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REVLT 2100 & METHL Mass Market Paperback – Nov 1 1998

4.1 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Baen Books; Reprint edition (Nov. 15 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671577808
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671577803
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.5 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #88,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
These are a bunch of vintage Heinleins - the stuff that made him great.

Revolt in 2100 contains three stories, the main one being "If This Goes On". For half a century, America has been ruled by a religious dictatorship, founded by Nehemiah Scudder, a TV evangelist elected President in 2012. "The next election was never held". The Church seems to be an amalgamation of the wilder Protestant sects, very down on Catholics, Mormons, Freemasons and (surprise, surprise) Jews, who are renamed "Pariahs". It follows a naive young officer who gets on the wrong side of the regime, has to join the revolutionary "Cabal" (actually a Masonic Lodge) to survive, and takes part in the eventual revolution. Essentially a straight (but good) adventure story.

The next two stories, "Coventry" and "Misfit", give short glimpses of the subsequent regime, where liberty has been restored, with a "Covenant" guaranteeing human rights, but are mainly from the viewpoint of those who still don't fit in, respectively a literary critic who refuses psychotherapy after punching someone on the nose, and a juvenile delinquent (nature of delinquency unspecified) who turns out to be a mathematical genius. Mainly these lay some groundwork for "Methuselah's Children", where the Brave New Utopia faces its first serious test.

It flunks big time.

This story centres on the Howard Families, who have, for the last two centuries, used selective breeding to lengthen their lives, and now live two or three times as long as other people. Until the fall of the dictatorship, they have kept themselves discreetly clandestine, but under the Covenant feel safe enough to come out of the closet. This proves a disastrous mistake.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
These were some of Heinlein's earlier works, and as such, don't have the length and depth of some of his later, Hugo-Award winning works. Here's a short synopsis and review of each of the four stories. The first and the last are longer, multi-chaptered "short books", while the two in the middle can more appropriately be termed short-stories.
Revolt in 2100 - America is now a theocratic dictatorship ruled by the "Prophet" who is really a corrupt leader dependent upon brutal suppression of dissidents to maintain power. John Lyle, the main character, is a graduate of West Point and a young officer who, through the love of a priestess, joins the Revolution and overthrows this dictatorship. The story is somewhat shallow for those who are familiar with Heinlein's later works, but it is still entertaining. One thing Heinlein never did well was write romance. The interactions between his male and female characters are awkward - had he developed the talent for it, he could really flesh out the motives of many of his characters.
Coventry - Dave McKinnon, banished to "Coventry" for striking a man and refusing psycological adjustment, finds out just how brutal and uncivilized man can be when he enters the wall-less prison. A nice short story, but with an unresolved (and somewhat predictable) ending
Misfit - Here we are introduced to A.J. Libby, who will play a part in the next story. He is a young man working in a space construction crew, but discovers that he has a remarkable talent for mathematics. Extremely short, its more like a preview for the last story included in the collection.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Revolt in 2100: Methusela's Children contains four separate Heinlein stories. The stories are grouped in chronological order and are all set in the same science fiction 'universe,' although they do not all directly related to one another. Like much of Robert Heinlein's work, Revolt in 2100 comments on modern political and social issues, while simultaneously entertaining all who read it.
The first story, Revolt in 2100, is startlingly relavent to today's times. In the story, America has been taken over by Religious Fundamentalists (the 'American Ayatollas' as one reviewer describes them). Heinlein shrewdly picks apart religious fundamentalism in this story, while not attacking the concept of religion itself.
I was extremely disappointed by the second story in the collection. I have read almost every single Heinlein science fiction noveland this second story was by far the worst. The plot has a beginning and a middle, then seems to sputter with no resolution. It left me wondering, "What the heck?!"
The third story of Revolt in 2100 presents a dystopian - or utopian, depending how you look at it - America in which every American is required by law to be nice to everyone else. The punishment for any 'anti-social' act is banishment to a place with greater personal liberties, but also less personal security. Like the first one, this story is relavent to our times in that it deals with the contemporary struggle between civil liberties and personal security security
The fourth novella is about a group of Americans who have acheived amazingly long life, but are persecuted by their short-lived peers and forced off the planet Earth. Although not the same caliber as Revolt in 2100, this story is nevertheless a fun and engaging Heinlein story.
Revolt in 2100: Methusela's Children shows that one rotten apple doesn't always spoil the barrel. I wholeheartedly reccomend it regardless of whether you're a longtime Heinlein fan or a first time reader.
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