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Rocket Ship Galileo Mass Market Paperback – December 28, 2004
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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 --This text refers to the CD-ROM edition.
From the Inside Flap
They called themselves the Galileo Club -- not a bad name for a group of space-minded young men who had high hopes of putting one of their homemade rocket ships in orbit.
But it wasn't until they teamed up with Doc Cargraves that their impossible dream became an incredible reality. Suddenly the three Earthbound youths and their mentor were hurtling through space, heading for the barren wasteland of the Moon. Or so they thought.
They were totally unaware that the dark crater shadows concealed a threat beyond their wildest imaginings . . . a threat from which only a mircale could save them! --This text refers to the CD-ROM edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Three young fellas just out of high school spend their summer vacation re-building a transport rocket into a moon ship along with a brilliant scientist. Heinlein uses the teacher-pupil relationship to present nuggets of scientific knowledge to the reader.
"Rocket Ship Galileo" stands at the head of a line of twelve books referred to as "Heinlein Juveniles" in the Heinlein archives. He wrote twelve what we would call "Young Adult" books today, each an independent work not associated with any other. In all of them he has young people standing up and growing up as strong independent young humans. The series ends with "Have Spacesuit-Will Travel" in 1958. Some folks will include "Star Ship Troopers" and "Podkayne of Mars" but they were by different publishers.
As a first try the book has some flaws. The story line is laughable and the characters seem tissue thin to those familiar with Heinlein's later work. But the underlying theme of self reliance, initiative and the daring needed to accomplish great things are all there to be absorbed along the the story itself. The government is mentioned only as an impediment to the progress of the boys, a reflection of Heinlein's Libertarian streak. For that reason and the skill with which these themes are inserted into the story we give the high number of stars.
Anyone of the proper age will benefit from this story. Dads' and Grand Dad's might gift their young decedents with this book.
On 6 October 1988, after Robert Heinlein's death, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) awarded him the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal:
"In recognition of his meritorious service to the Nation and mankind in advocating and promoting the exploration of space. Through dozens of superbly written novels and essays and his epoch-making movie Destination Moon, he helped inspire the Nation to take its first step into space and onto the Moon." -- James C. Fletcher, Administrator, NASA
No true Heinlein fan should be without an original Scribner's hardcover edition of Rocket Ship Galileo, with the same cover and illustrations as the first edition.