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The Cat Who Walks Through Walls

Publishers Weekly1 Nov 1985

Cat Who Walks Through Walls by Robert a Heinlein_p1

As the old guard of SF ages, we are getting more novels of nostalgia. Heinlein is less sentimental than many of his generation but his new book resembles both the latest Bradbury, in making the author the protagonist, and the latest Asimov, in returning to a popular series from early in his career . Like Heinlein, Richard Ames is an ex-military man turned writer who fancies himself a pundit. An assassination attempt precipitates his marriage to Gwen Novak and sends the newlyweds scurrying to the Moon and then to the planet Tertius, headquarters of the Time Corps. The action, though, is largely beside the point in a novel that is predominantly a dialogue between the protagonists. Their foredoomed attempt to become the Nick and Nora Charles of space is sabotaged less by Heinlein’s endless elbow-in-the-ribs wisecracks and more by his inability to convincingly portray a sexual relationship. Given the increasing popularity of his recent, similar work, it is unlikely that the book’s short-comings will limit its potentially large audience. November 11

Related Works By Lilian Jackson Braun

  • The Cat Who Had 14 Tales, 1988 ” rel=”nofollow”> ISBN 0-515-09497-8): an anthology of unrelated short stories involving various cats. Note that Qwilleran, Koko and Yum Yum do not appear in these tales.
  • Short and Tall Tales: Moose County Legends Collected by James Mackintosh Qwilleran, 2002 ” rel=”nofollow”> ISBN 0-515-13635-2): collected anecdotes and regional folklore from residents of Pickax & environs
  • The Private Life of the Cat Who …: Tales of Koko and Yum Yum , 2004 ” rel=”nofollow”> ISBN 0-515-13832-0): collection of extracts from several previous works with limited new material
  • Words And Phrases Coined

    Even outside the science fiction community, several words and phrases coined or adopted by Heinlein have passed into common English usage:

    • Waldo, protagonist in the eponymous short story “”, whose name came to mean mechanical or robot arms in the real world that are akin to the ones used by the character in the story.
    • used in as a pejorative political referring to progressives or , was originally the name of a space ship in his story “”.
    • , a “Martian” word for understanding a thing so fully as to become one with it, from .
    • , an existing term popularized by Heinlein in short stories, the concept then being made famous by , though the term “space marine” is not used in that novel.
    • , a term Heinlein used for the separation of serious, consistent science fiction writing, from the pop “sci fi” of the day, which generally took great artistic license with human knowledge, amounting to being more like space fantasy than science fiction.

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    Narrator Is Fantastic Dear Publisher I’d Listen To This Guy Read Rh All Day

    Really captured the ironic wit of Robert Heinlein beautifully, I felt like the author was reading it. Would love to hear more from this guy. And so nice to discover this story as the only Heinlein I’d read before was Friday and Stranger in a Strange Land. I am almost afraid to buy those on audio if the voice over is not as good.

    Middle Period Work 19611973

    The Cat Who Walks Through Walls 1986 Robert A Heinlein Science Fiction ...

    Podkayne of Mars

    From about 1961 to 1973 , Heinlein explored some of his most important themes, such as , , and free expression of physical and emotional love. Three novels from this period, Stranger in a Strange Land, , and Time Enough for Love, won the ‘s , designed to honor classic libertarian fiction. Jeff Riggenbach described The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress as “unquestionably one of the three or four most influential libertarian novels of the last century”.

    Heinlein did not publish Stranger in a Strange Land until some time after it was written, and the themes of free love and radical are prominently featured in his long-unpublished first novel, For Us, the Living: A Comedy of Customs.

    The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress tells of a war of independence waged by the Lunar penal colonies, with significant comments from a major character, Professor La Paz, regarding the threat posed by government to individual freedom.

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    The Cat Who Walks Through Walls

    by Robert A. HeinleinRELEASE DATE: Nov. 11, 1985

    Pub Date: Nov. 11, 1985

    ISBN: 1433212927

    Review Posted Online: Sept. 25, 2011

    Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1985

    Did you like this book?

    More by Robert A. Heinlein


    A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

    Reader Votes

    The Cat Who Walks Through Walls By Robert A Heinlein

    One wonderful thing about my lady, one of the many wonderful things, one of the facts about my lady who is herself wonderful, is that since we both have a love of speculative fiction we can exchange book recommendations.

    Robert Heinlein is an author with whom I’ve had an odd relationship. I’ve only read four or five of his books, though my lady has read more, but I’ve run the gamut from being excited and fascinated by his “The Red Planet” at age eight, to being so appalled by “Fear No Evil” at the age of twenty two . However on my lady’s recommendation I decided to tackle him again.

    In some ways The Cat Who Walks Through Walls serves as a microcosm of Heinlein’s work in general, both because it is a direct sequel to his exceptional earlier novel Moon Is A Harsh Mistress and because it brings in characters, themes and settings in from many other of his works.

    Also, my impressions of The Cat Who Walks Through Walls as a book are much like a smaller version of my impressions of Heinlein’s works and philosophy and character overall. Rarely have I read a book which, sometimes in the same scene has managed to be witty, sweet and utterly charming, but also appalling, gross and obnoxiously smug.

    Hopefully this review will have given some idea of the cases for both approaches so you can make up your own mind. One thing I will say, it definitely gave my lady and I some interesting debates, something which I’m sure Heinlein, the old grump himself would have approved of.

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    Good Story Great Narration

    I haven’t “read” this book in years, since it was first published. I’m still listening to it, and had to stop and write this to comment on the Narrator. His voice exudes the sly humor of RAH in his asides. It is a truly good listen. Of course Heinlein’s works stand for themselves, and this narrator just makes the story that much more enjoyable.

