First Edition cover of Friday
|Author||Robert A. Heinlein|
|Cover artist||Richard Powers|
|Genre||Science fiction novel|
|Publisher||Holt, Rinehart and Winston|
|Publication date||April 1982|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|ISBN||ISBN 0-03-061516-X (first edition, hardback)|
|Dewey Decimal||813/.54 19|
|LC Classification||PS3515.E288 F77 1982|
Friday is a 1982 science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein. It is the story of a female "artificial person," the eponymous Friday, genetically engineered to be stronger, faster, smarter, and generally better than normal humans. Artificial humans are widely resented, and much of the story deals with Friday's struggle both against prejudice and to conceal her enhanced attributes from other humans. The story is set in a Balkanized world, in which the nations of the North American continent have been split up into a number of smaller states.
The book's protagonist is Friday Baldwin, an artificial person both mentally and physically superior in many ways to an ordinary human, but she faces great prejudice and will most likely be killed if her "non-human" status is discovered. Employed as a highly self-sufficient combat courier, her various missions take her throughout the globe and also to some of the near-Earth space colonies. The novel is set in a complex, Balkanized world, and Friday is caught up in several civil disturbances during the course of her travels. She reaches her employer's home base safely but is soon displaced. Sent on a space journey as a courier, she realizes that the journey is likely to end with her death, evades the ship's authorities, and settles on a pioneer world with friends made earlier in the narrative.
Awards and nominations
Friday received nominations for the following awards
- 1982 Nebula Award for Best Novel
- 1983 Hugo Award for Best Novel
- 1983 Locus award for Science Fiction Novel
- 1983 Prometheus award for Best Novel
Literary significance and reception
Allusions/references to other works
Friday is loosely tied to the novelette "Gulf", which appeared in Assignment in Eternity, since both works share characters — "Kettle Belly" Baldwin and "Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Greene". (The latter two do not appear in Friday, but are mentioned as two of the title character's genetic progenitors.) The motif of a secret superman society in the latter work, however, is not mentioned in Friday, where the heroine is an artificial person, and is not part of a secret society (the principal reason to be secret about her artificialness is to avoid discrimination). However, at his death, Baldwin leaves Friday a subsidy to finance her emigration to any planet of her choice, except Olympia, where the "supermen" went at some indeterminate point in the past.
The Shipstone, the extrasolar colonies Fiddler's Green, Proxima and Botany Bay, and the start of the balkanization of North America are mentioned in The Cat Who Walks Through Walls. It is stated that Roger and Edith Stone from The Rolling Stones are now living in Fiddler's Green. Botany Bay is also featured in Heinlein's novel Time for the Stars, and another extrasolar colony, Halcyon, is featured in Starman Jones.
Homages/references from other works
The protagonist of Saturn's Children, Freya, uses the pseudonym "Friday Baldwin" as she smuggles an item to Mars.
- "1982 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-27.
- "1983 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-27.
- "The Locus Index to SF Awards: 1983 Locus Awards". Retrieved 2008-05-15.
- "Prometheus Award for Best Novel -- Nominees". Retrieved 2008-05-15.
- "Friday (Book)". Library Journal 107 (10): 1013. 1982-05-15. ISSN 0363-0277.
- "Robert Heinlein:The Novels". The Robert A. Heinlein Page. Retrieved August 31, 2009.
- "Friday". Robert A. Heinlein: Dean of Science Fiction Writers. Retrieved August 31, 2009.
- "Robert A. & Virginia G. Heinlein Papers". Online Archive of California. 2007. p. 2. Retrieved August 31, 2009.