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‘Winter in My Heart’
The Door Into Summer by Robert A Heinlein

1956, Signet, 159 pages

Thanks to Tony Cox for the loan of this book.

I enjoyed Heinlein’s letters to his editor more than Stranger in a Strange Land, Starship Troopers or Glory Road. However The Green Hills of Earth almost brought a tear to the eye and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress opened my adolescent eyes, so I was eager to read this small scope story about a man travelling forward in Time through cryogenic preservation, going into deep freeze because life sucks so badly now that he’d rather take his chances in the uncertain future.

Dan Davis, who is introduced secondarily to his cat, Pete, [also a loser in love] has been jilted by a woman and ripped off by his business partner and has had enough with the honorless moral maze of modernity. Pete steals the show early on, serving as a metaphor and a mirror into the mediocrity of the human soul and Heinlein is off to one of his best efforts, a story not ruined by sentimentality but expanded by the best angel of a man’s nature, his innate desire to rescue an innocent individual from the collective morass that has come sadly to pass. Along the way the old grand master, writing in his prime, has a great deal of fun with near future predictions and the grandfather paradox.

The aspect that really makes the novel work is the fact that the protagonist is an inventor of everyday domestic robots—vacuum cleaners and such. Speaking of which, I saw one cleaning a supermarket floor in suburbia three days ago.

“I had rarely met a housewife who did not have a touch of slaveholder in her…”

Some pleasing passages are quoted below:

“I raised my glass and we looked at each other. ‘Here’s to the female race, Pete—find ‘em and forget ‘em!’”

“Four whites lynched in Capetown… Mississippi planter indicted under anti-zombie law—his defense: “Them boys hain’t drugged, they’re just stupid!’”

The Door Into Summer is a pleasing spring read.

Reverent Chandler: The Saga of Fend

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