Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein

I am a way-back RAH fan — I selected “Farmer in the Sky” for my tenth birthday — and “Double Star,” a novel about an out-of-work actor who is tapped to impersonate a well-known political figure, is one I have read and re-read. It is written in the first person by the main character, Larry Smith, or, as he is known professionally,The Great Lorenzo. Here is the opening line, one of my all-time favorite novel openings:

“If a man walks in dressed like a hick and acting as if he owned the place, he’s a spaceman.”

And from later in the book, where a character has sold out the main character, is another favorite quote:

“I answered with a single squeaking polysyllabic in High Martian, a sentence meaning, ‘Proper conduct demands that one of us leave!’ But it means far more than that, as it is a challenge which usually ends in someone’s nest being notified of a demise.”

Heinlein is still popular, with many, many editions of each of his works available on Amazon and yes, a lot of his books available in the science fiction section of your local bookstore.

 The master is creaky in spots but he’s held up remarkably well, and he’s still as entertaining as ever. And I was struck by the extent to which Heinlein was a visionary with respect to future science and future everyday life. To cite one example of many, the main character in another of his novels, “Between Planets” answers his personal phone in the opening pages. When I read it, I remember thinking, “A personal phone? it will never happen.” , I was wrong, and Heinlein, who was trained as an engineer and had an insatiable curiosity about this, and just about everything else, was right.

Double Star

Margaret Fieland
Skye Taylor
Diane Bator
Anne Stenhouse
Connie Vines
Fiona McGier
Dr. Bob Rich
Beverley Bateman
Rhobin L Courtright

Dr. Bob Rich:

4 thoughts on “Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein

  1. Rhobin

    I’ve read some of Heinlein’s books, but not this one. It’s been a long time. I think I may need to get some Kindle versions and reacquaint myself with his universe.


  2. fionamcgier

    Stranger in a Strange Land was almost required reading among my friends when I was in college. We all talked about learning to “grok.” I enjoyed others of his as well, but that’s the one that I’ve reread since, and that always stays with me. I LOVE sci-fi–books, movies, TV shows. But alas, my muse never gives me sci-fi to write.

    My definition of sci-fi is that the author looks at what is, then extrapolates to what might occur in the future, based on what IS now. Star Trek and the communicators? The fever “readers” that scan your forehead, without needing any contact with your skin? So many things we take for granted, that engineers have developed–but I suspect they’re like my engineer husband, and huge sci-fi fans, who get many of their ideas on what to develop based on their reading.


  3. Dr Bob Rich

    I’ve read everything Heinlein has written, and well remember this story. Often, I disagreed with the philosophy or morality he advocated, for example for indiscriminate sex, but he always made me think.



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