were another group proud of their mixed ancestry. Podkayne
Fries described herself as having dominant Swedish features, but also
Polynesian and Asiatic ancestors. Her uncle Tom
Fries was more obviously Polynesian.
They had received permission for three children and had them early in
their marriage, to be cryonically preserved until they had time and money to
raise them. Unfortunately, the Marsopolis
Creche thawed out the Fries
babies instead of theirs.
Bureau of Planetary Engineering
[mentioned in passing] Podkayne
Fries' mother held a desk job there while she was having babies.
Junior third officer on the Tricorn;
he helped Podkayne
Fries study astrogation and escorted her to dances.
couples normally had their children in rapid succession while still young,
then had them stored cryogenically to be raised when it was socially and
financially more convenient. Some parents left their recently revived children
at the creche for a few months to spare the mother those months of intensive
Dexter Kurt Cunha
Son of Venus
Corporation's Chairman of the Board. He took an interest in Podkayne
Fries, perhaps at his father's instigation, and escorted her all over Venusberg.
Free port on Mars' moon
under the Three-Planets
Treaty; as such, it was not subject to Mars law.
The port structure was designed by Podkayne
Fries' mother, while her father fought to have construction delayed until
excavation of an ancient Martian
site was completed.
Fries' opinion, Earth was not truly suited to human habitation, and the
human race probably didn't really originate there. Although the human colonies
on other planets were politically independent, Earth still dominated them.
Girdle (Girdie) Fitz-Snugglie (real name
Fries' pseudonym for the only other non-geriatric passenger on the Tricorn
besides her and her brother Clark.
A notorious society girl, she travelled to Venus to
find work after she lost her wealth (possibly to a fortune-hunting husband).
On the Tricorn, Clark became madly infatuated with her. When they reached Venus,
Girdie got work first as a cigarette girl, then as a blackjack dealer, in a Venusberg
casino; Podkayne predicted she'd soon be a stockholder.
Fries' brother, six Martian/eleven Terran years old, a genius with
definite antisocial tendencies and a wide mercenary streak. He journeyed with
his sister and uncle Tom
Fries to Venus, on
their way to Earth. He
smuggled a bomb aboard the Tricorn
after being bribed by a stranger, but dismantled the bomb and later used it in
escaping from kidnappers.
Duncan, Elspeth, and Grace Fries
Infants accidentally revived from cryogenic suspension and presented to Podkayne
Fries' family just before their scheduled trip to Earth.
They were called "Delta," "Epsilon," and "Gamma" while in suspension.
1. And adolescent girl (eight
Martian/fifteen Terran years old) who was a citizen of Mars and
had ambitions of becoming captain of a space liner. She journeyed to Venus on
her way to Earth,
with her brother and uncle Tom
Fries. While on Venus she was kidnapped by her uncle's political opponents
and was seriously injured in a bomb blast following her escape. She was called
"Poddy" by nearly everyone, and "Flicka" by her uncle. She was named Podkayne
after a Martian
Podkayne's father (no first name
Van Loon Professor of Terrestrial History with Ares University, a
Guggenheim fellow. His true love was Martian
history. He was a veteran of the Mars
Revolution, in which he lost an arm.
Podkayne's mother (no first name
A master engineer for heavy construction, surface or freefall. She was
awarded the Hoover Medal and the Christiana Order, Knight Commander, for
She has received many honorary degrees for her work. She worked at the
Bureau of Planetary Engineering at a desk job while having her five babies
in rapid succession, then resumed field work, and was frequently away from
home while Podkayne and Clark were growing up. Design Criteria With
Respect to the Effects of Radiation on the Banding of Pressure-Loaded
Sandwich Structures is a paper published by Podkayne's mother; it was
typical of her work.
Fries' great-uncle and favorite relative. Originally a transportee, he was
a Revolutionary veteran, a member of the Elks club, Past Grand Commander of
Legion, and Senator-at-Large of the Martian
Republic. He was appointed Minister Plenipotentiary and Ambassador
Extraordinary to the Three
Planets Summit, travelling with Podkayne and Clark to give the impression
he was only on a pleasure trip. He opposed the idea of Mars
joining the Terran Federation because it would most likely become dominated by
Terran interests. His political enemies kidnapped Podkayne and Clark to force
him to vote their way.
Gossipy old woman in the Tricorn.
Fries overheard her insults about Marsmen
in general and the Fries family in particular, and reported them to Clark
Fries. Mrs. Garcia was later seen with photographic chemical stains
covering her face, which were at first taken for radiation burns.
The pleasantest of the elderly widows on the Tricorn.
She befriended Podkayne
Fries but turned out to be a Terran agent and political enemy of Tom
Fries. She kidnapped and threatened to torture Podkayne and Clark to
persuade Tom to vote according to Terran interests. She was killed by Clark
when he and Podkayne escaped. She was sometimes called "Madame Grew."
Institution that "stored" babies cryonically between the time that their
parents gave birth to them and they were prepared to raise them. Under this
system, women could give birth when they were young and optimally healthy,
then the families could raise the children when they were more affluent and
Gossipy old woman aboard the Tricorn.
She showed an initial interest in Podkayne
Fries, quizzing her about her home and family, but soon started treating
her as a personal servant in the belief that she was "teaching her how to
behave around her betters". Podkayne reported to her brother Clark insulting
remarks Mrs. Royer had made about Marsmen
in general and the Fries family in particular. Mrs. Royer showed up shortly
after with photographic chemical stains on her face. ("Someone" had soaked her
washcloth in the chemicals and then carefully dried it in total darkness, so
that wetting the washcloth and using it in a lighted room activated the
The term for nonhuman natives of Venus; the
term for human colonists is "Venusian". One life-form is vaguely
human-looking, somewhat less intelligent than humans, and easily addicted to
"happy dust", which causes them to become violent. Another resembles mythical
Earth fairies; their intelligence level was unknown but they could follow
Society was founded by Virginia Heinlein on behalf of her husband, science
fiction author Robert Anson Heinlein, to "pay forward" the legacy of Robert A. Heinlein to future generations of "Heinlein's Children."