Space exploration has always been the realm of engineers and the military When Heinlein wrote this novel the late 1950s the US Armed Forces had recently won World War II They were beefing up their nuclear arsenal against a Disrupted: Ludicrous Misadventures into the Tech Start-Up Bubble potential strike from the USSR sending troops overseas starting an endless war in Vietnam and sending the first uncrewed missions to the face of the moon Starship Troopers is mostly a Bildungsroman about the US Armed Forces Robert Heinlein himself was a US Navy officer and engineer written in the form of a journal or documentary from a young man soint of view from boot camp to glorious war veteran It is indeed uite instructive should you wish to understand how the military organisation works or might work from daily schedules to vocabulary and from titles and hierarchy to values and etiuetteAbout half the novel is mostly action with combat training and battlefields especially the battle scenes that frame the story at the start and the end The other half is all about moral and olitical doctrine written in the form of hilosophical dialogues This device will be repeated and expanded in Stranger in a Strange Land written shortly after the resent novel In this regard Heinlein s book is in the tradition of Plato and the Enlightenment Not only in shape this alternating between action and discussion made me sometimes think of the Maruis de Sade but also in content the Terran Federation is a sort of utopia redolent of Plato s Republic Col Dubois acting like an ill tempered Socrates The story also displays a few examples of outstanding leadership and I wouldn t be surprised if this novel were included into a recommended reading list for cadets in the military or junior managers in the corporate world It is not entirely clear however why this is considered a science fiction novel it won Heinlein a Hugo Award except that the Terran Federation stands for the USA that society is under a military oligarchy only the veterans are allowed to vote and that the enemy they fight against is a rather silly race of interstellar bugs ie communists There is no clear explanation for what s at stake in that articular war at that specific Ritual in Its Own Right point in time What matters to Heinlein is to develop what it means to serve as a military in general terms Starship Troopers could just as well have been an epic story set at the time of the Roman Empire Needless to say Heinlein s hopeful and slightly naive military utopia is strikingly opposed to the great dark SF dystopias of former decades We Brave New World and 1984All in all Heinlein s book carries some radical ideology with lengthy arguments in favour of corporalunishment and suchlike all of which is To the everlasting glory of the infantry A doctrine which sounds uite outdated today but that in a way still resonates with the cheerful militaristic inclination of a few right wing movements Nevertheless the story flows smoothly and merrily and Heinlein does have a serious knack for writing good dialogues and confusing action scenes However if I had to choose one SF military book to carry to the roverbial desert island it would robably be Haldeman s Forever War Starship Troopers has had a considerable influence on Philadelphia: A Photographic Tour (Highsmith, Carol M., Photographic Tour,) popular franchises such as Star Trek the United Federation of Planets is indeed a military utopia like the one devised in this book or Kubrick s Full Metal Jacket Paul Verhoeven s adaptation is an unfaithful and rather mediocrearody despite Denise Richards dizzying lastics and Michael Ironside s delightful badassery I guess Iron Man also borrowed his ower armour from Heinlein s brightest addition to the Mobile Infantry arsenal Starship Troopers Robert A HeinleinStarship Troopers is a military science fiction novel by US writer Robert A Heinlein Written in a few weeks in reaction to the US suspending nuclear tests the story was first Bill Drost, the Pentecost published as a twoart serial in The Magazine of Fantasy Science Fiction as Starship Soldier and Vater und Sohn unterwegs published as a book by G P Putnam s Sons in December 1959 The story is set in a future society ruled by a world government dominated by a military elite The firsterson narrative follows Juan Johnny Rico through his military service in the Mobile Infantry Rico Gesturing Toward Reality: David Foster Wallace and Philosophy progresses from recruit to officer against the backdrop of an interstellar war between humans and an alien species known as Arachnids or Bugs Interspersed with therimary lot are classroom scenes in which Rico and others discuss hilosophical and moral issues including aspects of suffrage civic virtue juvenile delinuency and war these discussions have been described as expounding Heinlein s own My Age of Anxiety political views Starship Troopers has been identified with a tradition of militarism in US science fiction and drawsarallels between the conflict between humans and the Bugs and the Cold War A coming of age novel Starship Troopers also critiues US society of the 1950s argues that a lack of discipline had led to a moral decline and advocates corporal and capital ASGAROON - Weltenbrand punishment 1998 1376 272 9649080406 1392 399 9786001191732 20 1959 1959 I first read Starship Troopers as an impressionable teenager My dad had a lot of SF books around the housearticularly Heinlein s and I read most of them except the especially sexy ones that he hid from me I read several of them later
