This article is the puppet masters heinlein pdf the Robert A. For other uses, see Puppet Master.
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Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. The Puppet Masters is a 1951 science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, in which American secret agents battle parasitic invaders from outer space. The novel evokes a sense of paranoia later captured in the 1956 film Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which had a similar premise.
Heinlein also repeatedly makes explicit the analogy between the mind-controlling parasites and the Communist Russians, echoing the prevailing Second Red Scare in the United States. The novel’s first scene is set in 2007. Following a nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the West, which left both sides battered but unbroken, both sides return to a state of Cold War.
The Soviet Union and China remain a single bloc dominated by Moscow, and the sharp Sino-Soviet breach of the late 1950s never happened. Space stations exist and colonies have been established on the planet Venus. Space technology is far more advanced than in the actual first decade of the 21st century.
For example, in the last scene, a space warship is sent on a twelve-year trip to Titan, with not only life-support for a large crew, but also enough armaments — presumably nuclear — to confront an entire world on its own. However, communications satellites have not been thought of, and television broadcasts are still limited to line-of-sight, as they were at the time of writing. This has a crucial importance for the plot.
The territory of the United States is divided into numerous transmission blocks, which receive television broadcasts from their neighbors and relay them onwards. When the invaders seize one of these blocks, they effectively control all communications within it and can isolate its inhabitants from the outside world, deny the central government any access to them, and consolidate control at their leisure. In the summer of 2007 Earth is under clandestine attack.
Slug-like creatures, arriving in flying saucers, are attaching themselves to people’s backs, taking control of their victims’ nervous systems, and manipulating those people as puppets. The Old Man, the head of clandestine national security agency called the Section, goes to Des Moines, Iowa, with Sam and Mary, two of his best agents, to investigate a flying saucer report, but much more seriously the ominous disappearance of the six agents sent previously. They discover that the slugs are steadily taking over Des Moines, but they cannot convince the President to declare an emergency.
Sam takes two other agents and returns to Des Moines to get more evidence of the invasion. They fail and are obliged to leave the city quickly, but in the confusion of their fleeing the city’s television center a slug sneaks onto one of the agents. Back in Washington the team discovers the slug and captures it, but later it escapes and attaches itself to Sam, using Sam’s skills and knowledge to make a clean escape. Thoroughly puppetized, Sam begins to infiltrate more slugs into the city, using the Constitution Club as a recruiting center.
The Old Man captures him, takes him to Section’s new headquarters, and coerces Sam into being taken by the slug again. Under drug-induced hypnosis Sam reveals that the slugs come from Titan, the sixth moon of Saturn. Being forced into a traumatic situation strains Sam’s relationship with both Mary and the Old Man. Later, Sam finds that the President and Congress are ready to accept the idea that the United States has been infiltrated and they mandate a law that requires people to go naked to demonstrate that they are not carrying slugs.
As the army prepares a counter-attack in the most heavily infested areas, Sam goes alone to Kansas City to get an estimate of the number of slugs involved. There he learns that he can kill a slug by crushing it with his hand.