(urth) Heinlein's Universe and The Long Sun

Charles Gillingham charlesgillingham at gmail.com
Mon Jan 27 19:02:33 PST 2020

My father explained the plot of, but forgot the name of, Universe.
Thanks for pointing this out, I'll reads it now!

On Mon, Jan 27, 2020 at 6:19 AM Gerry Quinn <gerry at bindweed.com> wrote:
> On 26/01/2020 19:44, Gem Caccetta wrote:
> I recently came across a three volume set of short stories and novellas called the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, edited by Ben Bova in 1975. One of the novellas titled Universe, by Robert Heinlein, (written in 1941) takes place on the “Ship”—a generation ship sent off long ago to inhabit another planet, but now drifting because none of the descendants remember the nature or purpose of the ship. What they do remember has degenerated into religious superstition. There is a “Jordan’s Plan” for the ship. There is a powerful two-headed mutant, Joe-Jim, a highly intelligent leader of a mutant gang who has learned of the Ship’s true nature. There is a young, curious man Hugh, captured by Joe-Jim, who is taken to the main control room and shown the stars. Hugh enlists others to take control of the ship and complete Jordan’s Plan….sound familiar?
> Certainly a few commonalities there - two headed mutants aren't exactly a dime a dozen!  But that said, there are a lot of generation ship sagas with some similar features.  Wolfe's Long Sun is unusual for avoiding the trope of complete forgetfulness.  The Crew (and the Gods/Mainframe) know what the deal is, though it looks like they are paralysed without orders from Pas, or they don't know how to persuade the Cargo.  And the Cargo - or the educated ones - actually know they are on a generation ship too, though they have put it to the back of their minds in favour of matters related to day to day life (I think Wolfe suggested BotNS itself has a similar theme).  Kind of like how everyone on this whorl ignores global warming insofar as it means any change in lifestyle!
> - Gerry Quinn
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