AND HATED THEM BUT THAT S A DIFFERENT STORY hated them But that s a different story I have vague memories of liking this book a lot So when I decided to reread it as an adult I was expecting some old fashioned shoot up the aliens classic ulp SF like say The Puppet Masters What I got was a lot of thisNot much of thisAnd you can forget about thisBasically it s one long military lecture wrapped in a aper thin science fiction No Peace for the Damned plot I was surprised by how little action there was and how muchontificating on military strategy and training More than half of it reads like a textbook It s not as The Darfsteller And Other Stories painfully tedious as the infamous 100age John Galt lecture in Atlas Shrugged what is but it s More Bitter Than Death pretty bad unless you re actually interested in military theory from aroponent s Vom schwarzen Revier zur neuen Welt: gesammelte Gedichte point of viewAs many reviewers have mentioned this is one of those cases where the book has virtually nothing in common with the movie other than the name and a few basiclot details I m retty certain that Heinlein is rolling in his grave over Paul Verhoeven s satirical treatment of his military screedAnd I m still confused why Teenage Me thought this was a great book UPDATEDStarship Troopers was definitely a age turner and one did feel like he was on the ground with the Mobile Infantry bouncing around killing Bugs But It was also incredibly ro war and the middle development section got a little long You But It was also incredibly ro war and the middle development section got a little long You how great Full Metal Jacket was but that the great Shadows in a Timeless Myth parts were at the very beginning and at the very end Well I felt that this book also started and ended with adrenaline rushes but that the middle was a bit flat That being said the realism and the imagination around the weapons and tech wereretty good I definitely see how influential Heinlein was on subseuent science fiction and it is impressive that this was written back in 59 The Bugs were never given any treatment to make them less of an enemy which seemed a bit like the vilification of say blacks or arabs by the extreme right I would almost give him the benefit of the doubt that this was a critiue of society but from what I have read that wasn t really his intention There is a lot of war theory in ST The C++ Primer purpose of war is to support your government s decisions by forcecontrolled andurposeful violence 78 That the government s motivations could be wrong or misguided is never really addressed but then he is writing this after WWII and before Vietnam so my cynicism is erhaps too modern for this book The worldview in the book is ragmatic and brutal There is an old song which asserts the best things in life are free Not true Utterly false This was the tragic fallacy which Brough on the decadence and collapse of the democracies of the 20th century 117 Fortunately his Zees Story pessimism has not yet been born out and there are still many who adhere to the best things are freehilosophy rather than the Ayn Randian determinism demonstrated here by Heinlein To be fair to the author he does mention some wartime abuses and in articular ost traumatic stress syndrome in the tragic story of Dillinger and his murder of the little girl Barbara But even here the rotagonist reserves almost no criticism of the military just some sadness for the misfortune my sympathy is reserved for Barbara Anne Enth. It is told through the eyes of Starship Trooper Johnny Rico from his idealistic enlistment in the infantry of the future through his rigorous training to the command of his own latoon of infantrymen His destiny is a galactic war of unlimited violence and destruction in which he and his fellow troopers scour the metal strewn emptiness of space to hunt down a terrifying enemy an insect life form which threatens the very future of mankind About The Author Robert Anson Heinlein was born on July 7 1907 in Butler Mo The son of Rex Ivar and Bam Lyle Heinlein Robert Heinlein had two older brothers one younger brother and thr. Waite whom I had never seen and for her arents who would never see her again 141 and then back to business after the 30 day mourning eriodOne sad aspect of ST s dystopian future is how citizenship is restricted to relatively few like in ancient Greece or Rome Anyhow it wasn t the One Man's Justice process of voting that made a citizen the Lieutenant had been a citizen in the truest sense of the word even though he had not lived long enough ever to cast a vote He had voted every time he made a drop 207 Given the current attacks on democratic systems this is a kind of dangerous form of thinking IMHO If citizens are never given any choices and are limited to the elite the fundaments of democracy disappear No attempt was made to determine whether a voter was socially responsible to the extent of his literally unlimited authority If he voted the impossible the disastrous A Little Hotel On The Side possible happened instead and responsibility was then forced on him willy nilly and destroyed both him and his foundation less temple 234 Again I find this view too narrow and Heute Ziehst Du Aus: Roman pessimistic Overall since I am a doveolitically all the military camaraderie kind of ut me off I read it because it is a classic and a reference but I refer the Red Mars or if my aliens have to be insects District 9 Where do I even begin For starters I should let the reader know that I m not basing my score on the Kapriolen Des Schicksals[Roman] politics of the book as laughable as I think they are but on thelot of the book or rather the complete lack of a The Magnanimous Heart plot in the book While things do happen some of themretty big Mr Heinlein has seen fit that we should not be arty to any of those things Instead he saves the most loving descriptions for daily life at boot camp Seventy yes seventy ages of a two hundred odd Over Mintmarks and Hot Repunched