Discovering Robert A. Heinlein

Browsing the stacks at my kid’s elementary school library, I discovered three books from my favorite childhood Sci-fi author, Robert A. Heinlein. Amazingly they were 1st edition prints, wow! Oddly, I don’t think I read these three books, so I’ll have to ask my daughter to check them out for me.

These three books were published in the late 1940’s just after WW2. Today they’d be called YA fiction. During my Jr. High years, 
I read almost all of books including “Starship Troopers”, “Stranger in a Strange Land” and “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”.
Heinlein was a very prolific writer and along with Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke, is one of the “Big Three” authors of Golden Age Sci-Fi. Though Heinlein’s name is less well known to the general public.

He’s been described as a Libertarian author. This may explain why he’s not as famous as other authors: His conservative politics alienated Liberals and Progressives (he assisted in the Reagan administration’s “Star Wars” program) and his later stories/characters promoting ‘Free Love’ and time-travel-incest, must have alienated Conservatives. 
My favorite book of his is, “The Number of the Beast” which by its title alone probably gets it banned from may schools. Despite its somewhat misleading title, that book was not about devils or horror, but a sci-fi adventure that includes traveling into other fictional universes including Frank Balm’s Wizard of Oz.

Still, his work is read by a wide range of the political and social spectrum. “Stranger in a Strange Land” was widely read and quoted 60’s Counter Culture radicals, while “Starship Troopers” is mandatory reading at West Point, and one of the best depictions of military Boot Camp in literature (the 1997 movie was a crap adaptation).

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