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Farmer in the Sky [Paperback]

Robert A. Heinlein
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Kindle Edition CDN $6.91  
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Paperback CDN $11.21  
Paperback, Oct. 12 1973 --  
Mass Market Paperback CDN $9.02  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged CDN $9.99  

Book Description

Oct. 12 1973
The Earth is crowded and food is rationed, but a colony on Ganymede, one of the moons of Jupiter, offers an escape for teenager Bill Lermer and his family. Back on Earth, the move sounded like a grand adventure, but Bill soon realizes that life on the frontier is dangerous, and in an alien world with no safety nets nature is cruelly unforgiving of even small mistakes. Bill’s new home is a world of unearthly wonders — and heartbreaking tragedy. He will have to face hardships, survive dangers, and grow up fast to meet the challenge of opening up a new world for humanity. Praise for Robert A. Heinlein: “If there is any single author who defines science fiction, it is Robert Heinlein . . . there is no other writer whose work has exhilarated me as often and to such an extent as Heinlein.” — Dean Koontz “One of the most influential writers in American literature.” — The New York Times Book Review “Robert Heinlein is America’s acknowledged master of science fiction.” — Chicago Tribune
--This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

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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 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

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Satellite Scout Dec 18 2013
By John M. Ford TOP 100 REVIEWER
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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3.0 out of 5 stars Farmer In the Sky 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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5.0 out of 5 stars It's a Scout's Life on the New Frontier Oct. 24 2002
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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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable early Heinlein
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. Read more
Published on June 6 2002 by Bill R. Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars How does he keep doing it?
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 more
Published on July 23 2001 by Michael Battaglia
4.0 out of 5 stars Vintage vision of the future
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 more
Published on Dec 19 2000 by L. Ager
4.0 out of 5 stars Tell me about the Jovian rabbits, George
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 more
Published on Nov. 26 2000 by Brian Almquist
5.0 out of 5 stars Heinlein Teaches Ecology
The Dean of Science Fiction teaches us about ecology long before the word is in the general vocabulary. Read more
Published on Aug. 29 2000 by Wood Hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for any Boy Scout
While "Farmer in the Sky" isn't Heinlein at his absolute best, it is an exciting read for two groups: one, anybody who's ever been a Boy Scout, since that's essentially... Read more
Published on July 17 2000 by Robert James
1.0 out of 5 stars Not his best
I'm a big heinlien fan. This is the wrost book he has written, there is little plot, and what there is for plot is to slow and boged down. the charaters are flat no life in them. Read more
Published on June 27 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars !
ok im only in 7th grade (but i have an adult reading level) but i loved this book. it wasnt my favorite book (the blue sword by robin mckinley was) but i still loved it. Read more
Published on Jan. 23 2000 by "lyndsea"
5.0 out of 5 stars In one word, spectacular.
Farmer in the Sky is the first Heinlein book I ever read, and is easily one of the best. I first read it 8 years ago, when i was 10, and can still pick it up today, and enjoy it... Read more
Published on Dec 28 1998
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