Sixth Column

Sixth Column➽ Sixth Column Download ➺ Author Robert A. Heinlein – Robert A Heinlein conta nos neste fascinante romance a história da conuista e ocupação da América por invasores asiáticos Apenas seis homens em todo o país poderão transformar a derrota em vit Robert A Heinlein conta nos neste fascinante romance a história da conuista e ocupação da América por invasores asiáticos Apenas seis homens em todo o país poderão transformar a derrota em vitória Seis homens contra uatrocentos milhõesNum laboratório fortaleza escondido nas montanhas rochosas estes homens planeiam uma revolta ue ultrapassará tudo uanto se possa imaginar Trabalhando nas profundezas do solo secretamente constroem uma arma ue fará estremecer o mundo Estão determinados a defender o seu país da aniuilação totalEste livro é tão empolgante como um romance de aventuras tão fascinante como documentos governamentais secretos tão lógico como uma experiência científicaHeinlein confronta nos com a velha máxima de ue se a tecnologia for suficientemente avançada torna se para o comum dos mortais indistinguível da magia e é armados com essa magia ue os nossos heróis conseguirão derrotar probabilidades impensáveis Além do mais o mais fascinante do livro é a compreensão do autor dos meandros e comportamentos do pessoal integrado em exércitos Apesar de muitas vezes pensarmos ue um exército é um monte de pessoas desorganizadas um exército eficaz é um modelo de organização ue é seguido em todo o mundo por homens de armas mas também por empresas privadas ue usam os seus princípios organizativos para orientar os seus negócios Como demonstração do ue um exército deve ser o livro é excelente apesar de em certos aspectos ter uma atitude ingénua e juvenil tão típica de Heinlein nos seus princípios de carreira. Bird Brian's review of Prayers for the Assassin reminded me of this steaming pile of crap which I read when I was about 12 So the slitty eyed yellow hordes have invaded the good ol' US and are crushing it under their bamboo heel But luckily there are six all American heroes left in this underground mountain research establishment and they invent this incredible cool weapon based on superior Aryan science and wow even though they're up against four hundred million Japanese Chinese Vietnamese whatever Untermenschen they triumph because well that's their racial destiny isn't it?I may be misremembering some details Heinlein wrote it in 1940; I would love to know about his political opinions at the time and how he thought WW II was going to play out It makes me sad to 2 star this Heinlein novel that was one of my very favorites when I was 13 or 14 But it didn't hold up well at all on rereading First you have to handwave pervasive racial insults and insensitities American is conuered by an improbable Oriental nation that's a mix of Japanese and Chinese then you have to handwave the magical scientific discovery that does freaking everything kills people by race cures cancer builds huge temples transmutes other elements into gold And you also have to handwave the unlikelihood of a group of six intrepid Americans taking on the occupying forces with almost no trouble at allMy hands just got tired of all that wavingFull review to come at wwwfantasyliteraturecom I just reread this one and I want to update my review a bit I like the book Having read it back in the 1970s and rereading it again now I wanted to be sure I'd pointed out some of the things readers from the 21st century should be aware of going inYou'll need to remember the time frame in which this book was written The racial attitudes on display are informed by WW2 Korea and America's situation with respect to Red China The book is I want to say up front not at all PC Please remember this when you read the bookThere are words used in this book that we mostly don't use today Also for African American or Black readers and Americans of Latin descent you'll probably note that you aren't mentioned at all The invasion of America seems to be between Asians usually called Orientals in the book a word that has fallen into non usage and whitesAgain just the times I hope this doesn't offend and you can enjoy the book but I wanted to give the heads upI read this back in the 70s and like most of Heinlein's work I enjoyed it It is at heart a fast moving story that keeps you interested throughoutRecommended but be aware it's very much from the era of the Red menace and also a time of wariness toward Asian enemies The take is not meant to be offensive it's simply meant to be pragmatic During WW2 Japan had planned to establish an East Asian Co Prosperity Sphere That seems to still be in play here in the plotAlso let me say that the plot device is an interesting one and not really exactly like one I've seen elsewhere Heinlein was a talented