The Door into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein


Time Travel

The Door into Summer The Door into SummerRobert A. Heinlein; Del Rey 1986WorldCat

Dan Davis is an engineer in 1970. He is on a bender because he has been cheated by his fiancee and his best friend. Dan is responsible for creating Hired Girl, a machine that cleans a home. He and Miles Gentry’s company was doing very well. Then they hired Belle Darkin as their secretary of the growing company. Dan fell for Belle immediately and they got engaged. Then she and Miles turned on Dan, stealing the company from him.

Dan considers taking the “long sleep”. Cryogenic sleep had been created during the big war. Now people are using it to wait for cures or just to wait for the future. But there is one person in Dan’s life that is still important. Miles’ stepdaughter Ricki is nine and is certain she is in love with “Uncle Dan”. She hates Belle. Dan wants to protect her. So while arranging for the long sleep for himself and his best friend Pete, a cat, he figures out how to help Ricki.

When he wakes in 2000, he cannot find Ricki. His savings and stocks were lost during his sleep. He has to start all over again. Then he discovers a way to travel back in time to 1970. Now he hopes to take advantage of this chance to set things right.

The Door into Summer is classic Robert A. Heinlein. It was written in the mid-1950’s. It’s fascinating to read it 50 years later to see how his predictions fared. OK, so we don’t have time travel or plastic money. Heinlein didn’t predict how computers would affect the world. Yet there are parts that feel proper for today.

The Door into Summer tells a good yarn. This book doesn’t feel dated. It is told first person narrative and the reader is pulled right into Dan Davis and his plight. Belle (especially) and Miles are well developed “bad guys”. Then there’s Pete. Heinlein’s affection for cats is a major component of this tale. It is books like this one that explain why Robert A. Heinlein is considered a master in the field of the science fiction even long after his death.

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