Rite of Passage by Alexei Panshin

Rite of Passage

In 2198, one hundred and fifty years after the desperate wars that destroyed an overpopulated Earth, Man lives precariously on a hundred hastily-established colony worlds and in the seven giant Ships that once ferried men to the stars. Mia Havero's Ship is a small closed society. It tests its children by casting them out to live or die in a month of Trial in the hostile wilds of a colony world. Mia Havero's Trial is fast approaching and in the me...

Details Rite of Passage

TitleRite of Passage
Release DateFeb 19th, 2007
PublisherFairwood Press
GenreScience Fiction, Fiction, Young Adult

Reviews Rite of Passage

  • Algernon (Darth Anyan)
    [7/10]Somebody quiped this is the best juvenile that Heinlein never wrote. In her excellent review of the Panshin novel [jo Walton], Jo Walton argues that the author's goal was more subversive than paying homage to the grandmaster of science-fiction, a point sustained by the known critical disagreement between the two. I have read literally hundreds of coming of age stories, most of them fantasy or SF, which might explain my lower rating for what...
  • Manuel Antão
    If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.How old SF can be as crappy as new SF: "Rite of Passage" by Alexei PanshinAfter finishing “After the Apocalypse” by Maureen F. McHugh, I wanted something from the good old days. With some serendipity involved, I read “Rite of Passage” by Alexei Panshin, which I read in my teens. My memory of it was at best very hazy. The only thing I remembered was that I didn’t like it at all...
  • Manny
    The plot of this rather fine coming-of-age SF novel is described well in several of the other reviews. Oddly enough, no one seems to mention that it is constructed around Shakespeare's Sonnet 94, which appears on the last page. Since the poem isn't nearly as well-known as it deserves to be, and it's one of my favorites, let me reproduce it here: They that have power to hurt and will do none,That do not do the thing they most do show,Who, moving...
  • David
    I'm not sure why this book has stuck with me so long -- I read it over 20 years ago. But it was one of the most memorable early-Heinlein-era sci-fi stories I ever read. The story is somewhat reminiscent of Heinlein, though the writing is not. The social issues raised in this novel are still compelling, though rather dated now, but I imagine it was even more relevant when it was first published.I really liked the main character, who was quite beli...
  • Steven
    "That's something you don't see in stories. Who buys the food and cooks it, washes the dishes, minds the baby, rubs down the horses, swabs out the guns, buries the bodies, mends the clothes, ties that rope in place so the hero can conveniently find it there to swing from, blows fanfares, polishes medals, and dies beautifully, all so that the hero can BE a hero? Who finances him? I'm not saying I don't believe in heroes--I'm just saying that they ...
  • Oleksandr Zholud
    This is a SF novel that won Nebula and was nominated for Hugo in 1969. Largely it is a product of its time, but there are messages relevant today as well.Earth was destroyed by overpopulation but before that a number of faster than light colony ships were built from the hollowed asteroids and new colonies were seeded. It was impossible to give colonists neither machinery (which breaks too easily) nor knowledge how to make it (less plausible, but ...
  • Matt
    'Rite of Passage' is one of science fiction's more overlooked and lesser known masterpeices. Really, they did know what they were doing when they gave this book a Nebula award. I think one of the reasons it hasn't maintained the enduring audience of some of other classics from the golden era is that it is a book that suffers from having an uncomfortable relationship with any of its potential readers. On the one hand, adult readers may be put off ...
  • Catie
    This is a very thought provoking book about a young girl's mental awakening. It takes place in a post-apocalyptic society existing on a ship that has been hollowed out of an asteroid. In this universe, Earth has been destroyed and humans are either existing on these ships or eking out a living on dangerous and mostly uninhabitable planets. The ship dwellers, faced with high population pressure, devise a test for every fourteen year old. Each adol...
  • Stephen
    3.5 stars. This is an really good novel (and, amazingly enough, this was Panshin's first novel). It is a classic coming of age story that is very well written, thought-provoking and has very good world-building (I really liked the interplay between the "Ships" and the "colonies"). Unlike some "SF classics" I was never bored with this one and it held my interest throughout. RECOMMENDED!!Winner: Nebula Award Best Science Fiction NovelNominee: Hugo ...
