Robert A. Heinlein: Double Star

BOOK EBOOK Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein –

Really enjoyed this Heinlein s first but least ecognized Hugo Award winner Like many of his better works this is a science fiction vehicle that he uses to discuss other issues here he spends time with politics maybe even adding some subtle and not too subtle ideas about what he thinks is ight and wrong in politics Not consistent with other novels about Martians or his future fiction in other books but excellent characterization and a fun story Borrows heavily from the Prisoner of Zenda theme Brian Aldiss in Trillion Year Spree says this is Heinlein s most enjoyable novel Who am I to fault his judgment It is indeed a lot of fun pathetic failed actor Laurence Smith stage name Lorenzo Smythe is hired to impersonate John Joseph Bonforte leader of the Expansionist party and the Solar System s most important politician Bonforte has been kidnapped and for complicated easons there is an appointment he must attend no excuse will be acceptable if he fails to turn up on time So Smythe is drafted in proceeds to learn Bonforte s mannerisms and background story and starts his unusual new job The first public appearance goes fine and no one suspects a thing Then he has to do another one and then yet another Pretty soon he s living Bonforte s life for him I don t want to give away too much of a fun plot but the basic message is that politicians even good ones like Bonforte are fakes Any halfway competent actor with a few weeks of prep time could step into their shoes and they would do just as wellI think Heinlein was unusually prescient here When he wrote it emember that there was no Reagan or Schwarzenegger And even now the book has some punch left Politics is less and less about ideas and about appearances you need a good script and the ability to project your character in a convincing way For a couple of weeks in 2008 it looked like Sarah Palin had a decent shot at becoming Vice President and maybe later President largely on the strength of her hockey mom persona It now seems that that was largely a construct but I believed it at the time even though I didn t like it In England it appears that we e going to get David Cameron as our next Prime Minister He s a Conservative and he s campaigning on a platform of helping the poor and the environment it s difficult to believe it s any honest than Dubya s compassionate conservatism But that s not the important thing He interprets the ole imaginatively and he looks convincing if this were the Oscars I d be tipping him for a statuette and most voters are viewing the election in pretty much that way Heinlein had a point This is one of Heinlein s early novels which you can tell by the brevity and the lack of wankery Also the fact that he just jumps straight into the story and never wastes much time on expositionThis is in fact one of Heinlein s greatest strengths and I think a major eason for his grandmaster status he may be a bit out of fashion nowadays and he often lost the plot in his later works but he was first and foremost a storyteller A spinner of yarns a teller of tales and if eaders freuently ead too much into the author s id because of what his characters did that was their own lookout Double Star is typical of Heinlein SF We get a fully sketched out but barely described interplanetary society in which the United States still exists as a sovereign state in cooperation with an Empire that governs across the solar system Mars is its own planet and the alien Martians coexist with humanity with some on both sides wanting the two aces to join Review also posted at Fantasy Literature In Double Star a 1956 Robert Heinlein novella Lawrence Smith aka Lorenzo Smythe or Lorenzo the Great an out of work actor accepts a job to impersonate a man for a few days without perhaps asking as many uestions about the job as he should have He promptly finds himself whisked off to the planet Mars standing in for one of the most important political figures in the solar system who has been kidnapped Larry s first task fool the Martians during a vitally important Martian adoption ceremony But somehow one appearance as a double leads to another and anotherMy self imposed mission was to find a Robert Heinlein story where the enjoyment of the tale isn t swamped by the offensive content for which Heinlein is unfortunately well known Double Star I think does the job pretty well There are a couple of instances of eyebrow aising dialogue and the women mostly have secretarial type jobs but it s par for what you d normally expect to see in 1950 s books even science fiction the imaginations of mid century SF authors had their limits and nothing was too far out of lineHeinlein gets on his soapbox a little about personal freedoms and politics but it s all good since the main message is euality for all aces including Martians and Venerians aliens from Venus A few outdated technologies like microfilm and slide ules appear alongside the spaceships and ay guns but it doesn t uin the fun It s actually pretty amusing in a etro kind of wayThis is a uick and humorous ead not terribly challenging but enjoyable and there are some interesting ideas about how acting a ole can change you as a person the importance of the political process and the impact one person can have I ead this book growing up and I can t tell you exactly why I emembered liking it but a friend was ecently eading it and I decided to add it to my listThere is a lot of hit or miss on the Heinlein bookshelf and I can espect those who don t find this one interesting Fir. One minute down and out actor Lorenzo Smythe was as usual in a bar drinking away his troubles as he watched his career go down the tubes Then a space pilot bought him a drink and the next thing Smythe kne.

