{Prime} Red PlanetAuthor Robert A. Heinlein – Multi-channel.co

Jim Marlow And His Strange Looking Martian Friend Willis Were Allowed To Travel Only So Far But One Day Willis Unwittingly Tuned Into A Treacherous Plot That Threatened All The Colonists On Mars, And It Set Jim Off On A Terrfying Adventure That Could Save Or Destroy Them All From The Paperback Edition


10 thoughts on “Red Planet

  1. says:

    This was, hands down, my favorite Heinlein book as a teen I read it at least 4 or 5 times I really need to read it again as an adult, but Heinlein always an iffy proposition Though this is one of his early juvie novels, so it s safer than, say, Time Enough for Love.Two teenage boys, sent away to boarding school in the big city on Mars, need to save their hometown and their Martian friend from the nefarious forces of evil There s a pretty heavy gun ownership rights theme running through this book that may bother some readers, sexual roles are straight from the 1950s Red Planet was written in 1949, so understandable enough , people in authority tend to be corrupt and or incompetent, and you have to be able to suspend disbelief in light of what we now know about life on Mars Other than that, it s a rockin story But no matter what, I will always adore Willis the Martian with my entire heart and soul Sing Qui n es la Se orita one time, Willis


  2. says:

    A human boy born on Mars named Jim befriended a local life form something looking like a football he named Willis The latter seemed to possessed some intelligence and was able to repeat anything it heard perfectly imitating voices It also seemed to start the playback in the least appropriate moments At one point Jim and his friend Frank had to go to a Martian boarding school for colonists and Jim decided to take Willis with him Something really bad happened at school I will give you a hint and say that Professor Umbridge or her Martian equivalent showed up Jim and Frank had to take first adult decision of their lives Because it is one of the juveniles books by Heinlein their decision brought a very much real mortal danger The book was written in 1949 and the though that always stayed with me during reading was, How the times changed Let me give you the most obvious example At one point the school decided to take away the pupils guns Guns the students legally own and legally openly carried on them Now imagine a modern school with pupils openly carrying firearms Something else was very much prominent at least for me It looks like the generation that just came back from the WWII thought it was perfectly normal to expect the teenagers to act like responsible adults this among other things includes not expecting them to start shooting everybody in sight with the aforementioned guns But enough about gun ownership this is still a very heated debate in US By the way the rest of the world including their closest neighbors Canadians seems to solved this problem already Unlike so called G.I Generation we coddle out teens until they turn 18 at which point they are magically and instantly supposed to turn into adults For this reason the book might feel somewhat dated I did not expect teens taking on life and death situations Then I recalled my history lessons they often had to One interesting observation follows I have seen quite a lot of people say that a science fiction writer has to be a liberal After all the science fiction is about the future and it is supposed to be liberal and humanitarian Not completely subscribing to this view and not completely rejecting it I just note that Heinlein was a libertarian He did not hide his views in his fiction, but almost always managed to stop right before he start preaching in earlier works at least just read this book as an example Being a libertarian had not prevented him from became one of the greatest science fiction classics So what about the book It is good full of adventure and action I wish I had read it in my teens this is the best time to read it 4 stars.


  3. says:

    It took me too long to get through this relatively short book, because it drags The beginning starts slow, there s a bit of an adventure on Mars that heightens things for a while, but then the book grinds down to a finish with a trial and dithering This is one of Heinlein s early works I believe they were called juveniles , because they were meant for kids This sort of writing and level of excitement might have engaged kids when it was published in 1949, but I can t see kids today enjoy this Nor can I see women of any age and time being enad of a book that lumps them all together as women folk who are portrayed as useless Heinlein also set his language and portrayal of his character in a future world as if they were 1940s Midwesterners Now that I ve gotten all that out of my system, there are some bright spots Heinlein created some neato aliens and paints a few nice audio visual scenes that feel otherworldly It s cool to see the beginning writer working through his craft and glimmers of what s to occasionally shine through here.


  4. says:

    Another Heinlein juvenile, another curious blend of work by a virtuoso visionary and his unfortunate co author the cheating hack.THE GOOD Heinlein s early treatment of his Martians the ones used nearly two decades later in STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND is excellent These guys are subtle and weird and so far beyond earth norms that every interaction with them is fraught and puzzling Also, while you can see prototypical versions of many of his stock characters crusty old Dr MacReady is a stripped down and far less annoying Jubal Harshaw , their excesses are restrained by the better sense of the people around them THE BAD All the tension of the heroic stand off with murderous forces of authority is defused when everyone in the ranks of that authority turn out to be cowards, simpletons, paranoids, and gross incompetents Heinlein loved to stack his decks like this, and it does him no credit here than it did anywhere else Also, the treatment of gender is blindingly awful, even for 1948, especially for Heinlein Boys in Martian society are accounted men when they can carry guns girls are considered adults when they can cook and help with babies You d think a guy who could write something as mind bendingly weird as Heinlein s Martians could apply some of that mental plasticity to an examination of the women of his own species.


