❮Epub❯ ➢ Beyond This Horizon ➡ Author Robert A. Heinlein – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk Hamilton Felix is the ultimate man the end product of highly refined applied genetics in a world that has long since banished disease hunger and war But no one counted on what might happen if this sup Hamilton Felix is the ultimate man the end product of highly refined applied genetics in a world that has long since banished disease hunger and war But no one counted on what might happen if this superman got recruited by a cabal of dissident revolutionaries. Beyond this Horizon by Robert A Heinlein was written ten years after Huxley’s Brave New World and the influence from this genetic and sociological masterpiece is evident Also noteworthy is that the book was published during WWII and this may comprise Heinlein’s response to Hitler’s Nietzschian policies especially ideas about elitist racism and possible supermen Cannot help wonder if Woody Allen thought of this book while producing Sleeper as at least a couple of scenes reminded me of the 1970s film though the film was apparently loosely based upon Wells’ The Sleeper Awakes Heinlein would come back to this theme several times most notably in Methuselah's Children and Time Enough for Love This is one of his earlier works and the reader can also see glimpses of his strong libertarian principles taking shape in the narrative Being one of his earlier works though RAH had yet to come into his own in terms of characterization flat here but will blossom into masterpieces The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and Stranger in a Strange Land about twenty years later The plot is also disjointed and incomplete but all in all this is a good entry in the RAH pantheon and a fan will enjoy It's time to prepare for the 1943 retro Hugo awards that will be presented in 2018 Why? Why not? Some books deserve love even if they're before the Hugos even beganIn this case novels published in 1942 are eligible Books like CS Lewis's Screwtape Letters are technically eligible but really shouldn't be There's nothing much SF about the religious satireOn the other hand I really enjoyed Olaf Stapledon's anti novel and worldbuilding masterpiece The Darkness and the Light that came out this year and please imagine how thrilled I was to learn that Heinlein also published a bona fide adult oriented novel tooHe was generally known for his Juveniles by this point so an early adult novel is something of a treat And fortunately his writing is always polished and clear and sometimes funny and always full of light agendas It's Heinlein He's a very opinionated man In this case we're treated to science lessons on genetics and a superior gene race of humanity planning on overthrowing the current Utopia The hero is the ultimate perfect superman and I kept thinking about the Howard families in his later fiction the prototype that gets so fully explored laterWe shouldn't forget the day 1942 Does this kind of story sound familiar? In Heinlein's case it feels like a mirror to a huge segment of the American population that already agreed with the Eugenics movement and what was happening in Europe at the time Maybe no one really understood the impact or scope or even the reality of the death camps but everyone could see the implications and the stated goals It was war and knowing the publishing field there's a long stretch between when a writer finishes a text and when it actually gets put on the shelves I'll assume for a moment that Pearl Harbor had not happened yet or if it did there was no way Heinlein could have fixed his novel to reflect America's sudden inclusion in the warHowever it should be noted that he got all the salient points and sentiments RIGHT It might have been a utopia like Stapledon's work but unlike Stapledon he went the full good story option with interesting characters exciting plots cool snags romance and a big blowout Without even mentioning the Hugos or the need to find the best SF or Fantasy of 1942 I would have read this early Heinlein novel thinking that it's a very polished introduction to his later genetic field obsession with longevity No Lazarus Long here but enough ideas were packed in here to stand proudly with any of his later works Between Stapledon and Heinlein I choose Heinlein for the sheer fun factor the timeliness of the topic the sophistication of the storytelling and lastly the idea Stapledon might blow him out of the water for sheer scope and range of ideas and world building and commentary but Heinlein's soup had the perfect mixHe's my main choice for the Hugo So far I'm still reading however I read this book when I was 11 and I don't care who knows I really liked it I don't guarantee I'd like it as much if I read it again today I'll admit I can't remember all that much about it It's this future society run along sort of eugeniclibertarian lines Everyone walks around carrying a deadly weapon except for a few wusses If somebody offends you you challenge him to a duel on the spot Or her did I hear you ask? Good uestion I don't think it ever came upThe bit I remember best is near the beginning They're having dinner at a fancy French restaurant sitting on a balcony and eating bouillabaisse A member of the hero's party carelessly drops a crab claw over the railing and it lands on a table below The guy downstairs pulls out his blaster the hero is uicker on the draw and honour is satisfied all round I'm not sure if the other guy is killed or just seriously wounded I think the latterAt the time I'm afraid I bought Heinlein's argument that if everyone carried a gun and was ready to use it people would have better manners Look I was 11 I still can't eat bouillabaisse without thinking of this scene Yeah it's kind of a mess And remember Heinlein has a certain sort of disturbingly sexist attitude doesn't understand women at all certainly the only armed one is seen as erm eccentric to put it mildlyFemales don't need guns because men aka people are all about being protective and chivalrous except when they're spanking the girls or otherwise dominating them that is I did like Women will forgive anything Otherwise the race would have died out long ago And he gets a few other things right like how to read that resource which replaces newspapers And I appreciate his view of amiable eugenics as it seems carefully thought out given the context of the times For example this was written a few years before it was figured out that genes are made of DNA and well before the structure of DNA was determined to be the double helix And so the methods of genetic selection described are erm interestingHeinlein is