Time Enough for Love

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Time Enough for Love is a science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein, first published in 1973. The work was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1973 [1] and both the Hugo and Locus Awards in 1974.[2]

Contents

Plot

The book covers several periods from the life of Lazarus Long (birth name Woodrow Wilson Smith), the oldest living human, now more than two thousand years old.

The first half of the book takes the form of several novellas tied together by Lazarus's retrospective narrative. In the framing story, Lazarus has grown weary and decided that life is no longer worth living, but (in what is described as a reverse Arabian Nights scenario) he will consent not to end his life as long as his companions will listen to his stories.

The Tale of the Man Who Was Too Lazy to Fail

This story concerns a 20th-century U.S. Navy cadet who manages to move up the ranks while avoiding any semblance of real work by applying himself wholeheartedly to the principle of "constructive laziness". After the Naval Academy the protagonist becomes rich by taking advantage of the Agricultural Adjustment Act, which paid farmers not to farm their land.

The Tale of the Twins Who Weren't

Lazarus tells of his visit as an interplanetary cargo trader to a planet with a culture like that of the medieval Middle East (reminiscent of Citizen of the Galaxy), where he bought a pair of slaves, brother and sister. As he despises slavery, he immediately manumits the young people, but because they have no experience in living as independent human beings, and no education to speak of, Lazarus finds himself cast in the role of the "parent". During the course of their voyage to his next port of call he proceeds to teach them "how to be human."

The two are the result of an experiment in genetic recombination in which two parent cells were separated into complementary haploid gametes, and recombined into two embryos. The resulting zygotes were implanted in a woman and gestated by her. Although both have the same mother and genetic parents, they are no more related genetically than any two people taken at random. The two are in love and have been prevented from having sex by a chastity belt, but, having confirmed that there is no risk of genetic disease in their offspring (which Lazarus views as the only reasonable backing for the incest taboo), he blesses their union.

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