Orphans of the Sky

Orphans of the Sky

by Robert A. Heinlein

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A fix-up consisting of the novelette "Universe" (1941) and the novella "Common Sense" (1941). First published in 1963.

Hugh had been taught that, according to the ancient sacred writings, the Ship was on a voyage to faraway Centaurus. But he also understood this was actually allegory for a voyage to spiritual perfection. Indeed, how could the Ship move, since its miles and miles of metal corridors were all there was of creation? Science knew that the Ship was all the Universe, and as long as the sacred Convertor was fed, the lights would continue to glow and the air would flow, and the Creator's Plan would be fulfilled.

Of course, there were the muties, grotesquely deformed parodies of humans, who lurked in the upper reaches of the Ship where gravity was weaker. Were they evil incarnate, or merely a divine check on the population, keeping humanity from expanding past the capacity of the Ship to support?

Then Hugh was captured by the muties and met their leader (or leaders), Joe-Jim, with two heads on one body. And he learned the true nature of the Ship and its mission between the stars. But could he make his people believe him before it was to late? Could he make them believe that he must be allowed to fly the ship?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9788834170106
Publisher: Caramna Corporation
Publication date: 08/13/2019
Sold by: StreetLib SRL
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 122,606
File size: 411 KB

About the Author

Robert A. Heinlein, four-time winner of the Hugo Award and recipient of three Retro Hugos, received the first Grand Master Nebula Award for lifetime achievement. His worldwide bestsellers have been translated into 22 languages and include Stranger in a Strange Land, Starship Troopers, Time Enough for Love, and The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. His long-lost first novel, For Us, the Living, was recently published by Scribner and Pocket Books.

Date of Birth:

July 7, 1907

Date of Death:

May 8, 1988

Place of Birth:

Butler, Missouri

Place of Death:

Carmel, California


Graduate of U.S. Naval Academy, 1929; attended University of California, Los Angeles, 1934, for graduate study in physic

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Orphans of the Sky 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I never made it past the first page. The print is not aligned correctly and every other sentence is cut off. Inexcusable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Right side of the page is cut off, making this one unreadable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The far right side of the pages I read, before finally giving up,have basically been cut off. Changing text size did not help. Anyone who has read early Heinlein will immediately recognize the irony.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Worked when i first bought this book several months back, but it now has all text cut off halfway through each line. Same issue both on my nook simple touch and android nook app. This problem also cropped up with two other ebooks from Spectrum publishing. Disapointing, as this is one of my favorite stories from RAH
LaKitteh More than 1 year ago
I am a huge fan of Robert A Heinlein but I did not enjoy this book. While the plot was original and interesting the book seemed to drag... the dialogue seemed unwieldy, and I never felt any real interest or attachment with the characters. I am sure many sci-fans will enjoy it, but this one just did not snag me the way his other books have. If you are a first time reader of Heinlein's books, try Time Enough For Love or Starship Troopers! They really show the author's talents at his best!
VVilliam on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very quick read about a space shuttle drifting endlessly in space for many generations. There are many interesting analogies to religion and coming of age. Joe-Jim is also an excellent character, although many of the other characters are flat. Overall Heinlein does an excellent job coming up with an intriguing scenario and following it through to all the consequences of it.
burningtodd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Robert Heinlein at his best. This man was a genius and I hate that he is dead. A book about a group of people on a spaceship that believe the space ship is the end all be all of reality.
RandyStafford on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This may not be the first generation starship tale, but it's probably the first where the passengers have forgotten that they're in a ship and that its corridors and rooms are not the universe. This novel combines the story of Galileo with political intrigue and military conquest, all aboard a starship that has lapsed into feudalism after a mutiny in the crew long ago. After the mutiny, people forgot not only their mission to travel to Far Centaurus but that there was a universe outside the ship's hull. Books are still around, but physics and astronomy are treated like elaborate allegories by the "scientists" and not realities. Barbaric muties roam the upper decks, and cannibalism is not unknown, infantcide a common practice. Scientist novitiate Hugh Hoyland plays the Galileo role. He is captured by two-headed mutant Joe-Jim and, when he's not playing checkers with either of the twins, has the run of their library and the benefit of their intellects. It's from that unlikely source that Hoyland learns the truth about the ship and the world outside. And he begins to form a plan to complete the mission.First published in 1941 as two short stories, "Universe" and "Common Sense", this story still entertains with its heroism, intrigue, and action. They are, chronologically, also the last short stories in Heinlein's Future History.
szarka on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Quite a radical little story, in 1941 and now.
lyssrose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not being a big fan of "hard" sci-fi, when I originally received this as part of a "rescuing books from the trash" project, I figured I'd just give it to someone else to read. However, I was looking for something short to take with me on an overnight trip, and this seemed thin enough to read in an evening. So, with some hesitation, I started reading...and didn't come up for air until I was done - this was just that good. Originally written in 1941 as a two part serial, I had to keep reminding myself that when Heinlein was writing this, space travel simply wasn't, and yet, he seems to adequately portray life on a giant ship which, to it's inhabitants, is all there is, and then their reactions (both good and bad) to the discovery of a whole new universe outside of the ship.
Gilbert_M_Stack More than 1 year ago
This may be the worst Heinlein novel I have ever read. I genuinely enjoy Heinlein, but this one just misses the mark. The idea isn’t bad. A generational starship traveling between earth and a far star suffered a mutiny and lost the know how to run the ship and restart its engines. As the know how is lost, “science” turns into a religion that is humorously maintained by “scientists” who think they are rational but have turned things like the law of gravitation into allegory. They no longer believe that the “ship” is something that actually moves between planets, they believe it is the world—and the world is split between humans in the central decks and the mutants in the outer decks. This is a great setting and the quest by one young man to convince people of the forgotten truth should have made for a great book, but sadly it just didn’t work. None of the writing lives up to Heinlein’s standards. The characters are mostly poorly drawn and the dialogue is weak. The ending while predictable also falls short.
dkwoolery More than 1 year ago
Live Heinlein; hate this copy due to previously mentioned bad formatting.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one of my favorites. It really helps you take a new perspective on things that your are told to accept without question. I've noticed that most RAH books do this, but this one is most significant in doing that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Must have inspired Wall E!