Mintmarks page book are dedicated to boot camp Within thoseages we learn the importance of food and being able to sleep in any condition Thrill to the excitment of marching into the middle of nowhere You will weep and wail along with the officers when you hear them lament the fact that they are compelled nay forced to flog their men when they misbehave Honestly you could watch the beginning of Full Metal Jacket and skip reading that whole art and save yourself some time and be entertained in the meantime Next you re treated to an extended flashback where a teacher who is uite obviously channelling the author lectures his students representing the reader about the major reason for the downfall of society in the ast today What one overarching reason is responsible for the collapse of society Massive energy crisis Economic collapse Political anarchy WRONG It s because One Day in December people listened tosychiatrists and didn t spank their children enough The secret to an orderly society is corporal Alamo Story: From Early History to Current Conflicts punishment and lots of it It does make me wonder about thearticular roclivities of the author but that s neither here nor thereSo now that our main character Johnny Rico is a full fledged soldier we can finally get to some action after half the book is already finished right No No no no a thousand times no You will not see action in this book that is advertised to be about killing gigantic outer space bugs Instead you will be treated to the doldrums of a soldier that isn t busy killing things Guard duty Sleeping Maintaining weapons and space armor Dinner and its various rotocols Even his time off gets detail than all the fighting Rico Isabel de Solis, Soraya: Un Cuento de Amor En La Alhambra participates in combined The typical description for a battle will go like this We dropped on thislanet to smash things up Boy what a mess that was This guy died These ones got hurt Then Rico goes to officer training school where we get detail about learning things And another lecture from another teacher to his students about why soldiers should be the only ones to handle government affairs Then we get told how battallions are broken down into Out of the Box platoons and suads and such forth Finally we get to the end which turns into one of the biggest anticlimaxes I ve ever had the misfortune of reading You ll get what feels like five hours of blabbing about setting upatrol and coordinates streamed endlessly at you some thrilling detail on hypnotically suggested sleep and then a blessed five seconds of actual confrontation with something Then it s over before you even know it started The endI realize that the life of a soldier is The First Secret of Edwin Hoff probablyretty accurately ortrayed in the book days upon days of boring drudgery with a few moments of life and death craziness but that doesn t necessarily make for a articularly interesting book At least not the way it s depicted hereDon t be fooled by the first ten ages of the book which actually contain action than the other hundred and ninety What you re getting when you get this book is only one step away from a military training manual only with some references to outer space and aliens tossed in along with a couple crazy rightwing ravings as the chocolatey syrup to go on top of the whole crappy sundae Don t fall for the hype ass on this bookAnd yes the movie is better It s stupid and fun The book is just stupid Starship Troopers is listed amongst the recommended books by the United States Air Force for a reason For those who País íntim plan onursuing a military career this book exhibits the very ideals upon which our current military standards are based Camaraderie Sacrifice and Responsibility are than mere words to the Under Lock and Key protagonist The distinction between a fighting man and a soldier is made The distinction between a superior rank and a true officer is made Johnny Rico is a soldier in than merely name and the reader discovers this through this narrativeFor those of you who have seen the film incarnation of this story simply forget it It won t aid you in understanding orredicting the outcome of this book The tempo messages and level of seriousness are completely different Most of you know the itfalls of watching the movie first so I implore you to read this book before seeing the movie If you have already seen the movie as I stated before forget itThere is one thing I would mention that is erhaps the fault of this book Heinlein shapes a militaristic Lignin Biodegradation: Microbiology, Chemistry, and Potential Applications: Volume II possibly even oppressive society out of the remaining nations on earth He touts the virtues of citizenry only being earned through dedicated service At the same time he manages to skirt by some of theractical and realistic attitudes of Something Wicked people The society could very well work if it was implemented exactly in the fashion it is described in his novel but the transition from our current societal structure to this system of government is EXTREMELY unlikely It takes the edge off of the bold concepts making this book only a 4 starTo end on aositive note I ll say this When I finally finished this novel I had a brief spark inside of me For once in my entire career I felt a sense of Velvet Ropes (Club Undercover pride in being a soldier No military training no officer and certainly no civilian has ever made me feel asroud of my Freud and His Followers profession as that novel has My first impulse is to dismiss it as an appallingiece of militaristic Pjesme propaganda whose one saving grace is that it s at least much better than the movie But that wouldn t be doing the book justice With all its faults I simply loved it as a 14 year old and I m in