Tunnel in the Sky is a science fiction book written by Robert A. Heinlein and published in 1955 by Scribner's as one of the Heinlein juveniles. The story describes a group of students sent on a survival test to an uninhabited planet. The themes of the work include the difficulties of growing up and the nature of man as a social animal. Time for the Stars (1956) is slightly dated-less so than some of the others that have more noticeable computers in them-but not really all that much. The story is an exploration of the Twin Paradox-a thought experiment that explains how relativity works. If you had identical twins, and one of them accelerated away from Earth and the other stayed home, so much more time would pass on Earth than in the spaceship that the Earth twin would be a hundred years old when the space twin came home, only a few years later. Heinlein took this concept and made it a real story with characters-and he made the twin thing relevant by using twin telepathy (which works faster than light...) as a means of communicating between Earth and ship. What Heinlein was unbeatable at was writing total immersion. His universes hold together perfectly, even though he describes them with very few strokes. From the first words of Citizen of the Galaxy (1958) you're caught, you're there beside the slave block that stands by the spaceport in Jubbalpore as a beggar buys a slave. The story is quite simple. Thorby is a slave, recently arrived on the world of Jubbalpore in the hold of a slaver's spaceship. He is bought by Baslim the Cripple, who is more than a beggar and who educates the boy. Then Baslim is killed and Thorby whisked off planet by a ship of Free Traders, a Finnish speaking spacer clan who adopt him in gratitude for past services by Baslim. Baslim has made them promise to deliver Thorby to a vessel of the Space Navy, (The Hegemonic Guard, his own service) in the hope that they will be able to identify Thorby....
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