Have Space Suit—Will Travel

Have Space Suit—Will Travel
Have Space Suit—Will Travel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Robert Heinlein;

@ 1958 by Ace Books, 255 pages.

Written by Robert Heinlein (1907-1988) and published in 1958, the story is set some time in the future, at a time when the elite and well-educated live and work on the moon.

High school senior Kip wins a second-hand space suit in a contest, fixes it up, and goes on a wild adventure, lending an opportunity for all kinds of cool (if not outdated) space travel ideas to be explored along the way.

Not much as space suits go these days. It was an obsolete model that Skyway Soap had bought as surplus material—the tenth-to-hundredth prizes were all space suits. But it was a real one, made by Goodyear, with air conditioning by York and auxiliary equipment by General Electric. Its instruction manual and maintenance-and-service log were with it and it had racked up more than eight hundred hours in rigging the second satellite station.

It was my childhood dream to go to the moon. I think I really would have liked this book if I had read it when I was a bit younger. As it was, I almost lost interest. While it’s not my favorite book, it has redeaming qualities. You can depend on Heinlein for big ideas, and he does deliver, even if it’s towards the end.

Although I am a fan of Heinlein, I’m not so fond of this book. I can’t recommend it to the busy reader, but for someone who would get a kick out of comparing physics ideas of the 1950s to those commonly accepted today, it would be a nice diversion. Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about either to benefit from all the amusing factoids offered here.

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