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Space Cadet Paperback – October 31, 2006
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“The lively story of a group of boys--Matt and Tex, from Terra; Oscar, from Venus; Pierre, from one of Jupiter's moons; and others--who train to uphold the peace of the solar system. This account of their training and their subsequent adventures is good, colorful fiction by an author who can write it ably and entertainingly.” ―Chicago Tribune on Space Cadet
“Throughout the story there is a constant stream of Heinlein's noted wit and satire, superbly told . . . The Hugo Award committee need look no further.” ―San Francisco Chronicle on Glory Road
“Heinlein...wrote adventure stories grounded in credible scientific speculation. Even the wonderful stories collected here feature his trademark cool reasoning. . . .Superb stories - old friends, really - that are well worth the book's price.” ―Booklist on The Fantasies of Robert A. Heinlein
About the Author
Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) is widely acknowledged to have been the single most important and influential author of science fiction in the twentieth century. He won science fiction's Hugo Award for Best Novel four times, and in addition, three of his novels were given Retrospective Hugos fifty years after publication. He won Science Fiction Writers of America's first Grand Master Award for his lifetime achievement.
Born in Butler, Missouri, Heinlein graduated from the United States Naval Academy and served as an officer in the navy for five years. He started writing to help pay off his mortgage, and his first story was published in Astounding Science-Fiction magazine in 1939. In 1947, he published a story in The Saturday Evening Post, making him the first science-fiction writer to break into the mainstream market. Long involved in politics, Heinlein was deeply affected by events such as the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Cold War, and his fiction tended to convey strong social and political messages. His many influential novels include Starship Troopers, Stranger in a Strange Land, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, and Time Enough for Love. At the time of his death in 1988, he was living in Carmel, California with his wife Virginia.
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Space Cadet has a tight, engaging plot that begins with Matt Dodson joining the Space Cadets and ends with an adventure on Venus. Dodson is a strong character who would be especially appealing to teens--he's able to overcome self-doubt, gains maturity, and learns (while making use of a leave to visit his parents) that "you can't go home again." The only other character in the novel with any personality is Matt's fellow cadet Tex, who likes to repeat his Uncle Bodie's tall tales, adding some humor to the story. The aliens Heinlein envisions living on Venus are credible (at least by 1948 standards, and in any event more credible than most of the lizard-like aliens that dominate sf movies), and the novel has something useful to say about prejudice against those who are outwardly different.
Space Cadet hasn't lost much of its charm in the six-plus decades since its first publication. I would give it 4 1/2 stars if Amazon offered that option.
1. Venus is not habitable and is in fact a 1000 F hellhole with no known native species
2. Patrol Cadets smoking in their dorm rooms
3. We never built a space fleet nor a space patrol (in fact, we have not left LEO since 1975)
Really too bad about the Venus thing as an inhabitable Venus would be totally awesome! A plus for the book is that the cadets had portable phones while on the planet Earth (nice prediction).
The trade paperback binding and font size are excellent.
Great romp among the stars - when I read these, I was so afraid I'd be left behind on Earth and wanted to grow up as fast as I could. Clearly, I didn't need to worry but hopefully my kids might have the opportunity.
It's even fun reading it as an adult again!
You can't read this book without thinking of nearly anything in today's sci-fi universe: Star Trek, Thunderbirds, Babylon 5, Firefly, Halo, you name it there's hints everywhere that all come from Heinelin's seminal work.
I loved the story itself, it had great flow and a genuine sense of plotting. Enjoyable.