  • Bryan Alexander
    A very pleasant young adult novel wrapped in science fiction critique.Like a classic YA story, we follow a protagonist (Mia Havero) as she moves through adolescence towards adulthood. She meets various challenges, struggles with family and love, then grows up.It's also a recognizable science fiction world. We have a generation ship filled with advanced humans who ply the starways. The setting also includes a space opera framework, with a destroye...
  • Timothy Mayer
    Alexi and Cory Panshin wrote one of the best histories of early science fiction, The World Beyond the Hill, in 1989. I found the book at a bookstore in Wichita, Ks when I lived there in the early 90's and read it cover-to-cover in one sitting. So it was a surprise to me when I found this neat little book at Indian Path Books a few weeks ago. Needless to say, it ended up in my "To read" pile.Winner of the 1968 Nebula award, Rite of Passage shows t...
  • Kiwi Begs2Differ ✎
    I enjoyed the first two parts of this book, especially the discussions on population and power ethics and the bartering of technology, however the third part - The trial – was a disappointment(view spoiler)[: the adventure resembled a Western rather than Sci-fi and I didn’t like the fact that sex between kids just turned 14 was treated so casually (hide spoiler)]. 2 ½ stars I enjoyed the first two parts of this book, especially the discuss...
  • Althea Ann
    This brings me up to 89% done with Reading The Nebula Award Winners.I'm really sorry I somehow missed reading this book when I was a kid. I would have loved it when I was a pre-teen. As it was, I liked it, but it's very definitely a coming of age story with an Introduction to Ethics woven in.
  • Paul Baker
    Spoiler Alert!Rite of Passage is an easy book to pigeon-hole as a "coming of age" novel, but to do so would be a mistake and a disservice to this excellent little science fiction novel that steps beyond the genre.The book is written first person past through the eyes of the central character, Mia Havero, looking back at herself from the ages of twelve through fourteen. She is the daughter of the elected leader of a group of scientists and enginee...
  • Julian
    At its core Rite of Passage is a classic coming of age tale. Alex Panshin writes with warmth and pace, and he crafts a story with depth that sets this book apart from many other young adult SFs. It is no surprise that Rite of Passage took home the Nebula. 4/5I couldn’t help but write down some thoughts I had while reading Rite of Passage.Trial, the practice of marooning 14 year olds on alien and unfamiliar worlds for 30 days came off as absurd ...
  • Kate
    I read Alexei Panshin's Rite of Passage again. For some reason, this story is very close to my heart. It's a story of a young girl, Mia, living in a floating spaceship, facing the Trial of her society. This Trial is the mark of adulthood in their community of thirty thousand, their 'Rite of Passage'.The story began with Mia's little joys and frustrations. And behind that, she had her fears and prejudices. I always love 'coming of age' stories. Us...
  • Jan Priddy
    Panshin's novel coming of age science fiction novel won the Nebula and was a close second for the Hugo. It is one of my all-time favorites and I have read it many times, including reading it aloud to my sons when they were children. I just read it again and find it highly relevant. Here is a tiny slice of why I love this book, and why I grieve each time I read it: "I've always wondered what it would be like to be a spear carrier in somebody else'...
  • Jan Priddy
    This is my favorite SF novel of all time. I have read it over and over. It is excellent every time. I think I would update about fifteen words in the entire book. (The "men on the counsel" for example should be people or counsel members.) The POV character is female, lives on a generation ship, explores & discovers what it means to be human and to grow and to wrestle with justice and fairness, and I identified with her perfectly the first time I ...
  • Cindywho
    Dated SF published in 1968. It's one of those books that's entertaining in how it reflects its own time more than the future it's describing, though with a few surprises, including a disturbing ending. It's a bit over-explanatory and preachy, but a good adventure most of the time. (November 19, 2006)
  • Kit
    If I had read this book when I was growing up, it would have ended up shelved next to Julie of the Wolves, A Wrinkle in Time, Call of the Wild, and Robot Dreams and fully earned its place.I must begin this review with the honest disclosure that my curiosity regarding reading it was entirely spurred by my unfortunate association with one Tobiah Panshin, mutant Russian gremlin and general beard-carrying spawn of the author. This may have colored my...
