nottheowl on April 28, 2010, 01:15:50 pm
I read "Starship Troopers" in sixth form.

I enjoyed the use of symbolic logic to justify political decisions, notably "is one prisoner, unreleased by the enemy, enough reason to start or resume a war?".

Found the main character unsympathetic though- turned me off chasing up any other Heinlein. I guess after reading 1984 I wanted all my dystopian heros to be ineffective rebels rather than successful conformists.

« Last Edit: April 28, 2010, 01:53:49 pm by nottheowl »

SandySandfort on April 28, 2010, 05:02:04 pm
I read "Starship Troopers"...

Found the main character unsympathetic though- turned me off chasing up any other Heinlein. I guess after reading 1984 I wanted all my dystopian heros to be ineffective rebels rather than successful conformists.

Starship Troopers was one of my least favorite Heinlein books. Having said that, he masterfully did what he almost always did. He took a controversial stance and made it plausible and internally consistent. The question he tries to answer was, "What if citizenship were predicated on military service?" I think his answer was plausible. BTW, that does not mean Heinlein thought that was the way things should be done. One should always be careful about deducing Heinlein's beliefs from what his characters say and do.


nottheowl on April 29, 2010, 12:26:24 am
Internally consisistent given the lack of AIs, I agree.

If troopers is atypical, what would readers recommend as a re-introduction to Heinlein?

GaTor on April 29, 2010, 10:29:31 am
Heh, my first thought was of RAH's story.  The second, after having automatically put the strip and the authors views into context, was "What a nice tribute".  C'mon, can any regular EFT reader not see Heinlein's influence on the strip?   The man himself was noted for spreading ideas and was very supportive of others who 'borrowed" from him. 

Regarding Starship Troopers, that was one of my favorites and had a definite impact on my decision to join the US Army in 1972.  I was profoundly appalled when the movie came out.  All three were absolute trash having little to do with the original book other than the character names, space and fighting bug like aliens.   Meh, why use SST for that?  There was once a U-Tube video with clips from Halo, Eastwoods  "Heartbreak Ridge"  et al done to the tune of the Stones "Give me Shelter" which was better than all three of those horrible, misbegotten  movies.   Sadly, that video has been taken down for unknown reasons.

Heinlein was my favorite author until well after his death.  C. J. Cherryh began to creep up on him and then David Weber finally claimed the top spot but only among us the living.    :D
« Last Edit: April 29, 2010, 10:31:31 am by GaTor »
Go forth and do good.

GaTor on April 29, 2010, 10:47:00 am
@ nottheowl:

My personnal Heinlein recommendations; from his juveniles either "The Star Beast" or "Red Planet".   From the adults "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" .   Aguments may certainly be made in either category but those are my personal favorites.   Hmm, come to think of it  " Podkayne of Mars"  would be a third choice in the juveniles.  FYI do not be put off by the term 'juveniles' as Heinlein had an uncanny talent of writing in a mode is very much enjoyable by 'adults'.   

Damn, now I'm second guessing myself on all my favorite RAH titles.  :P
Go forth and do good.

SandySandfort on April 29, 2010, 01:12:28 pm
My personnal Heinlein recommendations; from his juveniles either "The Star Beast" or "Red Planet".   

As for "juveniles," my choice would be Citizen of the Galaxy.

From the adults "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" . 
  

My absolutely most favorite, but you may have guessed that.   ::)

BTW, Harsh Mistress fans, I own the MYCROFTXXX.NET domain name. Haven't decided what to do with it, but suggestions are welcome.

nottheowl on April 29, 2010, 01:36:34 pm
Many thanks- I will Amazon "Harsh Mistress" directly!

dough560 on April 30, 2010, 12:11:46 am
Baen Books, www.baen.com, is re-releasing several Anderson, Heinlein and Norton Books.  Any of them would be a good introduction to either author.  They're available in print or e-book.

Brugle on April 30, 2010, 10:00:45 am
Today's page (430) is like a scene in Starship Troopers (and a gazillion other stories).

SandySandfort on April 30, 2010, 01:18:40 pm
Today's page (430) is like a scene in Starship Troopers (and a gazillion other stories).

And your point is...?

It isn't just stories; people fight in real life. That's why there are stories with people fighting. (Though, I think you would be hard-pressed to find a story with a Singaporean Sikh, fighting a Chinese gang in an amusement park.)  ;D

Brugle on April 30, 2010, 03:04:17 pm
Today's page (430) is like a scene in Starship Troopers (and a gazillion other stories).

And your point is...?

It isn't just stories; people fight in real life. That's why there are stories with people fighting. (Though, I think you would be hard-pressed to find a story with a Singaporean Sikh, fighting a Chinese gang in an amusement park.)  ;D

No particular point.  The handling of the Chinese toughs reminded me of the scene in ST outside of a bar when Johnny and some mates were attacked by sailors.  (Reexamining today's EFT, I see that Sajjan may not have been as quick as Johnny et al, so there isn't as much similarity as I supposed.)  I enjoyed the scenes in ST and EFT.  Of course, the aftermath in EFT will be much different.

quadibloc on May 06, 2010, 08:26:13 am
BTW, that does not mean Heinlein thought that was the way things should be done. One should always be careful about deducing Heinlein's beliefs from what his characters say and do.
This is true.

I suspect that some of Heinlein's work can be taken as reflecting some of his beliefs, though.

Thus, several of his juveniles, including "Citizen of the Galaxy", probably do reflect a real belief on his part that people should recognize that they live in an imperfect world, and not be impatient or Utopian in their goals.

His last few novels, which were criticized as self-indulgent, probably did have Lazarus Long giving voice to a number of his own opinons.

Also, Heinlein had a long career, and over those years, a person's opinions can change. There is reason to believe, from his own participation in an election campaign before he began writing, that when he began to write, he probably supported an increase in government welfare measures as opposed to a libertarian society. Incidentally, over the period in which Heinlein wrote, there were (on some levels) profound changes in society as well. Thus, we have the cartoonist Al Capp noting that he didn't change from a liberal to a conservative so much as the society around him shifting.

In the case of Starship Troopers, I think Heinlein was writing about something he believed to be a real problem - the lack of individual responsibility - without trying to present the society he depicted as the ideal solution.

Rocketman on May 06, 2010, 11:06:03 am
There's no doubt in my mind whatsoever that as time goes on here in Amerika that this society is being pushed more and more into the "progressive" mindset.  Let me give you a good example

"By calling attention to a well-regulated militia for the security of the Nation, and the right of each citizen to keep and bear arms, our Founding Fathers recognized the essentially civilian nature of our economy.  Although it is extremely unlikely the the fears of government tyranny, which gave rise to the second amendment will ever be a danger to our nation, the admendment still remains an important declaration of our basic military-civilian relationship in which every citizen must be ready to participate in the defense of his country.  For that reason I believe the second admendment will always be important."   
 
Guess who said it.  A few clues, he was not yet the President of the United States when he said it and he was president during the 20th century.  No fair cheating by calling it up on the internet.  When enough people guess, I'll tell everyone.

quadibloc on May 06, 2010, 08:24:41 pm
Guess who said it.
Since the quote talks about the balance between the military and civilian elements in our society, among 20th Century Presidents, I suppose the obvious guess is Eisenhower, who warned of the military-industrial complex in his farewell address. That, of course, is no assurance of it being the right choice.

Mabuse on May 07, 2010, 12:37:52 am
As you seem to be going for maximum irony I guess it would be FDR.