Have Spacesuit-Will Travel.

chrispenycate

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It is quite old now, but doesn't creak to much. I think I have it in my bookshelves, but it's a long time since I read it.
It's a Heinlein juvenile, aimed at someone a bit younger than you are now, probably even than you were when you joined, and it was one of the formative novels of those who started their science fiction reading in the middle of the last century (like myself). Yes, there's space travel, and alien civilisations, and the 'mother thing' – the hero is a teenager (American, and a bit dated, but what do you expect?), it's short and relatively intense. It's fun.

I'd read it in preference to most modern stuff; but I'm ancient and strange.
 

j d worthington

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It hasn't been that long since I read it, and I would generally agree with Chris. It certainly has its dated aspects, but the story is very enjoyable; there is a great deal of character development; some wonderful adventure writing; and a strong thread of pathos and sympathy which runs throughout. It also deals with some of Heinlein's typical concerns: courage, compassion, intelligence, inventiveness, strength in the face of adversity, and a strong moral sense.
 

Parson

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I agree with my other 2 old codgers. It is a very credible piece of SF writing. I still have scenes play with my memory of it, oh these 45? years ago. If you don't read too much modern SF, you might not even see it as all that dated.
 

Parson

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My 40 year memory of "Stranger in a Strange Land" was not good enough to pick up that reference. But the short answer is "no." But real connections between the species are made.
 

tdeaderick

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This book had everything I wanted as a kid; adventure, discovery, and a kid my age with his own space suit. I've probably read this book a half-dozen times. There's never been a winter since that I didn't recall the trek through the frozen ice of Pluto when I'm bundled up outside in the snow.

I guess this story has stuck with me all this time on many levels. I recently wrote a book of my own about a 14 year-old boy who finds pieces of an alien flightsuit. I wanted to capture the same sense of discovery and adventure that I enjoyed reading all of Heinlein's books, but this one in particular.

I named a dog in the story "Oscar" after the suit. This is a terrific book. It makes me sad that kids today might be less likely to read it because of the older technology described.
 

tdeaderick

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For me, scuba-diving involves a sense of independence and isolation. You're inside gear that is keeping you alive, but it is also isolating you from everyone else in an environment that's working just for you. When I dive, these are some of the feelings that I enjoy, the closeness and dependence on that gear.

Heinlein doesn't waste any time anthropomorphizing the suit in this story. After a while, for me at least, Kip (the main character) becomes secondary as I mentally take over his role and the partnership/ownership of the suit. Consider how successful Heinlein is in attaching readers to the suit, when it had none of the AI responsiveness that systems today would be capable of.
 

Parson

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For me, scuba-diving involves a sense of independence and isolation. You're inside gear that is keeping you alive, but it is also isolating you from everyone else in an environment that's working just for you. When I dive, these are some of the feelings that I enjoy, the closeness and dependence on that gear.

Heinlein doesn't waste any time anthropomorphizing the suit in this story. After a while, for me at least, Kip (the main character) becomes secondary as I mentally take over his role and the partnership/ownership of the suit. Consider how successful Heinlein is in attaching readers to the suit, when it had none of the AI responsiveness that systems today would be capable of.
I would note that Kip does carry on a conversation (internally I always assumed) with his suit at least a couple times that I remember. One was on Pluto where the suit tells Kip that he's trying as hard as he could to keep the cold at bay. --- Even back then that struck me as a bit odd, because any suit that was tested on the dark side of the moon successfully should be able to cope with the cold as it wouldn't be that much warmer than the surface of Pluto. Today it occurs to me that the real problem would likely be venting heat if the insulation were good enough to keep cold of near absolute zero out.

Then when they arrive on "Momma thing's?" planet and the girl gets here own spacesuit with the ability to penetrate the helmet force field with a slow moving finger, the space suit says that he can get one like that if he wants it because "he's not the jealous type."
 

JoanDrake

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The title can throw you, especially if you don't know that a television show called Have Gun, Will Travel was about the most popular thing on in the years it was published. It seems like it might be just too juvenile to bear but Heinlein pulls it off to make a surprisingly good story. I too remember some scenes from it over several decades.
 

pyan

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I agree with my other 2 old codgers.
Make that four old codgers that agree.

Perhaps we should start an Old Codgers Club, so we can sit around in cardigans and complain that they don't write 'em like they used to - which, although a cliché grande, is nonetheless perfectly true, IMHO...

:rolleyes::D
 

Parson

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Make that four old codgers that agree.

Perhaps we should start an Old Codgers Club, so we can sit around in cardigans and complain that they don't write 'em like they used to - which, although a cliché grande, is nonetheless perfectly true, IMHO...
:D:D I foresee another club thread in our future. Maybe the sign over the bar will read "Have Cardigan: Will Complain." ---- They sure don't make them like they used to IMOH too!
 

BAYLOR

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I seem to remember that at one point , they wanted to make this into a film.:unsure:
 

Parson

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I have no knowledge of that, but it would have made a great movie. Even today and maybe especially today it would be a great movie
 
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