Robert A. Heinlein
Have Space Suit—Will Travel (1958)
Reviewed: 1995-08-08

From the first page you know that this is a Heinlein novel. Directed at adolescent readers, HSSWT gives some not so subtle lessons about becoming a competent individual, a motif which seems to permeate much of Heinlein's work. Don't be concerned though, primarily it's a fun book.

Kip longs to go to the Moon. (This is the near future. Humanity has a Lunar base but space travel is not commonplace.) His first serious attempt falls short but wins him a real space suit. Not much consolation at first, but very handy when Kip is unexpectedly picked up by an alien spaceship. Together with the genius child daughter of a renowned scientist and a charismatic alien he is on his way to the Moon - kidnapped by space pirates! Starting from this simple interplanetary abduction, the scope of Kip's adventure gradually widens to a breathtaking scale.

By the end I found HSSWT to be a delightful modern fairy tale. It delivers a message, you can achieve whatever you want if you really set your mind to it, and supports this with a larger-than-life example. As an adult I found the story somewhat shallow. YMMV.

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Christian "naddy" Weisgerber <>