The Past Through Tomorrow

by Robert A. Heinlein
Reviewed date: 2004 Nov 28
830 pages
cover art

This is a collection of Heinlein's Future History stories, in chronological order. Many of the stories are dated and boring, but a few stand out: Requiem, The Long Watch, and (one of my personal favorites) The Menace From Earth. Also included is the first Lazarus Long story: Methuselah's Children. I cannot say I recommend this collection. It contains a few nice stories, but for the most part this book exists only because it was inevitable that someone would publish the complete short Future History stories of Robert Heinlein.

  • Life-Line: Dr. Pinero claims his device can predict the exact time of a man's death.
  • The Roads Must Roll: The transportation problems of Earth have been solved by moving roads, but what happens when the road technicians go on strike? Or worse--sabotage!
  • Blowups Happen: Atomic power is so dangerous it must be watched continuously. But what is the psychological toll on a man when a single mistake means the end of all life of Earth?
  • The Man Who Sold The Moon: Harriman pursues space travel while using the intricate legal and political system of Earth to establish for himself clear title to the entire Moon.
  • Delilah and the Space-Rigger: Woman in space.
  • Space Jockey: Space pilot nearly loses his ship when he is knocked off course.
  • Requiem: Harriman's dying wish is to set foot on the Moon.
  • The Long Watch: Revolutionaries on the Moon intend to prevent war with Earth by a demonstration of power on an "unimportant town or two."
  • Gentlemen, Be Seated: Trapped in a tunnel on the Moon. No radios, no suits to walk back to base, and the air is leaking out slowly...
  • The Black Pits of Luna: Little boy gets lost on the moon.
  • "It's Great to Be Back!": A family fed up with the strict life on the Moon returns to Earth only to discover how much they dislike the dirt and filth of the Earth.
  • "--We Also Walk Dogs": General Services solves problems. But to solve their latest client's problems requires bending the laws of physics. And to do that they must have the help of the eccentric physicist Dr. O'Neil.
  • Searchlight: To find a ship crashed on the moon the searchers can rely only on the help of a little girl.
  • Ordeal in Space: A spaceman's ordeal with vertigo.
  • The Green Hills of Earth: Rhysling, the Blind Singer of the Spaceways, makes his final trip back to Earth.
  • Logic of Empire: A man sells himself into indentured servitude on Venus.
  • The Menace From Earth: Competition from the Earth-girl.
  • "If This Goes On--": The United States is in the grip of the religious fanatical movement started by Nehemiah Scudder. The Cabal works secrectly to bring down the totalitarian church government.
  • Coventry: Citizens who reject the Covenant can opt to undergo psychological re-adjustment or be released to Coventry, where there is no law.
  • Misfit: A natural genius makes scientific breakthroughs once his boss realizes the man's inborn talent.
  • Methuselah's Children: The long-lived Howard Family tries to escape persecution by leaving the solar system.

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