We have a late entry in a previous Mind Meld, What Was Your Introduction to Fantasy and Science Fiction?…and we here at SF Signal couldn’t resist sharing it with you!
*Gosh, $2.50. But*…*I can’t wait! *
I recall thinking that, when I sighted Farmer in the Sky for sale in the big Post Exchange in Tokyo.
It was 1953, and less than 300 miles away, the Korean War was raging. Our father was a senior staff officer for General McArthur and often worked weekends and came home late at night. We had less time with him, and though our mother compensated, that’s not the same kind of fun.
So we read a lot. My brother Jim and I had already read Rocket Ship Galileo (published in 1947), Space Cadet (1948) and Red Planet (1949) from our school library. These early Heinlein books were the first science fiction we’d ever seen, since we grew up in deeply rural southern Alabama. SF opened horizons beyond those we already had discovered, living in occupied Japan.
We were fans, even if we didn’t even know it yet, so of course we couldn’t wait for the school to acquire Farmer. We pooled our money and bought the book, our first hardcover acquisition. It cost $2.50, a full five weeks’ worth of both our allowances, ran 216 pages and carried the great illustrations by Clifford Geary that made the Heinlein “juveniles” so visually memorable. A bargain, never regretted.