ltimamente en mis rese as describo lo que me ha parecido la obra con una frase o m s bien una palabra en ste caso ser a una obra IMPRESCINDIBLE para cualquier lector en general, y para los amantes del g nero en particular El porqu , pues por ser un gran libro con una excelente historia, bien narrado y construido, con un ritmo envidiable y un excelente desarrollo, interesante en todas sus partes y a lo largo de la obra sin desfallecer en ning n momento, con unos buenos personajes, eso en general, y en particular para el g nero por ser un poco el ABC de la invasiones extraterrestres por tanto, Heinlein como siempre acaba siendo con sta obra el precursor de los posteriores homenajes a tan estimables obras c mo Alien, Aliens, La cosa, La invasi n de los ladrones de cuerpos, inclu do James Bond por nombrar unos cuantos t tulos.Pero voy all con unas pinceladas de la novela que quiero destacar y su argumentoNos situamos en el a o 2007, cuando uno de los mejores agentes del servicio secreto de inteligencia de EEUU, Sam Cavanaugh es enviado junto a una compa era Mary por su jefe, El viejo todo sta comillado por un sentido pero no voy a hacer spolier, lo tendr is que leer , el cual se a ade como tercer miembro y testigo directo, a una expedici n para investigar el aterrizaje, supuestamente falso en Iwoa, de un platillo volante Desde se preciso momento, se nos adentra en la investigaci n en terreno y cient fica, posterior estrategia militar y pol tica, la toma de decisiones no siempre populares , los conflictos personales de nuestros tres principales protagonistas y la lucha por la supervivencia para el posterior fin de la invasi n y bien com n adem s , la obra incluye un romance C mo se puede ver es un gran ejercicio de acci n, ciencia ficci n, pol tica, estrategia militar y amor Cosas que destac aparte de lo mencionado en generalidad de la novela 1 Sus personajes Sam, se nos plantea a priori c mo un tipo duro pelo machista y sexista , de vuelta de casi todo, un pelo adicto a ciertas drogas ex ticas y futuristas, y en el que prima por encima de todo su lealtad al departamento Pero bajo toda sa estela, nos encontramos con un hombre solitario, con carencias afectivas que cubre con su servicio al estado.Mary, a priori es una chica exuberante, con unas aptitudes para el combate fuera de lo normal Pero detr s de eso se oculta un coraz n solitario, que quiere hacerse la dura, con un pasado dram tico y con las mismas carencias que Sam.El viejo, es un tipo de mucho cuidado, taimado y manipulador, que nunca hace nada sin un prop sito oculto, pero en el fondo es un sentimental, un patriota y un idealista.2 El punto de vista de un infectado Se nos describe en primera persona el punto de vista de un infectado a nivel de acci n y pensamiento.3 La doble lectura de la novela Bajo la aparente simplicidad y primera lectura, Heinlein nos hace una critica al tiempo de se mofa de casi todo Unos ejemplos Cr tica del car cter cerrado, egoc ntrico con unas prolongadas y sofistas deducciones de los cient ficos vs la practicidad de los hombres de acci n Quiero hacer una especial menci n a un pasaje de dos cient ficos con unos di logos los cuales me han parecido un gui o por parte del autor a un compa ero de profesi n, Asimov Cr tica a la TV Dios, si levantase Heinlein ahora la cabeza el porqu del llamado progreso y su funci n Mofa de las lecciones preconcebidas de un rango militar y lo dado por hecho El s mil que hace entre invasores y fascismo control de la comunicaciones y las personas Cr tica a la pol tica y sus protocolos, la falsedad burocr tica e intereses Menci n especial a la fina iron a que nos plantea a los congresistas y su parecido con los alien genas invasores Tambi n se menciona al maltrato animal y a la tauromaquia 4 La redacci n Una escritura envidiable que nos hace re r, llorar, entretenernos e interesarnos por el devenir de los acontecimientos futuros Se combinan descripciones graciosas que dan un respiro a la acci n Por otro lado, los di logos son ir nicos, sentidos, duros y tambi n picantes y sexuales sin caer en lo grosero cuando lo requiere la ocasi n.5 La posible descripci n del invasor No voy a spoilear pero me ha gustado, ni es excesiva ni se queda corta, y esta bien ideada6 Las frases Hay muchas frases que no tienen desperdicio Ejemplo Son dos empollones comparando su colecci n de sellos descripci n de los cient ficos No fui consciente hasta entonces de que nunca hab a sido feliz S , alguna vez estuve vagamente interesado en algo, entretenido o distra do, pero nunca feliz Descripci n del amor de uno de los protagonistasY c mo stas varias y en varios apartados.7 sta es subjetiva los gatos C mo en toda obra de Heinlein aparece un gato y sus met foras gatunas.No hay nada perfecto, por lo tanto quiero incluir un apartado que ser a de peros, pero m s bien lo describir as..Lo que no hay que tenerle en cuenta al bueno de Heinlein 1 Su obsesi n por el comunismo en la obra Toda persona tiene unas tendencias y ha vivido en un tiempo, y la persona que somos