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The earliest generation-ship story that I know of is "The Voyage That Lasted 600 Years", a novelette by Don Wilcox in Amazing Stories, October 1940 (available at the Internet Archive), seven months before Robert A. Heinlein's novelette "Universe" (the first half of his fix-up novel Orphans of the Sky), which first appeared in Astounding Science-Fiction, May ...


4

Your initial conclusion is right, and I think you are mistaken about some of the contradictions mentioned. The criminal non-crew people living in low gravity are refereed to as "Muties", a slang form of mutineer. While mutants are common among them, and not in the crew, this is explained by the long term program of strict eugenics followed by the crew and ...


4

I have questions about some of your assertions (see the comments) but I can speak to the possible reasons for locating the command center near the center of rotation. The control consoles are located near the center of a large spherical viewscreen (really a spherical planetarium). It would be easier to view all aspects of this viewscreen in a free fall ...


2

Yes, the parallels are almost certainly intentional. It has been quite a while since I read the book, so some details are vague. There is however little doubt in my mind that Heinlein used the story as a vehicle for criticising religious obscurantism as perpetrated by the Christian church in medieval times as well as today. I remember in particular the ...


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