CBR12Bingo – Green
I think this completes my Bingo board. Or rather, this completes my Bingo Board.
A story collection by Robert A Heinlein published in the 1940s. It’s not simply a collection of stories, but hangs together more so like Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot or Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles as linked stories (thematically at least) about early space exploration, but especially as early space colonization.
The stories still mostly hold up and clearly are setting the tone and the scene for a lot of other books down the line to come in this general field: the Kim Stanley Robinson Mars books come clearly to mind and just about all of Larry Niven and Ben Bova in that way.
So rather than a book about a set of events or plots, it’s more like story explanations of various issues that would occur as space exploration and space colonization develop.
The stories are also delightfully out of date in some fun ways too (luckily not as racist as they could be, and other Heinlein books cough cough Sixth Column cough cough will be soon after), but sexist in that way. Everyone smokes, everyone adheres very strictly to gender roles and gender norms, and these things persist overtly into the future in ways that….well, they’re not gone now, but they’ve morphed in very ways today.
The opening story was probably my favorite, in which a space engineer receives new workers and gasp one is a woman. She disrupts everything! Until he realizes he can beat her at her own game, but hiring more women, which she likes. So one of the effects here is that Heinlein is thinking a little about the ways some of these issues will have to be confronted. If we have colonies, we’ll have to allow women to be part of them, right, otherwise they’re as doomed as colonies on Earth.