es un c mulo de vivencias recordemos que era militar 2 Su aparente machismo Yo no me sentido ofendida como ser femenino Es m s provocaci n que otra cosa, pero en el fondo se ve que Heinlein admiraba a las mujeres, las sab as m s inteligentes y capaces que los hombres, por lo tanto conscientes de sus armas femeninas y cerebrales Y los deja muy claro en unas cuantas frases.2.1 Y el aparente placer de obediencia la chica Yo no lo comparto pero oye, no pasa nada, hay mujeres que les gusta sentirse protegidas por el hombre que aman y el cual la quiere resguardar 3 Su primer y aparente clich de personajes sexistas con patrones muy definidos como hablo en el p rrafo de personajes hay mucho m s en lo que hurgar que en lo que en un principio parece La obra de Heinlein es siempre as , nunca te quedes con la simple lectura.4 Por ltimo, su obsesi n camuflada por el nudismo..jeje A l le hubiese gustado vivir as , est en m s de un relato suyo Cre is que una persona fascista tendr a sas tendencias No yo Lo digo por lo que siempre se le ha tildado de eso Me creo que era m s patriota que otra cosa, puede parecer una l nea delgada, pero yo creo que es perfectamente visible En conclusi n, me ha vuelto a encantar retomar la obra de Heinlein Un relato pr cticamente redondo no hay nada perfecto Por lo que a m respecta, A Tit n con usted..y gracias por deleitarme con un relato con un encanto, si bien diferente a la magn fica Puerta al verano , igualmente imprescindible en mis estanter as del g nero Mi puntuaci n, como no, un cinco. Robert Heinlein s The Puppet Masters is both an action oriented adventure story about parasitic slug aliens attempting to take over the world and its citizens and social commentary on Communism and the Red Scare As such, it appeals to young adult readers, who are looking for excitement and aliens, and to the general populace of the early 1950s, who would recognize the paranoia and militarism as part of the broader culture of the time.This book, like Wylie s The Disappearance, is very much a book of its time, first in its Cold War references to the Iron Curtain and Russia, and second in its characterization of women and of gender roles This comment made by Sam, the protagonist, is typical of the attitudes expressed toward Russia I wondered why the titans the parasitic aliens had not attacked Russia first Stalinism seemed tailormade for them On second thought, I wondered if they had On third thought, I wondered what difference it would make the people behind the Curtain had had their minds enslaved and parasites riding them for three generations There might not be two kopeks difference between a commissar with a slug and a commissar without a slug 205 It reflects clearly the divide between the East and the West and makes unmistakably clear the connection between the alien parasites and Communists Later still, after the United States population has become fully aware of the problem and measures have been taken to protect them by curtailing their freedoms and increasing security, Sam describes the country as undergoing a Terror Friend might shoot friend, or wife denounce husband Rumor of a titan could drum up a mob on any street, with Old Judge Lynch baying in their van The fact that most of the rud discoveries of slugs were baseless made the rumors no less dangerous 254 This description sounds very much like the effects of the Red Scare of the 1940s and 1950s Just as the slugs are puppet masters, taking over the free will and the lives of humans, so, according to this novel, are Communists puppet masters of their citizens, whose puppet strings are always at hand 262 In terms of gender roles, although Heinlein s future society the book is set in 2007 includes some societal changes that should affect gender roles and relations, such as new ways of approaching marriage short term, renewable, or permanent marriage licenses, for instance , the chief female character, Mary, undercuts this apparent progressive attitude toward gender roles Mary is always little than a sex object or a wife When Sam first meets her, for instance, she is described as extremely desirable in what is the weirdest description of a supposedly sexually attractive woman I think I have ever read A long, lean body, but unquestionably and pleasingly mammalian Good legs Broad shoulders for a woman Flaming, wavy red hair and the real redheaded saurian bony structure to her skull Her face was handsome rather than beautiful her teeth were sharp and clean 4 5 Although the next few sentences make it clear that Sam wants to jump her bones, this description is disturbingly like a description of livestock Further, although she, like Sam, is a field agent, and a very good one, even better than Sam perhaps, her contributions to the narrative eventually deteriorate to the point where all she says is Yes, dear Stay here go back have a baby go with me to fight aliens on a faraway planet to all of these things, she says Yes dear Having said that she is a good field agent, however, it must