Questions tagged [robert-a-heinlein]

For questions about Robert A. Heinlein who was an American science fiction writer. Often called "the dean of science fiction writers", he was one of the most popular, influential, and controversial authors of the genre. Only use for questions about the author, for questions about his works use the specific work tag instead.

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40
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9answers
12k views

Did Heinlein advocate the apparently militaristic, if not fascist society of Starship Troopers?

In the classic 1959 Sci-Fi novel Starship Troopers, Robert Heinlein lays out a view of the future where only the military is allowed full citizenship and suffrage. He presents democracy as ...
8
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3answers
435 views

How long was the boot training at Camp Currie?

Is there a good estimate based on the books of how long the Basic training at Camp Currie lasted?
13
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6answers
1k views

Is this quote from Robert Heinlein's writing? “I never learned from a man who agreed with me”

Can anyone provide a source for this quote, supposedly from Robert Heinlein or from one of his works? "I never learned from a man who agreed with me." Or similar wording. I don't recognize it, and I'...
15
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2answers
2k views

Is there any reference/mention of Ayn Rand/objectivism in Heinlein's books?

Heinlein is considered a fairly "libertarian-leaning" author. Were there many mentions or references in his works of either Ayn Rand, her works/heroes, or Objectivism (explicit mentions, not merely ...
8
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1answer
114 views

Is The Pursuit of the Pankera the novel Heinlein once claimed to have burned?

I recall reading (I think it was in the foreword or introduction to an edition of his Future History collection, published after his aneurysm procedure) Heinlein's claim that he'd burned an entire ...
9
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1answer
1k views

Heinlein, “Everything not compulsory was forbidden,” in “Coventry?”

There is a satirical phrase, "Everything not forbidden is compulsory," which seems to have been a part of popular culture (in varied form) in the English-speaking world in the early 20th century. It ...
3
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3answers
166 views

When Peewee shows up, why is she wearing a space suit?

In ch. 4 of Heinlein's Have Space Suit, Will Travel, two flying saucers land in the field behind the protagonist Kip's house. Two figures come out of one. We later learn that these are the Mother ...
39
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3answers
28k views

Reading Order for Heinlein's “World as Myth” Books

Starting with Number of the Beast Heinlein began the systematic incorporation of most of his great novels into a single multiverse. Additionally, he included works by other authors in this multiverse. ...
31
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2answers
1k views

Does the number 31 hold special meaning in Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers?

First, there's the 31 ways to get kicked out: About the only thing we noticed, if we noticed anything, was what we called "the thirty-one ways to crash land." ... The "crash landings" were a worn-...
7
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2answers
93 views

How many people live in Luna?

At the time of the events told in Robert Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (not counting the epilogue), approximately how many people live in Luna? I seem to remember that the number was ...
9
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1answer
237 views

Story similar to a Canticle for Leibowitz, maybe by Heinlein

For many decades I have remembered reading a science fiction story that I had thought was A Canticle for Leibowitz. Having just watched an Extra Credits video about that novel, I realized I have been ...
46
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4answers
36k views

Is there any evidence for the bet between Robert A. Heinlein and L. Ron Hubbard?

It is widely believed that L. Ron Hubbard and Robert A. Heinlein made a bet in a bar one night either that L. Ron could not create a religion, or to see who could create a religion first. (In the ...
12
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1answer
3k views

Why do readers of Starship Troopers think Juan/Johnny is Filipino?

I have commonly heard that people think the lead is Filipino. I read Starship Troopers and recall the main character living in Buenos Aires before shipping out for military service. I recall later ...
11
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2answers
394 views

Robert Heinlein character quote about Hell and kittens

I keep vaguely remembering a character in one of Robert Heinlein's books saying something along the lines "there was a special place in hell for child molesters and people who drown kittens." I just ...
16
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1answer
844 views

What book did Philip K. Dick dedicate to Heinlein?

There's a famous quote from Philip K Dick about Heinlein mentioned on the Philip K. Dick Wikipedia page and on this question: One time when I owed the IRS a lot of money and couldn't raise it, ...
8
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1answer
147 views

Was “Orphans of the Sky” intended to parallel the Bible?

Heinlein's Orphans of the Sky contains some things that, to me at least, appear to be direct religious commentary / allegory / parody. For instance, the name of "Jordan" being God, and the mention ...
12
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0answers
298 views

Story with quote about oral sex and eyelashes, possibly Heinlein

Maybe fifteen years ago I read a story in which a character says, of the act of performing oral sex on a woman, that if your eyelashes don’t get wet, you’re doing it wrong—or words to that effect. In ...
12
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1answer
403 views

Info about the incident that inspired Heinlein's “Starman Jones”?

