“To Sail Beyond the Sunset”

published in 1987. It was the last novel published before his death in 1988.

The novel is the Memoir of Maureen Johnson Smith Long the mother of Lazarus Long. It starts with Maureen waking up in a hotel in bed next to a dead man with no recollection how she got there. She is arrested and imprisoned and recounts her memoirs into a personal recording device. Maureen is a time agent and her constant “companion” is Pixel (”The Cat Who Walks Through Walls”) .

Her Memoirs start with her as a young girl in Missouri in the late 1800’s and progress through her formative years, her marriage , her children and through her life as a member of the Howard Families ( “Methuselah’s Children”)

An interesting read it shows a different viewpoint on the events of some of the other novels.

Heinlein obviously knew this would be his last novel as he finishes it of effectively by saying that they all lived happily ever after.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_Sail_Beyond_the_Sunset

Thats the end of the Heinlein novels. I found a few more short stories that were written with different pen names so I’ll try a few of them later. But for now I’ll read something different.

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”The Cat Who Walks Through Walls”

Published in 1985 Written in the 1st person it starts with Colonel Colin Campbell on a date with Gwendolyn Novak at a restaurant on a space station when he gets framed for a murder. He and his date are evicted from their apartments and manage to escape the space station one step ahead of the station guards. There spaceship then crashes on the moon . It appears that someone is trying to kill Colin. Gwen turns out to be Hazel Stone (“The Moon Is A Hard Mistress” , Rocket Ship Galileo ) who is a Time agent sent by Lazarus Long to recruit Colin to rescue Mike a self aware computer (“The Moon Is A Hard Mistress” )

As you can see this book forms part of Heinleins multiverse series .

The title of the book refers to a young cat Pixel who doesn’t know he can’t walk walk through walls so he just does it. Pixel doesn’t appear in the book umtil about 2 thirds of the way through it.

A fast oaced book with lots of changes and action.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cat_Who_Walks_Through_Walls

 

“Job: A Comedy of Justice”

Published in 1984  Job: A Comedy of Justice takes its name from the book of JOB in the old testament it is essentially a satire of American Evangelical Christianity. The main character Alex meets a danish cruise ship hostess ( Margrethe) and together they experience a series of random world changes. They find themselves in parallel universes normally with only the clothes on their back (and sometimes not even that). They work there way slowly from Mexico to Kansas and as they near there destination are separated by the Rapture (  the rapture refers to the controversial “predicted” end time event when all Christian believers—living and resurrected dead—will rise into the sky and join Christ for eternity) . Alex can not bear to be without Margethe and descends to hell to look for her.

An interesting read although I must admit I came close to giving up on it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Job:_A_Comedy_of_Justice

“Time Enough for Love”

I have been a slack , slack man doing this blog. I actually finished this book in November 2016 but it did take quite a while. The last 2 months of the year were quite busy.

A science fiction Novel by Robert Heinlein. 1st published in 1973 and nominated for a Nebula Award in 1974.

This book expands on the story of Lazarus Long ( introduced in “Methuselah’s Children” ). It starts with the Administrator for the Howard Families trying to find a Lazarus a reason to live ( Lazarus is now over 2000 years old and is wanting to die as he has been and done nearly everything possible) . The administrator convinces Lazarus to tell his life story while he tries to find something new for Lazarus to do. Most of the rest of the book is composed of stories from Lazarus’s life including the something new that Justin ( the administrator) finds for Lazarus to do.

This has to be my favorite Heinlein book.

My favorite quote from the book is

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

 

 

“I Will Fear No Evil”

A science fiction novel by Robert Heinlein published in hardcover in 1970. An elderly millionaire being kept alive only by being constantly connected to life support machines . He knows that the doctors will keep him alive , with no quality of life, indefinitely and decides to undergo a brain transplant as a means of suicide. However the transplant succeeds and he wakes to find himself in the body of his secretary who had been murdered.

one of the longer books so far so it took a while to read.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Will_Fear_No_Evil

“Farnham’s Freehold”

Published in 1964. Initially set during the height of the Cold War Hugh Farnham has built a bomb shelter beneath his house. During a dinner party the Russians attack and all flee to the shelter. 2 nearby strikes rock the shelter and they all resign themselves to death when a 3rd strike hits the shelter. The shelter is tipped over but all survive and the next morning escape the shelter only to find themselves in a pristine subtropical environment.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farnham%27s_Freehold

“Podkayne of Mars”

A science fiction novel by  Robert Heinlein. Originally serialized in 1962 in Worlds of If magazine and published as a hardcover in 1963.

Tells the story of a teenage girl Pockayne Fries from Mars who travels on a space liner to Earth with her brother and uncle . Told as a series of Journal entries by Podkayne (with the occasional comment from her brother).

In Heinlein’s original text Podkayne is killed at then end of the novel but the publishers made him rewrite it with her being injured but surviving. The version I had contained both endings.

Personally I felt that the dissatisfied with both endings and it felt to me like the novel should have continued for at least a few more chapters. But that’s just my view.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podkayne_of_Mars