Farmer in the Sky (Heinlein's Juveniles Book 4) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Farmer in the Sky Paperback – Oct 12 1973

See all 26 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, Oct 12 1973
CDN$ 0.39
--This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

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 (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,614,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Robert A. Heinlein was the greatest science fiction writer who ever lived. His novels have been translated into every literate language on the globe—over 50 million Heinlein books are in print in this country alone.  For five decades, young readers of science fiction discovered Heinlein, then gone on to voraciously devour every Heinlein book they can get their hands on. His now-legendary Stranger in a Strange Land was the first hardcover bestseller by a science fiction writer. From 1975 on, every new Heinlein novel made the New York Times best-seller list and shipped a million copies, including The Number of the Beast, Friday, Job: A Comedy of Justice, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, and To Sail Beyond the Sunset. In a career spanning half a century, he wrote over forty books, and four of his novels won Hugo Awards, an unequalled record for almost four decades. For the last three generations of readers, Heinlein is science fiction. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most helpful customer reviews

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.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
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.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
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.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Though not famous - and infamous - for such controversial adult science fiction masterpieces as Starship Troopers, Stranger In A Strange Land, and Time Enough for Love, Robert A. Heinlein initially reached fame as a writer of "juvies" - science fiction novels with young adults as its target audience. This is one of the first of such books. Consequently, it is not as polished and immaculate as later works, but it is enjoyable, and shows the distinct writing style that would come to characterize his later and better works. This is the work of a writer that showed promise - and is still very readable and quite enjoyable today, 50 years on. The plot of the book involves a subject that was one of Heinlein's chief literary concerns: the population problem of planet Earth. It is the future, Earth is overcrowded, and food is given out on rations. One family decides they've had enough and move to Ganymede. Now, this is a very basic and, indeed, extremely straight-forward plot for a science fiction book - particularly a Heinlein one. Still, as always with Heinlein, it is not the plot, or even the point (though his books always invariably contain a definite and usually obvious moral) that keeps you reading the book: it's the sheer enjoyability of his writing style. Though his prose is neither as polished or as refined and witty as later works would be - you can tell that this was an early novel from Heinlein - but his ultra smooth and intelligent dialogue is ever-present here as always, and is a joy to read. This is not his best "juvie" - it has some strange points: odd plot twists; an odd relationship between the father and son that I was never quite able to make out - but it is good Heinlein.Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.

Most recent customer reviews

Look for similar items by category