According to Heinlein, "Starman Jones" was inspired by a real life incident: This book was written without an outline from a situation in the early 19th century. Two American teenagers took off ...
19
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8answers
5k views

Reasons for Mike's loss of personality at end of Moon is a Harsh Mistress

I re-read Moon is a Harsh Mistress over the weekend and remembered that I was always puzzled by Mike's behavior over the last pages. Prior to Prof's death, Mike was both a friend to Man and Wyoh as ...
13
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3answers
1k views

In 'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress' what are Garrison didos?

In numerous locations in Heinlein's Moon he refers to Garrison orbits or Garrison didos. Based on context I've always interpreted dido as DIrect De-Orbit but having searched for a better definition I'...
17
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5answers
4k views

On the personal relation between Phil K. Dick and Robert Heinlein?

It's well known that Dick and Heinlein were friends. On Dick's wikipedia article there is an extract from the introduction to the 1980 short story collection The Golden Man in which Dick praises ...
12
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2answers
1k views

Heinlein works where slide rule is used to calculate navigation in space

A question on Space.SE; Is it possible to navigate space travel with no computer? got me looking for a list of works where Heinlein solely relied on a slide rule to calculate navigation in space. I ...
7
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3answers
760 views

Which of Heinlein's books involve anti-communist sentiment?

As I read Heinlein's books, I keep running into either an anti-communist agenda or casual jibes about communists. To illustrate, The Puppet Masters portrays slug-infested Americans as communists while ...
13
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4answers
1k views

Have any of Heinlein's (then) fictional inventions been developed into actual ones?

I'm not a smoker, but I thought that Heinlein's self-lighting cigarette idea is a darn good one. Are any of his fictional inventions actually being produced or researched in the real world?
6
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1answer
420 views

Did Robert Heinlein write about his real-life cats?

Robert Heinlein must have known and loved many cats. Pete, in The Door into Summer is a fully realized character, and Pixel in two of the Lazarus Long books is also memorable. The title of The Door ...
11
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1answer
2k views

What is the Recognition Code for the Howard Families?

It's been a while since I've read much Heinlein, and I'm sure some will say I should be ashamed for not remembering this, but I remember there was a recognition code or greeting for members of the ...
9
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2answers
419 views

Did Robert A. Heinlein “Invent” the elastic inertiometer?

In The Cat Who Walks Through Walls (1985) by Robert A. Heinlein, a novel approach to measuring mass in zero G used. For a mass reading Budget Jets does not use a centrifuge but the newer, faster, ...
37
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1answer
2k views

Meaning of P.R.S. Aes Triplex in Heinlein's Space Cadet

I picked up an old library copy of the illustrated Scribner's edition of Robert Heinlein's Space Cadet and am having fun reading it and pondering the seemingly artless and unresolved juxtaposition of ...
13
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1answer
1k views

“Black Hats” in “The Number of the Beast”

Some years ago, I ran into a statement that the identity of the villains that start chasing the party in Heinlein's Number of the Beast could be figured out from internal clues. I completely failed. ...
9
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2answers
2k views

How do the roads in “The Roads Must Roll” work?

Robert Heinlein's "The Roads Must Roll" describes a future where roads are moving strips, with buildings and even towns permanently on the roads. I never understood quite how this worked. Aren't the ...
2
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1answer
348 views

Was 'The Bad Place' inspired by All You Zombies?

In Robert A. Heinlein's “—All You Zombies—” involves time travel and some fairly weird paradoxes. One of which is the self-fertilization by an intersex individual, a concept shared by Dean Koontz's '...
7
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1answer
842 views

How would one get onto a road in Heinlein's “The Roads Must Roll”?

I read Heinlein's The Roads Must Roll a few months ago. While I do remember that he provided a detailed explanation about how the system worked, I can't recall most of it. Specifically, how would one ...
6
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1answer
224 views

Space Travel in “Waldo”

Before the "Other World" business starts up Waldo is a hard sf story. I enjoyed reading the description of Waldo's free-fall habitat; given the lack of the computerization, I think it still holds up. ...
5
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0answers
147 views

In The Rolling Stones, who put the note on the bicycles in the name of the Galactic Overlord?

