The Door into Summer Mass Market Paperback – Oct 12 1986
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From the Publisher
After Heinlein passed away, Del Rey published a book called Grumbles from the Grave, and I had the great pleasure of working with Virginia Heinlein on gathering photos and other material to accompany the letters and text that made up the book. While at her house, I was introduced to a cat named Pixel.
It must not have been this particular feline that inspired the cat in A Door into Summer, but it certainly could have been, and I re-read the book as soon as I could.
If you haven't read Henlein, you haven't read science fiction, and if you haven't read this, you haven't read Heinlein. It's the quintessential time travel-paradox story. It's exciting, it's fun, and of course, there's the cat.
--Alex Klapwald, Director of Production
About the Author
Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) was educated at the University of Missouri and the US Naval Academy, Annapolis. He served as a naval officer for five years but retired in 1934 due to ill health. He then studied physics at UCLA and worked in a number of jobs before beginning to publish science fiction in 1939. Among his many novels are Double Star, Starship Troopers, Stranger in a Strange Land and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
In addition to time travel there is the invention of advanced robots and the use of suspended animated long sleeps. The author winds these science fiction favourites together into a story that includes corporate intrigue and a more than creepy romantic angle. The latter is cleverly dealt with through the wonders of time travel. At its heart this is a tale of revenge and indictment of people's greed and envy. The novel's catalyst was an observation made by Heinlein's wife when the family cat refused to leave their house, "he's looking for a door into summer."
Heinlein wrote simply a ton of excellent science fiction and his place in the pantheon of that genre is so assured as to be fundamental. So when a lot of people, and check the number of reviews on this well-aged book, say it might be one of his best it's worth at a minimum a second look.
In this story you get not just time travel, cryogenic sleep, and robots, you get a quick tour through the meanings of friendship, love, deceit, the sweetness of affection and the bitterness of betrayal and if you don't have a good time along the way then there's really nothing I can think of to recommend for you with any likelihood of better luck. I'm sure there are lots of fine people who despise 'The Door Into Summer', I just don't know any of them.
My original copy has survived three decades in my possession; it's original cost was $1.50. Today's version costs a bit more but it'll have acid-free paper and probably better typeface and binding. The contents still outweigh the cost by a wide margin.
Dan Davis, an inventor, narrates the story. He's a brilliant inventor and has come up with some pretty amazing gadgets, including Hired Girl, a robot who cleans, sweeps, vacuums, mops, and generally works all day long without supervision. Dan's problems begin mounting when he learns he's been betrayed by his partner. And to add insult to injury, Dan's fiancée is in on the betrayal as well. As if betrayal alone isn't enough, the two conspirators have Dan placed into a 30-year suspended animation. Dan wakes up 30 years later and is focused on one thing: revenge.
Now lots of authors could have taken the above premise and come up with an entertaining story. Heinlein did this and much more. He shows us that change (for individuals and for all humanity) is difficult, but not impossible. The future is full of challenges, but no matter how much technology changes, no matter how much language, currency, and trends change, man's basic instincts and attitudes remain constant.
Heinlein also tackles the implications of time travel better than anyone else from this period. (The book first appeared in 1957.) The problem of time travel is well thought out and logical. (Wish you could say that about every time travel story.) If you haven't read Heinlein, or if all you've read is 'Stranger in a Strange Land,' 'Starship Troopers,' or 'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress' (all great books), treat yourself to a fun, intelligent read from one of the true masters.
It's part SF, part fairy tale, and part just plain good storytelling. Engineer/inventor Daniel Boone Davis and his feline companion Petronius the Arbiter are two of Heinlein's best-realized characters; the plot here is well-conceived and evenly, swiftly paced.
In case you haven't read it, I won't spoil it for you. The setup is that Davis has just been rooked by his best friend and his fiancee, and he's out to do something about it. What happens then is the story itself, so I won't tell you; I'll just say that the time-travel aspect is worked out every bit as neatly as in "By His Bootstraps", and the tale is one of Heinlein's most humane ever. I've read it more times than I can count, and there's a bit near the end that _always_ gets me. (You'll know what I mean when you get there.)
Heinlein wrote this at the peak of his talent. If you haven't read it yet, don't miss it.
Most recent customer reviews
Well written. You can tell right away that he is a unique writer who grabs your attention and carries it right through!Published 4 months ago by Paul Rymal
I bought this book at a yard sale, because of Heinlein's reputation, and it sat, unread, in our beach cottage for a few years. A few days ago I finally picked it up. Read morePublished 22 months ago by William Marantz
Easy to follow book, your are kept
into the story at every pages. Lot's of
happenings. This is a highly recommended
If I'd read this book in the early 1970's, when I was a young teenager, I would have loved it. Cryogenics mixed with time travel... a feast for a young science fiction fan. Read morePublished on March 3 2012 by Samantha
"The Door into Summer" is Heinlein's best and one of my top favorites. I cannot remember how many times I have reread this book, even if not from page 1 till the end, but... Read morePublished on July 19 2004 by Niki
Written in the mid-50's, Heinlein was projecting the future for both the 1970's setting and the 2001 setting for this story. Read morePublished on July 13 2004 by Andrew W. Johns
RAH wanted to see if we could follow him through this one!!! You'll be provoked into making sure it works. You'll have fun checking!!!!!Published on April 12 2004 by Jim-bob Furlbottom
Dan Davis is an engineer and inventor. He loves his cat. When his fiance and business partner force him out of his own company, he's okay with that. Read morePublished on Aug. 28 2003 by Craig MACKINNON