The Door into Summer

The Door into SummerUltimately, creepy, and not in a good way It s a time travel tale, and I ll forgive a lot for an entertaining time travel story But entertaining and time travel are all it s got going for it I haven t read a lot of Heinlein, but this didn t show me at all why he s got got so many fans The writing style is fine, but he goes wrong in a few key ways with the story SPOILERS For one, he wrote the book in 1956, with most characters natural time being 1970 and the rest of the action reached cryogenically and returned from via time travel being in 2000 and 2001 Both are full of technological, cultural, and historical differences Heinlein invented These probably seemed cool in 1957 or 1960, but his 2000 here wouldn t have held up in 1985, let alone 2008 Spoiling with age as badly as his inaccurate visions of change is his vision of something wholly unchanged over 50 years a degree of sexism astonishing these days Hell, I suspect his degree of sexism would have been startling even in the real 1970 It s not constant and overpowering it s just striking.Each of those would be flaws I wouldn t mind having to overlook for the sake of the time travel story, which is largely entertaining, but Heinlein completely undermines any satisfaction that could come from it by having the protagonist and narrator, Dan Davis, eagerly find a way via the rampant cryogenics of imaginary 1970 to marry in 2000 the step daughter of his business partner, a girl who, as a child called him Uncle Danny He d known her since she was a toddler or something in 1970, she s nine and he s always thirty , and there s talk early in the book about how she had a crush on him and wanted to marry him when she grew up, but it s just some misplaced childhood crush and, of course, nothing he actually reciprocates Supposedly Ultimately, though, after all the time travel stuff which you could totally separate pretty easily from this weirdness , during which he makes various occasional references to how great this kid is and how important she is to him, after he returns from 2000 during which time he never met her as an adult to 1970 and takes care of fun paradox stuff, he tells her that he s going to go into thirty year cryostasis Again, though no one but he knows it s his 2nd time 30 years seems like forever to a young kid, and she s upset she won t see him again, and he tells her that in 1982, when she s 21, she could do The Long Sleep too and come out of it also in 2000 She asks, If I dowill you marry me He replies, damn disturbingly, Yes.That s what I want That s why I m doing this After they awake in 2000, they get married pretty much immediately And then the book ends within a few pages.So Heinlein s a freak and a perv I don t care that much that this girl is physically 21 when they hook up The hero never knew her as an adult, just as a young kid who called him Uncle Danny, and it was based on that relationship that he decided he wanted to marry her Also, the 21 year old who opted for the cryogenics in 1982 apparently still has the precise same feelings as her nine year old self, which is similarly disturbing Goddamn Fricking Creepy Throughout the book, the protagonist and narrator doesn t seem like a really great guy but sympathetic enough If Heinlein s trying to blow the reader s mind by having him turn out to be not at all sympathetic after all that, I could see the point in that But there s no indication that s what the author s up to or, indeed, that he sees anything wrong here It seems instead that he s glad for Dan to have a happy ending Parents of 1957, keep your children away from Robert Heinlein, please.My default tendency is to react favorably to time travel fiction, so it s pretty striking to make that U turn from amusement to revulsion there at the end and move this from the OK column into Not OK Not. If you re into stuff like this, you can read the full review.Talking a Lot About Cats A Door Into Summer by Robert A Heinlein Original Review, 1980 07 28 Probably the biggest role for a cat outside of Norton is in Heinlein s A DOOR INTO SUMMER the hero talksto his cat than he does to the woman he ends up marrying KK That doesn t surprise me Heinlein seems to hate all human females over the age of 12. It Is , And Electronics Engineer Dan Davis Has Finally Made The Invention Of A Lifetime A Household Robot With Extraordinary Abilities, Destined To Dramatically Change The Landscape Of Everyday Routine Then, With Wild Success Just Within Reach, Dan S Greedy Partner And Even Greedier Fianc E Steal His Work And Leave Him Penniless, And Trick Him Into Taking The Long Sleep Suspended Animation For Thirty Years Well after many thousands of ratings this book is averaging 4 stars so my rating will make no difference at all I first read this back in the late 70s, and like most of Heinlein s early and middle work I really enjoyed it then and again now The storyline and characterisations are good and there is none of the in my opinion vague sexism and verbal meanderings of his later books look how many pages his later novels have, yawn.Ok I ve just re read my review and whilst I thoroughly enjoyed the book, Heinlein must ve been a cat lover as he had Petronius exactly right, maybe I was a tad harsh on some of his later books I just found them very introspective and self indulgent, and much as I enjoy Heinlein books I think I gave up after fighting my way through Time Enough For Love I don t think I ve read anything written after that Yes, that sounds fairer I didn t read this book with the