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Arrastra SF : recommended science fiction and fantasy books
Robert A. Heinlein's
The Door into Summer

Door into Summer Del Rey cover Want to read a classic science fiction book from the 1950s?  If so, maybe you should try reading The Door into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein.

There's "long sleep", suspended animation, for a one way trip to the future.
Imagine waking up in the year 2000! Gosh!  (OK, I'll admit this book is a bit dated, but it was written over forty years ago in 1957)  And there's also the classified science of temporal displacement or time travel...

Robert A. Heinlein was one of the most popular science fiction writers ever.  Most of his books are still in print today.  He wrote such classics as Stranger in a Strange Land, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Friday, and (for you sci-fi movie junkies) Starship Troopers

I read this book for the first time in 2000, and found it entertaining.  I enjoyed Heinlein's first person, chatty, writing style.  The book starts out good, drags a bit in the middle, but picks up nicely at the end.

Perhaps it helps to read this book as a time capsule from the 1950s.  Heinlein's depiction of the year 2000 has little correspondence with our reality, and his speculations are often humorously off the mark.

Some situations and dialog in the book are dated.  A few remarks can be considered politically incorrect.  Take this into account if such things significantly decease your reading pleasure.
Door into Summer Doubleday book club cover

Door into Summer 1959 Signet price "...While still a kitten, all fluff and buzzes, Pete had worked out a simple philosophy. I was in charge of quarters, rations, and weather; he was in charge of everything else.  But he held me especially responsible for weather. Connecticut winters are good only for Christmas cards; regularly that winter Pete would check his own door, refuse to go out it because of that unpleasant white stuff beyond it (he was no fool), then badger me to open a people door.  He had a fixed conviction that at least one of them must lead into summer weather."

quote from The Door into Summer - Robert A. Heinlein

<- Check out the year 2000 outfit on this 1959 paperback!

     The book starts in 1970 with Dan Davis --- engineer and founder of Hired Girl, Inc., a growing company that makes household robots --- looking for his own door into summer.  His former business partner, Miles Gentry, and his former fiancée, Belle Darkin, the company secretary, have conspired together to take over his business.
     an was too trustful, perhaps too naive.  He shouldn't have assigned company stock over to Belle as an engagement gift.  He should have seen that Belle was lying when she said she liked his cat.
     Things get nasty when Dan confronts Miles and Belle.  They put Dan into the Long Sleep, ship him off to 2000 A.D., to get rid of him.  Fortunately Dan mailed his Hired Girl stock to Ricky at Girl Scout camp.
     Dan wakes up in the year 2000 and finds things not quite as expected.  He searches for Miles, Belle, and Ricky.  Then he discovers a way to make it so Belle and Miles don't get away with their schemes after all.
Door into Summer trade paperback

Door into Summer 1970s Signet cover Some things in Heinlein's year 2000, but not ours....
The Six Weeks War, a nuclear war circa 1970
Movies are called 'grabbies' , robots are prevalent
Short term marriage contracts
Gold is cheap, there's a Luna Shuttle
Sticktite (velcro?) closure seams on clothing
Meat grown in tanks, NullGrav, traveling on "Ways"
Denver is the National Capitol
Some things in Heinlein's year 2000 and ours...
"Do babies come out of test tubes?"
Gold is no longer a basis for money
The Panic of '87 (The Stock Market took a hit that year)
"For ten dollars you can get a very satisfactory dinner...if you are careful..."
Drawing machine Drafting Dan, sounds like computer CAD
"Universal checkbook system...a cybernet", sounds like ATMs

Characters in The Door Into Summer
Daniel Boone Davis, Dan, D.B. - inventor, chief engineer and CEO at Hired Girl
Petronius the Arbiter, a.k.a. Pete - a tom cat who likes ginger ale
Belle Darkin - Dan's ex-fiancée, secretary and bookkeeper at Hired Girl
Miles Gentry - Dan's ex-partner, businessman and president of Hired Girl
Ricky (Frederica Virginia) Gentry / Heinicke - Miles's 10 year old stepdaughter
Chuck Freudenberg - an engineer at Hired Girl in 2000
Dr. Hubert Twitchell - inventor of temporal displacement, classified by military, in Boulder Colorado.
John and Jenny Sutton - Sunshine Club members, friends of Dan in 1970
Other stuff
Hired Girl Inc., a successful business started by Dan and Miles to make household helper robots
Aladdin Autoengineering Corporation, a company that makes robots in 2000
Flexible Frank, Dan's prototype of a multi-purpose household robot
Window Willie , one of Hired Girl's products
Eager Beaver, Drafting Dan, more robot trade names
Blurb From Del Rey edition of The Door into Summer (cover on top of page)
Forced into a one-way trip to the future, first he got mad --- and then he got even!
A Switch in time...

Dan Davis, an electronic engineer, had finally made the invention of a lifetime: a household robot that could do almost anything.  Wild success was within reach --- and Dan's life was ruined.  In a plot to steal his business, his greedy partner and greedier fiancée tricked him into taking the "long sleep" --- suspended animation for thirty years.
But when he awoke in the far different world of A.D. 2000, he made an amazing discovery.  And suddenly Dan had the means to travel back in time --- and get his revenge!

Blurb from the Signet edition of The Door into Summer
A man enters the Future --- bent on revenge and finds himself trapped in 2000 A.D.... An intriguing novel by the dean of space-age fiction.
The Long Sleep

In the year 1970 A.D. it's easy to get rid of an enemy, legally.  There's no need to kill him.  It's just a matter of the "long sleep" - a freezing process that keeps him in suspended animation for as long as necessary : a month, a year, a century.  This is the story of a victim of the "long sleep." This is the story of what happens when he awakes in the year 2000 A.D. "This is science fiction at its best" --- Hollywood Citizen News
Robert A. Heinlein links - Some other websites to check out

The SF Site Featured Review The Door Into Summer

Millennial reviews III The Door into Summer

Robert Heinlein The Door Into Summer

Denver Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Club:
Information, ratings, bibliography, and book covers for three other Heinlein books
Stranger in a Strange Land
Starman Jones

Heinlein's publishing history by year with links to many cover graphics
Illustrated List of Heinlein Fiction
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