Tunnel in the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Stargate! Minus all the gods and the missions and the ascension crap.
Add survival, walls, and GOVERNMENT! Wooooo.... um... well at least the survival bit was fun. :)
Seriously, this YA is still a very can-do Americana book, with a seriously heavy Liberterian bent, but I have no issues there. I love that crap.
Still... I think I prefer Miles Vorkosigan's conception of the most important survival tool better. Tipping the invisible hat was one of Bujold's greatest inventions. But Heinlein had the same idea. Screw guns or even shoes, the one thing that any hardscrabble colony needs is the concept of a politics where people can actually work together, and that's what this book is really about.
YA? Sure, more like New Adult in today's classifications. Are you civic-minded enough?
As an adventure and a straight story, it's pretty great all the way to the point where they start voting, then my attention started wandering a bit. Still, some other crazy goes on and we flash forward to see how they all turn out and we even get a complete wrap up, so it's not like the tale went nowhere. It just didn't really do all that much for me. Plus, even though the women were all pretty strong and as can-do as the men, I didn't quite like how the old stereotypes came out in conversation... EVEN IF they were slapped down by a woman right in the group immediately afterward. I just hate the idea that women have to pretend to be men to be treated like men. It's just a sign of the times kind of story, unfortunately, but fortunately, there was very little of this kind of crap and Heinlein's stance on it is pretty egalitarian and equal rights and equal responsibility, so it's more of a me thing hating older cultural trends than a "I blame Heinlein" thing. Petty jealousies and toxic encounters in a closed group, indeed. Of course, she turned it right back and said the same thing about men in any closed group. It may not be clever, but it's true.
I loved the whole stargate survival business and the worldbuilding that led up to it. That was pretty great. :)
It's just the other stuff that made me knock it a star from my original review. Let's Vote! *blech* :)
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