The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag

by Robert A. Heinlein
Reviewed date: 2007 Feb 4
214 pages
cover art

This collection was previously published under the title 6xH. It contains six of Heinlein's best non-science fiction stories. Although I'm a fan of his sf more than his fantasy or horror, it is still a good set of stories. I particularly enjoyed "The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag," but the rest of the stories--though memorable--struck me as nothing but whimsy.

  • The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag: Hoag, who does not know his own profession, hires a husband-and-wife team of detectives to tail him and discover what he does in the daytime. The detectives have several run-ins with the strange Sons of the Bird, but continue to investigate.
  • The Man Who Traveled in Elephants: Reportedly one of Heinlein's personal favorites. It's a Bradburyesque fantasy of a widower who goes to a fair and meets his wife in the afterlife.
  • "All You Zombies": Time travel loop.
  • They: A mental patient is convinced the whole universe is a charade meant to fool him.
  • Our Fair City: An intelligent whirlwind runs for mayor of a corrupt city.
  • "And He Built a Crooked House": An eccentric architect builds a house shaped like a tessaract, only to have it collapse and trap him in the fourth dimension.

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