Reviews of Podkayne of Mars (1963)
Review by fastfinge (2005-10-26)
Robert Heinlein, throughout his history of writing "boys books", struggled with editorship. Much of his books for young adults were modified by request of prim publishers and scandalized librarians to ensure that they included nothing even in the least "damaging" to young minds. As a result, it's a miracle that these books turned out as well as they did. This particular book, however, suffered the most damaging change. Before publishing, Heinlein was told that he would have to change the ending. That one stroke completely changed the vision of the work. I will avoid details of the change in order not to include spoilers, and I won't say I agree with the vision of the book as it was originally written (I don't think I do), but if you want the point of the book as Heinlein intended it, you need to track down the most recent baen edition. It includes both endings side by side, allowing you to contrast them and pick one for yourself.