St it eally isn t focused on the science fiction though we get a lot of what RAH imagines about humans spreading out in the solar system Second the lead character isn t in Heinlein s terms a spaceman He is a somewhat narcissistic actor who is hired on Earth to substitute for a high level politician who is missing We get a good measure of Heinlein s thoughts on government and politics There are some very nice bits on the craft of acting There is nothing too profound and this short novel moves ahead at a apid pace Why did A couple of years ago I attended an event at which Connie Willis spoke about her esearch for Blackout and All Clear She eferenced numerous omantic comedies and several war movies in addition to her factual historic esearch I don t ecall that she brought up many works of fiction but Double Star was one of them and it stuck in my mind as something I wanted to ead Between the Hugo win and the subject matter I thought it would be worth a tryWillis said that Double Star was inspired by the story of ME Clifton James who was sent to North Africa and Gibraltar in Field Marshal Montgomery s place in order to confuse the Germans She borrowed these events in her own depiction of the intelligence war Heinlein s version is less madcap than the Willis version and possibly less madcap than the true story given that James was an alcoholic and a smoker and was missing a finger and Montgomery was not Double Star is fast paced and somehow manages a light tone despite the serious subject matter The Great Lorenzo nee Lawrence Smith is an out of work actor when he is plucked out of a bar to perform the ole of a lifetime impersonating the kidnapped Expansionist leader John Joseph Bonforte At the beginning the actor s character is painted somewhat broadly He spends a lot of time talking about his own acting chops and it takes the eader a while to trust that he is actually as good as he says This journey mimics that of Bonforte s inner circle who agree to the deception out of desperation but have little confidence that it will work Most of this shortish novel takes place over the span of a few weeks It manages to flesh out the political situation fairly uickly and with enough depth that there is a sense of what is at stake in the impersonation gambit The character development of the support players is a little lacking but Smith is fully ealized as is Bonforte in a obliue fashion It s interesting to see Smith s own fears and prejudice and strong personality twist to conform with the ole he is forced to playOn the whole I think this book has aged well but as usual with mid century SF I had some issues with the characterization of women Smith learned his profession from his father but doesn t seem to have had a mother to speak of Bonforte s assistant Penny is intelligent but also moody and petulant and subject to fainting spells She is also deep in unreuited love for Bonforte Thankfully she is only threatened with a spanking once by a co worker If it had been twice I would have been tempted to put the book downI m glad I didn t put it down I was impressed by the taut plotting and the contained timeline I d be very curious to find out where the breaks were in the original Astounding serialization The will he be found out moments dripped with suspense and Smith s personal journey was well depicted This is a worthy Hugo winner and I d place it near the top of my personal best of Heinlein list If you e into stuff like this you can ead the full eviewPax Americana Double Star by Robert A HeinleinImplausible and impossible to put down like all of Heinlein s books I ve ead its hero is a man of action and boundless self confidence a wisecracking all American cowboy figure who brushes obstacles aside a genial dictator figure who knows that as long as he s left in charge everything will be ok The voice is always the same and I can see why the new wake of science fiction writers eacted against Heinlein Aldiss Moorcock Ballard Dick Heinlein s Pax Americana and paternalism vision of the future certainly does have fascist overtones But he s still a great storyteller his books filled with mind bending concepts presumably achieved without the help of the consciousness expanding substances that inspired some of his successorsYes the Bonforte character was a very macho autocratWho cares Nevertheless The Great Lorenzo doesn t uite conform to the macho tit man narrator as Heinlein although the authorial voice does creep through in interesting ways in his stereotyped descriptions of Lorenzo s camp actor personality and coHeinlein enjoyed challenging established ways of thinking and for most of his great period of writing liberal politics was on the ise so he took great pleasure in poking holes in political sacred figuresIf you e into SF ead on Before I begin I d like to thank you all for choosing to ead this eview today It is you who actively participate in the Goodreads community that are the pulsating heart of this great country Insert your country name here Without your efforts intellectual life everywhere would be sure to stagnate This has always been my position and I am a man with firm convictions never changing my mind about anything Just yesterday a young impoverished child asked me how I was going to help improve this country if I am elected Czar And I saidchecks notes on palmlower taxes by wagging war wagging war Oh uh sorry WAGING waron evil countries full of terrorists I also prioritize putting children first and also putting the environment and ou. W he was shanghaied to MarsSuddenly he found himself agreeing to the most difficult ole of his career impersonating an important politician who had been kidnapped Peace with the Martians was at stake failu.

