Aloha – I was reflecting today on juvenile science fiction today versus when I was a juvenile, oh so long ago. I was an adult before I read ee Doc Smith, and a young adult before reading Edgar Rice Burroughs science fiction (or fantasy) series. But when I was about twelve years old I accidentally read a juvenile novel by Robert Heinlein and then another and another.
I am not sure if I red Rocket Ship Galileo first, or later in my middle school years, but I was instantly addicted. Teenagers who are the protagonists in building a rocket ship under the direction of Dr. Cargraves, and fly it to the moon. Heinlein was good at dealing with at least some of the engineering challenges they would face. The story, and most of Heinlein’s other juvenile fiction would easily convert to Steven Spielberg’s style in bringing stories such as ET, The Goonies, or Super 8 to the screen. Sadly less talented directors have butchered the stories that have been adapted to the screen.
Shout Out – Spielberg, take all of Heinlein’s juvenile fiction and adapt it to the screen. Even the one’s where science no longer supports his universe, which was our Solar System.
The Orion’s Spur series, and Project Lilliput (unpublished) are really modelled on Heinlein’s style. Salt of the Earth (unpublished) veers away from this model as I wrote that book for an older audience.
Meanwhile, if you need good summer reading, you can’t go wrong with Heinlein’s early works.