    From “the Cat Who Walks Through Walls” By Robert A Heinlein

    Cat Who Walks Through Walls by Robert a Heinlein_p2

    I was in the pilot’s couch Gwen had the copilot’s position on my right. I looked toward her and then realized that I was still wearing that silly eyepatch. No, delete “silly” — it had, quite possibly, saved my life. I took it off, stuffed it into a pocket. Then I took it off, stuffed it into a pocket. Then I took that fez off, looked around for somewhere to put it — tucked it under my chest belt. “Let’s see if we are secure for space,” I said.

    “Isn’t it a little late for that, Richard?”

    “I always do my check-off lists after I lift,” I told her. “I’m the optimistic type. You have a purse and a large package from Macy’s how are they secured?”

    “They are not, as yet. If you will refrain from goosing this craft while I do it, I’ll unstrap and net them.” She started to unstrap.

    “Whoops! Before unstrapping you must get permission from the pilot.”

    “I thought I had it.”

    “You do now. But don’t make that mistake again. Mr. Christian, His Majesty’s Ship Bounty is a taut ship and will remain that way. Bill! How are you doing back there?”

    “M okay.”

    “Are you secure in all ways? When I twist her tail, I don’t want any loose change flying around the cabin.”

    “He’s belted in properly,” Gwen assured me. “I checked him. He is holding Tree-San’s pot flat against his tummy and he has my promise that, if he lets go of it, we will bury him without rites.”

    “I’m not sure it will stand up under acceleration.”

    “I think so. Time enough?”

    “Yes, sir.”


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    Inspiring Culture And Technology

    In 1962, founded the , a religious organization modeled in many ways after the treatment of religion in the novel Stranger in a Strange Land. This spiritual path included several ideas from the book, including non-mainstream family structures, social libertarianism, water-sharing rituals, an acceptance of all religious paths by a single tradition, and the use of several terms such as “grok”, “Thou art God”, and “Never Thirst”. Though Heinlein was neither a member nor a promoter of the Church, there was a frequent exchange of correspondence between Zell and Heinlein, and he was a paid subscriber to their magazine, . This Church still exists as a religious organization incorporated in California, with membership worldwide, and it remains an active part of the neopagan community today. Zell-Ravenheart’s wife, coined the term in 1990, another movement that includes Heinlein concepts among its roots.

    Heinlein was also a guest commentator for ‘s coverage of the Moon landing. He remarked to Cronkite during the landing that, “This is the greatest event in human history, up to this time. This istoday is New Year’s Day of the Year One.”

    Heinlein has inspired many transformational figures in business and technology including , the designer of the first mass-produced portable computer,, co-author of the first widely-used web browser, and , CEO of and founder of .

    Birth Childhood And Early Education

    Heinlein, born on July 7, 1907, to Rex Ivar Heinlein and Bam Lyle Heinlein, in , was the third of seven children. He was a sixth-generation a family tradition had it that Heinleins fought in every American war, starting with the .

    He spent his childhood in .The outlook and values of this time and place had a definite influence on his fiction, especially in his later works, as he drew heavily upon his childhood in establishing the setting and cultural atmosphere in works like and . The 1910 appearance of Halley’s Comet inspired the young child’s life-long interest in astronomy.

    The family could not afford to pay to send Heinlein to college, so he sought an appointment to a military academy. When Heinlein graduated from Central High School in Kansas City in 1924, he was initially prevented from attending the at Annapolis because his older brother Rex was a student there, and regulations discouraged multiple family members from attending the academy simultaneously. He instead matriculated at Kansas City Community College and began vigorously petitioning Missouri Senator for an appointment to the Naval Academy. In part due to the influence of the , the Naval Academy admitted him in June 1925 Heinlein later said that Reed told him that he had 100 letters of recommendation, 50 for other candidates for nomination and 50 for Heinlein.

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    Related Works By Other Authors

    • The Cat Who… Companion, 1998 ” rel=”nofollow”> ISBN 0-425-18642-3) by Sharon A. Feaster, including Braun interview
    • The Cat Who… Quiz Book, 2003 ” rel=”nofollow”> ISBN 0-425-19187-7) by Robert J. Headrick, Jr., with introduction by Braun
    • The Cat Who… Cookbook, 2000 ” rel=”nofollow”> ISBN 0-425-17674-6) by Julie Murphy and Sally Abney Stempinski, with foreword by Braun
    • The Cat Who… Reunion Cookbook, 2006 ” rel=”nofollow”> ISBN 0-425-21188-6) by Julie Murphy and Sally Abney Stempinski, with foreword by Braun
    • The Cat Who Killed Lilian Jackson Braun, 2003 ” rel=”nofollow”> ISBN 1-893-22484-8), a parody novel by Robert Kaplow

    Connections To Other Heinlein Works

    Publication: The Cat Who Walks Through Walls

    Gwen Novak is eventually revealed to be Hazel Stone, a character previously featured in Heinlein’s The Rolling Stones and who had played a small but important role in The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. Campbell is also eventually revealed to be a son of Lazarus Long, a Heinlein character originally introduced in Methuselah’s Children and who reappeared in Time Enough for Love, The Number of the Beast, and To Sail Beyond the Sunset. Also appearing are Jubal Harshaw, a major character in Stranger in a Strange Land Galahad, of Time Enough for Love and Manuel Garcia O’Kelly Davis, the first-person voice of The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress.

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    Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International LicenseTitle:Title Record # Language:User Rating:Your vote:VOTE

    1986Translated by Thomas Wintner Dutch
    1987Translated by Harro Christensen the translation was revised for the 2017 edition by Heyne German
    1987Translated by Jean-Paul Martin French
    1988Translated by Gaetano Staffilano Italian
    1989Translated by Clarisse Tavares Portuguese
    1989Translated by Clarisse Tavares Portuguese


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