Saturday, July 07, 2007

Robert Anson Heinlein

From the Adam Smith Institute Blog, I picked up that the Sci-Fi author Robert Heinlein would have been one hundred years old today (he died in the late 80s). This reminded me of a 2nd Life Conversation with Tom Paine when he asked me to recommend some books of RAH. (Heinlein sparked my interest in the Libertarian world view)

Here are my top five in no particular order, reviews borrowed from Amazon.

Stranger in a strange land

Stranger in a Strange Land, winner of the 1962 Hugo Award, is the story of Valentine Michael Smith, born during, and the only survivor of, the first manned mission to Mars. Michael is raised by Martians, and he arrives on Earth as a true innocent: he has never seen a woman and has no knowledge of Earth's cultures or religions. But he brings turmoil with him, as he is the legal heir to an enormous financial empire, not to mention de facto owner of the planet Mars. With the irascible popular author Jubal Harshaw to protect him, Michael explores human morality and the meanings of love. He founds his own church, preaching free love and disseminating the psychic talents taught him by the Martians. Ultimately, he confronts the fate reserved for all messiahs. The impact of Stranger in a Strange Land was considerable, leading many children of the sixties to set up households based on Michael's water-brother nests. Heinlein loved to pontificate through the mouths of his characters, so modern readers must be willing to overlook the occasional sour note ("Nine times out of ten, if a girl gets raped, it's partly her fault."). That aside, Stranger in a Strange Land is one of the master's best entertainments, and provocative, as he always loved to be. Can you grok it? --Brooks Peck

Time enough for love

Follows Woodrow Wilson Smith's odyssey through time as he manipulates situations to suit his purposes and extend his youth.
(Gosh, short!)


In a Balkanized North America of the near future, threatened by imminent extinction, a strikingly beautiful and resourceful interplanetary secret agent--an Artificial Person named Friday--tries to survive a gigantic human comedy.

The Moon is a harsh Mistress

On Luna, an open penal colony, a rebellion is being plotted. The conspirators are a strange assortment - an engaging jack-of-all-trades, his luscious blonde girlfriend, and a lonely talking computer. Their aim is to overthrow the hated Authority, but things don't go according to plan.

The roads must roll

This is a short story found in many compilations. The hyperlink goes to the Wikipedia entry and this book contains it.

Note that Amazon often has many versions of similar books, this link searches on all RAH works they have or hope to get.

This promising new power technology sounds familiar- I hope it gets named the Shipstone.

(Hat tip:- L'Ombre de l'Olivier)

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