  5. says:

    This is THE ONE The first book to capture me.It left my 12 year old mind reeling and set my consuming, voracious hunger for sci fi into motion Of course I had read other books in school, but Red Planet blew me away I was transported.Never to return.Here s the cover that I remember from 55 years ago.Full size image here


  6. says:

    This is a decent novel that has reasonably survived the test of time, at least as long as you know when this novel was published the 1949 s People used to modern day sci fi might find this novel somewhat dated, but you know what, it s still a solid read, especially if you like old school science fiction It also ties in nicely with Stranger in a Strange Land by the same author.


  7. says:

    One of Heinlein s early YA books, it s about 2 young boys who wind up on an adventure on Mars This is a Mars with water frozen in its canals, oxygen, but not enough for a human to breath unassisted So if you like your SF with the latest science in place, this isn t for you Heinlien s young heroes are boy scouts, good kids with good intentions who buck the odds to do the right thing They make discoveries beyond what the adults have done face danger They tough it out make good, though Happy ending I d recommend it for any adult, but also for any young boy, maybe 3d grade reading level up I m probably wrong about 3d grade, get another opinion The language ideas are pretty simple, but equally engaging for young old There is a moral to the story be brave, resourceful and damn the consequences do the RIGHT thing I ve seen worse messages in books, this one is pretty typical of all his YA books.


  8. says:

    The bad science doesn t bother me too much, but I can t get past the sexism and the contrived conflict None of the bad guys had any competence The good guys were automatically superior strategists, warriors, leaders, etc I d give it one star, but the Martians were interesting, and treated with respect.


  9. says:

    1976 grade B 1992 grade B 2016 grade B A novel about high school students in a private school run by dictatorial earth bureaucrats on a colonized hypothetical Mars It starts out pretty routine but becomes much better and adult less than half way through The book could definitely be considered a precursor to Stranger In A Strange Land since it has the exact same martians and their culture In fact this book describes them much better and I recommend reading it before Stranger if possible The book also includes many of the Earth Mars political relations that are further developed in The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, although there is no direct connection between the two stories.


  10. says:

