Chicago: Shasta Publications, 1953. First edition, first printing. Hardcover. This is a magnificent first edition of Revolt in 2100, a collection of stories that are part of Heinlein’s “Future History” series, nominated for the 1966 Hugo Award for Best All-Time Series. This copy is noteworthy for condition alone. Rendering it exceptional, this copy is one of a limited number of "subscriber's copies" of the first edition, each bearing a blank leaf signed by Heinlein tipped in between front free endpaper and half title.
The first edition is bound in quarter black cloth over red cloth boards with an illustrated dust jacket printed red, black, and gray on white. A special feature is endpapers printed in red with a detailed chronology of Heinlein’s “future history” including reference to several unwritten stories. The dust jacket is unclipped, complete, and improbably bright, crisp, and clean, with no discernible defects or wear of any kind. This copy stands out on the shelf even beside “fine” copies. The dust jacket is protected beneath a removable, archival clear cover.
The book beneath is likewise superlative. The binding is square, tight, clean, and bright. We note a hint of wrinkling to the black cloth at the spine head and miniscule bruises at the upper front corner and along the top edge of the red buckram board. The contents are crisp and bright. The red-printed “Future History” timeline endpapers are perfect. Even the page edges are clean. Apart from Heinlein’s signature, the only previous ownership mark is a tiny, oval, San Francisco bookseller’s sticker (“Newbegin’s”) affixed to a blank margin of the lower rear pastedown. The book is protected within a white cloth clamshell case with printed paper spine label.
Revolt in 2100 followed the Future History collections The Man Who Sold the Moon (1950) and The Green Hills of Earth (1951), and preceded the novel Methuselah’s Children (1958). Nonetheless, Revolt in 2100 is more than just an installment in the development of Heinlein’s speculative fiction universe; Here Heinlein presages his own literary future, flexing the cultural, political, and philosophical perspectives that would characterize his more mature works beginning with Starship Troopers (1959). Revolt in 2100 tells “the story of the Second American Revolution… a fantastic but not impossible neo-Puritanical Age, when space travel and scientific progress have abruptly ceased, when fanatics rewrite history, and when citizens of an isolated, iron-curtained America are ruled by the Prophet…” (from the first edition dust jacket flap)
Robert Anson Heinlein (1907-1988) was one of the “Big Three” of American science fiction writers, along with Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. A prolific writer with a career spanning half a century, he published more than 30 novels, along with numerous short stories and collections. A Naval Academy graduate, Heinlein tried his hand at electoral politics, but when that failed he chose a writing career in the genre that suited his boyhood fascination with both astronomy and the works of H. G. Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Jules Verne. His early success in the genre was interrupted by the Second World War, which he spent working at the Naval Air Experimental Station near Philadelphia, where two of his colleagues were L. Sprague de Camp and Isaac Asimov.
After the war, and beginning with Rocket Ship Galileo, Heinlein published a series of “juvenile” novels, winning his first Hugo Award in 1956 for Double Star. Beginning with publication of Starship Troopers in 1959, Heinlein began to infuse his work with more serious cultural, political, and philosophical themes and to write “my own stuff, my own way.” Starship Troopers would win the Hugo Award, as would Stranger in a Strange Land (1961) and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1966). Heinlein’s Future History series was nominated for a Best All-Time Series Hugo Award in a very strong field in 1966, losing (along with fellow nominee The Lord of the Rings) to Asimov’s Foundation series. Item #003211