  • Elvie Doll
    Here's a link to my review of Rite of Passage on Paperback Dolls.This is one of those books that you read and never forget. It can change how you think about yourself, your life, and the world around you. If you haven't read this book, the only excuse I can think of for you is that you might not have heard of it. It was first published in 1968, and didn't get reprinted until relatively recently. So you might not have heard of it. But now you have...
  • Eva
    I've loved this book ever since my father read it to me when I was little. I loved how Mia wasn't always perfect- she fought with her father, was mean to her friends, and didn't always what she was told. When she was scared, she was direct about it, "Call me a cautious tiger". She made her own decisions and accepted the consequences, was loyal to herself and her friends. And she survived to became an adult. By far one of my favorite coming of age...
  • Chris
    I don’t know why I keep reading these pre-1970 Hugo and Nebula nominees. This one was a Nebula winner!So the first half was sort of a proto Harry Potter or Red Mars type of story. Young teen who is sort of annoying has experiences that seem to be molding them into a great hero. The world ship was really well done, in fact my favorite part. But then Mia Havero is thrust into the crucible of the Trial. At this point the book falls apart, at least...
  • John Kieffer
    (Spoilers) It's a classic coming of age novel in a future human off-earth society. Told from the point of view of a 13 year old girl. Well written, however the writing seems too mature for that age group. As told from inside, the society at first seems benevolent. It's only gradually that you come to realize how monstrous the society is, committing genocide (off camera) by the end of the book. There's a glimmer of hope at the end that the young p...
  • Alan
    This is the fourth, and the best book, that I have read that was written by Alexei Panshin. In almost all ways this novel is a 180 degrees from the humorous Anthony Villiers' books. I personally find it a shame that Panshin has apparently retired from writing. My research shows one critical book and a couple of fantasy novels in his bibliography in addition to what I have read.Enough dithering. Rite of Passage was not what I expected. Panshin tak...
  • LauraW
    This book has most of the things I really enjoy in a book - good story, interesting characters, and things that keep me thinking afterwards. While ship society isn't as richly imagined as I might have hoped, the build up to the Trial, the Trial itself, and the aftermath are carefully orchestrated to leave the reader with much to ponder and discuss. I would love to read this book with a group of adolescents. SPOILER ALERT!!!....................It ...
  • Peter
    This was simply on my list of Hugo (Nebula?) winners to read. I'd never heard of the book or the author. It was quite a fascinating read, and I really enjoyed the young person first person perspective. I think this would have been powerful to read as a teenager, a lot of thought about growing up and finding your purpose. The titular rite of passage at first I thought would be the Trial that all young people in the Ship society are to make, to sur...
  • Eva Rieder
    I remembered reading this book in high school, but when I picked it up again and started reading I realized I never had. This book is one I'd like to read in my English classes this year, both because it features a female protagonist and it's a good introduction to science fiction. Mia, the main character, is a teen going through the same relatable issues as all teens face—but she's facing them in a futuristic world with a twist. Her family liv...
  • Marmaduke45
    Rite of Passage is one of my favorite books. I love a coming of age story and this one set in a society aboard an interstellar spaceship hits all the right notes for me. The heroine is very smart and competent. She lives in an interesting environment aboard the ship where responcibilities are taken seriously. We get to see how the society works and how the young members are tested by dropping them off on alien worlds to see if they can survive an...
  • Will
    I thought that this book was brilliant for the amount of themes and subjects it touched upon in such a short number of pages. I'm surprised that I have not heard of this book before reading it, as I can see it being very popular as recommended reading for young adults. It is an intelligent coming of age story that explores the oldest ethical issues with which humanity continues to grapple, such as the proper way to distribute power and the dilemm...