Farmer in the Sky Paperback – Oct 12 1973
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|Paperback, Oct 12 1973||
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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, four-time winner of the Hugo Award and recipient of three Retro Hugos, received the first Grand Master Nebula Award for lifetime achievement. His worldwide bestsellers have been translated into 22 languages and include Stranger in a Strange Land, Starship Troopers, Time Enough for Love, and The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. His long-lost first novel, For Us, the Living, was recently published by Scribner and Pocket Books. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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 ›
Most recent customer reviews
Pretty simplistic stuff from a writer capable of much more depth. Basically a "Western" set in space.Published 17 months ago by Michael Bridger
It was sent to the White House! You will have to ask them how it was. I did read it some years ago and I did like it very much. Read morePublished 23 months ago by OLE GERMER
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. Read morePublished on Oct. 23 2002 by Rachel E. Watkins
How does this man turn what has to be one of the sillier titles I've ever seen (and probably wouldn't even sell at all today) and an almost absurdly basic concept and turn it into... Read morePublished on July 22 2001 by Michael Battaglia
A short hop into the future, on an Earth almost as real as the corner store, teenager Bill Lermer lives with his widower father in the Diego Borough of the sprawling City of... Read morePublished on Dec 19 2000 by L. Ager
Actually, I was pretty surprised by this one -- I'm not much of a fan of Heinlein, but his characters are compelling enough to drag me through this very episodic book. Read morePublished on Nov. 26 2000 by Amazon Customer
The Dean of Science Fiction teaches us about ecology long before the word is in the general vocabulary. Read morePublished on Aug. 29 2000 by Wood Hughes