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The problem with Heinlein is that he s so readable Ordinarily the ability to write compelling prose which is not actually a given, especially in hard SF would be good, but in RAH s case this often results in me being taken on journeys I really, really did not want to go on, and yet I find myself unable to stop See anything involving incest, relationships with your underage future girlfriend, the entirety of Friday, and really I could keep going And yet I am still trying to read most o The problem with Heinlein is that he s so readable Ordinarily the ability to write compelling prose which is not actually a given, especially in hard SF would be good, but in RAH s case this often results in me being taken on journeys I really, really did not want to go on, and yet I find myself unable to stop See anything involving incest, relationships with your underage future girlfriend, the entirety of Friday, and really I could keep going And yet I am still trying to read most of his works This is a collection of four of his early short stories Gulf, Elsewhen, Lost Legacy, and Jerry Was a Man and really the only horrifying thing other than the gender roles, which, okay, mostly aren t his fault, come on, it was the 30s or 40s was the bit where I was expected to root for the supermen with superpowers and think they should automatically get to run the lives of us lesser mortals Actually, no, I would likeevidence, please But Gulf was a good spy story when it was being a spy story though not so much when it was rhapsodizing about the supermen Or the pasted on love story Or whatever the hell Sapir Whorfian regurgitated stuff that was in there about language Heinlein s linguistics, man, I do not like it and he never got it right Though, to be fair, all the soft sciences get hated on, as the middle of Lost Legacy has a really bizarre digression about how, in order for the SF y stuff in the story to work, all of anthropology is clearly wrong The characters, of course, agree Well, okay, then Sheesh.My favorite story was Jerry Was a Man, which I actually hadn t heard of before reading this book I think it was the most compelling and least pulpy of the four Also I totally want my own genetically engineered pegasus, and I understand that this means I have completely missed the point Love the endings to these short stories This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here I have a confession to make when I read this story at age 12 or so, I found the ending very moving I haven t read it since then, so I can t say I ve had a chance to revise my opinion Maybe I ll just leave it that way In case you haven t come across Assigment, here s what I can recall of it.So, it s one of those stories where the hero discovers that he s got superhuman powers They aren t really extraordinary as these things go, but, none the less, he finds he s one of a select group of peopl I have a confession to make when I read this story at age 12 or so, I found the ending very moving I haven t read it since then, so I can t say I ve had a chance to revise my opinion Maybe I ll just leave it that way In case you haven t come across Assigment, here s what I can recall of it.So, it s one of those stories where the hero discovers that he s got superhuman powers They aren t really extraordinary as these things go, but, none the less, he finds he s one of a select group of people who can think farquickly than normal folks, have far greater intelligence, and, at least on a good day, also possess the ability to communicate telepathically They do the usual superhero thing of watching out for us less evolved types The hero meets a super chick that he develops feelings for.Then there s this evil old multi zillionaire lady who lives in a mansion somewhere on the Moon, and is planning to do something bad I can t remember what it is Destroy the human race with a swarm of radioactive killer bees, or whatever The supermen infiltrate our hero and his not quite girlfriend into the evil old lady s lair, and they await their chance The girl, who I think is posing as the old lady s maid, has to find out what the combination is to disarm the McGuffin So she manages to get into the witch s bedroom, ties her up, and then starts torturing her to get the information She neutralizes the doomsday device and saves the world Meanwhile, the guy is elsewhere I think he might be holding off the guards or something.But, oh dear, there is some kind of failsafe which is going to trigger an explosive charge that will blow up the old lady s moon base, and the super chick needs to find out how to switch that off too Unfortunately, she s a little too enthusiastic with the waterboarding, and accidentally kills the prisoner She s now got seconds to live Which, it turns out, is just enough time to get into telepathic contact with the the hero, whom of course she loved all along, and read through the marriage ceremony Thus, when the bomb goes off, they die as man and wife Her last words, I remember clearly, are I am very happy I and then they re blown to bits Damn I still find it moving What s wrong with me I suppose I could almost certainly fix it by re reading the story with adult eyes, but isn t that cheating I was thinking about this on and off during the weekend, and I believe I can now beprecise about my intuitive objections to the story In the final scene, Gail, the super chick, has just tortured an old lady to death For the best of reasons, I know, but none the less It seems wrong to me that she should, literally a second later, be feeling so wildly romantic that she wants to get married As I said, I loved the ending when I was 12 Now, I think I d prefer something like the following Gail Oh shit Joe, I wish we d hadtime.Joe I do too I can t tell you how much I wish that.Gail Well, we saved the world That s always something.Joe Gail, I And then they re blown to bits again Maybe this just shows I m not as highly evolved as Joe and Gail I guess I should readNietzsche Just about as ridiculous