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What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?

 
jlazarus
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10/20/2006 10:55 AM
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What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
This thread inspired me:

[link to godlikeproductions.com]

It's nice to meet so many RAH fans.

My favorite is The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, which I am sure is a fav among many of you as well. Such a beautiful story! When I first read this as a young girl I think I actually cried for Mike (Mycroft Holmes, the sentient computer). Very near the beginning of that book got me, and I think it was this sentence:

"I spent time then soothing Mike down and trying to make him happy, having figured out what troubled him--thing that makes puppies cry and causes people to suicide: loneliness."

My favorite short story is The Man who sold the Moon...So..poignant, to have one's dream fulfilled. Anyone else catch the reference at the end of the movie, Space Cowboys, to that story?
I will accept any rules that you feel necessary to your freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. ~ Robert Heinlein
HH
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10/20/2006 11:57 AM
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Re: What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
Hard to say - they all awesome and more so that the books and characters interlink in various ways.

I liked Space Family Stone, Moon is a Harsh Mistress (one of the first I read), Starship Troopers and Have Spacesuit - Will Travel
Ishtahota

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10/20/2006 12:03 PM
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Re: What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
Stranger in a Strange Land was my favorite.

Followed by Starship Troopers. A game
came out in the 70s or early 80s that
was faithful to the book: [link to www.boardgamegeek.com]
I spent hours upon hours playing that game.

But GAWD did the movie suck hard. It
wasn't at all like the book.
 Quoting: DrPostman

DITTO!!

-Stranger in a Strange-

The chapter where the epiphany of laughter comes from a chimp in the zoo...

....Fantastic!!
Live Long, Laugh Often, Love Much!
Dr P

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10/20/2006 12:26 PM
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Re: What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
I'd probably pick a juvenile as my favorite Heinlein novel...perhaps "Time for the Stars". "Starship Troopers" was meant to be a juvenile, but Putnam, which had published all of Heinlein's juveniles, rejected it in a manner that he quite justifiably found offensive. Their loss...he never submitted another novel to Putnam.

I didn't like "Stranger in a Strange Land", and I didn't like anything Heinlein wrote after that.

I might have liked the movie "Starship Troopers", if I hadn't read the novel. The movie "Puppet Masters" was even more disappointing (the novel is one of my favorites), but it attracted very little attention.
jlazarus (OP)

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10/20/2006 01:16 PM
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Re: What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
Stranger in a Strange Land was my favorite.

 Quoting: DrPostman


Stranger is a classic, and is actually the very first book I ever read by Heinlein - as a *kid* (yeah, I picked up Stranger first, THEN went and discovered his juveniles)...I sitll have some old prints of some of the jv's - Have Space Suit Will Travel being my favorite from those..

And check this out. I actually 'discovered' "Stranger" in (what I later wondered) is a strange place: My (Catholic) Grade School School Library. Lol! :) I always wondered if the nuns had read it and if so what were their thoughts?

I know a lot of people were turned off by Heinlein's later stuff- but really, I have enjoyed just about everything he ever wrote. Didn't agree with it all, but enjoyed reading his ideals at any rate (and, especially as a young girl, his ideals were, at first, quite challenging in contrast to my environment)...

Another one I re-read recently was the Revolt in 2100 (If this goes on/Conventry/Misfit)...What floored me is that I've read that one at least twice before, and somehow managed (until this latest reading) NOT to pick up on the masonic references in that book - or the fact that there are some very clear references to mormonism as well! I guess as a young child I just didn't 'get those references' then...They were loud and clear this time around :)
I will accept any rules that you feel necessary to your freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. ~ Robert Heinlein
jlazarus (OP)

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10/20/2006 01:51 PM
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Re: What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
-Stranger in a Strange-

The chapter where the epiphany of laughter comes from a chimp in the zoo...

....Fantastic!!
 Quoting: Ishtahota


Exactly what I was looking for (the 'why'):
Yes. I remember reading that for the first time and totally identifying with the bittersweet realization of VMS when he realized: Why_We_Laugh! So profound.
I will accept any rules that you feel necessary to your freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. ~ Robert Heinlein
jlazarus (OP)

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10/20/2006 01:53 PM
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Re: What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
I didn't like "Stranger in a Strange Land", and I didn't like anything Heinlein wrote after that.
 Quoting: Dr P


Technically, wasn't Starship Troopers published before Stranger? But I do concede he probably had most of it written well before the publishing of Starship, since it was over a decade in the making!!

But then again Mistress was also published after Starship and that is, to me, his masterpiece.

