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10 thoughts on “Podkayne of Mars

  1. says:

    I like Robert A Heinlein, he is certainly one of my favorite authors So I am biased and am here, his apologist While I can understand many feminists dislike of him and of this book in particular, I even winced at some passages, I would remind some that he was progressive minded when he wrote these, and was born in 1907, in Missouri, and attended a very different Naval Academy from the one we know today This was entertaining, a little thin, but a well played use of science fiction politics and suspense I thought he did a good job of characterization of Poddy, if not completely three dimensional I did feel the ending was disappointing and have read some other reviews that concur.Not one of his best, but it s Heinlein so a good SF tale at the end of the day.


  2. says:

    I loved the book when I first read it as a teen, because I liked the character of Podkayne and was blissfully ignorant of bad things like sexism Also, the cover was really sexy My mom saw me with it once, and I had a hard time explaining to her that it was a Science Fiction novel and not what she thought it was.


  3. says:

    RAH was one of the first authors that I read way back in the mid 70s in my early teens as I got into sci fi in a big way Wells, Asimov and Clarke were also amongst the first He was still merrily writing away as I grew up and started reading his early novels I never did quite catch up with his prolific output as in my honest opinion his standard declined rapidly, and so I had and still have no desire to read some of his later novels.This book is seen now as one of his YA novels, although in my opinion as an early ha ha middle aged man I still enjoyed both the characters and the story He certainly did have an amazing ability to develop a storyline and make the future setting seem unbelievably natural.This book introduces us to the Fries family from Mars, and in particular the precocious daughter Podkayne And in typical Heinlein fashion within the first few pages we are immersed in the belief that in no possible way could humans have evolved on Earth, only weird geeky anthropologists believe that, and even they can t agree Needless to say in typical RAH fashion, adventures ensue, so if one enjoys any RAH books then this should also be put on your list


  4. says:

    If you re into stuff like this, you can read the full review.Sexual Mores Podkayne of Mars by Robert A Heinlein Original Review, 1980 08 06 I was not a Heinlein fan before I ve probably read most of his work, but there are only 3 of his books I ve kept to enjoy reading again I ve kept than 3 of a LOT of other authors, such as Leinster, McCaffrey, Dickson, James White, and even Philip E High Nor did I cut my teeth on RAH, so I ve no sentimental associations or long standing loyalties To me, he s just another SF writer, though competent than most.


  5. says:

    Here s what I learned from Podkayne of Mars, courtesy of Professor Heinlein blech A woman should always hide how smart she is, so she doesn t scare off the men.If a woman wants to get a man s attention and get the information she needs to further her career, she should just act like a moron coquette.It doesn t matter if a girl is a complete innocent from a Puritan society she ll naturally know how to be a cocktease.Introduce an infant into a situation, even if it is of a different species, and a woman no matter how intelligent, savvy or career oriented will always disregard logic and personal safety to care for and protect it.No matter how smart a woman thinks she is, she ll always be dumber than a 12 year old boy.Don t expect a woman to be able to solve a problem under pressure, unless it involves babies.Look for the psychopathic but hyper intelligent boy in the story he s the real main character, no matter what the narrator thinks especially if she s female All Heinlein novels will contain a patriarchal, patronizing older male figure and a smug, patronizing younger male figure whose function is to tell the other characters how stupid they are and how they don t understand the way the real world works.Women should be grateful that men try to get them drunk so they can rape them, instead of clubbing them over the head to rape them usually Even in a future where humans have colonized Mars and Venus, and interplanetary travel is the equivalent of a cruise to Alaska, women will still be unable to get jobs in traditional male occupations and expected even if they have managed to break through the glass ceiling to give up their aspirations in favor of making babies, or taking care of babies RAGE.Of all the ridiculous sexist tripe I nearly threw this book against the wall so many times, it s a wonder I actually got through it.