be pointed out that her primary skill seems to be flirting Her job for the first half of the book is to act sexy around men and see if they respond If they don t, bam They must be slug infested slaves In fact, she tells Sam after their marriage that fists are not her weapons Sam reflects, I knew that she did not mean that guns were her weapons she meant something older and primitive True, she could fight like a bad tempered Kodiak bear and I respected her for it, but she was no An doesn t look that way with her head on a pillow Mary s true strength lay in her other talents 220 This book is frequently marketed to young adult readers and I have read several reviews that say that although they wouldn t re read it as an adult, they would recommend it to an adolescent reader, especially adolescent boys I would not These ideas about women and sex roles simply permeate the book and most young readers are not equipped to deconstruct them.A final element of the book and another reason I wouldn t give this to a young reader is the militarism of the ending The final chapter of the book sees Sam and Mary packing up to go to Titan and finish off the rest of the slug parasites so they cannot return and attack again in the future While that s a sensible goal given the situation, the ideology in which it is steeped is troubling Sam says, of this goal, Whether we make it or not, the human race has got to keep up its well earned reputation for ferocity If the slugs taught us anything, it was that the price of freedom is the willingness to do sudden battle, anywhere, any time, and with utter recklessness 338 He continues, saying, Well, if Man wants to be top dog or even a respected neighbor he ll have to fight for it Beat the plowshares back into swords the other was a maiden aunt s fancy 338 Freedom, according to Heinlein, is only to be found at the muzzle of a gun and pacifism is no than a silly woman s dream Not only that, but it is humankind s place to be fierce and not only to be respected but to be in charge This complements American patriotism and nationalism too well for it not to be a problem, especially given the lessons we should have learned over the last few years The final lines of the book complete the image of glory seeking freedom fighters We are about to transship I feel exhilarated Puppet masters the free men are coming to kill you Death and Destruction340 Given the political climate of the time, this furthers the separation between East and West, puppet masters and free, and justifies the ongoing Cold War and its attendant curtailments of freedom Given our current political climate, it does much the same, only exchanging Communist puppet masters with Islamic terrorist leaders. Earth Was Being Invaded By Aliens And The Top Security Agencies Were Helpless The Aliens Were Controlling The Mind Of Every Person They Encountered So It Was Up To Sam Cavanaugh, Secret Agent For A Powerful And Deadly Spy Network, To Find A Way To Stop Them Which Meant He Had To Be Invaded Himself I enjoyed this book for its story which was well thought out and interesting However it s age definitely showed mostly in the naivety of the writing I can t really describe what I mean exactly but if you read it I think you will understand straight away And the dialogue left a bit to be desired as well Nevertheless it is a true science fiction story of the old kind and it is very readable. Well that was a classic bit of vintage SF Up there with Heinlein s best I would say Aliens are invading earth in a most insidious way and there s no room for compassion or understanding it s them or us For heaven s sake don t try to read anything allegorical into it or you re bound to find issue with it.Okay, the novel is undeniably dated but it shouldn t jar with most modern readers unless they are particularly sensitive to these things It does feel like a novel written in the 50 s but it is set several decades in the future which might lead some to criticise Heinlein of failing to anticipate the direction social technological development would take but I think that would be a distraction from the many qualities this book has to offer.Read it for what it is a period SF piece full of excitement and suspense It was just what I needed. I have no problem with dated things I do not hold against a past time its inability to miraculously speak to my present I enjoy trying to crawl into the context of a different reader who may have lived decades or centuries ago and to imagine their responses to what I am readingor to imagine what rules the author tried to follow or break, as the case may be I seek this kind of exercise in books, art, film, musicit s one of the many reasons why I dig old stuff So, regarding The Puppet Masters, I feel compelled to observe that it is not its dated quality that specifically irks me As a work of early science fiction, this novel earns a high rank for introducing about a thousand tropes that became par for the course in later scifi novels and films It must have seemed strikingly original to contemporary readers and the story stands up today It has much to recommend it But I will forget, for a moment, The Puppet Masters status as a science fiction novel and consider it in light of another genre to which it relates.The Puppet Masters begs comparison, not just with other scifi novels, but with the pulp novels that inspired film noir Heinlein portrays the Titanian slug invasion as a mystery to be solved and his characters as the confrontational, go to hardboiled even individuals who will get to the bottom of the problem and resolve it, come hell or high water It s got the wisecracks, the unadorned yet coy dialogue, the hero s ethical if not moral ambiguity, and it s got a purportedly dangerous female protagonist and in the purportedly lies my beef with The Puppet Masters Mary , its female protagonist seems subservient than dangerous, and not even subservient in that spoiled brat, woman child, I m just doing this to get my way sort of way Though no forward thinking in terms of rewriting the hackneyed gender map, at least this latter behavior has some spirit in it, for crying out loud I like a good detective novel and I love noir films, genres which are riddled with female stereotypes, so it s not the sexism of the novel per se that gets me I expect sexism from a novel straight from the 50s whence also many pulp novels and films and so try not to let it overly determine my feel for the work as a whole So it s not the sexism in The Puppet Masters that annoys me it s the kind of sexism What s upsetting about Mary is that Heinlein describes her for the reader, through the mouths of his other characters, as a deadly assassin, a smart cookie, a femme fatal He leads us to expect a character of this ilk and then he offers us, not Barbara Stanwyck, but Donna Reed with an upsetting past Ok, she s not quite that bad, at least not in the beginning, but by the novel s end she makes Lana Turner in The Postman Always Rings Twice look like a woman of independent spirit The yes dear s and whatever you say dear s made me pray Mary would get, and stay, hagridden , as people who play host to a Titanian parasite are called One of the characteristics of pulp and noir that makes the genre so compelling is the juxtaposing of the male protagonist with a female who actually challenges him She s often evil He usually has to kill her And of course those stories perpetuate the whore virgin dichotomous view of the female gender that is no friend to women, but at least these female characters possess agency and independent will They function as foils to the heroes and flesh out those male characters The spirited the female protagonist, the stronger the hero That s how this equation works But, despite Heinlein s early hints and implications that this is the kind of dynamic he s cultivating, Mary does none of the above for Sam , the hero of The Puppet Masters And consequently, her shortcomings become his He seems less formidable precisely because he finds no rival of any consequence in her Heinlein promises this rivalry the first time he introduces her character, but he never delivers Mary doesn t need to become host to an alien parasite, because she s already hagridden by Sam. Alien invasion Fifties paranoia Mind control After a visit to the British Library s Out of this World Exhibition in London, I was suddenly reminded that I hadn t read this Heinlein for a long while And indeed I haven t read it in its uncensored version, which was published in 1990 with the tale increased from about 60 000 words to 96 000.So it was time to revisit Puppet Masters is Heinlein s version of an alien invasion tale, written at a time when such tales were popular in film and in prose The tale itself is quite simple Told in the first person, Sam Nivens not his real name is working for the US secret service This means different names, different places, different faces as I find on the first page a blonde in bed with Sam, who wasn t there in my original version He s assigned with a red headed woman currently named Mary and his boss, the Old Man , who go to investigate a report of a crashed saucer in Des Moines It is quickly claimed to be a hoax a schoolboy prank reported by an overenthusiastic local news station, but there is clearly to it Mary, being the typical Heinlein heroine, notices she doesn t get a reaction from the adult males that she usually receives the drooling is pretty much left to Sam.Things develop as Sam and his colleagues quickly discover a secret invasion is going on that seems to suggest the future of the human race is at stake Sam s job is to stop it.Those of you who know Operation Annihilate from Star Trek the Original Series will get an idea of this story and realise how close these tales are I m surprised Heinlein didn t sue, frankly.But back to the book What we have here though is a B movie plot written in the Heinlein way, with all the good and bad points it entails There is the usual fabulous prose, the honed wise cracking comments, the drip feeding of all those little neat ideas that Heinlein does so well The plot moves along at a great pace and there s a lot of tension and suspense along the way There s also the use of a typical strong red headed Heinlein gal, with all the Hey, sister type comments that the Heinlein character usually has attached to it These still jar a little, even allowing for the context of the times Though Mary is fast, intelligent, strong, resourceful and than capable, there is still a feeling that all she s there for is to serve the needs of our Hero, Sam This is not by far the worst example of this by RAH later novels do it much but it is noticeable in this souped up, risqu version This is perhaps where I see a transition between the juveniles and say, Stranger in a Strange Land this still has the excitement and the pace of the juvies, but the addition of the posturing lecture seen in later books such as Stranger That and the need to get naked Sometimes can mean less , and I m reminded of that, as I was when I read the longer version of Stranger in a Strange Land I m in two minds to decide whether this longer Puppet Masters is one of those examples Despite this, the tale s an engaging one and must have shook things up a little when first published in 1951 60 years ago There are parts that are quite good, for all of my complaints In summary, though, this is an interesting read an alien invasion story with some intelligence that shows many of Heinlein s strengths, but a few of his weaknesses, and sadly so in this longer version It is definitely worth reading, though it has to be seen as a product of its time. Zumindest in der deutschen bersetzung liest sich dieser typische 50er Alien Invasion Paranoia SF Roman so eigenwillig, dass ich von der Handlung oft regelrecht abgelenkt wurde und mehrfach das Buch zuklappte Hinzu kommen Spr nge und ein h chst eigenwilliger Erz hlrhythmus manche Merkw rdigkeit stellt sich allerdings zu einem sp teren Zeitpunkt als gewollt heraus, so die berst rzte Ehe zwischen Sam und Mary Die anf nglichen Ankl nge an das Inzest Motiv, das sp ter bei Heinlein eine gr ere Rolle spielen wird, sind dann im Verlauf der Story nicht mehr aufgetaucht, vielleicht habe ich ja das Gras wachsen h ren Jedenfalls sind Sam und Mary keine Geschwister, auch wenn sie sich zu Beginn zwecks Tarnung als solche ausgeben.Mein Eindruck ist, dass dieser Roman in jedem Fall im Original gelesen werden sollte, weil letztlich nur dann zu beurteilen ist, welche Eigenheiten der bersetzung geschuldet sind und welche Heinlein beabsichtigt hat. This is the Heinlein book where evil alien slugs take over everyone s brains, causing nationwide chaos.This novel was written in 1951 and is set in 2007 whew no mind controlling slugs around yet at least not that I m aware of Though the current state of politics makes me wonder The story is told from the viewpoint of Sam, who works in a secretive national security agency under a boss he calls the Old Man Sam, the Old Man, and an excellent and very sexy agent called Mary head to Des Moines to investigate a flying saucer rumor and importantly find out why six other agents sent to investigate before them have disappeared without a trace They discover the alien slugs hard at work, busily attaching themselves to the back of every human they can once they attach, they control that person s mind and have access to all their memories and skills, so they can use the people they control to capture other people long enough to stick a slug on their neck They manage to escape and report to the President of the U.S., who can t be convinced to declare a state of emergency So our intrepid team goes back to Des Moines to try to get evidence of the alien invasion and things start to go wrong from there.I loved this old pulpy SF novel when I was a teenager The four stars are based on that teenage love because it s pretty dated, but if you don t mind the 50s attitudes sprinkled with Heinlein s off beat views on libertarianism and sexual s, it s still a pretty fun read. Evil, slug like aliens land on Earth They attach themselves to people and take over their minds After a while, everyone has to walk around completely naked, so that you can spot the ones who have a slug attached I just can t understand why Paul Verhoeven didn t film this He could have combined Starship Troopers and Showgirls into one movie, and both he and the rest of the world would have been happier My guess is that he discovered the book too late and has been kicking himself ever since.
Robert Anson Heinlein was an American novelist and science fiction writer Often called the dean of science fiction writers , he is one of the most popular, influential, and controversial authors of hard science fiction He set a high standard for science and engineering plausibility and helped to raise the genre s standards of literary quality He was the first SF writer to break into mainstre
- 175 pages
- The Puppet Masters
- Robert A. Heinlein
- 19 August 2017 Robert A. Heinlein