Second Reflections – have spacesuit – will travel (Robert A. Heinlein)

Ahoy there mateys!  Not so long ago I read Heinlein’s stranger in a strange land.  It was me first “adult” Heinlein novel and it made me rant and get grumpy.  I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to read a Heinlein again.  But back in the day, I had read his “juveniles” and had fuzzy memories of loving them.  Part of what I love about readin’ is re-visitin’ old friends, so when I needed another audiobook I decided take a second look at this previously enjoyed novel and give me crew me second reflections, as it were, upon visitin’ it again . . .

The takeaway from this read is how I can still like a book almost as much but for completely different reasons.  On me earlier read over twenty five (huh!?!) years ago, I adored the technology around the spacesuit and all of the techno-babble around fixing the suit.  On this read, I was not really interested in the suit itself or the space aspects but rather entertained by the soap contest and Kip’s silly humor and his relationships with his parents and with Peewee.  I had loved the Mother-Thing on the first read.  This time she was kinda boring and I was much happier reading about the Wormfaces and intergalactic legal systems.

The highlight of this book was the narrator, Mark Turetsky, who seemed like a one-man radio play.  He managed to capture the silliness while adding depth and avoiding campiness.  I loved listening to him.  I don’t know that I would have enjoyed this as much without him.

I was surprised at how much better this book was in terms of misogyny than stranger in a strange land.  I thought it was lovely that the main side character was an eleven year old girl genius.  I loved the relationship that Kip and Peewee had.  I have been told that Heinlein’s later works more closely aligned with his personal viewpoints than the juveniles did and that as he got older his editors had less control over his work.  I am not sure how much truth there is to that but the differences between the two eras of writing were fairly stark.  I mean I know Kip’s mom seemed like a standard housewife and background character but there were strong female characters in this.

I guess what I be saying is that I be willing to give the other famous adult Heinlein, the moon is a harsh mistress, a chance.  I still maintain that stranger in a strange land is crap.  But maybe I will find something worthy in his other works.  Arrrrr!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

From the mind of the storyteller who has captured the imagination of readers from around the world and across generations comes this classic work of science fiction.

First prize in the Skyway Soap slogan contest was an all-expenses paid trip to the moon. The consolation prize was an authentic space suit, and when scientifically minded high school senior Kip Russell won it, he knew for certain he would use it one day to make a sojourn of his own to the stars. But “one day” comes sooner than he thinks when he tries the suit on in his backyard – and finds himself worlds away, a prisoner aboard a space pirate’s ship. The whole thing seems like a bad dream until he discovers he’s not the only prisoner on board. Kip – along with the daughter of a world-renowned scientist and a beautiful creature from another planet – has been kidnapped by a monstrous extraterrestrial, and they are heading straight for what could be Kip’s final destination.

To visit the author’s society website go to:

Robert A. Heinlein – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

have spacesuit – will travel – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

stranger in a strange land (Captain’s Log – Sci-Fi)

16 thoughts on “Second Reflections – have spacesuit – will travel (Robert A. Heinlein)

  1. I confess that I’ve never read a Heinlein. I enjoyed reading your second thoughts on this one. I think it’s interesting to take a second look at books because our thoughts can change over time about them so I really love this idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really love me second reflections posts. They be some of me favorites to write because it inspires me to go back to the books I own and love but haven’t read in forever. I always get a little worried that rereading will kill the love I have for a book but that is so rare that I continue these explorations. Glad to hear that ye enjoy them too! Thanks for the comment.
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I have been a fan of them ever since I had to create a train using paper clips while making a radio play in elementary school. That said, I never listened to many (any?) because of access to them. I avoided audiobooks because I didn’t think I would like them and then fell in love as soon as I realized that they felt like radio plays. Even with one narrator. I don’t always love the ones with the sound effects but as always it depends on me mood and the quality of the production.
      x The Captain

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  2. Yeah… good luck with The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. I tried to read it a year or two ago, and just couldn’t. Attempting to read that one is what made me decide to never revisit Stranger in a Strange Land so that I could remember having enjoyed it in college and not be faced with how I would react to it now.

    However, it’s good to know that you’ve enjoyed Spacesuit! I’ve been wanting to read this one ever since I read and liked Time for the Stars. (It didn’t age perfectly, but it was an interesting idea and wasn’t as bad as I had feared, so I was able to enjoy it.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no! I hope I enjoy harsh mistress. The First Mate enjoyed it so there is hope but I am going in with super low expectations. And aye, don’t reread stranger. Keep the happy memories attached. There are several books I won’t reread because I like the fuzzy feelings of happy they give me and don’t know if they will hold up on a reread.

      I can’t remember if ye be an audiobook reader but I do highly recommend this one. I will likely pick up some of me other favorite juveniles at some point. I remember loving the rolling stones. I have positive connotations with many of the juveniles because of discussions with me best friend back in the day. So even if I don’t love them as an adult, it can’t touch the fondness of that. Lovely comment. Thank ye.
      x The Captain

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      1. I hope you enjoy Harsh Mistress, too! I know part of it for me was that I didn’t get on well with the audiobook narrator for the version I tried, so I guess I’d suggest previewing the audio if you decide to go that route.

        I listened to the audiobook for the Heinlein juvenile that I read also, so I’ll definitely keep this one on my radar, too!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I adore Moon is a Harsh Mistress, it’s such a great book with a surprising amount of heart and some fantastically crazy ideas! I haven’t read this one, though, might give it a try 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh good to have a vote in favour! I know nothing about it other than it’s the other famous adult novel. I be interested to find out what it be all about. And aye, spacesuit is silly, fun, and fast. It would be a good juvenile to try to see if ye like them. And ye can always abandon ship if ye don’t!
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

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