The Pursuit of the Pankera: A Parallel Novel about Parallel Universes

Robert A. Heinlein. Caezik, $34.99 (512p) ISBN 978-1-6471000-1-8
This posthumous reconstruction of fragments from SFWA Grand Master Heinlein (1907–1988) comes together to form an alternate version of his 1980 novel, The Number of the Beast, that is of academic interest but minimal entertainment value. The first third of the plot remains the same, as an alien attack on San Francisco leads four characters to flee in a vehicle awkwardly named The Gay Deceiver, which has the ability to travel to parallel universes, but diverges as their pulpy adventures take them through different planes of existence than in the original, including a sojourn in the Land of Oz. It’s a fascinating window into Heinlein’s creative process, but suffers from a meandering structure and often offensively dated prose. Most egregious are the characterizations of the female characters; one woman’s nipples are described as “pretty pink spigots [which] are barometers of her morale,” and indeed the state of her nipples is how her mood is determined by the men around her throughout. This is for Heinlein scholars and diehard fans only. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 05/04/2020
Release date: 03/01/2020
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
Book - 978-1-64710-002-5
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