Farmer in the Sky

  • by Robert A. Heinlein
  • Narrated by Nick Podehl
  • 6 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Farmer In The Sky is a 1953 science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein about a teenage boy who emigrates with his family to Jupiter's moon Ganymede, which is in the process of being terraformed. A condensed version of the novel was published in serial form in 1950 in Boys' Life magazine (August, September, October, November), under the title "Satellite Scout".

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A Heinlein Juvenile

3.5 stars. Originally posted at FanLit.

I used to be a fan of Robert A. Heinlein???s ???Juveniles??? when I was a kid. I give Heinlein much of the credit for turning me into a speculative fiction lover at a young age.

Farmer in the Sky took me back to my childhood ??? when I loved to think about riding in spaceships while most girls were thinking about riding horses. In this story, Earth is overcrowded and food is rationed, so 16 year old Bill and his father George decide to emigrate to Ganymede, one of Jupiter???s moons. There???s a new colony on Ganymede and they???re struggling to survive as Earth, to ease its population tensions, keeps sending spaceship-loads of new settlers. Terraforming Jupiter???s moons is a difficult and dangerous enterprise, but Bill is determined to succeed by making his own farm productive. The skills he learned in Boy Scouts prove to be helpful for this and other tasks he undertakes to help his new colony.

You can???t get much more exciting than taking a spaceship to Ganymede to build a new colony, so youngsters looking for speculative adventure will surely enjoy Farmer in the Sky. But I think the book is also appealing to kids who enjoy frontier stories such as Little House on the Prairie. In addition to homesteading skills, they???ll learn a bit of science, too.

Though Bill is having a life-changing experience, he???s still easy to relate to. He???s a normal kid with normal kid desires and problems ??? he???s concerned about his Boy Scout uniform and badges, he???s mourning the death of his mother and upset about his father???s new relationship, he doesn???t like girls, and he has to deal with bullies and a few stupid adults. During the course of the story, Bill experiences both triumph and tragedy, and the reader feels them, too.

Brilliance Audio???s version was read by Nick Podehl who does a great job reading stories with young men as protagonists (e.g., Patrick Rothfuss???s KINGKILLER CHRONICLE). When I see Nick Podehl???s name on the cover, I know it???s going to be a great audio production.

A shorter version of Farmer in the Sky was originally serialized in Boy???s Life magazine in the fall of 1950 under the title ???Satellite Scout,??? so that gives you a good sense of its target audience. However, I recommend Farmer in the Sky for both teens and adults who love a good wholesome SF adventure. Farmer in the Sky was published as a novel in 1953 and won the Retro Hugo award.
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- Katherine "I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!"

YOU COULD HEAR YOUR HAIR GROW

GRAMMER SCHOOL CALCULUS
Entertaining, especially after they get to Ganymede. I love most of Heinlein's juvenile books. They are usually upbeat with a can do attitude and they often emphasis education. TRY IT ON YOUR SLIDE RULE

WOMEN HAVE THIER UPS AND DOWNS, YOU'LL GET USE TO IT.
Written in 1950, besides being dated it is a little politically incorrect. NO SORE HEADS, NO WEAK SISTERS.

SCIENTISTS CHANGE THIER THEORIES OFTEN
Wish we could get that through the head of those today, that always think a theory is the same as proven fact.

PIONEERS NEED GOOD NEIGHBORS
This is an adventure story into space. Imagine living on Ganymede and having most of the sky filled with Jupiter. Heinlein explains what the sky looks like, how they gave the planet an atmosphere and how to make the soil fertile. It might have a little too many science facts for some, but I can see how it would get young people excited enough to study science.
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- Jim "The Impatient" "Paid reviewers, after two weeks get 4-8 votes and have that power to strike unhelpful against others. Check their history! Your money!"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-11-2012
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio