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Starship Troopers
by Robert A. Heinlein
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Starship Troopers - "Come on, you apes, do you want to live forever?" — 6 years ago


I was impressed by Robert A. Heinlein’s sci-fi war novella from the opening paragraph; by the end of the first page I was hooked. The book gets a little shaky in the middle, but it had enough character and style to keep me going. I’ve heard that some people think the movie is “better”, but the movie’s very different: it’s the book’s lobotomized, slightly handsome younger brother, dressed up in the other’s clothes but acting almost nothing alike. (Director and screenwriter Paul Verhoven apparently never even finished the book.)

Before reading Starship Troopers I checked out the controversy surrounding it, and I found some of it to be accurate: the book definitely has points where characters spout off what appear to be Heinlein’s personal opinions on war, socialism, and the human condition. But for the most part, that wasn’t a concern; it was just part of the book’s charm. I didn’t have to agree with all of it, or even any of it, but some of his points were thought provoking. Another supposed fault was that there was very little character development; the main character Johnny Rico stayed static from beginning to end. I didn’t see a problem with that, either. Rico’s a fairly unremarkable guy aside from the fact he’s a really good soldier: he sees the world in one particular way and that colours the rest of the book. It’s this non-intrusive personality that really brings this society and the action to life. Starship Troopers isn’t just Rico’s story. It’s Heinlein’s version of the future for the human race.

I’d definitely recommend Starship Troopers to even the most casual of sci-fi fans, if they haven’t read it already. It’s full of quasi-hard sci-fi, rollicking action, and it’ll make you think: can’t argue with that.

Good military sf — 6 years ago


If your only exposure to Starship Troopers is the movie of the same name, you really owe it to yourself to pick up and read the original. While the movie and book share some similarities, know that the script for the movie was written and then the rights to the book were optioned. Which means the producers took the familar name, some elements and added them to an existing script, all the while discarding much of what makes the novel so respected among sci-fi fans.

The cover advertises this one as a “controversial” classic, though having read it twice, I disagree with that. Heinlein give us his views on military service, child reearing and what it takes to win a war, but there’s not much in here that I found overly controversial—at least not in the same way as Stranger in a Strange Land or Friday. Instead, you get a few scenes of military combat woven between long lectures on Heinlein’s philosophy.

If anything, this is a melding of the two Heinlein writing styles—the philosophical debate tomes of his later years and his early young adult books.

A story about this — 9 years ago


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