11. Citizen of the Galaxy by Robert Heinlein (1957) 263 p.
Yeah, I know I only just ranted about Heinlein, but this is one of his “juveniles” and I assumed the preaching would be a bit less heavy-handed. It wasn’t, really, but the story was actually entertaining (perhaps I should say “existent”) when compared with Time Enough For Love. It follows the life of the young slave Thorby shortly after he is sold to an old beggar called Baslim on a planet with a feudal, vaguely Asian society. Baslim is soon revealed to be some kind of foreign intelligence agent, and following his exposure and execution, Thorby is forced to flee the planet. Thus begins a galaxy-wide adventure as he attempts to discover his origins.
The story is an enoyable little jaunt, even if the dialogue and characterisation is dry – Thorby, for example, is the same generic 1950′s teenager (Gosh! Swell!) found in every other Heinlein juvenile. Heinlein’s personal opinions also seep through as usual, with the most frequently expressed thoughts being:
1. It’s totally okay to hit somebody you have a duty of care for.
2. Man, I miss the Navy.
3. I hate all this fucking red tape and bureacracy! I just want to go live in space and be FREEEEEEEEE!
Similar to Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, though, it’s fairly easy to ignore the message and enjoy the story. Or, in my case, have a good laugh and ridicule the message while enjoying the story.