Tunnel in the Sky Mass Market Paperback – Oct 12 1987
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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
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.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.)
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
A good read, if you like SF, even the third time. The story is aimed at the juvenile reader and I know that my taste and interest has changed over the years. Read morePublished on Sept. 21 2008 by Max Likely
This is an excellent adventure by the main charachter. I always enjoy the libertarian viewpoints countered with the mostly socialist/communist settings he portrays. Read morePublished on Aug. 1 2002 by Rachel E. Watkins
One of the best fiction books I ever read. When I first read it as an 8th grader, I couldn't stop thinking of what I would do if I were stranded on a strange planet. Read morePublished on July 6 2002 by George Stancliffe
What an awsome read this book was for me. This is the book that got me reading sci fi in the first place. Read morePublished on June 23 2002 by yitzchok
Tunnel in the sky was the first Heinlein book I read. I haven't stopped. "Red Planet", "Have a Space suit will travel", his all famous "Stranger in a strange land", "Citizen of the... Read morePublished on May 25 2002 by Zachary T. Tindell
Heinlein felt that anyone who could not do everything from plan an invasion, change a diaper, butcher a hog, write a sonnet, design a building, or program a computer was at least... Read morePublished on April 30 2002 by Patrick Shepherd
I have read this book several times but not for quite a number of years. At the time of my first read, I had read most of what Heinlein had written up to that point (I think my... Read morePublished on Jan. 15 2002 by John S. Anderson