One question - why did you not like Stranger? The only reason I ask is to compare your reason to others that did not like it as well. I have found that for the most part, people who read mainly for the plot/story - or - people expecting a *true science fiction* story are primarily the ones that didn't like Stranger (and even Heinlein conceded it was not science fiction)...

Whereas those that just loved his 'words', usually fall into the 'love' Stranger category.

I probably fall in the latter. It's writing such as this that made me a fan:

(In reference to Jubal's love of Auguste Rodin's "She who was once the Helmet-Maker's Beautiful Wife" - aka "La Belle Heaulmière")

"Anybody can see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl she used to be. A great artist can look at an old woman, portray her exactly as she is... and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be... more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo see that this lovely young girl is still alive, prisoned inside her ruined body. He can make you feel the quiet, endless tragedy that there was never a girl born who ever grew older than eighteen in her heart... no matter what the merciless hours have done."
I will accept any rules that you feel necessary to your freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. ~ Robert Heinlein
Dr P

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10/20/2006 07:53 PM
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Re: What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
I could write at some length on why I disliked "Stranger in a Strange Land". It's not that it wasn't really science fiction. Science fiction is by no means the only kind of fiction I like. Heinlein himself had written many stories that were most definitely not science fiction; see the anthology "Heinlein's Fantasies".

I don't like a story that is clumsily written, even if it has a good plot. That's why I don't consider A. E. van Vogt nearly so great a writer as some people do; his plots were often excellent, but his writing was never very good, and was often terrible.

But I also don't like a story that is poorly plotted, even if it's well written. Heinlein's writing was always superlative, but "Stranger" hardly had a plot at all. Some of Heinlein's later novels did have plots..."The Moon is a Harsh Mistress", "Glory Road", and "Farnham's Freehold", for instance...but in no case did it interest me, not did I care what happened to the characters.
gooderboy

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10/20/2006 08:07 PM
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Re: What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
I'd have to say 'Stranger In A Strange Land' as well... but... 'Stranger' also got me hooked on Heinlein and so I've read most all of his books and short stories as well.

And too, I've also done the same with the likes of 'Siddartha' and Herman Hess... 'Jonathan Livingston Seagull' and Richard Bach... Ursula Le Guin, and on and on and on, lol.
DR WONGSKI

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10/20/2006 08:26 PM
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Re: What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
Time Enough for LOve.A little bit of everything to satisy everyone,adventure,romance,intrigue and time travel.And just to add a weird twist to it our hero goes back in time and makes love to his own mother as an adult and meets himself face to face at 8 years of age.It may sound sick and ghoulish but he does an excellent job of telling this story which spans thousands of years.
Anonymous Coward
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10/20/2006 08:53 PM
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Re: What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
stranger in a strange land.

but i actually like "i shall fear no evil." better. very quirky, that read.
Anonymous Coward
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10/20/2006 08:58 PM
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Re: What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
The Past Thru Tomorrow

An anthology of his future history series. Made me think.
Anonymous Coward
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10/20/2006 09:10 PM
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Re: What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
farnham's freehold
oloid
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10/20/2006 09:31 PM
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Re: What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
CHILDHOODS END
Anonymous Coward
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10/20/2006 09:37 PM
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Re: What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
'Number of the Beast' was the one that turned me off Heinlein.

Stranger in a Strange Land is the best one, one of the best books I ever read because it's message stays with me.
Anonymous Coward
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10/20/2006 09:44 PM
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Re: What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
Excuse me, Oloid, but "Childhood's End" is by Arthur C. Clarke.
jennybean
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10/20/2006 09:51 PM
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Re: What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
The Book of Job
bamabigfoot
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10/20/2006 10:19 PM
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Re: What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
He published a collection of stories about Lazarous Long... the guy who was an immortal that was fascinating...what was that one called? and of course "I GROK Sranger in a Strange Land"...
Anonymous Coward
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10/20/2006 10:37 PM
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Re: What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
Time Enough For Love..?

Loved that book.. probably the first of his i read. Lazarus Long seemed to become a recurrent theme through out his life and i was pleased, and a littled honoured when i read the Cat who walks thru walls, and other books on the Long Family.


Stranger in a Strange Land is excellent. Classic.

Actually i like most of his stuff.

Isaac Aimov is another writer i love reading. It's touch and go who i would put first. The Foundation books were the first really great books of sc-fi i read. Strangely enough, the Foundation and Robots stories all ended up trying together. Very much like Heinlein's did with Lazarus Long.

Both seemed to achieve a life's work with there main stories/themes. Caio.
oloid
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10/20/2006 10:37 PM
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Re: What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
Excuse me, Oloid, but "Childhood's End" is by Arthur C. Clarke.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 144149

Sorry...long day...