as the cover of this edition Assignment in Eternity Sexist, in a way that harms understandings of and respect for both men and women, bad science too much belief in the paranormal, a reference to the third generation of Hiroshima survivors as luckless monstrosities , bad sociology Worse than just dated Heinlein may have been one of the first to try to get pulp readers to try to think, what with statements like Man is not a rational animal he is a rationali Just about as ridiculous as the cover of this edition Assignment in Eternity Sexist, in a way that harms understandings of and respect for both men and women, bad science too much belief in the paranormal, a reference to the third generation of Hiroshima survivors as luckless monstrosities , bad sociology Worse than just dated Heinlein may have been one of the first to try to get pulp readers to try to think, what with statements like Man is not a rational animal he is a rationalizing animal, but that doesn t mean he s worth reading today I liked what I read of his work when I was a teen, but I outgrew him, and I wish the rest of SF fans would, too.Except for the last story Jerry Is a Man It s almost, in many ways, a 180 degree enlightenment from all the other Heinlein that I ve tried to enjoy these last several years If you re curious, go read it but I don t quite recommend it.What I do recommend is SF that isrecent and has been inspired by the Golden Age masters but that actually looks to the future For example In Lost Legacy the young heroine is muchexcited to say, to the matriarchally uber competent Mrs Draper, in the last lines of that story, I m going to get married than she is about the work she s going to be doing on behalf of the goals of the superhumans Heinlein s women get to be sexy, smart, proficient at cooking breeding his men have to be content to be just randomly heroic and somehow desirable as marriage partners Nobody actually gets a personality Assignment in Eternity is a collection of four of Heinlein s early published works Two of the stories are advertised as short novels , or what might beaccurately called in current word count designations as novellas, and two shorter works All four of these were first published in magazine format in the 1940 s, though two were actually written in 1939.I first became a fan of Robert A Heinlein over a decade ago when I read his novel Friday I went on to read Time Enough for Love and then Assignment in Eternity is a collection of four of Heinlein s early published works Two of the stories are advertised as short novels , or what might beaccurately called in current word count designations as novellas, and two shorter works All four of these were first published in magazine format in the 1940 s, though two were actually written in 1939.I first became a fan of Robert A Heinlein over a decade ago when I read his novel Friday I went on to read Time Enough for Love and then came a long Heinlein drought, ended because of friends reading and discussing his juveniles a designation for books published by Scribner s between 1947 and 1958 that would now be classified as young adult.There was something special in both Friday and Time Enough for Love that made it obvious to me while reading them why Heinlein had maintained popularity, but the novels, like others of his later work, are filled with embarrassingly juvenile here used negatively , taboo crushing sexual content and diatribes about his beliefs at the time His juvenile work is wonderful, as are some of the novels published just after the Scribner s period.The collection The Green Hills of Earth proved Heinlein s skill at crafting stories in the short format, so I was very curious when I put this on my Christmas wishlist to venture into some of Heinlein s early work.That curiosity resulted in four rewarding journeys into the early imagination of the Dean of Science Fiction, Robert A Heinlein.For a non spoiler overview of the stories, please follow the link below Not my favorite Heinlein stories, but I know some people claim they are favorites Others say Gulf espouses elitism That s arguable, but if it does, I noticed the third and longest story, Lost Legacy, is clearly anti elitist Jerry Was A Man reminded me distinctly of the Star Trek The Next Generation episode The Measure Of A Man, in which Data was on trial and his humanity was debated This story is about a genetically modified anthropoid rather than an android, but otherwise it s abou Not my favorite Heinlein stories, but I know some people claim they are favorites Others say Gulf espouses elitism That s arguable, but if it does, I noticed the third and longest story, Lost Legacy, is clearly anti elitist Jerry Was A Man reminded me distinctly of the Star Trek The Next Generation episode The Measure Of A Man, in which Data was on trial and his humanity was debated This story is about a genetically modified anthropoid rather than an android, but otherwise it s about the same issue, written some 40 years earlier Both Lost Legacy and Elsewhen were among Heinlein s earliest stories and the style issimilar to the early pulp fiction than his later,polished works Gulf is partly intriguing, partly theory of semantics and education that I found interesting Jerry Was A Man issatirical and subtly cynical This book has 4 short stories of Heinlein s from 1941 to 1949 The first story, Gulf, has a protagonist who seems very similar to the protagonist from Puppet Masters, a super competent man of action It deals with his interaction with a group of people that are evensuper competent than he is However the ending is abrupt and seems like a throw away, it left me very unsatisfied It s easy to think that characters like this are just rip off from James Bond, but then when you work it out this This book has 4 short stories of Heinlein s from 1941 to 1949 The first story, Gulf, has a protagonist who seems very similar to the protagonist from Puppet Masters, a super competent man of action It deals with his interaction with a group of people that are evensuper competent than