July 07, 2007
Starship Troopers was the first sci-fi book I ever read, and got me hooked on the genre for life. I'm proud to have a complete collection of his books on my shelves.
The man invented waldos, the waterbed, helped with the creation of the spacesuit, and was the first to use the word "moonbat".
I can't stand Stranger In A Strange Land, which I think is a pretentious pile of steaming dingo kidneys, and some of his later books show signs of having been affected by his TIA, blocked carotid artery, and 2-year bout with peritonitis, but even the worst Heinlein novels (except for Farnham's Freehold, which is his weakest book ever) are better than 75% of all books ever (in my opinion, of course; your mileage may vary).
His juveniles, while now dated (having been written over 50 years ago), still hold up well, just as ripping yarns... I suspect kids would still get a kick out of them.
His attitude towards sexuality, race, religion, and individualism inspired and educated my own.
It may not be hyperbole for me to say that nobody influenced me more (save Momzerduck, of course) growing up than Robert Heinlein. I don't, and didn't, agree with everything he proposed, but he, more than any other author, made me think.
For that, if nothing else, I can only say 'thank you, Robert Heinlein.'
And happy birthday!
Oh, and for the record? My favorite of his books are, in order, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Job: A Comedy of Justice, and Double Star.
*with apologies to Spider Robinson's tribute with the same title.
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