Double Star

Monday, January 16, 2012



Double Star
Robert A. Heinlein, 1956

Premise: Actor Lorenzo Smythe is tapped by spacer Dak Broadbent for a job: impersonation, no details. Lorenzo has no idea that he's about to be swept up in the  intrigue of interstellar politics. Because if he had an idea about that, he'd have run in the opposite direction.

This book was so much fun. The prose style is delightful, the storyline interesting, the politics even compelling!

I really enjoyed it, and this is the first of the Hugo winners (chronologically) that I can say that about without reservation.

All of the characters are complicated and interesting, and despite plenty of tension, there's very little action, since most of the plot hangs on character growth. It's a great example of one of my favorite kinds of sci-fi: human characters, with human problems, complicated by future scale.

The Martians here are intriging, if never described too closely. I mostly get the sense of how alien they are, but they're still completely sentient, completely people.

The ending isn't that surprising, although the epilogue is beautiful. As a work of entertaining sci-fi, as a character study of actors and politicians, and as a meditation on identity and progress, I give Double Star high marks.

4 Stars - A Very Good Book

List of Hugo Award Winners

2 comments:

littleredreviewer said...

I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed this one! I think I read this forever ago, the plot and title sound familiar.

Just out of curiosity, were you able to find a copy used or at the library, or did you read it electronically?

Lindsay said...

Actually, Double Star, like several of the other early Hugo winners I've been posting, I read at the library. I mean, actually at the reference library, where they have one copy that you're not allowed to take off the premises. I'm lucky enough to live in New York City, where plenty of obscure and out of print books are available if you're willing to look.

This one was less obscure than some of the others, (I could have snagged a cheap used copy) but it's gorgeous in the main reading rooms and I had some free time. :)

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