arcadiagt5 (arcadiagt5) wrote,

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The Rolling Stones

Well I just spent a pleasant afternoon reading Robert A. Heinlein's The Rolling Stones on the iPhone. As usual it was a fun read but I noticed some new things along the way.

First up, Doctor Edith Stone rocks. This doctor is a first class diagnostician, a zero gee surgeon, is still writing academic papers around space medicine, and has a cold blooded ruthlessness towards enforcing good medical practice (ie the quarantine on the War God) that turns her into a force of nature once she gets going. Oh, and she always gets her way in the Family Stone without ever raising her voice. It's no wonder that TV Tropes classifies her as a yamato nadeshiko, although I think that it doesn't do her justice. Hazel and Meade also get some pretty impressive moments, not to mention a  passing whack at discriminatory hiring practices once Hazel gets done teaching Meade astrogation.

Secondly there was a much greater sense of dated technology. Then again it has been at least a decade since I last read The Rolling Stones. Things that didn't jar as much then stand out a lot more now, particularly the references to books on film spools when I was reading the book on a mostly solid state electronic device. Actually, that one almost snapped the suspension of disbelief and did make much of the book oddly surreal in places.

Thirdly, I finally noticed the subtle sarcasm of the contrast between the ongoing TV serial "The Scourge of the Spaceways" being written by Hazel (and Buster!) and the fairly prosaic conduct of the Rollng Stone herself. Barring that one incident with the scooter at the end there is remarkably little in the way of action/adventure going on. There is almost a hint of urban legend debunking going on here with the TV being the legend whilst the author shows the "reality" of space travel through what is happening on board the Rolling Stone.

Emma & Gina: right now you are the only ones who can see this post, I'll unlock it after the con. :)

Tags: books, heinlein juveniles, musings, reviews, science fiction

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