Sprawling series of "future history" Mar 20, 2008
Read all in a row, Heinlein's "Past Through Tomorrow" collection is dizzying in scope. There are twenty stories in chronological order which are presented not so much as a sci-fi future but an alternate "future history" of Earth civilization. I have to admit the distinction was a little lost on me at first, but I think it's more about the mindset that Heinlein wanted his narration to be coming from. There is a wide range of topics covered, from predicting the future, to new modes of transportation, to moon colonization, to human flight, and human immortality. All weighty subjects, indeed. Heinlein chooses to illustrate the vast changes that occur within a civilzation through personal tales from one or two characters in each story, making it an enjoyable challenge to mentally link together the history that is patched together as the stories leap forward through the ages. All in all a wonderful collection of narratives that work together beautifully as a whole.