Thursday, December 30, 2010

Robert A Heinlein's "Starman Jones" (novel, space opera): Boy comes of age, in style

Cover image of 1953 juvenile space opera, Starman Jones, by Robert A Heinlein
Now that I think of it a few days after reading, I guess it required an incredible suspension of belief as circumstances conspire to turn Maximilian Jones, a vagrant boy & hero of the story, from a penniless urchin to captain of Asgard, a big spaceship, in a matter of months - a captain who'll get the passengers back home safely after getting lost in uncharted reaches of galaxy. But it was a fast quick read, & didn't feel like suspending too much belief! That's Heinlein at his best.

A few chapters near end have an adventure on a world ruled by centaur-like intelligent aliens - aliens to whom the newly arrived humans are probably food, & whose tools are biological rather mechanical - a snake-like being that serves as rope & is controlled by special patting, balloon-like flying creatures used for keeping watch on things, small beings that can be made to glow to make light by touching a pressure point on their body, scavengers specially trained (or engineered or bred?) for city's garbage disposal, ...

See also.

  1. Arthur Clarke & Gentry Lee's "Rama Revealed": Another novel featuring aliens whose tools are biological rather than mechanical.

Fact sheet.

First published: 1953.
Rating: A.
Credits: I found this book via ClassicScienceFiction Yahoo group.
Related: Stories of Robert Heinlein.