intention of writing a review, so you ll excuse me if I don t go into great detail Let me just summarize the feel of the bookIt is not very often that I read a book that makes me smile the entire time I m reading it this is one of them From the hilarious anachronisms of the 1950 s Futurist to the brilliant side kick cat, Pete Cat lovers will appreciate this book on a completely different level than other readers I was laughing out loud at least once every 20 pages or so.It is only because I read some of the other reviews for this book that I felt the need to write a review myself After seeing that a number of reviews that charge The Door into Summer and sometimes Heinlein himself as being both misogynistic and perverse, I felt the need to defend it and him.First of all, on the complaints that Heinlein s vision of the future from 1956, remember is sexist, misogynistic, anti woman, etc There are not many women in this story, true enough, which may be a mark against it in and of itself Because of this, the heinous Belle stands out as being a particularly unlikable femme fatale Though I would argue that, had Belle not been foiled by Dan s foray into time travel, her plot would have succeeded and she would have made a respectable villain She was well equipped for it calculating, edgy, violent, and un emotional But because the other women in the book Jenny Sutton, the Girl Scout Matron, and later Ricki are fairly minor they do little to offset the influence of Belle and rather support the 1950 s housewife stereotype And Dan Davis engineering vision of rescuing women from the drudgery of housework is a little dated, to be sure.However, I consider these to be the faults of a novel written in the 1950 s I always find it best to approach a book with the understanding that it is a product of the time in which it was written If a novel breaks through the conventions of its time, great But it would be unreasonable to expect it every time one picks up a new book Our modern sensibilities might be offended by some archaic ideas, but out dated notions don t necessarily devalue an otherwise good yarn not to mention historically important works It s true that science fiction often pushes boundaries of politics, religion, war, gender, sexuality, human nature, etc But it is not necessary And it is certainly not necessary to push all of them at once The Door into Summer is not a book about gender roles It reflects opinions common to the time in which it was written, but it does not address them specifically It cannot be said to be particularly forward thinking on the subject, but at the same time it is a passive position Heinlein is not actively or purposefully oppressing women in this novel, but he is describing a world very similar to the one in which he lived Which, for me, is enough that I didn t hate the novel for its faults.Heinlein has shown in this and other novels that he is not rigid in his notions on the future of gender roles In Starship Troopers women make the best fighter pilots because of their superior reflexes and mental dexterity In this novel, there are suggestions that outside of the narrative women are fulfillingdiverse roles than we see them in Dan Davis, when discussing the merits of his engineering robot Drafting Dan , admits that most women don t care much for it unless they are engineers themselves The offhand nature of this remark is indicative that it is not an alien idea to Dan Perhaps his housekeeping robot isliberal minded than we initially supposed, if it has freed women from the role of housewives to pursue their dreams outside the home Something to consider, anyways.With that out of the way, I wanted to talk about the so called perversion of Dan s unconventional temporally speaking romance with Ricki Many people have commented on the disturbing nature of the love story sub plot And maybe it s because I ve recently read Lolita, but I really didn t feel too put out about it I actually found Dan and Ricki s relationship kind of cute, mostly because Dan falls in love with Ricki because she understands and appreciates his cat which Dan feels is indicative of the kind of person she is although she is only a child It is important to note that there are no overtly pedophilic suggestions in this book, unless the reader supplies them I m sure there are those who will disagree When it comes down to it, Dan s romantic feelings towards Ricki are not directed at her juvenile self but at the woman he imagines she will become It is not unusual, I think, to idealize and idolize romantically particularly after one has had ones heart broken Ricki is the only female that Dan has ever felt any connection with, and he values her friendship It is only after Belle betrays him that he begins to think if only Ricki were older Not because he fantasizes about being with a child obviously, he wouldn t then wish she were older but because he fantasizes about being with someone he loves and trusts.He cannot even be said to be taking advantage of her childish crush on him He tells Ricki to wait until she s 20 to decide if she wants to be with him he is, and will remain, 30 Ricki has 8 sobering years to decide if she still has feelings for Dan once she is an adult, during which he can supply no pressure Thanks to the invention of suspended animation their love is possible without being creepy Ok, so that s a longer rant than I intended But there it is Thanks for bearing with me if you got this far I really enjoyed this book from beginning to almost end The reason for the almost will become apparent The