“The Puppet Masters”

Novel published in 1951. Tells the story of secret agents battling an alien invasion of earth by aliens that take over the human host. Sounds familiar???  A common theme in scifi. Think about Invasion of the Body Snatchers or more recently The Host.

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“Sixth Column”

Published as a Novel in 1949 (also known as The Day After Tomorrow), it had previously been publish in a serialized form in 1941 in Astounding Science Fiction under the pen name of Anson MacDonald. It was based on an unpublishable story by John W. Campbell.

Set in an America which had been conquered by the PanAsians ( a combination of China and Japan) who had already subjugated Russia and India.

It starts with the arrival of a Major at a top secret research facility with  message to continue fighting as a guerilla outfit  where he finds that all except 6 personnel have been killed by an experiment. Of course with only 6 people they can’t put up much of a resistance no matter how good there weapons so they take advantage of the religious freedom encourage by the PanAsians and set up a church to recruit more people.

Its interesting to note that the original serialized version was published in the same year as the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Novel was published during the rise of Communism in China.

 

“Red Planet”

This Novel was published in 1949 as part of Heinlein’s Juveniles series. Set on Mars it starts with 2 young men from the northern colony going off to Boarding school in the southern colony just prior to the mass migration of the Northern colony to the south for winter. It also introduces for the 1st time the Martian Elder race which reoccurs in later novels.

As was common in much of the science fiction literature  of the time Mars has been represented as having canals bringing water from the ice caps. Of course we now know that there are no canals on Mars. The Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli, who observed Mars in 1877, named the straight lines he observed as canali which was misinterpreted into English as canals.

“Delilah and the Space Rigger”

A short story published in December 1949 in Blue Book. One of his most feminist themed short stories.

The foreman in charge of the construction of a new space station gets a replacement technician and is dismayed to discover that it is a woman . Having  an all male crew he immediately hurries her off into seclusion  fearing that she will disrupt the efficiency of the operation and also fearing for her safety. In the end it turns out that her presence in the contrary improves moral and efficiency and he has to rethink his ideas of women in the workforce.

“The Black Pits of Luna”

Another short story. Published in  January 1948 in the Saturday Evening Post.

A quick read it tells the story of a family who visit the moon and go on a Tour on the surface. Naturally the youngest son goes missing . The subsequent search party is unable to find him and he is eventually found by his older brother ( a boy scout) who finds him by mimicking what he thinks his brother might have done.

“The Long Watch”

Short story published in the American Legion Magazine in December 1949. Originally title Rebellion on the Moon it tells the story of a young bomb officer on the moon in the Space Patrol who foils an attempted coup by dismantling all the atomic bombs under his care before they can be used to bomb a random city. He dies a happy man having saved the earth ( and his wife and daughter) from a dictatorship.

His irradiated body is interred in a marble monument in a lead coffin .