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Starman Jones The stars were closed to Max Jones To get into space you either needed connections a membership in the Guild or a whole lot money than Max the son of a widowed poor mother was every going to have What Max does have going for him are his uncle’s prized astrogation manuals—book on star navigation that Max literally commits to memory word for word euation for euation From the First Golden Age of Heinlein this is the so called juvenile written Heinlein always claims just as much for adults that started them all and made Heinlein a legend for multiple generations of readers

  • Paperback
  • 272 pages
  • Starman Jones
  • Robert A. Heinlein
  • English
  • 19 June 2016
  • 9781416505501

About the Author: Robert A. Heinlein

Robert Anson Heinlein was an American novelist and science fiction writer Often called the dean of science fiction writers he is one of the most popular influential and controversial authors of hard science fiction He set a high standard for science and engineering plausibility and helped to raise the genre's standards of literary uality He was the first SF writer to break into mainstre

10 thoughts on “Starman Jones

  1. Lyn Lyn says:

    Astrogators in spaceOne of Heinlein's earlier juvenile novels this is one where RAH describes in great detail the machinations of the astrogators uite a bit dated now with computers and it is amusing to imagine as he did a trio of math geniuses sitting in chairs with slide rules charting out a space ship's course but that was part of his charm Some thin characterizations along with some very 1950sish language but Heinlein was working his very peculiar magic and this is all the while a fine sci fi story 2019 Re readWas this 1953 publication an influence on Star Trek the original series and Lost in Space? Was Max Jones an idea for James Kirk?Their characters are very different but this bildungsroman does follow our protagonist from farm boy to ship’s captain in spectacular fashion in a way that would be suited to fiery Kirk The description of 3D chess would indicate the possibility that Roddenberry and crew had read this Likewise getting some decimals misplaced resulted in the spaceship in Heinlein’s story to be lost could have been a seed for the later 1965 TV seriesHeinlein published his twelve Scribner’s juvenile books between 1947 and 1958 and this one is the seventh Starman Jones describes Max Jones’ journey from the hills of the Ozarks to command of the Starship Asgard and the many adventures he had on the wayThis is packed full of Heinlein’s campy wisecracks and homey logic but also tells a damn fine SF story and one particularly enjoyable to anyone who’s stood watch of naval ships as RAH adds his personal knowledge of all things nautical and in his own inimitable way

  2. Manuel Antão Manuel Antão says:

    If you're into stuff like this you can read the full reviewBinary Euivalents Starman Jones by Robert A HeinleinOriginal Review 1980 07 24Random rumblings on our inability to predict the futurePop up display screens and visual aiming guiding a missile by looking at the target for fighter pilots is discussed in the recent fiction paperback FoxFire'' The technology for visual aiming is actually uite old It is derived from the device I'm not sure what it is called used by psychologists to measure eye movements

  3. Mike (the Paladin) Mike (the Paladin) says:

    I like this dated novel A human civilization that was pictured or imagined before our present level of computer and electronic technology was even imagined A young man inherits somewhat informally a set of astrogator's texts and then sets out to get sponsored to get into the Astrogator's guild the only way to become an astrogator someone who plots the course of starships through deep space One of Heinlein's so called teen novels and a good read It dates back to 1953 and as I said is very dated but in an odd way that adds to the book much as some of Verne's books are I checked and saw a few used copies it may not be easy to track down but I'd say you might find it worthwhile If you can track it down it might just be worth a read Update I just noticed that Hoopla has an audio version of this and most of Heinlein's books This book is very dated and for that reason I recommend you should try it The view of things pre solid state alone makes the book worth it

  4. Jim Jim says:

    Another typical great Heinlein YA novel about a farm boy who makes good The main characters in this book aren't angels They break the law bad ones mostly for reasons they think are sufficient I always thought so reap the conseuences afterward but still come out ahead Max is a hillbilly has an impossible situation at home He runs away gets fake ID with the help of a rough but kind stranger He gets a job on a space ship cleaning pet cages Menial but honest work that he knows does to the best of his ability Then he gets a break the adventure takes offThe moral message running through this book; do the right thing do it as best you can Think for yourself Great book for middle school through adult

