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Details about  Puppet Masters by Robert A. Heinlein (1986, Paperback, Revised)

Puppet Masters by Robert A. Heinlein (1986, Paperback, Revised)

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Item Information

Item condition:
Like New

very good condition

Ended:
Aug 02, 2014 23:39:54 EDT
Price:
US $7.19
Approximately C $7.93(including shipping)
 
 
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Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
 
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eBay item number:
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Last updated on  Jul 25, 2014 16:43:55 EDT  View all revisions

Item specifics

Condition: Like New : Split the cost with friends
A book that looks new but has been read. Cover has no visible wear, and the dust jacket (if applicable) is included for hard covers. No missing or damaged pages, no creases or tears, and no underlining/highlighting of text or writing in the margins. May be very minimal identifying marks on the inside cover. Very minimal wear and tear. See the seller’s listing for full details and description of any imperfections. See all condition definitions- opens in a new window or tab
Seller Notes: very good condition
ISBN-10:

0345330145

Edition Description:

Revised

ISBN-13:

9780345330147

Publication Year:

1986

Author:

Robert A. Heinlein

Language:

English

Format:

Mass Market, Book

ISBN:

9780345330147

Detailed item info

Synopsis
Earth was being invaded by aliens and the top security agencies were helpless: the aliens were controlling the mind of every person they encountered. So it was up to Sam Cavanaugh, secret agent for a powerful and deadly spy network, to find a way to stop them--which meant he had to be invaded himself!

Product Identifiers
ISBN-100345330145
ISBN-139780345330147

Key Details
AuthorRobert A. Heinlein
Number Of Pages352 pages
Edition DescriptionRevised
FormatPaperback
Publication Date1986-10-12
LanguageEnglish
PublisherRandom House Publishing Group

Dimensions
Weight6.1 Oz
Height1.1 In.
Width4.2 In.
Length6.8 In.

Target Audience
GroupTrade

Classification Method
Dewey Decimal813/.54
Dewey Edition19

Certain data records © 2014 Bowker. Rights in cover images reserved by owners.

The Puppet Masters

The Puppet Masters
Pm51.jpg
First edition cover
AuthorRobert A. Heinlein
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
GenreScience fiction novel
PublisherDoubleday
Publication date
1951
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)
ISBNNA

The Puppet Masters is a 1951 science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein in which American secret agents battle parasitic invaders from outer space. The novel was originally serialised in Galaxy Science Fiction (September, October, November 1951).

The book evokes a sense of paranoia later captured in the 1956 film Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which had a similar premise. Heinlein's novel also repeatedly makes explicit the analogy between the mind-controlling parasites and the Communist Russians, echoing the then prevailing Second Red Scare in the United States.

Plot summary

"Sam" is an agent in "Section", a secret intelligence organization that reports directly to the U.S. president. Called in by "the Old Man", his boss and the head of the organization, they go to investigate the report of a flying saucer landing in Grinnell, Iowa. With them is another agent named "Mary", a beautiful redhead. Sam is informed that her life is only slightly less precious than the Old Man's, and that he (Sam) is the most expendable.

In Iowa, they discover that the people are being brought under the mental control of repulsive, slug-like creatures that attach to their backs, just below the neck. Detaching one slug from its host, they seal it in a film canister and bring it back to headquarters in Washington, D.C. The slug decomposes in transit and they are unable to convince the president that there is an invasion.

To find more evidence, Sam leads a small team back to Iowa where one of the agents becomes "hagridden" without the others noticing. Mary knows something is wrong when the agent does not react to her allure like a normal male. The slug is exposed, subdued and confined, but escapes by transferring to Sam who immediately becomes enslaved and flees the agency.

The invasion progresses rapidly. Slugs are shipped through the mail to distribution centers where they are attached to victims. Gradually they infect important people, especially the members of exclusive clubs frequented by politicians. Before the Old Man tracks Sam down and captures him, they have infected the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, whose department controls the United States Secret Service (responsible for the president's personal security). The slugs are one step away from infecting the president himself.

By the time Sam recovers in hospital, anyone fully dressed is suspect. The Old Man wants someone to "wear" the slug so that it can be interrogated. Sam cannot bear the idea, but when Mary volunteers, he gives in and does it himself. While possessed he remains completely conscious, but becomes totally committed to the slugs' cause. The slug reveals under torture that they come from Titan, the largest moon of Saturn.

Thoroughly disgusted by the treatment he has received, Sam is ready to quit. He is at first furious with Mary for entrapping him, and then with the Old Man, when he learns that his boss tricked Mary into it. At this point, it is revealed that the Old Man is Sam's father.

The president becomes convinced of the threat, but it is not until a congressman opposing the president is found to be carrying a slug that other politicians realize the danger. From Minnesota to Louisiana, the center of the country has been taken over. On a reconnaissance mission to Kansas City, Sam is shocked to discover that the number of slugs is much greater than previously thought. Instead of taking over key people, they have possessed the entire human population of the occupied territory. He and the Old Man are unable to persuade the president to call off a meticulously planned military counter-invasion of the heartland; the entire force is taken over by the slugs. It is discovered that the slugs are capable of reproducing by binary fission. The number of infected humans must now be so large that any military action would kill tens of millions.

The problem having grown beyond their ability to influence it, Sam and Mary are given leave. By this time, they have fallen in love and get married before going to Sam's bolt-hole in the Adirondack Mountains. Their idyll is interrupted when a slug takes over first his beloved pet cat, then Mary. Sam manages to push Mary onto an open fire to remove the slug, leaving them both badly burned, but alive and free. Returning to HQ for treatment, they find that a new law requires everyone to be effectively naked to show that a slug is not in control. The law is enthusiastically enforced by armed vigilantes.

Sam starts to believe that the slugs have him marked for repossession. They can communicate by "direct conference", where their hosts sit back to back and the slugs partially merge. A network of such interactions could spread his description rapidly among the invaders, who know how valuable he is. Some scientists speculate that the slugs are really just one organism in many bodies.

Sam and Mary go with the Old Man to investigate a saucer which crash-landed in Mississippi. Inside they encounter the slugs' hosts from Titan, small elf-like creatures, who died when Earth's air entered the ship. There are also tanks containing humans in suspended animation. When Mary enters the ship it triggers long-suppressed memories from when she was a child in a failed Venus colony which was taken over by the slugs. She herself spent years in a similar tank. Mary caught a disease, "Nine-day Fever", which kills slugs faster than humans. A plan is devised to spread the fever among the slugs using "direct conference", and then treat as many humans as possible before they die.

Diseases erupt in the infected areas, as the slugs neglect hygiene and often work their hosts until they starve. Outbreaks of plague in the Communist countries suggest that they were taken over even before the center of the United States.

The counter-attack begins. Releasing animals with infected slugs into enemy territory, they wait for the epidemic to break out. Days pass, and then calls start coming in from desperate people whose slugs have died. Hundreds of thousands of people, Sam and the Old Man among them, parachute in to treat victims with drug-dispensing guns. Just when the battle seems won, the Old Man is possessed by one of the few healthy slugs and kidnaps Sam, intending to take them both into hiding to regroup for a new invasion. Sam watches in horror as the Old Man's slug begins dividing so he too can be possessed. Despite being tied up, Sam is able to crash their flyer into the sea, killing the slug.

Sam writes in a journal before embarking with Mary on a spaceship which will take the battle to Titan. The slugs will remain a problem for years to come, having infected too many parts of the Earth to root out easily, but they will never be able to take over.

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Item location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
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