Review of Farmer in the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein

March 7, 2013 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Science Fiction Audiobook - Farmer in the Sky by Robert A. HeinleinFarmer in the Sky
By Robert A. Heinlein; Read by Nick Podehl
6 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2012
Themes: / Science Fiction / Solar System / Frontier /

The Earth is crowded and food is rationed, but a colony on Ganymede, one of the moons of Jupiter, offers an escape for teenager Bill Lermer and his family. Back on Earth, the move sounded like a grand adventure, but Bill realizes that life on the frontier is dangerous, and in an alien world with no safety nets nature is cruelly unforgiving of even small mistakes.

I have always enjoyed Heinlein’s tales for juveniles more than his other writing. Having been told many times that I should read this book, I jumped at the chance to review the audiobook for SFFaudio. Bill is an Eagle Scout which comes in handy more than once and which reminds listeners of the original audience. In some ways this is like listening to the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder as Bill details homesteading on Ganymede. Heinlein does a good job of transferring standard pioneer problems and opportunities to a hostile environment in outer space. The tale is absorbing and I really enjoyed every detail of it.

It is funny listening to this book so long after it was written. It takes me back, in some ways, because the protagonist and his father are emigrating to Ganymede because population pressures and lack of available food make life pretty miserable. It isn’t quite as extreme as the movie Soylent Green portrays, but definitely is trending in that direction. If someone made Farmer in the Sky into a movie today, they’d be repurposing it to fit current worries over the environment or lowering birth rates in industrialized countries. It is like a time capsule of past worries, via an adventure/emigration tale.

Nick Podehl’s narration is excellent. I’m not sure how he manages to pull off sounding like a teenager without sounding wimpy, but he does. You get everything from awe at the things Bill encounters, panic at extreme danger, or the annoyance of a teenage boy at his father.

I don’t think that Farmer in the Sky is Heinlein’s best work for juveniles. I reserve that praise for my favorite, Citizen of the Galaxy. That said, Farmer in the Sky is a solid book that I can highly recommend.

Posted by Julie D.

The SFFaudio Podcast #036

September 14, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #036 – Jesse and Scott are joined by Julie of Forgotten Classics to talk with Allan Kaster, the editor of Infinivox’s new audiobook anthology: The Year’s Top Ten Tales Of Science Fiction! We discuss this terrific audiobook, in depth, as well as a few other new releases and recent arrivals.

Talked about on today’s show:
Infinivox (an imprint of Audiotext), biology, study guides, chemistry, Great Science Fiction Stories, Bioware (from medical software to video games), Mass Effect, The Year’s Top Ten Tales Of Science Fiction, A Walk In The Sun by Geoffrey A. Landis |READ OUR REVIEW|, Guest Of Honor by Robert Reed, The Shobies’ Story by Ursula K. Le Guin, Hollywood Kremlin by Bruce Sterling, immortality, Hard SF, Robert Reed, vampires are rather liberal (for being immortal), Five Thrillers by Robert Reed, sociopathy, Ted Chiang, StarShipSofa’s (#88) interview with Ted Chiang, Exhalation by Ted Chiang, consciousness, souls, religion, transcendence, Ray Gun: A Love Story by James Alan Gardner, meta-science fictional stories, “ray guns and spaceships”, Adrift by Scott D. Danielson, World Of The Ptavvs by Larry Niven, Star Trek Animated Series (The Slaver Weapon), “The Soft Weapon” by Larry Niven, romance, Galileo’s Children: Tales of Science vs. Superstition edited by Gardner Dozois, The Dream Of Reason by Jeffrey Ford, The Empire Of Ice Cream by Jeffrey Ford, The Dreaming Wind by Jeffrey Ford (on StarShipSofa AD #75), sense of wonder, 26 Monkeys, Also The Abyss by Kij Johnson, Fantasy vs. Science Fiction, Mini-Masterpieces Of Science Fiction, The Gambler by Paolo Bacigalupi, Fast Forward 2, Fencon 2009 (Dallas, TX), Aliens Rule edited by Alan Kaster, How Music Begins by James Van Pelt, Carolyn Ives Gilman, Laws Of Survival by Nancy Kress, City Of The Dead by Paul McAuley, Shoggoths In Bloom by Elizabeth Bear, H.P. Lovecraft, lovecraftian homage, we need an audio collection of stories inspired by H.P. Lovecraft, frontier, space western, archaeology, aliens, Ray Bradbury, Mrs. Carstairs And The Merman by Delia Sherman, Dercum Audio, 1930s, 19th century, sea creatures, squids, Greg Egan, Peter Watts, The Art of Alchemy by Ted Kosmatka, industrial espionage, The N Word by Ted Kosmatka, Seeds Of Change edited by John Joseph Adams, future releases from Infinivox, Infinivox on Audible.com, Mike Resnick’s Kirinyaga cycle, Guest Law by John C. Wright, Beggars In Spain by Nancy Kress, physics, pirates, Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers, Charles Stross, Antibodies, Lobsters, A Colder War, The Chief Designer by Andy Duncan |READ OUR REVIEW|, Michael Swanwick, The Edge Of The World by Michael Swanwick, The Griffin’s Egg by Michael Swanwick, the state of the magazine industry, Fast Forward 2, Sidewise In Time, Eclipse 2, Extraordinary Engines, Penguin Audio, Level 26: Dark Origins by Anthony E. Zuiker and Duane Swierczynski, Brilliance Audio, The Beastmaster by Andre Norton, Richard J. Brewer, Audible Frontiers, The Short Victorious War by David Weber, The Rise Of Endymion by Dan Simmons, caterbury tales in space, Luke Burrage’s SFBRP on the Hyperion series, Kick-Ass Mystic Ninjas on Simmons’ Hyperion series, Ilium by Dan Simmons, The Terror by Dan Simmons, novella length stories, Escape Route by Peter F. Hamilton, a recent interview with Audible’s founder, The Law Of Nines by Terry Goodkind, Mark Deakins, Rammer by Larry Niven, narrator Pat Bottino, the MP3-CD format vs the CD format, The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, Gateway by Frederik Pohl, Robert J. Sawyer, Man Plus by Frederik Pohl

Posted by Jesse Willis