  5. Jim Jim says:

    An SF Juvenile originally published 60 years ago 1953 it shows its age in a few places but was still a wonderful yarn with one of my favorite characters in it Sam Hardly the perfect hero or role model he was a lot of fun showed the main character Max the ropesThe age of the story was most apparent in the technology Max has to study a computer by opening a panel tracing circuits Logs were pulled out of the tables in books Anyone else remember those? problems were mostly worked by humans input to the computer in binary Exactly what the poor machine actually did isn't readily apparent but it wasn't much Still it didn't really harm the story even though it was one of the major points that everything revolved around It was interesting because of it Kind of a blast from the past a reminder of how far we've come in such a short timeThe way star commuter ships moved held up pretty well as did the almost military discipline of the ship No women in the ranks but Heinlein does manage to strike a great blow for sexual euality at one point It was masterfully delivered too Unfortunately there was just the oneThere are a lot of good morals running through the story too Kind of hoaky in some ways but I liked it I originally read these stories as a kid aspired to be like Heinlein's boy heroes I think there are far worse role models He addresses systems injustice how a boy with few choices lies cheats his way into his dream He also pays the price for doing so but gets his dream Rather neat IMO Great book I plan on listening to a few of these I read The Star Beast within the last year or two felt about the same These books have stood the test of time far better than his later books IMO

  6. David David says:

    I read a lot of Heinlein's juveniles when I was younger but I missed this one and it was on sale from Audible so it was nice to enjoy one of his earlier works before he started getting old and wanky Everything from Friday on was pretty much Heinlein getting his freak on but his earlier novels are still sci fi classics for good reason Starman Jones is your basic boys' adventure story Max is a kid from Earth who runs away from home when his stepmother marries an abusive bum He meets an amiable drifter who turns out to be a not so good Samaritan but he meets the man again when they're both trying to find a way off planet and the two of them lie their away aboard a spaceship From there Max's talent for math and his inherent good nature and sense of decency lead him from one position to another aboard ship and when the ship gets lost taking a bad jump to an unknown star system Max of course is the one who saves the dayObviously this book was written for teenagers but it stands up as pretty good adult SF even today though it is a bit dated it was written in 1951 The gender roles are pretty old fashioned and while Heinlein's FTL drives and beam weapons are standard sci fi you may chuckle when Max breaks out his slide rule to perform astrogation Still I think it compares favorably to any genre fiction written for kids today and Heinlein did a much better job than most writers of bridging the gap between YA and adult fiction I might not start with Starman Jones if you haven't read any of Heinlein's juveniles before it's pretty good but it's not his best but if you're already a Heinlein fan this will definitely be an enjoyable read

  7. Valerie Valerie says:

    Heinlein's anachronistic elements are often recognized when dealing with technical issues Other aspects are less obvious I've lived in the Ozarks area the boundaries between mountain ranges are necessarily nebulous I was once lost in a state park I made my way out by following excessively bright lights to a prison That was some years ago but things have gotten worse everywhere There are no longer any places that get dark at night Possibly with the exception of Arizona where the astronomers have a fairly effective lobby Researchers on nocturnal animals worry that the excess light will contribute to the dangers to species often already critically endangered But just try to FIND any research on the impact of excess light on circadian rhythms and on photosynthesis as well And if you DO find any please tell me about themHeinlein's dystopian vision of a society controlled by hereditary Guilds seems to have been cut from whole cloth I don't know of ANY source that even proposed such a thing Other aspects of the galactic civilization are essentially not developed at all The ship's navigational problems are used as a pretext to avoid examining the society but there's not much discussion of it when the ship is on its normal course eitherOne interesting note Max's eidetic memory is uite rightly dismissed as a parlor trick It turns out to be a useful trick with the loss of reference sources but it has no greater utility than that I disagree however with the notion that such parlor tricks are necessarily combined with autism Heinlein even goes so far as to use the derisory term 'idiot savant' which is no longer used precisely because it's so dismissive and offensive It's essentially a double whammy People dismiss those who can't communicate well what they know it's not really possible to determine what they DO know because of the communications difficulties Then when a few do find ways to communicate really uite remarkable abilties they're doubly stigmatizedMany people with otherwise uite ordinary talents have these 'stupid human tricks' special skills Too often however because they fear such stigmatization andor exploitation they suppress or marginalize their skills In the book Max is abashed when he realizes that what he can do is considered extraordinary and he uite rightly fears that he will be ghettoized on account of it His luck at finding people who can see past the stigma to the whole person beyond doesn't mitigate the fact that the society as a whole can't get past the 'freak show' mentality

