found this helpful
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Mike 1349
1.0 out of 5 stars My Worst Heinlein Novel
Reviewed in Italy on November 19, 2020
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Robert Burgess
2.0 out of 5 stars Wow, so not good
Reviewed in Canada on June 4, 2020
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Barrie Turnham
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Bother
Reviewed in Canada on July 18, 2020
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Jens Stark
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't. Just don't.
Reviewed in Germany on April 24, 2020
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