Friday

[Amazon Link]

Continuing on the Rereading Heinlein project. (Just 23 to go!)

The Amazon link picture isn't the copy I have. I have (ahem) a 1982 first printing. Assuming I paid list price (I don't remember), it set me back $14.95. Ah, the days before I was a senior citizen on a fixed income and felt flush enough to splurge that way.

Although if Heinlein were still alive and cranking out books, I might…

The eponymous heroine is an Artificial Person, grown in a lab with a genome granting her enhanced strength, speed, and sensory acuity. There's widespread bigotry toward APs, so she doesn't advertise her origins. She has a job as a courier for a secretive organization, run by an old guy Friday calls "The Boss". In this scenario, interplanetary travel is a given, interstellar travel is just getting started. But traditional governments have broken up and become balkanized, and corporations have stepped into the power vacuum; it's kind of a mess.

Friday has a dangerous job in a dangerous time and place. She feels she has to, and does, kill a guy on page one, paragraph one. But she's captured by a gang of bad guys on page 7, Raped by page 9. But (spoiler) eventually rescued. (Her lackadaisical attitude toward this attack drew some feminist ire back in the 80s, I recall.)

And things proceed from there. There's not much of a plot; it's basically stuff that she does, and what happens to her. But for me, it kept the pages turning. Friday's first-person narration is Heinleinesque, take it or leave it. Lots of observations and opinions on society, politics, and sex.