The Rolling Stones by Robert A. Heinlein


Science Fiction

The Rolling Stones The Rolling StonesRobert A. Heinlein; Del Rey 1985WorldCatThis fun novel is one of the original “Wagon Train to the Stars” type stories. Heinlein wrote it in the early 1950’s. There is no single major conflict, although some harrowing moments. The Stone family, an eccentric family that lives on the Moon in Luna City, decide they need to explore their system. They take off for Mars.

The teen age twin sons, Castor and Pollux, are always trying to come up with deals to make money. Mom is Dr. Stone, a medical doctor. Dad was an engineer but now writes television stories. He captains their ship, Rolling Stone. To add to the mix there is older sister, baby brother and engineer Founding Father of Luna Grandma Hazel.

This is an amusing book. Although it dates itself with its depiction of living on Mars and the Moon, it is still enjoyable to read. The science of space travel was well thought through and is very believable (and probably correct…I’m not the scientist, engineer, or navigator). They have bicycles, lawsuits, a medical emergency/quarantine, poor living quarters, and space suits to deal with on their journey. Also, the Martian flat cats are Tribbles long before David Gerrold wrote the famous Star Trek episode.

Although the audience is stated as young adults, anyone can enjoy this book. I’m trying to remember if this family shows up in any of Heinlein’s later books. This is traditional space adventure. And it is just plain fun.

One reviewer mentions that Castor and/or Pollux shows up in Heinlein’s The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, but the character in the later novel is not a good follow up to the character created here.

More books by Robert A. Heinlein

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