Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Robert A Heinlein's "Delilah and the Space-Rigger" (short story, hard sf, humor, free): Ensuring sex-neutral employment opportunities

Quote from short story Delilah and the Space-Rigger by Robert A HeinleinHard sf & humor - that's an odd combination. But Heinlein manages it well.

Story summary.

A geosynchronous space station ("Space Station One") is being built, with a several hundred men construction gang headed by "Tiny" Larsen. Partway through, a new radio operator arrives - one G Brooks McNye. Only it turns out to be a woman (G for Gloria) - the first woman on the crew, sending Larson into fits.

Some funny episodes, a revolt of crew, & Larson will see a solution that doesn't discriminate based on sex...


  1. What does "Delilah" of the title stand for? It's not the name of anything in the story. Is it some mythological woman who seduces hard working men, like Menka in Indian tales?

Fact sheet.

First published: Blue Book, December 1949. [via Wikipedia]
Download full text from Webscription.
Download script of a play based on this story.
Rating: A.


  1. Stories of Robert Heinlein.
  2. Stories about space stations.
  3. Tuesday Classics.
  4. Fiction from 1940s.


Micah said...

A reference to the Judeo-Christian tale of Sampson and Delilah.


Tinkoo said...

Thank you, Micah. Good one that too, & somewhat familiar too - not sure where I've heard something similar.