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Book Report: Red Planet

I whipped through Methusaleh’s Children so quickly that I still had a couple of days on my visit, I picked up Red Planet, which was one of the Robert Heinlein juveniles I remember fondly from my own days of delinquency.

Point of Fact: Your Humble Blogger was not a juvenile delinquent. No fights, no robberies, minimal amounts of underage drinking, and my only run-in with The Law was for violating a curfew nobody realized we had. I did read a lot of speculative fiction, though.

The thing that struck me about Red Planet, particularly back-to-back with Methusaleh’s Children, is that—hey! It’s the aliens with unimaginably advanced technology! Mystical shit, too. No holds barred.

There’s also the political stuff that reads very strangely to me—the workers are getting screwed by management, and clearly united action is called for, but the united action is a shootout, not a lockout. There’s the odd libertarian thingie where you can’t trust management, but you certainly can’t trust fellow workers, and in fact the only guy you can trust is the guy who is the most reluctant to be trusted. But having decided to trust him, you have to give over all possible authority to him or he’ll shoot your head off, and nobody will miss you. Authoritarianism is the worst horror, because it give full authority to the wrong sorts of people; liberty is much better, and involves handing over authority to the right sorts of people.

Having said that… it’s a fun book. I enjoyed re-reading it. It isn’t the one I thought it was, which seems to be Star Beast.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,