  6. says:

    So this was a bit ridiculous I listened to all five discs rather quickly, as it started out as a fun space story Then suddenly I was on disc four and thinking to myself, Sooo, nothing much has happened yet This book is about creating a world, setting the stage for what could be a cool story about a future female space pilot and then having the main character talk herself out of her ambitions because childbirth and mothering are the most important aspirations for women in the world and blahbitty blah blah blah Thanks, Robert A Heinlein, I definitely needed the reminder of how women should act In case you re reading this review and wondering what kinds of awesome tidbits the main character shares in her journal, they are statements about hiding your intelligence from men, never letting a man see that you are better at anything than he is, and accepting that you should never have aspirations that will hinder your ability to find a man and reproduce for the good of the universe.This book hints at so many possible plotlines and they go nowhere The actual plot action doesn t even start to occur until at least halfway through, probably further Heinlein hints at a possible romance it goes nowhere He describes a lot of planets and governmental structures it s all irrelevant He spends the first half of the book on a space journey it has very little bearing on the overall plot The book ends abruptly than any I ve ever read Honestly, this felt like the first part in a serialized story Ha I just looked it up on Wikipedia and the book itself started out as a serialized story Emily Janice Card did a good job voicing the teenage protagonist and her 11 year old genius brother The side characters, including one or two with southern accents, were distinguishable, which isn t always the case in audiobooks I do enjoy her narrations but unfortunately, I always keep thinking about her father s politics and it takes me away from the story she s reading I know this isn t the case for everyone but it IS the case for me, even if she doesn t share the same beliefs I don t know one way or the other Skip this one unless you re a writer who is looking for a world that was created and then just disregarded There are lots of ideas to be had here


  7. says:

    I ve just finished re reading this book, which I first read when I was about 12 years old, right after it was published I d been reading science fiction for a few years, though there wasn t much available in my small town library and a bookstore was unheard of The librarian always held the new arrivals for me as I devoured everything available.Podkayne hit me right between the eyes A pretty, likable, intelligent girl my age well, a little older who was confident and courageous and didn t wait to be rescued Wow, I wanted to be her.In later years, as I reread the book, I recognized that Heinlein s sexism was expression of his generation and that he really liked women and maybe even thought them better than men His female characters are almost impossibly idealized tall, beautiful, brilliant, loving, fierce, sexy, domestic, accomplished, modest, diplomatic, cheeky Even the old, fat women were lookers in their youth and still smart, nurturing and witty.But those women made me think, subconsciously, that I really could be all that, and a bag of chips So, in a way, Heinlein inspired me and encouraged me to reach outside of gender roles.Podkayne of Mars was one of the most influential books of my youth She, along with Dr Susan Calvin from I, Robot the Susan of the books, NOT the movies shudder , is among the reasons I am a nerdy and former technoqeek former because I just can t keep up these day.


  8. says:

    Not your average Robert A Heinlein book Really, how often do you hear that Robert Heinlein was one of the most influential and controversial authors of his time He wrote all kinds of books, from the Young Adult market to pseudo sexual revolutionary stories He even went so far as penning books where the characters knew they were in a story and end up cussing him out, as to the way events were unfolding With all that it might be hard to believe that this story is a little different, yet it is.Originally serialised in If Worlds of Science Fiction 1962 Podkayne comes early in the period after Heinlein had moved beyond the Young Adult market Here he is unabashedly writing the SF social commentary he judiciously sprinkled into his YA books, the Heinlein Juveniles A commonly held misconception of Podkayne of Mars is that it s part of the Heinlein Juveniles but 1959 s Starship Troopers, which raised serious objections from the publisher, resulted in the end of HJ series The last of Heinlein s juvenile novels was actually Have Space Suit Will Travel published in 1958 It is evident why people mistake this story to be in the YA genre he was so prolific in, until then, after all it does follow many of the usual tropes of the YA market It is about a young girl, Podkayne Fries, and her asocial genius brother, Clark, as they leave their home on Mars to take a trip on a spaceliner to visit Earth, accompanied by their uncle, Tom But once you realize the heavily laden social commentary of the story mostly surrounds making time to raise children, implying that when parents carers take precedence over raising the children society might atrophy something I agree with whole hardheartedly You realize what the book is doing is questioning a woman s ideal place in society, you notice the absence of role models in Podkayne s life, you see this is what drives Pod through the tale and you begin to realize how subversive this story may actually be.Podkayne of Mars is filled with the vibrant and imaginative landscapes Heinlein is know for, including a Venusberg that s almost some kind of cyber punk Las Vegas Inhabited by miners, gamblers, cute yet vicious fairies and pinheaded aliens to whom it seems humans tend to sell a highly addictive drug Another of the things that makes this book a noticeable change from Heinlein s earlier works is that the entire story is composed of diary entries rather than his usual prose.Though the book is Podkayne s diary it is debatable whether she is the main character of the story Within the pages of the diary book itself secret entries are made by Clark, in invisible ink, that expand the story In fact his adventures mischief tend to take much of the center stage And there s a lot here than what s on the stage, because Uncle Tom is a former member of the Mars government and a hero This means that Pod and Clark are privileged to interact with all sorts of odd characters the average future space traveler would not Like a good cook Heinlein thickens the plot to a satisfying consistency As the trip continues Pod comes across the mystery of Clark s secret package, gambling dens and we see skullduggery afoot all around This while the seemingly innocuous travel log teaches us quite a few things about how get along whenever you find yourself far from home It should be noted in fact that much of the descriptions of Pod s voyage are based on Heinlein s own experiences traveling the world, during and after his stint in the Navy.The original ending of Podkayne of Mars caused some controversy with the publishers which resulted in two endings to this story The edition I read prints both the original ending as well as the changed ending that appeared in all editions from 1963 until 1993 It also has a section of fan essays discussing the endings This is almost as fun to read as the book Some differ wildly though most agree that the original ending gives the book weight Collected and published as a novel in 1963, on the cusp of sexual revolution, when many of those same questions asked here were being talked about All while Heinlein is already communicating that women are capable of equaling, or out classing, men at the same time he positions young Podkayne, and her brother, as palpably grasps for a role models If, as in Pod s case, it were only as she struggles with her femininity it might seem impertinent but it reaches into what she wants out of her future what can fulfill her.It s not all that surprising that the trend of latch key children, with working parents, was something Heinlein saw fit to include and comment on back in 1963 as programs like CBC radio s Discussion Club featured the topic How War Affects Canadian Children coining the term latchkey kid back in 1942 What is impressive is that he would find this trend so troubling that Heinlein would build an entire novel about it.That, in 1962, a male SF writer would bring up these particular questions in this rather original way, for him, is striking in itself Most surprising of all, for Heinlein who has no problem providing examples of how best to live over and over again throughout his career, is that Podkayne of Mars doesn t answer any of the questions it brings up and indeed leaves much unknown.In the end as entertaining as I feel this story to be, much of this book could be misunderstood see other reader reviews , so in this rare case I would dare say I might recommend this to gender studies majors or anyone prepared to talk about this book in a forum Of course I would also recommend it to any Heinlein fan.


  9. says:

    So much to rant about here, so little time When I finished the first chapter of Podkayne my grin was so wide I damn near cut my own face off Heinlein had an indisuptable gift for killer openings see for example The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag and this one promised absolute glory to come The trouble is, the glory never comes The magnificent possibilities of the first chapter and its coda are set aside The plot meanders, and then in classically half assed fashion picks up without warning a scant few pages from the end the incredibly condescending, problematic, throw the book across the room end.The only net positive I can find in Podkayne is that it s a fine example of Heinlein in exploratory rather than prescriptive mode The cast visits several different societies and interacts with their laws and customs, always wondering and speculating rather than lecturing or insisting This is such a stark relief from what I call Heinlein s LOOK, YOU mode, where a mouthpiece struts across the page shouting Look, you This is how things are and the only way they oughta be, see In reference to the all pervading corporatism of Venus, for example, one major character can t make up his mind whether it is the grimmest tyranny the human race has ever known or the most perfect democracy The evidence is presented and the reader is invited to do their own pondering Heinlein the Philosopher could certainly offer up some tasty thought experiments when Heinlein the Authoritarian was out of the room.It s a crying shame that this book, which had the velocity of a home run ball as it left the plate, somehow managed to plop softly into the dirt somewhere short of second base.


  10. says:

    There s a short story by Isaac Asimov, What is this thing called love , which he apparently wrote because he was tired of people telling him he couldn t do sex scenes I am the great Asimov, and I can do anything I imagine him saying, as he turned out what is actually a quite competent and funny story with a fair amount of sex.This is the same, but reversed Perhaps also tired of people s snide remarks, Heinlein writes a book in which the central character is an attractive girl who doesn t have sex with anyone throughout the entire novel But having made his point, he clearly decided afterwards that he wasn t doing that again.