An earlier shorter version of this story was serialized in Astounding Science Fiction in 1941.
The Howard Families were the product of a genetic experiment, an interbreeding programme which had produced one hundred thousand people with an average life expectancy of a century and a half. Now, at last, their existence was known on earth, and the entire world demanded to share the "secret" of eternal youth. "It is contrary to our customs to permit scientific knowledge to be held as a monopoly for the few" was what the expert said and it wasn't long before members of the Howard Families were the victims of vicious crime.
This dramatic and frighteningly believable novel is a welcome addition to the oeuvre of a brilliant science-fiction writer.
Robert Anson Heinlein (1907–1988) was an American science fiction writer. Often called the "dean of science fiction writers", he was one of the most influential and controversial authors of the genre in his time. He set a standard for scientific and engineering plausibility, and helped to raise the genre's standards of literary quality.
He was one of the first science fiction writers to break into mainstream magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post in the late 1940s. He was one of the best-selling science fiction novelists for many decades. He, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke are known as the "Big Three" of science fiction.
Heinlein, a notable writer of science fiction short stories, was one of a group ... (more)