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Farmer in the Sky Paperback – Oct 12 1973


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Paperback, Oct 12 1973
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 174 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; New impression edition (Oct. 12 1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330107135
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330107136
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 11.2 x 1.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,308,140 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By John M. Ford TOP 100 REVIEWER on Dec 18 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Teenager Bill Lermer travels to Ganymede with his father, and his new step-mother and step-sister. Readers get a Bill's-eye view of a future resource-depleted Earth; life on board an interplanetary colony ship; dirt-level terraforming of Ganymede; and the challenges of adolescence. The latter include adjusting to his blended family, conflicts with others his age, and finding the right distance to maintain from girls.

This novel originally appeared as a serial in Boy's Life magazine. There is a strong Boy Scout influence in the story which blends well with the frontier setting and skills needed to survive in it. This is classic Robert Heinlein science fiction from the 1950s. The science is dated, but charmingly so. The adventure of space colonization nicely parallels the main character's coming of age.

One disappointed observation--the story could have gone on longer or easily supported a sequel. It's odd that a prolific writer like Heinlein did not follow up with one. Perhaps some detail of the licensing arrangement with Boy's Life explains this.
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By Joe Boudreault on Sept. 16 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Among the pantheon of great sci-fi writers, Heinlein stands tall. This novel, written in 1950 and given a Hugo award in 1951, is as old as I am. It is a simple story of a young man immigrating to the `planet' of Ganymede, one of the larger moons of Jupiter. It is told in the first person through the eyes of the main character, Bill Lermer.

Lermer winds up on Ganymede with his widowed father, his stepmother and stepsister, and a few friends. Things on earth are tight and under strict rations, so colonists are being sent regularly to this new frontier. Heinlein does a credible job of describing the preparations and trip, the homesteading on the moon, the problems, and the feelings of Billy. It did enter my mind a few times: if things are rationed so severely on Earth (including basic food stuffs) how can they still afford to fly to the Jupiter moons? Colonies are already located on the moon, Mars and Venus etc, and contemplated on other moons. But I suppose Heinlein simply wants to tell the tale of migration to a new space frontier, and that he does.

This is the infancy of the golden age of sci-fi, after all. The trip there and the settling in of the Lermer family are fine. I did wish that I had more information about the preliminary preparation of the moon Ganymede, such as how the climates were controlled and what exactly were the functions of the mass converters. In a way, this little novel, easy and enjoyable to read, is a vision of the future settling of our solar system. Given the time it was written, it comes across pretty good.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Worried that life on Earth isn't going to make it? Ready to leave the rat race behind and head off to a virgin territory where a man can be a man and live off the land in peace? Science fiction grandmaster Robert Heinlein points to the new frontier and invites those of us who've really got the guts to leave our comfortable planet, to become Farmers in the Sky.
Amoung the best of Heinlein's juveniles, this fascinating novel tells the story of young Bill Lermer, whose family chooses to leave an increasingly overcrowded earth for the ostensibly greener pastures of a growing colony on Ganymede, the largest moon of Jupiter. Through Bill's eyes, readers get to see the selection process, the thoughtful preparations, the wearying journey, the chaotic arrival, and finally settlement in a new home on a new world. And then things really get exciting...
This book was originally serialized in "Boy's Life", the Boy Scouts of America magazine, which is why scouting finds its way into each chapter, but Heinlein makes excellent use of the concept, not only in terms of character building (which is an essential feature of this coming-of-age novel), but also as an important part of a practical education. While Bill studies for his merit badges, the reader gets to look over his shoulder and learn everything a greenhorn needs to know to survive on this untamed world, from physics to ecology. Best of all, Heinlein makes his explanations seem so reasonable that one almost wonders why we aren't out there building colonies right this minute.
But despite his gung ho pioneer spirit, Heinlein isn't a Pollyanna - he isn't trying to hide the more unpleasant facts of colonial life. During the selection process and the long voyage out, Bill has ample time to observe the uglier side of human nature.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is about a boy and his father who get to head out to the frontier of one of Jupiter's moons to be farmers. Lured by stories of no rationing, land of thier own they take off with bright hopes of a good comfortable living as farmers. After a trip on a crowded spaceship and some unexpected excitement to break up the boredom of the long trip they arrive in the promised land.
As the old saying goes "If it sounds too good to be true...."
Father and son settle into local life. The brochures were right about one thing....they have plenty of food, no rationing, and they get to have some land. But, it's not what was expected. Hard work and the help of some good neighbors help them settle in and set up thier farm, but life is still fraught with dangers.
Not as good as some of Heinlein's other books, but it's still a good book, fun to read, and gives food for thought.
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