writer who inculcated his own worldviews in his writings in various ways Most of the time though not always they don't overwhelm the story There are Heinlein books I don't care for and Heinlein books I like greatlyI think this one falls into the latter category The racial attitudes are of course easy for me to ignore I do hope that they can be seen through so everyone can enjoy this book Ironically Heinlein was one of the most open minded writers around if you look at his entire body of work Heinlein has his faults I'll admit Who can forget the ending of Podkayne of Mars where the heroine decides that captaincy of a space ship sounds like too much work and instead she'll set her sights on marrying a captain?But until The Day After Tomorrow I have never actually been disgusted by a book of his An review charitably says it reflects the fears and concerns of the time period he wrote the book in Granted in 1941 paranoia about Japan was probably sane but he wrote this before Pearl HarbourHis premise is that America has been invaded and conuered by panasia a vast and sprawling empire bent on conuest Only six men scientists who have just made an amazing scientific discovery stand in its way They use their amazing not to say magical scientific discovery to organize a resistance under the guise of a religion This plan mostly worksSpecific problems Frank Mitsui in the book is a man whose grandmother was half Chinese and half wahini and his mother is part Chinese but mostly Caucasian Somehow he acuired the name Mitsui from this ancestry and finds himself adrift in a country that reviles him as do the invaders He appears early on is consulted as an expert in Asian thinking it's genetic? and has few speaking parts Americanwhite is otherwise unchallenged There are no perhaps one? I don't want to reread to check it out speaking parts for women in this book Only two women are named and one is dead before the book begins He appears to be an advocate of the flying monkeys and magic school of military thought Sufficiently advanced science will assure that we win And obviously our science is advanced The American spirit and culture raises America above other nations Granted in 1941 this must have seemed like an attractive message but the book often focuses on the ways in which the Asiatic culture is deficient The OMG my plan is brilliant really brilliant would you like to hear about it? Too bad But it's really brilliant Okay I'll tell this guy over here and he'll react in awe and amazement See how brilliant my plan is? gambit has never endeared me to anyone The magical weapon has whatever abilities the plot reuires Kill a man? Check Stun a man? Check Forcefield? Check Cure the common cold? Check Cure Cancer? Check None of these examples are made up It would be easiest to review this like I have the stories I've been reading on Project Gutenberg with a hefty dose of irreverence and covering the sometimes astounding racism and sexism with as much humour as headshaking But this is Heinlein and it's not as easy to dismiss With Heinlein you have to tackle head on the issues with many of his books and if you're me admit that you still really like reading them anywayNote The rest of this review has been withheld due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement You can read why I came to this decision hereIn the meantime you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook Modern day America tends toward self loathing I often wonder if we could survive in the face of a persistent enemy with moral conviction It is virtually impossible to find an intellectual that doesn't somewhere between apologize for America or just outright regard it as a villain inside or outside of the country The attitude increasingly permeates through the rest of our cultureIt is often one of the underlying things in Heinlein's work that I enjoy that both his personal values and the time in which he wrote were violently opposed to this trend Perhaps Sixth Column is the best instance of placing that attitude at center stage In the novel America has just been taken over by Pan Asians Their victory is complete and they're strangling the country and running it as a nation of slaves We open with our hero delivering orders to a small military organization one that is exploring applying advanced science to the application of war The military has essentially ceased to exist This particular installation is unknown to the invaders They are to prosecute the war independently in a last ditch effortOur hero discovers that a breakthrough has been made but coupled with a terrible accident Most of the staff at the installation has died in the accident Nobody knows exactly the nature of the breakthrough or what killed them all Every line officer was among those who were killed Though only a