View Single Post
Old 01-27-2005, 11:32 PM
SusanStoHelit SusanStoHelit is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,111
Originally Posted by Sam Stone
You're reading the wrong Heinlein. His later stuff is vastly inferior to his early books. If you want to read Heinlein books with strong female figures, try Citizen of the Galaxy, which depicts a very strong matriarchal society. Or many of his juveniles, in which the female character is often more mature and level-headed than the protagonist. You do, however, have to remember that these books were written mostly in the 1950's, and reflect those stereotypes (for example, in Have Space Suit - Will Travel, the protagonist's mother is a brilliant scientist - but she gave up her career to stay home and have a child, and is now a housewife).
First part: I read five of his books, and that is more of a chance than I would give most authors. I dunno, if I run out of new books to read, I'll go back and give him another try.

I don't mind the women-in-traditional roles thing much - most stories from the "golden age of sf" (ie the 50's) have that to some extent, and it has been a male-dominated field. What makes me mad (and I'll admit that I am probably overreacting) is that when Heinlein wants to write a strong, positive, and sympathetic female character, he makes her act just like a man, like it's the ultimate compliment, something that every woman should strive to do and be. It is gender equality of sorts, but it misses the point entirerly.

That said, I did enjoy Double Star enough to buy my own copy, so maybe I shouldn't be talking too loudly.