|Author||Robert A. Heinlein|
|Cover artist||Boris Vallejo|
|Publisher||G. P. Putnam's Sons|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover & Paperback)|
|Pages||416 (first edition, hardback)|
|ISBN||0-399-13267-8 (first edition, hardback)|
|LC Class||PS3515.E288 T6 1987|
To Sail Beyond the Sunset is a science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, published in 1987. It was the last novel published before his death in 1988. The title is taken from the poem "Ulysses", by Alfred Tennyson. The stanza of which it is a part, quoted by a character in the novel, is as follows:
... my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It is the final part of the "Lazarus Long" cycle of stories, involving time travel, parallel dimensions, free love, voluntary incest, and a concept that Heinlein named pantheistic solipsism, or 'World as Myth': the theory that universes are created by the act of imagining them, so that somewhere (for example) the Land of Oz is real. Other books in the cycle include Methuselah's Children , Time Enough for Love , The Number of the Beast , and The Cat Who Walks Through Walls .
The book is a memoir of Maureen Johnson Smith Long, mother, lover, and eventual wife of Lazarus Long. Maureen is ostensibly recording the events of the book while held in prison alongside Pixel, the cat from The Cat Who Walks Through Walls .
Maureen, born on July 4, 1882, recounts her girlhood in backcountry Missouri, discovery that her family is a member of the long-lived Howard Families (whose backstory is revealed in Methuselah's Children ), marriage to Brian Smith, another member of that group, and her life—largely in Kansas City—until her apparent death in 1982. In addition, Maureen lives through, and gives her (sometimes contradictory) viewpoints on many events in other Heinlein stories, most notably the 1917 visit from the future by "Ted Bronson" (Lazarus Long), told from Long's point of view in Time Enough for Love , D. D. Harriman's space program from The Man Who Sold the Moon , and the rolling roads from The Roads Must Roll .
Maureen's adventures include a series of sexual encounters, beginning in childhood wherein, having just had her first sexual intercourse, she is examined by her father, a doctor, and finds herself desiring him sexually. Her story then encompasses various boys, her husband, ministers, other women's husbands, boyfriends, swinging sessions, and the adult Lazarus Long/Theodore Bronson. Additionally, she continues a lifelong pursuit of her father sexually, encourages her husband to have sexual intercourse with their daughters, and accompanies him when he does; but forbids a son and daughter of hers from continuing an incestuous relationship, primarily for the sister's reluctance to share the brother with other women.All of these are set against a history lesson of an alternate 20th century in which a variety of social and philosophical commentary is delivered.
She is eventually rescued from prison by Lazarus Long and other characters of various novels in the ship Gay Deceiver (from The Number of the Beast ), and after rescuing her father from certain death in the Battle of Britain, is united with her descendants in a massive group marriage in the settlement of Boondock, on the planet Tertius. Maureen ends her memoir and the Lazarus Long saga with the phrase "And we all lived happily ever after".
Robert Anson Heinlein was an American science fiction author, aeronautical engineer, and naval officer. Sometimes called the "dean of science fiction writers", he was among the first to emphasize scientific accuracy in his fiction, and was thus a pioneer of the subgenre of hard science fiction. His published works, both fiction and non-fiction, express admiration for competence and emphasize the value of critical thinking. His plots often posed provocative situations which challenged conventional social mores. His work continues to have an influence on the science-fiction genre, and on modern culture more generally.
The Cat Who Walks Through Walls is a science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, published in 1985. Like many of his later novels, it features Lazarus Long and Jubal Harshaw as supporting characters.
Methuselah's Children is a science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein. Originally serialized in Astounding Science Fiction in the July, August, and September 1941 issues, it was expanded into a full-length novel in 1958. The novel is part of Heinlein's Future History series of stories. It introduces the Howard families, a fictional group of people who achieved long lifespans through selective breeding.
Friday is a 1982 science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein. It is the story of a female "artificial person", the eponymous Friday, genetically engineered to be stronger, faster, smarter, and generally better than normal humans. Artificial humans are widely resented, and much of the story deals with Friday's struggle both against prejudice and to conceal her enhanced attributes from other humans. The story is set in a Balkanized 21st century, in which the nations of the North American continent have been split up into a number of smaller states.
"If This Goes On—" is a science fiction novella by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, first serialized in 1940 in Astounding Science-Fiction and revised and expanded for inclusion in the 1953 collection Revolt in 2100. The novella shows what might happen to Christianity in the United States given mass communications, applied psychology, and a hysterical populace. The novel is part of Heinlein's Future History series.
"Life-Line" is a short story by American author Robert A. Heinlein. Published in the August 1939 edition of Astounding, it was Heinlein's first published short story.
The Number of the Beast is a science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, published in 1980. Excerpts from the novel were serialized in the magazine Omni.
Revolt in 2100 is a 1953 science fiction collection by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, part of his Future History series.
Time Enough for Love is a science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, first published in 1973. The work was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1973 and both the Hugo and Locus Awards in 1974.
The Rolling Stones is a 1952 science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein.
Lazarus Long is a fictional character featured in a number of science fiction novels by Robert A. Heinlein. Born in 1912 in the third generation of a selective breeding experiment run by the Ira Howard Foundation, Lazarus becomes unusually long-lived, living well over two thousand years with the aid of occasional rejuvenation treatments. Heinlein "patterned" Long on science fiction writer Edward E. Smith, mixed with Jack Williamson's fictional Giles Habibula.
Sexual themes are frequently used in science fiction or related genres. Such elements may include depictions of realistic sexual interactions in a science fictional setting, a protagonist with an alternative sexuality, a sexual encounter between a human and a fictional extraterrestrial, or exploration of the varieties of sexual experience that deviate from the conventional.
The Future History is a series of stories created by Robert A. Heinlein. It describes a projected future of the human race from the middle of the 20th century through the early 23rd century. The term Future History was coined by John W. Campbell Jr. in the February 1941 issue of Astounding Science Fiction. Campbell published an early draft of Heinlein's chart of the series in the May 1941 issue.
The Howard Families are a fictional group of people created by the author Robert A. Heinlein.
Jubal Harshaw is a fictional character featured in several novels by Robert A. Heinlein, most prominently 1961's Stranger in a Strange Land. He is described as: "Jubal E. Harshaw, LL.B., M.D., Sc.D., bon vivant, gourmet, sybarite, popular author extraordinary, neo-pessimist philosopher, devout agnostic, professional clown, amateur subversive, and parasite by choice."
The science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein (1907–1988) was productive during a writing career that spanned the last 49 years of his life; the Robert A. Heinlein bibliography includes 32 novels, 59 short stories and 16 collections published during his life. Four films, two TV series, several episodes of a radio series, at least two songs and a board game derive more or less directly from his work. He wrote a screenplay for one of the films. Heinlein edited an anthology of other writers' science fiction short stories.
Delos David Harriman, known as D.D. Harriman, is a character in the fiction of science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein. He is an entrepreneurial businessman who masterminded the first landing on the Moon as a private business venture. His story is part of Heinlein's Future History.
Maureen Johnson Smith Long most often referred to as Maureen Johnson, is a fictional character in several science fiction novels by American writer Robert A. Heinlein. She is the mother, lover, and eventual wife of Lazarus Long, the longest-living member of Heinlein's fictional Howard families. She is the only character from the "Lazarus Long cycle" to have an entire fictional memoir devoted to her life.
Incest can be found in many varieties of literature, from popular forms to serious fiction, either as an important thematic element or as an incidental element of the plot. Incest is human sexual activity between family members or close relatives. This typically includes sexual activity between people in consanguinity, and sometimes those related by affinity, adoption, clan, or lineage.