major himself this leaves it to him to assume command of the couple dozen scientists remaining fight an occupying major world power and to restore the United StatesThere is never a moment's hesitation at whether it is the right thing to do There is never a uestion of not doing it The only uestion is how Heinlein highlights bravery fortitude in the face of insurmountable odds patriotism and overall spirit sadly missing from most of our culture He never fails to spin a good story but this work is inspiring as well This was a strange one If you take out all of the racial slurs you'd be left with about 5060% of the page count Yes I know that it was written during WWII but it is still pretty relentless You could argue that Heinlein makes both sides racist but it still makes for a rather uncomfortable experienceThe actual story is fantasy than sci fi with the victors inventing what is basically a glorified magic wand that can both kill and heal as well as being race selective Even incredible is the plot pitting six American men versus the entirePanAsian JapaneseChinese armed forcesI could go on but I won't Not one of Heinlein's better works Pretty disappointed with this one The premise of this book is that the US was taken over by the Pan Asians The last remaining vestige of the US military consists of a few scientists and an advertising writer Rather than give up the ad guy decides to use the time honored military tactic of making up a fake religion and using the newly invented Ledbetter Effect to beat back the yellow menace once and for allThe book is just absurd wish fulfillment Utterly goofy and filled with racial pejoratives that might have been acceptable When this book was written 1941 but is very jarring to read today I am a Heinlein fanboy but I would skip this one unless you are a completist Two stars including one just because I love HeinleinThe Ledbetter Effect is the well known scientific effect of using radiation to do whatever the fuck you want See also Alchemy or Handwavium 24 — 26 starsIf Major Ard Robert Heinlein’s protagonist in his first published novel Sixth Column were to experience himself as a reflection in a mirror would he see and hear this?“Bark bark bark bark bark Bark barkBark Bark bark bark I think you have something there ”Yes A kind of baroue “terraced dynamic” uality defines Major Ad’s way of speaking—and acting And like the protagonist Heinlein’s novel maintains this “odd” tone throughoutAs Space Cadet Heinlein’s second novel is seemingly strange Sixth Column his first novel is likewise seemingly strange though from a different perspective Whereas Space Cadet surprises the reader with mature ideas within a young adult “juvenile” narrative Sixth Column strikes a reader as “juvenile ish” within a mature narrativePublished in serial form which contributes to the uneven tone approximately four months prior to the Pearl Harbor attack the novel anticipates such a conflict and “plays out” a futuristic full scale invasion of the United States From the beginning chapter the United States is devastated And the PanAsian Empire the enemy force then sets about occupying and enslaving the native population The “Sixth Column” title gleaned from a military tactic used during the Spanish Civil War describes a handful of Americans who then fight the enemy “from within” the occupying forceWith such a premise the author conseuently presents a number of ideas associated with warfare and such an occupation an autocratic totalitarian state with widespread surveillance race genocide eugenic prejudice and terrorism Additionally he explores the ideas of freedom independence varying facets of religion as well as individual morality—which he continues to explore in later novels He also posits one horrible idea that becomes remarkable that of “killing the culture” The PanAsians maintain the “killing of the enemy’s culture” as a strategy to completely subordinate then enslave the “lesser” racesHeinlein succeeds in presenting a potentially horrific vision He also succeeds in satisfying reader expectation for a science fiction narrative However “lucky” and “odd” incidences within the plot as well as a lack of character development push the speculative uality of the novel to an almost cartoonish extreme And unfortunately for a science fiction “war” novel Heinlein creates scene after scene of “talking” or second hand reporting instead of episodes of actionYet Sixth Column has its strengths tooDespite the cartoon uality that ultimately ensues there are a few scenes that create verisimilitude within the situation the despair at the beginning of the novel as well as the severe process for “drafting” military recruits And the scene where Thomas discovers a spy within the rebels’ first forward base the rebels’ first “church” becomes uite dramatic