no way alone there Why is it so fascinatingLet me start by dismissing a couple ofossible theories One reviewer wonders if it s deadpan satire I suppose when you see some of Heinlein s later books Stranger in a Strange Land 1961 I Will Fear No Evil 1970 you may get the idea that he s some kind of hippy New Age rophet and that Starship Troopers is oking fun at the militaristic right I don t think that idea stands up to serious examination Many of Heinlein s early books extol militaristic right winglibertarian virtues Sixth Column 1949 is a articularly flagrant example From what I ve heard the satire theory is in fact the reverse of the truth Stranger in a Strange Land was originally conceived as the reverse of the truth Stranger in a Strange Land was originally conceived as satire Heinlein was surprised to see that eople liked it and read it straight and flexible than he s often made out he rewrote it that way and followed it up with a couple of similar booksMany eople are taking Starship Troopers at face value and appreciate how it resents the military in a A'dan Z'ye Yaşar Kemal positive light Well there s clearly something to that But why does this book as opposed to many others do such a fantastic job of selling thisarticular oint of view If you re a soldier yourself I can see that Heinlein also a of selling this articular oint of view If you re a soldier yourself I can see that Heinlein also a can make you roud of what you re doing But my arents were strict believers in non vi. Ee younger sisters Moving to Kansas City Mo at a young age Heinlein graduated from Central High School in 1924 and attended one year of college at Kansas City Community College Following in his older brother's footsteps Heinlein entered the Navel Academy in 1925 After contracting ulmonary tuberculosis of which he was later cured Heinlein retired from the Navy and married Leslyn Macdonald Heinlein was said to have held jobs in real estate and hotography before he began working as a staff writer for Upton Sinclair's EPIC News in 1938 Still needing money desperately Heinlein entered a writing contest sponsored by the
review µ E-book, or Kindle E-pub ´ Robert A. HeinleinOlence and I ve never had any contact with that world at all I still thought it was greatSo on mature consideration here s another theory which I claim relates better to Heinlein s oeuvre as a whole By the way I m only saying oeuvre because I know it would annoy him One theme that he keeps returning to over and over again in different forms is the relationship between the self and the rest of the universe Heinlein s metaphysics were distinctly odd he wasn t sure that he liked the rest of the universe much or even if it existed in the first lace You can occasionally see this idea Curse of Rocky Colavito presented in a straightforward way In his short story They 1941 it turns out that thearanoid main character is completely right about what s going on He s the most important erson in the world everyone else for reasons never revealed is involved in a gigantic conspiracy against him whose main urpose is to revent him from discovering who he really is In The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag 1942 we find again that things truly aren t as they seem and that all existence is illusory The world we learn at the end is a work of art and can be changed at any moment Hoag is in fact an art critic sent to judge us on aesthetic grounds And in the classic time travel story All You Zombies 1959 the hero discovers that he s his own father and mother As he says he knows where he came from but where did all you zombies come from The final aragraph gives us to understand that other eople may not exist at allAs we see Heinlein rather likes solipsism which when you come down to it isn t as ridiculous a hilosophical The Kennel Club's Illustrated Breed Standards: The Official Guide to Registered Breeds position as you might think Wittgenstein the solipsist is saying something sensible but chooses an odd way to express it Heinlein has a strong sense of self and wants to erect a barrier as tangible asossible between him and the rest of the world A Sons of Brahma powerful metaphor for this barrier which he used many times is the space suit Have Space Suit Will Travel 1958 is not one of his best books but the descriptions of what it s like to walk around in a space suit are uite good I remember them clearly when most of the rest of the story has faded Similarly Space Cadet 1948 which I read atrimary school is hastily written and uninspired but again the only scene I can recall clearly is the one where the teenage hero throws up in his space suit after inadvisedly drinking a mint julep I was so impressed by this that I didn t dare try a mint julep myself until I was in my mid 40s I hope you see where I m going What makes Starship Troopers so effective I claim is the space suit theme which here is taken to its logical conclusion The Mobile Infantry Suit simultaneously cuts off its wearer from the rest of the world and makes him almost invincible It s no coincidence that the stunning opening scene highlights the suit s amazing capabilities The hero is dropped directly from space onto a hostile lanet and spreads mayhem with his high tech weapons while jumping a mile at a time in his jet ropelled boots all without needing to touch anything directly or feel involved in the fates of the humanoid creatures he s killing by the hundred Fans of the book uniformly hated the movie for budget reasons Verhoeven took out the suits which were too complicated to render effectively After that everything felt wrong The most important art of the imagery was missing As already noted Heinlein wasn t writing a satire he appeared to believe in this stuff but I think he found a good way