    This is one of an ongoing series of rereads, as I work through the Virginia Editions of Heinlein s novels.Red Planet was Heinlein s third published novel, after Space Cadet reviewed here It is seen as the third in Heinlein s juvenile novels that were written for a teenage and predominantly though not exclusively male readership.If I remember right, it was possibly my second or third Heinlein read, after Tunnel in the Sky, which I found, rather lost and forgotten, at the back of my school library It was one of my early favourites.After events in space and on the swampy planet Venus in Space Cadet, this one s all about Mars.Jim Marlowe is a teenage colonist at boarding school on Mars Whilst there, Jim and his friend Frank Sutton, as well as Jim s Martian pet, Willis the Bouncer have many adventures, often running up against the authoritarian head teacher, Mr Howe and eventually, Mr Beecher, the Earth s administrational representative for the Mars company Willis overhears the two discuss a devious plan to stop the traditional human migration to warmer climes during the harsh Martian winter, Jim and Frank run off from school and skate along the canals, back to their home colony to tell Jim s father.The result is a fight between the adults for the independence of Mars and a showdown between the original Martian inhabitants and the human colonists, the result of which seems to depend upon Jim and Willis.In many ways the format of Red Planet is similar to Space Cadet, in that we have alien human conflict and a hero figure in a rite of passage Bildungsroman, but instead of being in space and on Venus as we were in Space Cadet here we are firmly on frontier Mars.What surprises me most on re reading is how complex this book really is behind the obvious plot narrative We have ancient Martian races, social revolution and rather manipulative humans on a Bonestellian style planet Our hero is, as was rather traditional for these books, a teenage human male, whose growing up see rite of passage was rather frontier like On the cutting edge of space colonisation, Jim Marlowe is a pioneer It s not by accident the original edition was subtitled on the cover, A colonial boy on Mars.Owning a gun, or, as often referred to here, a heater , is a sign of maturity and adulthood in this frontier world Heinlein points out in this novel the relationship between freedom and weapons, and the right to bear arms, as fundamentals of Martian society, with the American frontier and Heinlein s own personal beliefs as a template This nearly comes unstuck at one point when Jim seems rather determined to shoot his dictatorial headteacher, but is only stopped by being talked down or rather, wrestled down by his friend Frank.What is surprising on this reread is what Heinlein does here with the back story of the Martian race, which in this edition is complex than I remembered it They are an old and complex race, who can do when the situation requires it , near impossible things What is noticeable, reading this now as an adult, is the connection between Willis and the elder Martian race, Ray Bradbury Martian Chronicles than Burroughs John Carter Of course, Heinlein s adult Martians also reappear in a Stranger in a Strange Land, albeit only briefly and how disappointed I was all those years ago when I found that out Although Jim is a likeable enough sort of chap, I m sure that, like many other readers, he is not what I remember most about this book For me, Willis the bouncing Martian is still a memorable favourite.Reading this again with older eyes, I was concerned that Willis broken English speak would be rather irritating However, it s not as exasperating as I thought it might be, even though, Willis s pidgin English made me think a little of Jar Jar Binks, though not enough to spoil my 40 year old memories completely Rather surprisingly, Willis still reads as an engagingly depicted character that would gladden the heart of any young reader, although he she it is basically a canine substitute and is something that Heinlein will use again in later books such as Star Beast and The Rolling Stones Space Family Stone, for example It s not by coincidence that Tor Books once referred to the novel as One Boy and his Martian Supremely loyal and endearingly enthusiastic, these days I can see the similarities between Willis and Edgar Rice Burroughs s Woola clearly.Reading from William H Patterson s introduction to this Virginia edition best done afterwards , it is interesting to discover that Heinlein had a bit of a tussle with publishers Scribners over this one and was forced to make changes to his original manuscript so that the finished book was palatable to their target readership.One addition to this edition that was edited out in my original copy was a discussion between Jim s dad and his young sister, Phyllis, about the right for women to carry a gun Because Jim is going away to school, Phyllis argues that she should be allowed to own a gun to look after her younger baby brother This replaces a scene in my original version where Jim is berated by his father because he leaves his weapon out where his younger brother wanders This was a scene added by Heinlein s editors and one which he very reluctantly agreed to, whilst clearly very unhappy about it.The ending was also changed, from one fairly open and ambiguous to one with an adult discussion of Willis s future and the symbolic handing over from Jim of his pet to the next stage of him her it s life with the Martians This version is the 2009 edition, and uses the less open ended conclusion, Heinlein s preferred one.Further changes are relatively minor This includes returning all the dialogue about alien sex and biology, removed in my earlier edition, and similarly putting back tougher language though still no swearing especially on the part of Doctor MacRae, an elder member of the colony and occasional mentor to Jim Additional note, later Many of these changes are mentioned in an article published in 2001 by the Heinlein Society, HERE Reading this again, I now see early versions of what will become Heinlein tropes The strong willed hero, determined to do what is right and often against the corporate machine is one, as represented by both Jim and his father who is that typical adult who does the right thing when forced to and here ends up leading the revolt against the corporation.Another very noticeable difference between Red Planet and Space Cadet, reading the two fairly close together, is that we have here, than before, the use of strong, opinionated female characters Having talked before in my review of Space Cadet about how little females were represented in the book, here, through the character of Phyllis, Jim s younger sister, Heinlein readdresses that issue a little She s not a major character by any means, but it s clear that the gender imbalance must have been on Heinlein s mind too Red Planet is dedicated to Tish , who is Heinlein s niece How much of this is an influence of the newly remarried Heinlein s wife, herself by many accounts a strong, intelligent and opinionated lady, is unclear However, the character type will reappear in Heinlein s work for the rest of his writing career.Of the adults, Jim s dad is also an archetype, as already mentioned Doctor MacRae, in this new revised version, is like the grumpy, cantankerous oldsters of Heinlein s less restrained later writing Jubal Harshaw and so on Although Heinlein s novels have always had knowledgeable people passing on their perceived wisdoms, perhaps it is here that the templates for Heinlein s future writing are evolved or would have been, had the original manuscript been accepted.This book shows a real leap forward in Heinlein s character development and plotting, and the start of what I think of as typical RAH It s hard to believe that this was only his third published novel, although admittedly he was writing short stories with great regularity simultaneously This is a less predictable, complicated novel than Space Cadet, using even stranger ideas, yet still being extremely entertaining.It s also not the last time Heinlein looks at a planet satellite determined to gain independence.Gratifyingly, the simplistic and naive book I was rather expecting is, for the most part, much less unsophisticated and entertaining than I had hoped Whilst this is not the Martian environment as we know it today, it still has an attractive allure that makes the reader want to be there It s the Mars that I, and I suspect many others, would like it to be, a world of unlimited opportunities, with its Martians, vegetation and canals If only.