Book: Glory Road

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Glory Road

Author: Robert A. Heinlein
Publisher: Putnam

A Vietnam veteran idling away his time on the Isle du Levant, Oscar+s eye is caught by the most beautiful woman he has ever seen, sleekly muscled and with regal bearing. When she offers him a job with great adventure and great risk he blindly accepts, little realizing just what an incredible trek he has let himself in for: a journey through some of the twenty universes where Star is Empress, on a quest to retrieve the stolen Great Egg. The grandest pure adventure from the genre+s master storyteller, Glory Road is a masterpiece of escapist entertainment with a typically Heinleinian sting in its tail.

E. C. “Scar” Gordon was on the French Riviera recovering from a tour of combat in Southeast Asia , but he hadn’t given up his habit of scanning the Personals in the newspaper. One ad in particular leapt out at him:

“ARE YOU A COWARD? This is not for you. We badly need a brave man. He must be 23 to 25 years old, in perfect health, at least six feet tall, weigh about 190 pounds, fluent English, with some French, proficient in all weapons, some knowledge of engineering and mathematics essential, willing to travel, no family or emotional ties, indomitably courageous and handsome of face and figure. Permanent employment, very high pay, glorious adventure, great danger. You must apply in person, rue Dante, Nice, 2me étage, apt. D.”

How could you not answer an ad like that, especially when it seemed to describe you perfectly? Well, except maybe for the “handsome” part, but that was in the eye of the beholder anyway. So he went to that apartment and was greeted by the most beautiful woman he’d ever met. She seemed to have many names, but agreed he could call her “Star.” A pretty appropriate name, as it turned out, for the empress of twenty universes.

Robert A. Heinlein’s one true fantasy novel, Glory Road is as much fun today as when he wrote it after Stranger in a Strange Land. Heinlein proves himself as adept with sword and sorcery as with rockets and slide rules and the result is exciting, satirical, fast-paced, funny and tremendously readable—a favorite of all who have read it. Glory Road is a masterpiece of escapist entertainment with a typically Heinleinian sting in its tail. Tor is proud to return this all-time classic to hardcover to be discoveredby a new generation of readers.


Barnes and Noble

Glory Road—Robert A. Heinlein’s classic 1963 heroic fantasy about a Vietnam vet who, after answering a personal ad in a newspaper, is promptly whisked away on the intergalactic adventure of a lifetime—has been called his grandest adventure ever.

E. C. “Scar” Gordon is recovering from a tour of combat in Southeast Asia on the Isle du Levant, an idyllic island off the French Riviera, where money and clothing are barely necessary. While hanging out on one of the beaches, Gordon lays eyes on the most breathtakingly beautiful woman he has ever met. And then, just as quickly, she is gone. Fate intervenes soon thereafter. As Gordon is reading a local newspaper, he sees an ad for a “Brave Man”: “permanent employment, very high pay, glorious adventure, great danger.” While applying for the job, Gordon is reunited with his goddess of the flesh. Star (one of her many names) hires Gordon as her champion to lead her on a quest for an invaluable artifact that will span many universes and will most likely end in death.

Samuel R. Delany writes in the afterword that Glory Road “has probably received less attention than any other Heinlein work of comparable size and ambition. This is even stranger when one considers that it is one of Heinlein’s most formally satisfactory novels.” Fans of Heinlein’s more acclaimed works, like the Hugo Award–winning novels Stranger in a Strange Land and The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, should definitely give Heinlein’s homage to the fantasy quest a try. It’s escapist literature at its very best! Paul Goat Allen

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