and even brutal The references to labor camps and “pleasure centers” where women are enslaved for sex further support the intended serious tone for the narrative as wellBy far Heinlein’s various ideas and critiues become the novel’s greatest strengths From including linguistic coded messages and chemical warfare an incident of a gas attack through an incisive prediction of world overpopulation to his critiue through Ard of the political complacency of US leaders Heinlein as expected sets the American ideal of individual liberty in relief against the PanAsian totalitarian and eugenic projection of “superiority” He also provides cultural commentary regarding the influences and corruptive nature of money ualities of “the police state” and the human need for symbolUnfortunately many of these wonderful aspects become thwarted by two particular plot elements the Americans’ secret weapon the “Ledbetter effect” and the choice of using an imagined religious sect as “cover” while building a counter offensiveThe “Ledbetter effect” while amazing in its scientific explanation nevertheless becomes a “miracle” weapon And all PanAsian threats to the small rebel group fail to create a sense of risk This “effect” weapon has a feature so deadly that a reader cannot help but laugh at the “cartoon magic” sense of it—despite its grotesue and horrific implications Indeed a riotous skit from Monty Python comes to mindThe created religious sect of “Mota” “atom” scrambled contributes to the novel’s progressive cartoon uality as well Here agents dress as priests utter bizarre platitudes to placate their PanAsian oppressors and bribe local officials as they screen supplicants as potential military recruits The costumes like the platitudes seem silly; and Heinlein poses a seemingly ignorant assumption about the PanAsian’s view of religionOne particular illogical and jarring episode involves Ard’s frustration toward forming a military staff This oddity stands out since Heinlein makes the character a Major a Field Grade Officer—an officer who should know very well the ways in which larger military organizations function Further the progressive episodes involving the haughty Calhoun character as well as Heinlein’s diction “That’s swell I’ll be a cross eyed intern Fortnight etc seem to bring the novel even closer to cartoon territoryLastly while Ard’s pronouncement upon the invaders is wonderfully apt and just his final statement creates an uncomfortable irony Indeed he advocates a position seemingly as arrogant as his nemesis Was Heinlein intentional in this irony? As an author uite possibly Through the Ard character not likely Conseuently this appears to be another blemish to the conclusion Heinlein perhaps intendedIf then the reader were to experience Heinlein’s first novel Sixth Column as a reflection in a mirror she would see in that reflection the author’s second novel Space Cadet since it stands as a complete reversal to his first Left becomes right; and right becomes left—in reflection As Space Cadet proposes a positive future anchored in “Peace” Sixth Column proposes a negative future anchored in war and oppressionAnd so per Major Ad remember A good PanAsian is a dead PanAsian and Good Hunting”Recommendedfor Heinlein Science Fiction Readers 25 — 26 StarsNot Recommendedfor All Other Readers 24 Stars Heinlein's first published novel which also appeared under the title of The Day After Tomorrow was serialized in John W Campbell's Astounding Science Fiction Magazine early pre Pearl Harbor in 1941 and was first released as a book by Gnome Press in 1949 Campbell himself reportedly provided much of the concept I first read it when I was uite young and didn't recognize some of the flaws and weaknesses it contained though I remember not liking it uite as well as his juveniles that I'd previously explored It's the patriotic story of Yankee can do spirit and ingenuity prevailing over the overwhelming forces of evil Like many young fans of the day Heinlein was my unuestioned hero for years I recently checked this audio version out of my local library to revisit the story; it didn't hold up as well The racist and sexist overtones that didn't bother the juvenile me were impossible to overcome this time around There was a line about the white men growing beards because it made the Oriental men feel weak and inferior like women wince and the conuering Asians are freuently referred to with derogatory and racist phrases And I was a little hesitant to accept the idea that a half dozen guys could invent a magic wand and defeat a whole continent full of experienced soldiers In historical context I think it's still an entertaining story I wonder how I missed the fact the first time around that the name of the Great God Mota is atom spelled backwards? but it's far from Heinlein's best