In Podkayne of Mars, we see Podkayne, her brother, and their uncle, Tom, kidnapped by a Mrs. Greer. What was the motive behind the kidnapping? Similarly, what was the idea behind smuggling a bomb onto the Tricorn, their spaceship? Does RAH make this clear in his book or perhaps in interviews?

(RAH vaguely mentions a political battle between those in the colonies who wanted to unify with Terra and those who didn't. Where do the above-mentioned terrorists fit in?)


Uncle Tom was a secret delegate from Mars and the bomb was designed to kill him before he arrived at the conference. The terrorists made the mistake of "tricking" Clark into taking the bomb, but he disarmed it instead. When the leader of the terrorists (Mrs. Greer) discovers that her plot has failed, she first kidnaps Podkayne then Clark in an effort to blackmail Uncle Tom. The confusion may be the result of different versions of the book. In his first edition, Heinlein killed Podkayne at the end and Clark gives the final diary entry.

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  • There are at least two groups of terrorists, or do you really believe Mrs. Greer would travel on the same ship as the bomb? – JRE Sep 1 '15 at 16:44
  • The brother explicitly states that it the two events, attempted bombing and kidnapping, must of been performed by unrelated groups who wanted different results. – Jonathon Jul 27 '16 at 4:26

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