to dramatize what it means to be a member of the American military industrial complex The Suit gives its wearer superhuman technological owers while excluding the rest of the world to the oint where it barely exists at all And the ower the Suit confers isn t just military but also Tocqueville political and moral In Heinlein s world one only becomes a full citizen after serving in the military I don t agree that this is a desirable way to organize a society but Heinlein was describing what he saw in 1959 Eisenhower a former general was nearing the end of his second term and would be succeeded by Kennedy a decorated war hero Both were veryopular Now of course things have changed and the military industrial complex is usually cast as the villain In Avatar I couldn t help thinking that the robotic exoskeleton worn by the evil Colonel uaritch in the final scene was rather like the Mobile Infantry Suit the Colonel s defeat as many Rebel Girls people haveointed out can be read as A Treason of Thorns predicting the impending defeat of American Imperialism at the hands of a resurgent Third World I do wonder what Heinlein would have made of that Find all of my reviews at Nothing of value is free Even the breath of life isurchased at birth only through gasping effort and ain Since NPH is one of the reasons Starship Troopers remains a favorite film of mine I think I ll let him express my sentiments on the aper version I need to realize that sometimes it s okay to not read the book Starship Troopers is such a cult classic it s just soooooo bad that it somehow became great The book on the other hand Well it clearly inspired the film but it doesn t have the Same Style At All style at all the book is smart and while I was reading I was all like because I am stupidThings I found enjoyable were as follows1 The characters were from Terra Know who else
is from terra 2 there was lenty offrom Terra 2 There was lenty of building Barely a grain of sand went without being described 3 In a roundabout way it was still a story of war with icky critters The bad It was boring We re talking a real snooze a rama The style was definitely love it or hate it and sadly I didn t love it I wanted this Instead I got something that read like a futuristic military member s memoir And it wasn t even someone awesome like Captain Kirk or Picard it was like the life and wasn t even someone awesome like Captain Kirk or Picard it was like the life and of one Ensign Crusher Y all know what the reaction to that would be right I enjoyed this book greatly While I certainly can t be said to agree with Heinlein on every aspect of life olitics or theologyI do appreciate where he s coming from in this book Remember it s a 1959 book before the idiotic handling of Vietnam became apparent There are thought rovoking ideas in this book even if it is considered a YA book Agree or disagree it s a good read By the way I must say this It s often actually often than not true that a movie doesn t live up to the book In this case that would be like saying the Atlantic Ocean isn t exactly like Death Valley If your only experience with Starship Troopers is the movie of that name then you don t know anything about this book excepting the names of a few characters The characters in the movie don t resemble the characters in the book The universe and governmental structure in the movie doesn t resemble that of the book The main science fiction hook of the book isn t even Zeugen aus der Todeszone present in the movie When you saw the movie some of you may have noticed a flaw in the soundtrack a whirring noise That was Robert A Heinlein spinning in his grave at high speed The movie by the same name as this book is so spectacularly bad compared to the book I sometimes wonder if wasn t an intentional hitiece Sosee the movie if you will but PLEASE don t confuse it with or miss the book The book is or less a YA bookthen called a teen book an easy and uick readand FAR FAR superior to the travesty of movie by the same name By the way my late wife summed up a lot about the movie when she observed it should have been calledBug Blasters Update They have been laying this thing the movie by the same name as this bookon several TV channels lately AD NAUSEAMit seems to be on almost every time I check the listings on the idiot box So since there seems to be a new ush to legitimize this grotesue cinematographic attempt at science fiction A great work of science fictionThis is not at all about action and fighting bugs it is a study of a man s compulsion to fight and or serve his country and a discussion about our society s and any society s responsibility to its citizens and what is best for society Like many Heinlein novels it works well on many levels the surface science fiction and then the deeper complicated voice of the storyteller speaking from his own experienceThis is a controversial book Criticized for espousing a militaristic maybe fascist ideal Heinlein was also criticized from the other side for his own lack of combat experience This book inspires strong emotions At the end of the day it was a fine book another excellent genre transcending work from Heinlein. Cience fiction magazine Thrilling Wonder Stories Heinlein wrote and submitted the story Life Line which went on to win the contest This guaranteed Heinlein a future in writing Using his real name and the en names Caleb Saunders Anson MacDonald Lyle Monroe John Riverside and Simon York Heinlein wrote numerous novels including For Us the Living Methuselah's Children and Starship Troopers which was adapted into a big budget film for Tri Star Pictures in 1997 Heinlein died in 1988 from emphysema and other related health roblems Heinlein's remains were scattered from the stern of a Navy warship off the coast of Californi.