Robert A. Heinlein

The Year of the Jackpot

A statistician attempts to make sense of a world gone mad in an apocalyptic sci-fi scenario from the Hugo Award–winning author of Starship Troopers.
Multiple Hugo Award winner Robert Heinlein earned countless fans, accolades, and honors with groundbreaking novels such as Starship Troopers and Stranger in a Strange Land. But it was shorter works like his brilliant novella, The Year of the Jackpot, that solidified Heinlein’s position among sci-fi’s greatest.
Potiphar Breen puts his trust in numbers to make sense of the world. An unassuming, middle-aged bachelor, he has been carefully noting a rise in odd behaviors all around him in order to determine some pattern or meaning in these bizarre recent events. Then one day, he comes upon a beautiful young woman at a bus stop who is taking off all her clothes.
Meade Barstow has no idea what compelled her to disrobe in public, and she is grateful when Potiphar comes along to save her from herself. Needing some time and a place to recuperate, she
accompanies him home. Soon, a relationship develops that is warm, mutually supportive, and sane—in dramatic contrast to the growing madness of the world outside.
But “Potty’s” house won’t be a refuge forever. Because once Breen clearly identifies the cycle that humanity is undergoing, he and his newfound friend will have to run for their lives.
Originally published in the early 1950s, Heinlein’s The Year of the Jackpot is a story of love, trust, and volatile human nature that still retains its wonder and unique philosophical edge.
56 printed pages
Original publication
Publication year
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  • Anna Osipovahas quoted3 years ago
    This year the human race is letting down its hair, flipping its lip with a finger, and saying, ‘Wubba, wubba, wubba.’
  • Anna Osipovahas quoted3 years ago
    One case is shocking; over three hundred makes it scientifically interesting.
  • Stacy Millerhas quoted6 years ago
    “I dern near left behind my file of The Western Astronomer and the Proceedings of the Variable Star Association.”
    “Why take them?”
    “I must be nearly a year behind on both of them. Now maybe I’ll have time to read.”
    “Hmm… Potty, watching you read professional journals is not my notion of a vacation.”
    “Quiet, woman! You took Winnie; I take these.”
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