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Hugh had been taught that, according to the ancient sacred writings, the Ship was on a voyage to faraway Centaurus. But he also understood this was actually allegory for a voyage to spiritual perfection. Indeed, how could the Ship move, since its miles and miles of metal corridors were all there was of creation? Science knew that the Ship was all the Universe, and as long as the sacred Convertor was fed, the lights would continue to glow and the air would flow, and the Creator's Plan would be fulfilled.Of course, there were the muties, grotesquely deformed parodies of humans, who lurked in the upper reaches of the Ship where gravity was weaker. Were they evil incarnate, or merely a divine check on the population, keeping humanity from expanding past the capacity of the Ship to support?
Then Hugh was captured by the muties and met their leader (or leaders), Joe-Jim, with two heads on one body. And he learned the true nature of the Ship and its mission between the stars. But could he make his people believe him before it was to late? Could he make them believe that he must be allowed to fly the ship?
Robert A. Heinlein (1907 - 1988)
Robert Anson Heinlein was born in Missouri in 1907. He graduated from the US Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1929, serving as an officer until his discharge, for medical reasons, in 1934. In 1939 he turned to writing to supplement his Naval pension, selling his first story to John W. Campbell's Astounding magazine. He would go on to have a profound influence on Astounding, dominating the Golden Age of SF and shaping American science fiction for decades to come. He won multiple Hugos, an unprecedented six Prometheus Awards for libertarian SF and was the Science Fiction Writers of America's first Grand Master Award recipient. A deeply political writer, Heinlein is most closely associated with right-wing libertarianism, although Starship Troopers brought with it accusations of fascism and Stranger in a Strange Land is credited with being an influential text for the free love movement of the '60s. Acclaimed as one of the 'Big Three', alongside Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov, he was a giant of 20th century science fiction. Robert A. Heinlein died in 1988.