  8. Lis Carey Lis Carey says:

    This Heinlein guy was pretty good at telling a storyMax Jones is a young farmer working hard to support his unlovable stepmother after his father's death but he dreams of the life his Uncle Chet lived as a member of the Astrogators' Guild Chet had promised him that he'd nominate him for membership but died while Max was still too young to join and then Max's father before he died also made him promise to take care of his stepmotherBut when his stepmother remarries and she and her new husband sell the farm out from under him he runs away taking his uncle's astrogation books with him The books get stolen from him by a deceitfully helpful conman and then he discovers that his uncle had died before nominating him for the guild and all his dreams seem crushed forever But then he meets that charming conman again who decides that they can help each other get what they both really want—a berth on a starship For Max it's a berth as a steward's mate and he's tending farm animals again but he's on a starship and he's a plucky resourceful just plain likable young Heinlein hero who makes you buy into every improbable plot twist along the way to his dreamOnce again great funUpdate May 2017 Rereading this decades after originally reading this is interesting It's still a fun story with the plucky young Heinlein hero who makes you buy into all the improbable plot twists It is of course very dated in a number of ways The improbability of star travel depending on a set of printed books of numbers and euations has often been commented on The social dynamics of Heinlein's world has been the subject of lots of commentary and discussion most particularly the often uite rigid gender roles especially in the juveniles ie Heinlein's young adult novels It's worth noting that he often but far from always subverts those roles somewhat For instance in this book Ellie rather testily points out to Max that women are dealing with the reality of the rules they live with Another woman an appallingly predatory creature sheds that behavior when the ship hits a real crisis and there are important things to do than play social gamesAnd yet Heinlein never really uestions those basic social roles even as later in his career his expectations of what jobs women can hold expands considerablyNo what really struck me this time is Heinlein's unuestioning assumption that starships and hyperspeed trains will exist side by side with dirt farmers relying on mule traction cooking over an open fire is a mundane necessity for poorer farmers and the hobos who would have been regularly encountered during the days of Heinlein's early adulthoodIt's a world largely unchanged not from the 1950s but to a great extent from the 1930sHowever another thing that caught my attention this time is the way characters major or minor may be described in terms revealing that they are ethnic or racial minorities with the fact having zero plot significance Dark skin or an epicanthic fold are treated merely as mundane items of physical description part of the normal range of humanity just like brown hair or green eyes There's a loud tiny segment of contemporary sf readership that claims to revere Heinlein and yet thinks this is controversial when today's writers do itIt's still great fun to read at least for someone who first read it in the early 1960s No guarantees for Gen Y or millennials who grew up in an entirely different world than I did Because pretty much everything I just mentioned as anachronisms were still real things that people knew about when I was a kid even though less common than when Heinlein wasFor my fellow Boomers you'll wince at some of the datedness but for my mileage it hasn't had a serious visit from the Suck Fairy

  9. Vfields Don& Vfields Don& says:

    While I'm tooling around the world and history of writers I tripped upon Robert Heinlein I decided I had to read at least one so I picked Starman Jones I have to say during the first two chapters I almost stopped reading because I felt like I was back in high school and it just wasn't sitting well with me Then we finally got to space I got it I really enjoyed it The main character a few extra characters and of course space were interesting What didn't work was it feel very old The book it was written in 1951 and I have to say it was very sexist and for someone like me who rarely notices things like that it really bugged me I don't know if I'll read any of his books but I will say I'm really glad I did Robert Heinlein is an amazing writer puts together a beautiful sentence

  10. Jeff Yoak Jeff Yoak says:

    I enjoyed reading this several times on my own but really enjoyed reading it in small bits with the kids in 2013 It is the second Heinlein novel I went through with them after The Star Beast and they loved them both Come to think of it it has been over the time that we've been reading this that Lily first declared her intention to become an astronaut when she grows up with the proviso that it might be too hard and if it is she's going to become a smoothie girl Somehow that combination underlines all the benefits one might hope for in introducing one's children to Heinlein

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