London; (1977): New English Library. First Editions. Octavo. Item #028380
Book One, 320 pages; Book Two, 347 pages. The omnibus of Heinlein's Future History, The Past through Tomorrow, is a key to his Future History concept. The first story, "Life-Line," is about Dr. Hugo Pinero's machine which measures the duration of individual lives; the final story, Methuselah's Children's is about mankind's achievement of eternal life. Indeed, Woodrow Wilson Smith (alias Captain Aaron Sheffield, alias Lazarus Long) refers to Pinero in a discussion with Mary Sperling. While Heinlein's omnibus begins and ends with the question of the length of life; Shaw's play series does the same but does not leave the problem in the middle. Heinlein's last six stories deal with a revolt against a religious dictatorship in the United States and the revolt against it. "Coventry" depicts the society which follows it. "Misfit" introduces Andrew Jackson Libby, who turns out to be a lightning calculator (and who reappears in Methuselah's Children to improve a space drive) all the issues as in great science fiction show how advanced technology often leads to a bleaker world. Both bound in black cloth, spine lettering gilt, near fine in near fine pictorial dust jackets, lettering orange, white and blue repeated on spines (volume 1 jacket is clipped).