story of time travel by various means was excellent When reading this story, you should remember that it was written in the 1950s Some of Heinlein s predictions are amazing, and some are way off the mark It s amazing to follow his line of thinking though.You can see an outline of the plot in the description It is fairly predictable, but that didn t detract from my enjoyment of the story at all It was fun, and it was refreshing to read such innocent prose.Although some people might be offended, there was some narrative that would be considered non PC these days, but was just part of life in the fifties I actually found that quite refreshing too I get so irritated by the over sensitivity to political correctness these days You can t even tell a good Irish joke, or drop your pants in a US bar to proudly show off your British tattoo, these days, without drawing comments from the puritans.The story was great right up until the final chapter This was a bit of a damp squib, Heinlein felt that his hero had to justify and explain his actions and how several instances of himself could coexist I would have been farsatisfied with the explosive ending which could so easily have been there.Having said that, I would strongly recommend this book to all lovers of time travel and sci fi books. Somewhat unusually for Heinlein, this is a cute, fun book which doesn t try to ladle a bunch of right wing ideology down your throat, or O.D you on dubious sex There s some time travel, a sympathetic main character, a Bad Girl, and a cat who steals the show every time he appears on stage He even gets the title the reference is to his endearing habit, during winter months, of making the hero open each door in the house in turn, just in case one of them happens to lead into summer Are you a cat person If yes, you re definitely in for a treat Pete is an amazingly written cat character if there ever was one Yes, cat lovers will surely appreciate this one Cat owners will understand that cats like Pete are as rare as true love and only come once in a life time, if we re lucky, hence they will understand what makes Pete so special to Dan, his owner However, even if you happen to hate cats, I m sure you ll appreciate the ingenious way Pete is described That s just plain good writing I m making it sound like this is a novel about cat Well, it s not but it sorts of is The cat I m talking about is an important character, not in any futuristic genetically altered pet sense of the world, he just happens to be a side kick of our protagonist Who might that be Our protagonist is Dan Davis, an engineer, a well written characters, one could say a typical Heinlein hero You know, a very intelligent badass guy who is on to take on the world and won t let anything stops him He is charming yet bold, brave but thoughtful, no fool but willing to take calculated risks.Nevertheless, this isn t exactly how he starts out When the novel opens, he is not up to much The novel opens with our guy drinking himself to death on account of his best friend and his ex finance tricking him out of his invention and hard earned future glory as well as financial security So, he is a bit depressed The only person he cares for in this world is Ricky, who happens to be a ten year old daughter of his late friend He respects her and we suppose he imagines she might be a good companion someday because he decided to freeze himself so that they can be together in ten years time Some people find this part to be quite disturbing, but it isn t like he wants to be with her when she s a kid, he is romantically interested in the women she will be once she grows up There is no knowing who that will be, you might say and yes that would be a valid point but it doesn t seem to bother our protagonist If Pete likes her, the girl must be ok and will stay that way maybe Dan believes in cat s intuition I would say there is nothing fishy in the relationship between Dan and Ricky, but I can see why some might consider it to be a bit weird Why the need to freeze himself up in the first place He could have waited for her to grow up, but that sounds creepy doesn t it To watch someone growing up and then to marry them Way creepier than just freezing yourself up and meeting them in the future Actually yes.It is interesting that he wants this relationship to happen when they re about the same age Does that indicate that he actually thinks there is something wrong in relationships in which there exists a significant age difference Orlikely he needs the freezing up part to make the storyinteresting I mean this is a SF novel and we re all waiting for the story to become wellSF Further, you know Dan is not motivated just by the desire to be with the future grown up Ricky There isn t much talk about Ricky if you think about it, this isn t Lolita There is not much talk about his feelings at that point and that s not going to change drastically Don t expect him to get all emotional, it is not going to happen This avoidance of emotional talk or perhaps even thoughts may be due to the fact that Dan makes that freezing himself up decision after a long period of drinking It may be that his true feelings for Ricky only develop later on At any rate, she isn t the sole motivation.Dan wants revenge He wants to rub it into the face of his ex He wants to be young when she is old Perhaps most importantly, he wants to live in the future He is an engineer you know He is wondering what the world will look like in a number of years Speaking of which, it is fascinating to observe how correct or how wrong