X Minus One

  • by Robert Heinlein
  • 0 hrs and 24 mins
  • Performance

Publisher's Summary

Based on Robert Heinlein's classic story of "Noisy" Rhysling, a blind space-traveling singer who longs to return to Earth, this episode of X Minus One originally aired on July 7, 1955. X Minus One premiered in April 1955 on NBC and ran until January 1958. Like its predecessor series, Dimension X, X Minus One featured stories by the greatest names in modern science fiction: Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, Clifford Simak, Robert Bloch, and many more.

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What the Critics Say

"[X Minus One] brought current SF to radio, providing adaptations of many excellent new stories and thus allowing the public to appreciate the best science fiction available at the time." (Michael Ashley, The Time Machines: The Story of the Science-Fiction Pulp Magazines)

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Customer Reviews

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A classic in context

This is the story of Rhysling, the blind singer of the spaceways. The character and his music (particularly this song) appears throughout Heinlein's "Future History".

I can't decide if I'm mad or happy that they replaced Rhysling's squeezebox with a guitar, but after a lifetime of Heinlein devotion, I finally got to hear some of Rhysling's songs as *songs*, rather than as poems. "The Green Hills of Earth" has always been words on a page to me... to hear Rhysling sing "We pray for one last landing...." produced an expected emotional reaction.

This is a wonderful adaptation of the story-- yes, the audio is a little lacking, but bear in mind that this show is fifty years old. You could probably clean it up, but this is how it was heard back then. I bet someone could adapt this, make it sound slick, and take the 1950's styrofoam cheese flavor out of it... but it would be a shame. This isn't just something that happened to take place in the fifties... this is a piece of 1955-- radio history, science fiction history, and American history.

I buy everything with Heinlein's name on it that I don't already have, and I suspect that after I am done with the Heinlein episodes of this series and the one that followed it, I will probably be checking out some of the others.
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- Cather

Hokey story by Heinlein.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

It wasn't much science fiction. I wouldn't have done the story at all.


Would you ever listen to anything by Robert Heinlein again?

Of course, he has some classic sci fi. This just wasn't up to his standards.


Did the narration match the pace of the story?

The actors were fine, the premise was stupid.


Did X Minus One inspire you to do anything?

Not turn on Country music radio.


Any additional comments?

This was a story about a blind musician. It could have been done anywhere. It was not what I expected and was pretty lame.

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- Kristi Richardson

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-04-2007
  • Publisher: Radio Spirits, Inc.