Double Star

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Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein – 2 out of 5.

A Hugo winner for best Novel, awarded in 1957 & a pretty short book at 143 pages. It's written in a fairly chatty style, later we find that Lawrence Smith, aka The Great Lorenzo, is relating the story in his own words from several years after the events therein.

The basic plot is that Lorenzo, an out of work actor, is employed to impersonate a political leader who has been kidnapped just as he's on the brink of a major political break through. A role taken on with no small amount of reluctance & as time goes on from that initial small “job” he gets involved deeper & deeper. I'm not convinced that Mr Lorenzo could really put this off, especially as he has to get up close & personal with many people who know his politician very well.

This is one of those SF stories that could easily be transposed into a non-SF setting. There is a lot of stuff about acting & political wranglings. The space sickness could be fear of flying, the Moon & Mars could just be different countries, the hatred of Martians could be racism etc. Also there are such thing as “native Martians”, but I guess considering the age of the book, things like this can be forgiven.

Probably the main thing I found irritating was how many sentences were started with “eh?”. I mean you could pretty much pick any page at random & a quick scan will reveal someone saying “eh?”. To be honest, from a Hugo winner, I was expecting more.