Robert A. Heinlein ß 6 DOWNLOAD

R future first It is my pleasure to discuss Double Star this afternoon Double Star is a terrific book of mine and I ve known it for several weeks Honestly I can only say nice things about it Having won the Hugo insome yearit is a book with the greatest of accolades to its name It s the story of an actor asked to play the most challenging and dangerous ole of his life epresenting a politician during a ceremony that if it isn t conducted exactly ight could mean death But after the ceremony the politician isn t yet eady to eturn to his duties and the actor is hired for another job Witty and fast paced Double Star is very fun and I can t honestly say whether I liked this or Starship Troopers better Yes I can I liked this one better because at the end of the day the message here was Politicians can be eplaced by decent actors without anyone noticing whereas the message in Starship Troopers was Woo Haa Go team While I give full credit to those willing to serve in the armed forces of and I m aware that they are the pulsating heart of this great country and without them nobody would protect our borders from those dangerous terrorists and immigrants I elate with the former message It is truly a shame that so many of our epresentatives seem to simply say what they think people want to hear but unfortunately some people are stupid enough that they can get away with it Not you people though you people are the foundation that this country is built upon It s time we take back this country from bland insipid politicians and put someone with eal positions on the issues back in office And I have positions On the issues I believe that our children shouldn t take drugs and education is important Unlike you know who who wants to undermine all the values that you hold dear Say no to socialism and fascism And vote like a patriot Vote for our future Vote for me Click yes below and take a stand for values You like values ight Washed up actor Lorenzo Smythe accepts the ole of his lifetime to impersonate a politician who has been kidnapped ight before both an important meeting meant to unite Humans and Martians Failure to show up could esult in a war between planetsThis book was originally published in 1956 and it certainly felt dated to me Despite human existence now being on an interplanetary level this is very much an American story with a limited scope Lorenzo often doesn t efer to Humankind as being from Earth but simply as America Along with the anti British sentiment which seems so small once you bring space into the matter and the bigotry between humankind and the martians the viewpoints in this book are eally ather boring and outdatedI was hoping for something a little bit fun and not so heavily eliant on the eader s understanding of the American political system but perhaps it s my own fault for not expecting as much Double Star No second ate actor could ever become president ightOriginally posted at Fantasy LiteratureDouble Star is one of Robert Heinlein s most enjoyable early period SF novels a short and tightly plotted story of out of work actor Lawrence Smith aka The Great Lorenzo who is unexpectedly tapped for a very important acting job to impersonate an important politician named John Bonforte who has been kidnapped Initially the job is supposed to be just short term until the eal guy can be escued but as things drag out this becomes difficult Even surprisingly Lorenzo finds he is actually getting uite good at impersonating Bonforte and has started to understand and sympathize with his politics as well But how far can this situation go before somebody blows his coverPublished in 1956 and winner of the Hugo Award this book is perfectly paced with great supporting characters and plenty of twists and turns The characteristic Heinlein wit is effortless and even when he discusses politics it doesn t get tiresome More than anything what amazing foresight he had I mean that would be unthinkable that an action star or second ate actor could be a governor or even God forbid President of the United States ightWhile Double Star is a great novel I have mixed feelings about the works of Dean and Grand Master of Science Fiction Robert Heinlein I couldn t stand Starship Troopers and Stranger in a Strange Land but loved The Door Into Summer and Double Star I found much to admire in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress but also got tired of some of the lecturing You couldn t find a opinionated person on the subjects of politics liberal and conservative personal esponsibility to society the military criticism of organized eligion sexual freedom libertarianism very mixed attitudes both admiring and condescending towards women and of course a great enthusiasm for depicting ealistic future societies of all kindsHis early books haven t ead the juveniles though I m sure they were great for young folks growing up in the early 1950s are eally fun with exciting plots snarky dialogue plucky characters and interesting ideas His middle stuff gets much further into exploring his ideas about politics sex and eligion and his later stuff is almost unreadable bloated self indulgent explorations of his own inner obsessions with a healthy dollop of incest and kinky sex I m sure those books would never have been published if they were written by anyone other than HeinleinIn the end the SF genre has been enriched immeasurably by the presence of Robert Heinlein along with his fellow giants Arthur C Clarke and Isaac Asimov and the genre will probably never see his like again. Re to pull off the act could esult in interplanetary war And Smythe's own life was on the line for if he wasn't assassinated there was always the possibility that he might be trapped in his new ole foreve.

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