Chicago: Shasta Publishers, 1953. First edition. Hardcover. This is an excellent copy of the first edition of Revolt in 2100, a collection of stories building upon Heinlein’s “Future History” timeline. 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; in Revolt in 2100 Heinlein also 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) The first edition is bound in black cloth spine printed gilt over red cloth boards with an illustrated dust jacket printed red, black, and gray on white. A special feature of this first edition is the printing of the endpapers in red with a detailed chronology of Heinlein’s “future history” including reference to several unwritten stories.
This copy is in near fine plus condition in a near fine plus dust jacket. The binding is square, bright, and tight with unfaded red boards and bright spine gilt. Only tiny bumps to the lower front corners prevent our grading this copy as truly fine. The contents remain crisp and bright with no spotting. The fore and bottom edges are unspoiled, the top edge with only slight dust soiling. The sole previous ownership mark is the illustrated bookplate of a previous science fiction collector (featuring a rocket and a lunar-like cratered surface set against distant stars) affixed to the front free endpaper. The dust jacket is a superlative example, bright and complete. The original $3.50 front flap price is intact. We note absolutely no losses, and the sole wear noted is trivial wrinkling at the spine head. A barely discernible hint of color shift to the spine and insignificant soiling to the rear face are what lead us to conservatively grade this jacket as only near fine plus. The dust jacket is protected with a removable, archival quality clear cover.
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 #003799