New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1985. First edition, first printing. Hardcover. This is the first edition, first printing of one of Heinlein's final novels. Condition is very good plus in a near fine dust jacket. The quarter black cloth binding is square and tight with sharp corners, bright spine gilt, and only trivial shelf wear to the bottom edges. The contents are crisp and clean and the book feels unread, despite some age-toning and light spotting confined to the top and fore edges. We find no previous ownership marks. The dust jacket is bright, clean, and complete, retaining the original "$17.95" front flap price. The jacket is protected beneath a removable, clear, archival cover.
The dust jacket's front face illustration - which could be described as pharaonic space pirate with astronaut geisha - is amusingly on-the-nose, hearkening back to the lurid dust jackets of the "Golden Age" of science fiction decades earlier, of which Heinlein was a pillar. The rear face image of Heinlein reveals the aged master close to his end, which came three years after this book was published. "In The Cat Who Walks through Walls, we follow Colonel Colin Campbell, alias Dr. Richard Ames, alias Senator Richard Johnson, a character in the fine Heinlein tradition of philosopher/soldier/rogue, on a whirlwind adventure that's part Tom Jones, part Star Wars, part Time Machine..."
Robert Anson Heinlein (1907-1988) was one of the “Big Three” mid-twentieth century “Golden Age” science fiction writers, along with Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. A prolific writer with a career spanning half a century, Heinlein published more than 30 novels, along with numerous short stories and collections. He was already an established and successful author in the genre when he won his first Hugo Award for Double Star in 1956. He would be recognized thus three more times – for Starship Troopers in 1960, for Stranger in a Strange Land in 1961, and for The Moon is a Harsh Mistress in 1966.
Noticeable in his early writing but particularly prevalent after Starship Troopers, Heinlein used his novels to provoke thought and limn his own perspectives about the role, limitations, and confining structures of society, the obligations of citizenship, and the prerogatives of freedom. Heinlein was lauded not just for individual stories, but also for weaving coherent speculative futures with themes and characters that spanned swathes of his writing over decades. 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. Fittingly, Heinlein’s name accompanies his imagination into space; an asteroid and a crater on Mars are named after him. Item #006163