The Barnes & Noble Review
To mark the centennial of the birth of one of science fiction's greatest writers, Robert A. Heinlein (1907-88), several of Heinlein's early works are being re-released to a new generation of fans.
Space Cadet (1948), one of the very first published novels by the man described in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction as quite possibly "the all-time most important writer of genre SF," has been the inspiration for countless novels featuring young spacefaring students since its publication more than half a century ago. With an idealistic young man -- Des Moines, Iowa, native Matthew Brooks Dodson -- as the novel's protagonist, Heinlein interweaves a compelling coming-of-age tale with a military science fiction-flavored adventure replete with long-lost spaceships, cunning villains, and bizarre aliens. While determinedly making his way through the grueling Patrol Academy, Dodson -- who has dreams of being a member of the elite Interplanetary Patrol -- learns a little bit about the world around him and a lot about himself as he is confronted with one crisis after another…
Science fiction fans who know Heinlein only from his award-winning standards (Starship Troopers, Stranger in a Strange Land, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, et al.) should definitely take the time to read lesser-known -- but just as enduring -- novels like Space Cadet. Amazingly, more than half a century after it was first published, this story shows very little signs of aging. Aside from a few dated colloquialisms ("oh shucks," "go soak your head," etc.), this science fiction classic is virtually timeless and very suitable for readers of any age. Paul Goat Allen
Children's Literature - Melyssa Malinowski
Solar patrol officers are the pride of the solar system. They epitomize the ideals of serving and protecting the inhabitants of our solar system. Their training is rigorous, in all aspects of the word. Matt and his friends, Tex, and Oscar, have been accepted as Space Cadets in the prestigious Space Academy. Throughout their training, at the academy and subsequently on space ships, these three young men truly learn what it means to take risks and protect everyone. Follow them as they navigate their way through knowledge, training, and the vastness of the solar system. The novel has a distinctly Starship Trooper feel to it, without the extensively adult content. Passages can be slightly technical, but that does not detract from the overall story. It maintains good themes, such as team work, perseverance, and recognition for hard work. The boys are enjoyable to read about and cheer for through their trials. A major strength of the novel is its appeal to boys.
From the Publisher
“The lively story of a group of boys--Matt and Tex, from Terra; Oscar, from Venus; Pierre, from one of Jupiter's moons; and others--who train to uphold the peace of the solar system. This account of their training and their subsequent adventures is good, colorful fiction by an author who can write it ably and entertainingly.” Chicago Tribune on Space Cadet
“Throughout the story there is a constant stream of Heinlein's noted wit and satire, superbly told . . . The Hugo Award committee need look no further.” San Francisco Chronicle on Glory Road
“Heinlein...wrote adventure stories grounded in credible scientific speculation. Even the wonderful stories collected here feature his trademark cool reasoning. . . .Superb stories - old friends, really - that are well worth the book's price.” Booklist on The Fantasies of Robert A. Heinlein