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Podkayne of Mars
(1963)


The book whose ending Heinlein was required to re-write...

This is the story of the off-planet adventures of a young, aspiring starship pilotess.  Straight from the duldrums of Marsopolis, Podkayne and her troublesome brother join their politically-volatile uncle on an excursion to Earth.  A stopover on Vegas-like Venusville, Venus offers Podkayne some eye-opening experiences with an other-world culture, socially and politically.  As in all good Heinlein books, nasty villains show up to give our beloved characters a run for their money-- and their lives.

Podkayne of Mars is written as the first-person journal of Podkayne Fries.  As such, it is slow moving throughout (until the final chapter), and laden with adolescent reflections on life and living in the future colonization of our inner solar system.  Unlike other Heinlein novels, I found that I really did not care about the characters' struggles and dilemmas.  Still, it will fill out one's knowledge of Heinlein's future worlds...

Notable quotes:
Politics is just a name for the way we get things done...without fighting.

It is probably just as well that we can't possibly see babies until they are ready to make their debut, or the human race would lose interest and die out.  It would probably be still better to lay eggs.

(On romantic propositions):  Millions of years of evolution is the logic behind every proposition.  Just be glad that the dears have learned to approach the matter with handkissing instead of a club.

Nobody ever grows up without at least spending one night of years.


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