well read and clever It could be argued that he's smart He's not wise thoughAnd finance is not his forte; is description of the Utopia in which nobody goes hungry and the government prints money when statisticians tell it to is implausible A polite society is an armed society is nonsense The low incidence of atheism is uaintBut mostly it's both BS and lame I guess I'll keep working through the stack of Heinlein books I own but without high hopes for the enjoyment I'd expect given his popularity and given the fact that I do remember liking him when I was a teen The blurb on the cover implies this is an adventure story set in a future In reality the plot is hardly relevant at all as this novel serves mostly as a way for Heinlein to express his ideas I haven't read the blurb on the cover until after I had finished Beyond This Horizon but if I had I would have probably been mislead into expecting a dramatic story Not that there isn't a dramatic story The protagonist Felix does have to fight for his life love and freedom While Felix spies on a secret society that wants to take over the well organized society he lives in there are bullets and deadly rays fired lives lost love interested aroused and all that However all those things happenings are just a means to the end I got a feeling that the plot was there only as a pretense for Heinlein to develop his ideas I might be wrong but I don't think I amA world building of a future society gives Heinlein an opportunity to discuss what it means to be human as well to speculate what favourable developments and trends might happen in the management of human society Genetics social organizations and parenthood are some of the themes discussed in this novel The protagonist of the novel our Felix is a reluctant hero Felix is a carrier of supreme genes but he refuses to have children until he finds the answer to the all important uestion or persuade someone do it for it The plot had some predictable twists and turns but it didn't phase me because the novel is ultimately all about ideas really Similarly the cast of characters is written in much the same way Beyond This Horizon is anything but a character or a plot driven novel The characters are the typical Heinlein superhuman types and I didn't find myself particularly interested in them I was interested in their well better say Heinlein's ideas Beyond This Horizon is uite a philosophical work Now that I think of it Heinlein often uses word building and dystopia societies to put his ideas through Beyond This Horizon is a fine novel in the sense that it offers plenty food for the mindSo is there anything I didn't like? uite a few details rubbed me the wrong way but perhaps that is understandable since the writer belonged to another era and to a culture somewhat foreign to me There is this other thing The I read of Heinlein the predictable his novels seem to become That is only to be expected and perhaps not a fault of the author as such Still I find myself not enjoying his works as much as I did These days I often see and notice things in his writing that bug me However his ideas stay interesting even when he gets a bit preachy and repetitive and he can be uite a preacher Heinlein does get a bit repetitive with many arguments especially with his pro arm arguments It takes space in the novel that it needs to It is an argument that is repeated ad nauseaum and ultimately gets boring even if a person agrees with “An armed society is a polite society Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life” I personally don't see it that way although that part about how the police shouldn't be better armed or willing to fight for the right thing than its citizens I can see how that makes sense Any government that doesn't teaches or allows its citizens to carry or use weapons shows that it doesn't trust them one bit and possibly also that it wants to hold them under tight control Handing weapons to everyone doesn't seem like a realistic idea in our day and time but in certain societies it could work Similarly some other ideas are explored in too much detail I would have loved to read about economics for that is one problem we as human race have yet to serve So even the philosophical aspect of the novel had some small issues Nevertheless Beyond This Horizon remains an interesting and though provoking book I'm glad I've read it Would I recommend it? I would especially to fans of Heinlein This book answered a uestion for me that I've wondered about for a long time what does an author do with his leftover story tangents that he likes but can't uite work in anywhere? Answer he saves them all up for when he builds a great make believealternate reality society but has no storyline to go along with itBuilding great make believealternate reality societies is what Heinlein just does naturally like a fish breathing water In this particular novel there are 2 fascinating aspects 1 Guided human evolution like old school dog breeding than outright genetic engineering that has increased physical strength and intelligence while nearly eliminating disease and 2 a well armed society with impeccable mannersHowever there's no real story here He instead clutters the book with tangents a man transported alive but unaging through time in a stasis field a secret group bent on overthrowing the near utopian society reincarnation telepathy etc that feel random and pointless update Turns out that this is only the second novel Heinlein ever wrote In addition it was initially serialized rather than written as a single cohesive whole and it was initially credited to a pen name These 3 facts in my opinion explain a lot about the book that I disliked First time I've read this book in several for some definitions of the word several It's mostly noted and maybe notable for its first few sentences where Heinlein uses phrasing to put you in the midst of his future world The door dilated is justly famous His portrayal of a society where everyone or most people carry weapons of one sort or another is known to with its supposed corollary an armed populous is a polite populous i don't buy it and he really doesn't demonstrate here As David Brin pointed out recently in an essay that reminded me I hadn't read this book in a long time those who support its views on gun control pretty much ignore the other aspect of its utopia people get all their needs taken care of by the government Nobody has to work to earn a living Other points about the society are that there's a bureaucracy that is guiding society mostly through advising people on their breeding and how to improve the race Eugenics As able as Heinlein is at using language