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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

I Will Fear No Evil

Copyright 1970 by Robert A. Heinlein

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Very good (4/5)

I first read this in 1972 and most recently in January 2001

Cheating death with a brain transplant, our hero escapes old age resurrected into a fresh body. The body is not at all what he expected at all, but he's tough and adaptable and makes, well, quite a go of it.

OK, Heinlein is great and I read his big books religiously as they were published, but with an increasing feeling that he was drifting off the point, or just getting old.

"I Will Fear No Evil" strongly affected me when I first read it, it changed the way I thought. It made me question how the mind and the body mold each other, and what makes the personality. Perhaps it helped me understand something about women (but would they agree?). And of course, there's a lot of sex.

But this time around it just seemed a bit, well, long. The male-female attitudes feel archaic (but it was written in the 1970's), and the "free-sex" in fact horribly hypocritical. On the other hand, people really are two-faced about sex, and more would be given the opportunity and cheap cosmetic surgery.

But what really stuck in my craw this time was that I really didn't want to read all this stuff about makeup. I mean there must be some comment on make-up on almost every page. Now there's nothing wrong with makeup, In fact there's an excellent club in Tokyo called "Make-up", but there's a time and a place for the lipstick.

Just as the first time, I read it over a weekend. I loved, as before, the ending. and I still don't know if it's brilliant or not. I'll read it again in ten years, and I'll probably keep on reading it just trying to make up my mind. Is it in my top 100? Probably not, but it's darn close and I'd have to recheck my ratings to be sure.

Loaded on the 31st January 2001.
Cover of I Will Fear No Evil
Cover art by James Warhola

Reviews of other works with covers by James Warhola:
Time Enough For Love