In Robert Heinlein's novel The Rolling Stones, when Mr. Stone retrieves the bicycles he'd jettisoned from the spaceship, he finds a note on them signed by the Galactic Overlord, a fictional character ...
2
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1answer
1k views

Is there a movie that is based on or very similar to Robert Heinlein's “Tunnel in the Sky”? [closed]

One book that I've always wished there was a good movie for, was Robert Heinlein's Tunnel in the Sky. I was just wondering if there was ever a movie adaptation that they maybe changed the name and I ...
15
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0answers
707 views

Evolution of Heinlein's treatment of homosexuality?

IIRC the treatment of homosexuality in Heinlein's writing changed a lot over time. My recollection is that in an early book (possibly Stranger in a Strange Land?), a sympathetic or authorial ...
4
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0answers
229 views

Why is Bob Wilson afraid when he sees a High One in “By His Bootstraps”? [closed]

In Robert Heinlein's 1941 short story, By His Bootstraps, the main character Bob Wilson, is afraid after searching the past and finally seeing a High One. What about this sighting invokes a feeling of ...
11
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1answer
149 views

How did main character of “The Door Into Summer” take his own place in cryo chamber?

Long story short, in The Door Into Summer, the main character freezes himself and wakes up in the future. Then he goes back to the past using an experimental time travel, does his clever business, and ...
12
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1answer
717 views

Heinlein — long hair in 1958?

In Have Space Suit--Will Travel, by Robert Heinlein, the POV character Kip says, after spending some time immobilized in an alien hospital: There was a mirror ... It showed me with enough hair to ...
11
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2answers
445 views

What was the Free Trader society's debt to Baslim in Heinlein's Citizen of the Galaxy?

Did Colonel Richard Baslim rescue a Free Trader starship's crew from slavery or were the free traders trying their hand at slave trade and Baslim stopped them? If the former, why were the traders so ...
0
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0answers
149 views

Was Stranger in a Strange Land the first sci fi novel to deal with the mind body concept of visualized intention and its effect on the physical body?

The protagonist in Stranger in a Strange Land JMS comes from Mars, taught by spirits that sail across the landscape (sages? Monks? Gurus?). Shortly after arriving he starts to grok what's going on ...
3
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1answer
486 views

Heinlein's Influence on Avatar

There is a surprising similarity between the James Cameron's movie "Avatar" and Time for the Stars by Robert Heinlein. Both stories involve twin brothers, one of whom is crippled. Was Heinlein's ...
4
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2answers
322 views

In The Rolling Stones, did Heinlein deliberately try to confuse the reader with nicknames?

Robert Heinlein's novel The Rolling Stones has two or three unrelated names for six out of the seven main characters. The narrator and different characters use different names for calling each other. ...
8
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0answers
135 views

Heinlein's Have Space Suit — Will Travel, illustrated edition?

I'm 52, and like a lot of American guys my age, I first fell in love with SF by reading the Heinlein juveniles, which my grade-school library had on the shelf. Recently, for nostagia, I've been ...
6
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1answer
188 views

What are the oddities of Mannies speech pattern?

While reading Heinlein's The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, I noticed something is off in Mannie's speech pattern. But I can't really put my finger on all these oddities as I am not a native English ...
14
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3answers
1k views

Did Heinlein intend to portray men and women as equals?

Heinlein's writing career spanned 49 years. Some of his work was written before the Women's Liberation movements of the 60's and 70's, some of his work was written after. His casts of characters ...
8
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2answers
431 views

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress: Was Prof Controlling Mike?

Some other questions touched on the subject of Mike's absence near the end of the book. My question relates to the sudden absence in relation to Prof's death. Here's why I think this: Prof dies, ...
11
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3answers
2k views

Longer version of Robert Heinlein's 1951 “The Puppet Masters”

It appears that both the Galaxy Science Fiction serialization and the original novel version of Heinlein's The Puppet Masters were edited down from 96,000 words to about 60,000. According to Wikipedia,...
16
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2answers
855 views

Robert Heinlein story that begins with a card game followed by an alarm and a shelter

The story begins with a group of people playing a card game of some sort, I can't recall what it was exactly, but it had some sort of team aspect to it. There were three or four players. One of them ...
17
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1answer
1k views

Did Heinlein express an opinion on “non-traditional marriage” in real life?

Heinlein is known for sprinkling his books with less-traditional sexual dynamics shown positively (e.g. polyandry in "The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress", general sexual freedom in "Stranger in a Strange ...