he is However the ending is abrupt and seems like a throw away, it left me very unsatisfied It s easy to think that characters like this are just rip off from James Bond, but then when you work it out this story as was Puppet Masters published several years before Ian Fleming s first book, Casino Royale.The 2nd story, Elsewhen, is about a professor and his students that discover a means to travel to alternate universes I thought this was a pretty interesting and well done story.The 3rd is called Lost Legacy, and I feel is the best story in the book It s about three academics that in doing research on paranormal psychology discover that paranormal abilities such as telepathy, ESP, etc are skills that almost anyone can learn with the right training.The final story, Jerry Was a Man, deals with a society where humans have genetically manipulated apes into semi intelligent servants for mankind I thought the story and characterization was a little weak.Overall I would recommend this book if you re a fan of Heinlein and looking to read some stories of his that don t really fit in anywhere else Otherwise I probably wouldn t recommend it *Download ↳ Assignment in Eternity ↰ Compelling science fiction adventure from New York Times bestseller Robert A Heinlein two classic novellas and two short stories with speculation on what makes us human Gulf in which the greatest superspy of them all is revealed as the leader of a league of supermen and women who can t decide on quite what to do with the rest of us The prequel to Heinlein s later New York Times best seller, Friday Lost Legacy in which it is proved that we are all members of that league of the superhuman or would be, if we but had eyes to seePlus two great short stories Two of the master s finest one on the nature of being, the other on what it means to be a Man The second story, Jerry Was a Man, was adapted for the TV series Masters of Science Fiction, and is now available on DVD online resourcehrmin , MP audiobook inparts Telecommunication Systems Friday Lost Legacy in which it is proved that we are all members of that league of the superhuman or would be The Poams if we but had eyes to seePlus two great short stories Two of the master s finest one on the nature of being Archetypes of Thought the other on what it means to be a Man The second story Virgin Exotica Jerry Was a Man Verbotene Mission (Kings & Fools was adapted for the TV series Masters of Science Fiction Second Sight (The Admirals Elite, and is now available on DVD online resourcehrmin Meine russische Schwiegermutter und andere Katastrophen MP audiobook inparts Some of my favorite reading back in the day was golden age science fiction that I had found a stash of in the thrift store of the tiny town I grew up in Much of that gold was from the pen of Heinlein, and reading this was like going home for summer vacation The themes are familiar and I have always admired the way he could write bantering dialogue of the sort good friends use This book contains four of his best stories because of not in spite of its abrupt ending I d also like to see th Some of my favorite reading back in the day was golden age science fiction that I had found a stash of in the thrift store of the tiny town I grew up in Much of that gold was from the pen of Heinlein, and reading this was like going home for summer vacation The themes are familiar and I have always admired the way he could write bantering dialogue of the sort good friends use This book contains four of his best stories because of not in spite of its abrupt ending I d also like to see the story Jerry was a man rewritten as a Boston Legal script someday although, I don t know how they would work in the Martian In retrospect, some of the stories of this era and thier predictions about the advent of telekenesis, clairvoyance, etc like in the stories Lost Legacy and Elsewhen another favorite author of mine, Philip K Dick writes along these themes,too can seem a little dated, but the human hope in these stories is as inspiring now as it was then This was worth the second read Gulf was my favourite of these 4 stories It s a science fiction spy thriller centred around the idea that some homo sapiens have evolved to become homo nova , capable of superhuman intellect, speaking in an advanced language and can memorise almost anything The group s task is to protect the world while trying to expand their secret society It has a really tragic ending but it was great fun to read.Elsewhen was my least favourite of them all, it s about a group of student who travelled to di Gulf was my favourite of these 4 stories It s a science fiction spy thriller centred around the idea that some homo sapiens have evolved to become homo nova , capable of superhuman intellect, speaking in an advanced language and can memorise almost anything The group s task is to protect the world while trying to expand their secret society It has a really tragic ending but it was great fun to read.Elsewhen was my least favourite of them all, it s about a group of student who travelled to different dimensions following their professor s hypnoticism Each one had a different outcome and some of them ended up being connected to each other It s soft science fiction with rather bland characters and a predictable storyline.Lost Legacy was similar to Gulf, but it focused on ESP which everyone could learn The secret society the protagonists are involved in want to share this knowledge to everyone, though there s a conspiracy to stop normal people from learning about this secret power It felt a bit like a mixture of Marquis de Sade with Ayn Rand, minus the sadism and realism The important underlying message was that truth isn t always easy to be understood and censorship holds humanity back.Jerry was a Man was not a bad read, it actually was the most philosophical of the 4 stories The question the story raised was civil rights for being capable of rational thoughts, half of the story was about the trial for a genetically modified chimpanzee to prove it is a rational animal