My review of The Pursuit of the Pankera

The Pursuit of the Pankera: A Parallel Novel About Parallel Universes by Robert A. Heinlein

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


In 1980 Heinlein published a novel called The Number of the Beast. It involved parallel universes, The World as Fiction, and dragged in Lazarus Long, as Heinlein seemed to do in most of his later books. While parts of it were fun, it was also confusing and disjointed in my opinion. I will read any Heinlein for the writing alone, so I am a fan (in fact, I was for a time the webmaster for The Heinlein Society), but I can see that some of his stuff is better than others. So when I heard there was an alternate version of this novel, I had to check it out. And The Pursuit of the Pankera keeps the same basic setting and has the same beginning as The Number of the Beast, but I think it is much better. The plot is a lot more cohesive and the novel just flows in way the previous didn’t. This is the one I will reread in the future. And as a huge fan of the Lensman universe the part of the book that goes there was quite a treat. For those who don’t know, the idea of The World as Fiction is that fictional worlds are real in other universes, so the characters here visit Barsoom, Oz, and the Lensman universe. Tons of fun.



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