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Tunnel in the Sky Mass Market Paperback – Oct 12 1987


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (Oct. 12 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345353730
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345353733
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 1.5 x 17.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #585,492 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

About the Author

Robert A. Heinlein (1907?1988) is widely recognized as one of the greatest science fiction authors of all time, a status confirmed in 1974 when the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America gave him their first Grand Master Award for lifetime achievement. A four-time Hugo Award winner, Heinlein is best known for works including Starship Troopers, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, and the sensational bestseller Stranger in a Strange Land. --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gregory McMahan on June 18 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Although I am not a rabid fan of Mr. Heinlein, considered by many to be the grandmaster of science fiction, I do believe that Tunnel in the Sky is one of his better efforts.
The book, which apparently was originally slated for the juvenile market, tells the story of Rod Walker, a bright young man on the verge of graduating from a futuristic high school. In the book's future, the Earth is a vastly overcrowded planet, and teleportation has supplanted the internal combustion engine and its (hell)spawn as a form of mass transportation, especially over great distances. In the book, teleportation also presents a solution to Earth's bloated population: all the excess people were 'teleported' to new worlds surrounding distant stars, and as such they became de facto colonists.
It turns out that the young Mr. Walker aspires to be an explorer of these new worlds, or at least involved in some way with their governance and/or exploration. As one of these 'Space-Age' pioneers, he could participate in establishing a beach-head for humanity in some far-flung area of the universe, scout the terrain to get the lay of the land, and give the all-clear for human habitation and colonization. Under this system, he could even a group of colonists to a new world.
However, in order to do this, Rod must first pass a survivalist's exam. Before embarking on his challenge, to which his parents vehemently object, he gets more than a little helpful advice and a few useful life skills from his older sister, a futuristic sort of Amazonian warrior, and a schoolteacher named the 'Deacon' (an apt title for he preaches quite a lot) who thinks fondly of Rod, calling him 'a hopeless romantic born into an age of practical men'.
I think Heinlein wrote this yarn as an extended lesson on good citizenship for minors.
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By John M. Ford TOP 100 REVIEWER on Dec 16 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This is one of Robert Heinlein’s science fiction books for young people, although it can be enjoyed by adults as well. Unlike many of the author’s older books, the future portrayed in this one has not “aged” quite so much. The society and technology still create a believable background for the story to play out.

The Story: Rod Walker is preparing to take the final examination in his survival course. He and his classmates will be dropped, one-by-one, onto a hostile planet where they must survive for several days using their wits and whatever small cache of supplies each has decided to bring. Whether they cooperate, compete, or just avoid the others is up to each individual. After some discussion with his sister and “wise old man” teacher, Rod assembles his supplies and sets out.

What follows is almost a retelling of [lord of the flies]. At the end of the testing period, the survivors are not picked up. They must continue surviving and face the possibility that they will *never* be picked up. As they work out how to do this, there is much discussion about group dynamics, the proper role of government, and strategies for long-term survival. Rod has frequent flashback to lessons from his teacher.

Heinlein makes his oft-repeated points about self-reliance, responsibility, and good citizenship. He does a good job getting all of this across as part of an engaging and suspenseful adventure story. Readers who enjoy this style should also read the author’s Starship Troopers. (Read the book; don’t see the very stupid movie based on it.)
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By rzaster on June 15 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Tunnel in the Sky" is one of Robert A. Heinlein's juvenile science fiction novels, which he wrote to target the young adult audience. People may think that since this book is targeted at juveniles that it is not a good read for adults. That is untrue and this wonderful novel can be enjoyed by an adult as well as a juvenile. The book takes place in a 1950's or so time where interplanetary travel happens by many people of the public every single day. People move through the planets by going through gates, where they are transferred to a plantet that can be millions of miles away in a matter of seconds. This is a very ineteresting idea that Heinlein brings forth.
Rod Walker is a high school teen that is enrolled in a survial course at his school. For the final exam he and his peers are asked to travel to another planet to stay for a maximum of ten days and survive there. Rod goes and at first is lost and has absolutely no clue where any of his friends are. He eventually meets up with a student from another school and they start a colonization on the planet that they ended up on. The instructors of the course were supposed to get the kids but you will learn at the end of the novel why the kids were never retrieved.
This novel shows how government forms and how it works among the people that are governed over. In the book, a whole new civilization is started on the planet and at first everybody works together to make a habitable living area and to get enough food for everybody. The colony that is formed starts of with just two people and grows to a very large amount of students that were taking the final exam for the survival course. There are elections to elect people to govern over the people of the colony and this book can show how people can start a new life when they need to.
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