in the first pages to dump you right into the world the book is clumsy with a lot of its exposition especially the early stuff about the eugenics wars Two people sit there telling each other what they would have known forever just so we can hear it The plotting is a mess too with a silly revolution that is not well drawn and some very silly male female relationship stuff In most ways this book is a real failureBut As is often with Heinlein I very much enjoyed reading it This isn't as bad as Sixth Column Heinlein's other early novel I read recently It has some entertaining spots but by the end it grew tiresome Maybe I'll read it again in another 30 years It was a delightful surprise to find that there are still Heinlein stories that I hadn't read in 2010 I would have bet against it It makes me really appreciative that Audible Frontiers is releasing some of the oldest and less popular books in audioThat said this was one of my least favorite Heinlein novels I'm such a huge fan that this is sort of a bad sex conclusion in that it just can't be that bad but still it suffers by comparison It feels like an early groping toward characteristics in which he would ultimately become a nearly unparalleled masterTake the character development This is usually the best aspect of a Heinlein novel The characters in this novel have some remarkable aspects of development but are still flatter and less sympathetic than what I expect from HeinleinSimilarly Heinlein typically creates startling vivid worlds extending in plausible ways from his own generally colored by his own startling benevolence and sense of hope There are interesting aspects of this world from his early occupation with social credit explained thoroughly in his posthumously published first work For Us the Living A Comedy of Customs He also creates an extremely mannered society typical of many of his works and backed up by a well armed citizenry It also presents a eugenic society that is rather utopian rather than disaster because of the high virtue of the society While ideas like this are perfectly integrated into plots and the lives of the characters in later works here the ideas hang like window dressing There are spectacles such as some nasties wanting to grab hold of control of the genetic program and destroy as side effect the liberty of the society which could become a major theme of the novel and highlight the dangers of such practices in the hands of a realistic citizenry Instead the rebellion is uietly put down and the story moves along forgetting the incidentSome of his early and limited books are explicitly aimed at juveniles and the limitations aren't weaknesses but rather intentionally aiming at a limited audience Also early works are mostly limited by the censorship of his day both explicit and market but both real Neither seems to fit here Instead this seems like groping toward the future talent Heinlein demonstrates Hardened fans will see glimmers of what future work will come to hold but ultimately this work fails to deliver2014 I decided to revisit this and while my comments above all apply I felt a bit warmer toward it I can't really explain why The characters seemed a bit stronger this time and I was caught up in the story It had been long enough I had pretty much forgotten most everything so I got to experience anew in a sense2016 This really holds up with rereading Beyond This Horizonby Robert A Heinleinread by Peter GanimBeyond This Horizon is classic science fiction with social commentary thrown in as you may expect from Heinlein Mankind has created a Utopian society where poverty and hunger are studied in school but don't actually happen any Mankind has also worked toward eliminating weaknesses in the human chromosome via gene selection and intentional breeding There are still some normal people referred to as control naturals that could potentially provide new genetic mutations for the good of mankindHamilton Felix genetically represents the best of what humanity has to offer He gets wrapped up in a group plotting to overthrow the government that thinks only the best of humanity should thrive in society while the control naturals are destroyed or used for experiments There is little risk or adventure in this society so a bored Hamilton decided to act as a mole within this organization It's not really surprising that this novel came out in the 1950's when eugenics and superiority of different races was a current topicWhile their society is Utopian and futuristic they also have notions of honor and violence such that people can get into gun duels when slighted I found Heinlein's debate of honor and privilege in this to be interesting in much the same way as his notions of earning rights by military service in Starship TroopersI liked the main plot as described but thought it could have happily ended about halfway through The main plot of the story wraps up and the second half of the book felt like a really long epilogue to me Heinlein seems to spread himself a bit thin on so many different issues like government influence of the market government spending the meaning of life telepathy duels for honor and the afterlife There were a few looong monologuesdialogues going into painful detail of chromosome selection where I had trouble paying attention and following the bookOn the audio book side of things Peter Ganim does a good job I thought he had a good conversational tone did some decent voices they didn't differ much though and was easy to understand If you're trying to decide whether reading or listening is preferable I don't think there is much benefit either wayHelpful tip if listening to this book Hamilton Felix superman star line game making guy is referred to as Hamilton in the first half of the book but people start calling him Felix later for some reason This wouldn't be confusing except that his friend Monroe Alpha Clifford finance mathematician guy also goes by Monroe Alpha and Clifford at different times Since Ganim's voices aren't very distinct there were some moments where it took me a little bit to realize which character was talking An early example of Heinlein learning the craft of writing novel length works First published in serial form under his pseudonym Anson MacDonald this was his first attempt For Us The Living written during the late thirties and left unpublished until 2003 was an even earlier attempt and even less successful as a novel that this one but both have all the seeds of the themes to come in future works as the Master refines his techniue and finds his 'voice'
- 0 pages
- Beyond This Horizon
- Robert A. Heinlein
- 21 October 2014 Robert A. Heinlein