Farmer in the Sky is the first novel by Robert Heinlein that I read. I distinctly remember my older sister coming into my bedroom and saying “Read this” and handing it to me. I was probably 10 or 11 years old. It is the story of a teenage boy emigrating from Earth to Ganymede and it had me hooked from the start.
Although not the first Science Fiction I read, (that would be Patrick Moore’s books) it started me on a mission to consume every SF book in our house and that was a lot. We had a big house and it was full of books, so many in fact that even the landing had bookshelves and my Dad’s half of the marital bedroom was full of boxes and stacks of books that wouldn’t fit anywhere else. My Mum’s half was full of piles of clothes, you could have put an archaeological trench through and the different layers would have given you a history of fashion through the the seventies and eighties.
I read a lot more Heinlein, ploughing my way through Starman Jones, Tunnel in the Sky, Space Family Stone, Have Spacesuit Will Travel, Podkayne of Mars, the list goes on. Several of them I read at least twice. As I ran out of the ‘juveniles’ I moved on to his books aimed at an older audience. Stranger in a Strange Land was good but weird. The Number of the Beast was just weird. I tried a few more but by then I had discovered other writers and other genres. In the end Heinlein just slipped away from me. Maybe it is time I got him back.