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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49
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7answers
10k views

In the Starship Troopers movie, what remains of Robert A. Heinlein's original novel?

I enjoyed watching the movie Starship Troopers and the issues it "addresses" (to use the term lightly). However, Wikipedia says: The film diverged greatly in terms of the themes and plot of the ...
46
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4answers
34k 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 ...
44
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1answer
7k views

Did Heinlein intentionally hide Rico's ethnicity until the very end? Why?

Did Heinlein intentionally hide Rico's ethnicity in Starship Troopers until the very end? If so, why? Even his name is something of a slow reveal:
42
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1answer
3k views

Classified project during WWII involving Asimov and Heinlein

During WWII, a group of science fiction writers, Robert Heinlein & Isaac Asimov prominent among them, were involved in a classified project for the US government. Isaac Asimov mentioned this ...
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. ...
38
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9answers
11k 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 ...
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 ...
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-...
24
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4answers
3k views

Is there a generally accepted critical and/or feminist response to Heinlein's work? [closed]

I personally enjoy reading Heinlein, but the argument has been made to me that "All of his women are basically men." I have also heard it said that he basically tried to write forward-thinking ...
22
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5answers
3k views

Was Mobile Infantry in Starship Troopers modeled on the Marines or the Army?

A comment on this question got me thinking - was Heinlein explicitly modeling Mobile Infantry on US Marines? Or More the Army? I'll accept either a word-of-god answer (e.g. sourced from Heinlein ...
21
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2answers
2k views

How anticommunist was Robert Heinlein?

Robert Heinlein is often remembered as being far to the right of his fellow members of the Big Three, Asimov and Clarke. How accurate is it to portray Heinlein as an anticommunist?
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3answers
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What is the Significance of Mike “losing a finger”?

In Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, Jubal thinks he sees Mike cut off one of his fingers while cutting up an apple. He handed the glass to Anne, then took the fruit knife and sliced off a ...
20
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1answer
6k views

What did the “Big Three” think of each other's work?

Do we know what the Big Three (Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein) thought of each other's writing? Did they have any favorite works of each other?
19
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3answers
1k views

SF Story - Word emotional value

I know, this is too easy and the question might be too conversational. Still, it fascinates me, particularly since the concept was very insightful and prescient. I think it was Heinlein, in one of ...
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 ...
17
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4answers
1k views

Did Heinlein invent the term “boot-chevrons” or did an actual military use it?

In Starship Troopers the recruits that are given leadership positions in boot camp are said to be given boot chevrons. I've never seen the term used elsewhere until I read the Starship Trooper-esque A ...
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 ...
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 ...
17
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1answer
758 views

Is there a summary/map somewhere of the geo-political breakdown of the world in Heinlein's Friday?

I'm reading Robert Heinlein's Friday and having a little bit of trouble keeping all the geo-political breakdowns clear in my head, especially the North American ones. Is there a list or a map ...
16
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11answers
12k views

Are there any movies based on Robert Heinlein's works?

Is there any movie based on Robert Heinlein's work? If so, is there more than one?
16
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5answers
998 views

Heinlein book(s) with FTL travel?

I'm a new Heinlein fan and also an FTL (faster-than-light) fan. Did he write any books where FTL was possible? All the ones I've read so far have been intra-system (Sol) only.
16
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2answers
829 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 ...
16
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1answer
811 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, ...
15
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5answers
2k views

What's the book by Heinlein that contains all other books? [duplicate]

I remember a thread here in the SciFi Stack Exchange about the longest sci-fi series. Someone mention a standalone Heinlein book that seemed to somehow include all other books ever written in its ...
15
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2answers
4k views

Was Verhoeven's Starship Troopers intended to be a satire on war or a parody of the book? Was it authorised to be such?

From WP's page on the film: Director Verhoeven says his satirical use of irony and hyperbole is "playing with fascism or fascist imagery to point out certain aspects of American society... of ...
15
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0answers
510 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 ...
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 ...
14
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2answers
658 views

Who wrote about an energy free space elevator?

I seem to recall reading of a design by Robert Heinlein (but maybe Sheffield, Clarke or another scientific writer), where the energy cost of a space elevator was virtually nil, as descending loads ...
14
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3answers
2k views

(Robert Heinlein?) story about a corporation made rich by investing in unlikely research projects [duplicate]

In this story, a corporation or group becomes extremely rich by investing in long-shot research projects that, against all odds, keep succeeding. Almost like a science fiction version of Brewster's ...
14
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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 his works of either Ayn Rand, her works/heroes, or Objectivism (explicit mentions, not ...
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?
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1answer
1k views

Who was the “Starship Troopers” representative who appeared in “The Cat Who Walks Through Walls”?

From "The Cat Who Walks Through Walls" Wiki article: During a meeting of the Council of the Time Scouts, representatives from every major time line and setting written by Heinlein appear, including ...
13
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1answer
296 views

First Story which Featured a Generational Ship where the Crew Have Forgotten

Is Heinlein's 1941 story Orphan's of the Sky the first instance of a generation ship where the current inhabitants have almost completely forgotten how to run the ship, and are mostly unaware of ...
13
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1answer
951 views

Who are 'The Four' in Space Cadet and why are they honoured?

In Heinlein's Space Cadet, there are four names added to every roll call, with others answering for them. Those names are Dahlquist, Martin, Rivera, and Wheeler. Dahlquist Dahlquist is the ...
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'...
13
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2answers
349 views

Were Gnostics/Gnosticism a recurring religion in Heinlein's work?

Jelly glanced over at Sergeant Migliaccio, first section leader. "Five minutes for the Padre," he stated. Some of the boys dropped out of ranks, went over and knelt in front of Migliaccio, and ...
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. ...
13
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1answer
197 views

Who gets the fine Stuart pays for not learning the local customs?

In Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress chapter 11, we hear the story of Manuel serving as a judge. Manuel fines Stuart Rene LaJoie 50 Hong Kong dollars for making advances on the girl ...
12
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1answer
2k 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 ...
12
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2answers
746 views

Inspiration or antecedent for title of Heinlein's “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress”?

I'm fairly certain that I know the answer to this question, but I want to appeal to the collective wisdom here before I definitively file this in my mind as solved. Is there an earlier source or a ...
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 ...
12
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5answers
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'...
12
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2answers
605 views

How exactly are the slugs analogous to communists?

Heinlein's The Puppet Masters is generally regarded as a thinly veiled attack on communism. Its Wikipedia article reads: Heinlein's novel also repeatedly makes explicit the analogy between the mind-...
12
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2answers
504 views

The fate of the crew of the Envoy in Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land

It's been a while since I have read Stranger in a Strange Land, but was the
12
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1answer
197 views

Why Kansas City in The Puppet Masters?

In Heinlein's "The Puppet Masters" the protagonist realises that the Masters don't need to be directly attached to the base of the spine. That makes it easier but they can control you from any contact....
12
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2answers
424 views

Do Heinlein's novels mention a plausible zero-gravity cat litter box?

I have read a lot of science fiction works with cats being the optimal space pet. I know Heinlein was a cat person, and I am thinking he had a solution for cats doing their business in space, but I ...
12
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1answer
387 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 ...
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,...
11
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3answers
1k views

Is it ever specified why/how Mike (HOLMES IV) achieved self-awareness in “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress”?

In The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, is it ever specified why/how Mike (HOLMES IV) achieved self-awareness? (Since Mike also figures in "The Cat Who Walks Through Walls", the answer may come from either ...
11
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2answers
324 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 ...