Thursday, 6 August 1998

Robert A. Heinlein: Friday (1982)

Friday coverEdition: New English Library, 1983
Review number: 98

Somewhat unusually for Heinlein's later work, Friday contains no characters shared with any other novel or short story. It's heroine, a girl named Friday, is a special courier; she carries the sort of messages that require skills associated with the likes of James Bond to get them through.

The novel begins halfway through an assignment, with Friday recently landed from a flight to Nairobi and attempting to shake off following agents. She returns to base, only to find that it has been taken over by an enemy who captures and tortures her. A counter-attack from her own side follows, and we are well away.

Following the death of her boss, and a series of assassinations around the world causing anarchy, Friday is recruited to carry out an assignment carrying a fertilised embryo across space to a royal couple on one of Earth's colonies; realising half-way there that this is the sort of mission that generally brings a quiet death at its end rather than a reward, she determines to escape from the ship.

This is an enjoyable novel, particularly by the standards of Heinlein's later work. Friday is a reasonably believable heroine. The torture sequence is not for the squeamish.

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