Time Enough for Love (1973) by Robert A. Heinlein

This is what I’m dealing with here…Time_Enough_For_Love_1st

The long-lived galactic playboy and entrepreneur (who is generally good at everything without having to work too hard) Lazarus Long (a. k. a. Woodrow Wilson and a ton of other names) is having a conversation with his adopted daughter Dora, who he rescued from a fire that killed her parents when she was a young child:

“Woman, you talk too much.” She did not answer this; he went on: “I don’t give a hoot about a wedding ceremony—certainly not one in Top Dollar.”

She hesitated, then said, “May I say that I do not understand?”

“Eh? Yes, surely. Dora, I won’t settle for one child. You’re going to have half a dozen children by me, or more. Probably more. Maybe a dozen. Any objection?”

“Yes, Woodrow—I mean No, I do not object. Yes, I will have a dozen children by you. Or more.”

“Having a dozen kids takes time, Dora. How often should I show up? Every two years, maybe?”

“Whatever you say, Woodrow. Whenever you come back—each time you come back—I’ll have a child by you. But I do ask that we start the first one at once.”

“You crazy little idiot. I believe you would do it that way.”

timeenoughforlove2“Not ‘would’—shall. If you will.”

“Well, we’re not going to do it that way.” He reached out and took her hand. “Dora, will you go where I go, do what I do, live where I live?”

She looked startled but answered steadily.  “Yes, Woodrow. If this is truly what you want.”

“Don’t put any conditions on it. Will you, or won’t you?”

“I will.”

If it comes to a showdown, will you do what I tell you to? Not give me any more stubborn arguments?”

“Yes, Woodrow.”

“Will you bear my children and be my wife till death do us part?”

“I will.”

“I take thee, Dora, to be my wife, to love and protect and cherish—and never to leave you… so long as we both shall live. Don’t sniffle! Lean over here and kiss me instead. We’re married.”

“I was not either sniffling! Are we really married?”

“We are. Oh, you can have any wedding ceremony you want. Later. Now shut up and kiss me.”

She obeyed.

Some long moments later he said, “Hey, don’t fall out of your saddle! Steady, Betty! Steady, Beulah! ‘Durable Dora, who taught you to kiss that way?”

“You haven’t called me that since I started to grow up. Years.”

“Haven’t kissed you since you started to grow up, either. For good reason. You didn’t answer my question.”

pp. 278 – 279

timeenoughforlove3That’s where I stopped. This is after the protagonist sails around space with a brother and sister he purchased from a slave trader. He forces them to be nudists so he doesn’t have to do laundry, although he rewards the sister with clothing when she behaves by not nagging her brother. This arrangement eventually results in the siblings having a child together, but it’s okay because they came from haploid gametes. Now their children on the other hand…

This is also not long after the talking mule.

There are 300 pages left. I just can’t do it.


17 thoughts on “Time Enough for Love (1973) by Robert A. Heinlein

  1. fromcouchtomoon says:

    And for the record, I can handle reading about taboo topics. It’s just boring and badly written taboo topics that turn me off.


  2. Widdershins says:


    … I read it when I was waaaaaaay younger and thought it rather outre at the time, my only defense is that I saw myself as the protag. (I had no LGBTQ role models where I grew up, I had to make do with what I could) I re-read it a few years ago and lo-and-behold, found it to be just like all the other ‘boy’s own’ adventures I’d read from ‘the golden age’, with the ‘boy’ just being older.


  3. faycrisanto says:

    Robert Heinlein is on my to-read list, but I shall make sure to avoid this particular title. Thank you for the heads-up.


    • fromcouchtomoon says:

      I think the general consensus is to stick with Moon is a Harsh Mistress, which I have not read yet. Heinlein isn’t very versatile, though. The topics vary, but his stories are always written in that same gruff and arrogant voice. It is certainly an experience to read, though.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “This is also not long after the talking mule.” hahahahahaha


  5. […] #5. Time Enough for Love by Robert A. Heinlein […]


  6. […] in order to repopulate humanity in the very distant future. And the female protag is voiced like Robert Heinlein… which is so […]


  7. There’s a lot to dislike about this book, and a few things to like, and yet I find myself coming back to it every couple of years? I think one of the reasons I keep reading Heinlein (and this one in particular) is that I was just teenaged enough when I first read him to take him a lot more seriously than I do now, and it’s fun to go back and see if I’ve grown up and how much Heinlein grew up with me.

    That said, I still love “The Tale of the Man Who Was Too Lazy to Fail.” And the talking mule makes sense in context.


  8. […] Time Enough for Love (1973) by Robert A. Heinlein […]


  9. […] was my only NGF (NeverGonnaFinish) in the year 2014: the awful, offensive, dumb, and pointless Time Enough for Love (1973). I read too much Heinlein last year, so I promised myself I wouldn’t make myself read him […]


  10. […] I would probably No Award Heinlein. If I had grown up reading him, I’d be ready to tell him to fuck off by ’85. Probably sooner. (Definitely sooner.) […]


  11. […] I gave up close to the halfway point, thus allowing The Computer Connection to join the ranks of Time Enough for Love (1973) as the only two novels I have DNFd in the history of this blog. Mr. Bester, you have […]


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