Heinlein s predictions were There is certainly a lot of talk about the future in this one Moreover, there is the actual future experienced by a man from another time epoch and you can trust in one of the greats of SF to make that part good It does getinteresting because things don t go as planned, I mean the freezing up and all When he wakes up in the future, he starts seeing things he is sure he had himself invented As he said, every engineer has his own signature and it is this signature he is seeing everywhere that is driving him crazy.Enters time travel You know a book about just being frozen wasn t going to cut it He needs to travel back in time There needs to beaction Not surprisingly, that is what we get More action and adventure No complains here You know I m not even sure if women play an important part in this novel Perhaps not really We have one typical femme fatale and one angelic girl, but the relationships with them are never explored into great detail As far as relationships are concerned, this isabout the love between a man and his cat then about love between a man and a woman Just for a record, I don t have a problem with that Not everything has to be all romantic and stuff.There is certainly a way to read the story between Dan and Ricky that makes it all sweet and romantic, but I think Ricky is there mostly for the plot This is a one man show orprecisely one man and his cat show Romance isn t a fundamental part of it, but it doesn t feel out of place either As I said, the relationship between Dan and Ricky can be read in a very sweet light or in a slightly creepy one or it can be just ignored, if that isn t your thing The Door into Summer is a very good SF novel that is mostly about adventure, time travel, engineering, future predictions, action, being badass and all those things we love about Heinlein It is interesting enough to keep us intellectually stimulated and there is a touch of emotion that is just enough I really enjoyed reading it I have a copy at home, so I ll probably reread it again eventually emphasis on again because I already reread it I recommend this to engineers, Heinlein s fans, cat s lovers, readers of SF as well as those interested in time travel stories This is a fabulously written SF novel, pretty short but filled with such lovely things The protagonist is and awfully charming and smart guy and it is great fun reading about his adventures If you want to read a novel with a guy that makes it against all odds, this is the novel for you.Final words The Door Into Summer is a highly enjoyable read It is not Heinlein s best, but it is a very good novel It found it to be incredibly uplifting and fun In addition, this novel managed to accomplish what many great works of literature have tried but failed and that is describe perfectly an infinitely complex creature called.the cat. An enjoyable SF story from a Grandmaster.The novel s protagonist, Daniel B Davis, was a precursor to Hugh Farnham and even Lazarus Long somewhat, though Long was introduced earlier in 1941 s Methusaleh s Children Actually, Davis and others are thinly disguised Heinlein fiercely individualist, libertarian, technically savvy, hard working yet innovative, resourceful, wise cracking, and with a horn dog libido that would make a porn star blush I wonder if Door Into Summer used some of the same notes and ideas that would later surface in Time Enough for Love Door into Summer may be classified as a transitional book between the earlier juvenile works and his middle works his apex, his high water mark and then to the weird, time traveling and lusty later books I think a better reviewer than me could even make the point that Heinlein had begun his ascendancy here. I liked it, but it was suggested to me I shouldn t give four stars to every single book I enjoy, so here it goes for Heinlein I really had no issues with The Door Into Summer , and Heinlein is still one of my favorite SF masters after this.I enjoy books that feature engineers as protagonists, and here we have one proto geek singlehandedly inventing robotics in the 50 s and failing rather spectacularly in the human relations department Later on, there s some time travel thrown in and some cryogenics, giving us a glimpse of what the year 2000 would look like to a 1950 citizen It s interesting to note how we surpassed some of Heinlein expectations in the field of artificial intelligence and miniaturization, and still didn t invent regenerating teeth, disposable shirts or beard removal cream There s something very similar to velcro replacing zippers, but with a rather fancy field energy source.Heinlein prose is clean and fast, without his sometime annoying preaching and with some quality humor, courtesy of Petronius the Arbiter Some of his sexual liberation stuff is included, like a nudist camp or an engagement with an 11 year old, but it doesn t take a central role to the story edit for spelling 2015

Robert Anson Heinlein was an American novelist and science fiction writer Often called the dean of science fiction writers , he is one of the most popular, influential, and controversial authors of hard science fiction He set a high standard for science and engineering plausibility and helped to raise the genre s standards of literary quality He was the first SF writer to break into mainstre

❰Reading❯ ➶ The Door into Summer Author Robert A. Heinlein –
  • Paperback
  • 304 pages
  • The Door into Summer
  • Robert A. Heinlein
  • English
  • 12 July 2017
  • 9780345413994

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *