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Farmer in the Sky

by Robert A. Heinlein

Cover artist: Paul Lehr

Publisher: Dell

Pub year: 1971

Cover price: 50¢


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I had gotten past the road and maybe a quarter of a mile beyond when it hit.

It knocked me flat on my face, the heaviest shake I had ever felt in my life. I lay down for a long moment, digging into the rock with my fingernails and trying to get it to hold still.

The seasick roll kept up and kept up and kept up, and with it the noise — a deep bass rumble, deeper than thunder and more terrifying.

The great adventure on Ganymede, with its prospects of hope for the future, had now become a tragedy. In one great, thunderous roar, nearly half the population had been wiped out. All of their spent knowledge and skills of the past had not prevented such a disaster. But could they go back to Earth — where the food supply was rationed, where homes were windowless cells occupied by many families? Or should they stay on Ganymede and work to make the planet safe for the generations to follow?

"...the story is convincing, for while life is regimented, human nature is not."
—Horn Book

"The book is first-class entertainment. Mr. Heinlein tells a good story."
—Chicago Sunday Tribune

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Interior text

Farmer in the Sky
Life was exploding on the planet Earth. The population was increasing beyond the extent of the food supply. Colonies had to be established on other planets. It was to the farthest of these — Ganymede — that Bill Lermer and his family went, to find a place, and a way, to live. It was strange — the atmosphere changed your weight, seasons were mechanically controlled, and there were constant dangers. But these scientific "farmers of the sky" manipulated their environment and bent nature to their will in their determination to earn the simple right to exist.

Robert A. Heinlein is one of the outstanding science-fiction writers of today. Through his training at Annapolis and his service in the Navy, he brings an authoritative view of naval aviation to his writing. His space-flight formulas are mathematically correct. This realistic science fiction holds the reader spellbound.

The Laurel-Leaf Library brings together under a single imprint outstanding works of fiction and nonfiction particularly suitable for young adult readers, both in and out of the classroom. This series is under the editorship of M. Jerry Weiss, Distinguished Professor of Communications, Jersey City State College and Charles F. Reasoner, Professor, Elementary Education, New York University.