I guess time enough for love was my fav.
bamabigfoot
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10/20/2006 10:44 PM
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Re: What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
"Time enough for Love" that was it... a long one too, but very interesting read. I regret loaning that one to my secretary who never returned it ... perhaps she really liked it too! I like all the Heinlein stuff, although it did seem to get more and more erotic as time went by, of course now that I am becoming a dirty old man too, I begin to understand it!!!
Anonymous Coward
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10/20/2006 10:44 PM
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Re: What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
i loved childhood's end too! happydance
bamabigfoot
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10/20/2006 10:46 PM
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Re: What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
.... I also share his fascination with redheads....you can ask my redheaded wife of 26 years!!!
Anonymous Coward
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10/20/2006 10:46 PM
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Re: What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
"Time enough for Love" that was it... a long one too, but very interesting read. I regret loaning that one to my secretary who never returned it ... perhaps she really liked it too! I like all the Heinlein stuff, although it did seem to get more and more erotic as time went by, of course now that I am becoming a dirty old man too, I begin to understand it!!!
 Quoting: bamabigfoot 98686



haha... yes he did seem to have an obsession with sex... and lots of it!!

Perhaps he was just poking every sacred cow he could find in the eye.

cool2
zacksavage
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10/20/2006 10:47 PM

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Re: What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
Stranger in a Strange Land was my favorite.



Stranger is a classic, and is actually the very first book I ever read by Heinlein - as a *kid* (yeah, I picked up Stranger first, THEN went and discovered his juveniles)...I sitll have some old prints of some of the jv's - Have Space Suit Will Travel being my favorite from those..

And check this out. I actually 'discovered' "Stranger" in (what I later wondered) is a strange place: My (Catholic) Grade School School Library. Lol! :) I always wondered if the nuns had read it and if so what were their thoughts?

I know a lot of people were turned off by Heinlein's later stuff- but really, I have enjoyed just about everything he ever wrote. Didn't agree with it all, but enjoyed reading his ideals at any rate (and, especially as a young girl, his ideals were, at first, quite challenging in contrast to my environment)...

Another one I re-read recently was the Revolt in 2100 (If this goes on/Conventry/Misfit)...What floored me is that I've read that one at least twice before, and somehow managed (until this latest reading) NOT to pick up on the masonic references in that book - or the fact that there are some very clear references to mormonism as well! I guess as a young child I just didn't 'get those references' then...They were loud and clear this time around :)
 Quoting: jlazarus


Hey Dr. Postman!!!

I agree with you 110% for once. Excellent woohoo


Dr P I see you are still fit,...

To be tied. :5:


Z
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

--- Albert Einstein
Anonymous Coward
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10/20/2006 11:34 PM
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Re: What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
Red Planet. Read it as a child and had many daydreams of skating the "canals".
Claycat

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10/21/2006 12:15 AM
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Re: What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
I loved The Door Into Summer.
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." William Shakespeare
jlazarus (OP)

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10/21/2006 09:50 AM
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Re: What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
But I also don't like a story that is poorly plotted, even if it's well written. Heinlein's writing was always superlative, but "Stranger" hardly had a plot at all.
 Quoting: Dr P

Thanks for sharing why. I agree that Stranger was not much as far as 'plot' but really it was more of a mouthpiece for Heinlein through the 'voice' of Jubal.
I will accept any rules that you feel necessary to your freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. ~ Robert Heinlein
jlazarus (OP)

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10/21/2006 09:52 AM
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Re: What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
I'd have to say 'Stranger In A Strange Land' as well... but... 'Stranger' also got me hooked on Heinlein and so I've read most all of his books and short stories as well.

And too, I've also done the same with the likes of 'Siddartha' and Herman Hess... 'Jonathan Livingston Seagull' and Richard Bach... Ursula Le Guin, and on and on and on, lol.
 Quoting: gooderboy

Ahh...yes, Richard Bach also affected me in many ways...Seagull, Illusions and even Bridge (although a bit less with Bridge) were fantastic reads...
I will accept any rules that you feel necessary to your freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. ~ Robert Heinlein
jlazarus (OP)

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10/21/2006 09:58 AM
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Re: What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
Time Enough for LOve.A little bit of everything to satisy everyone,adventure,romance,intrigue and time travel.And just to add a weird twist to it our hero goes back in time and makes love to his own mother as an adult and meets himself face to face at 8 years of age.It may sound sick and ghoulish but he does an excellent job of telling this story which spans thousands of years.
 Quoting: DR WONGSKI


I loved TEFL as well. Especially, the love story of Dora.

I haven't seen anyone mention To Sail Beyond the Sunset here...I suppose for a lot of Heinlein fans, that one falls into a category with Number of the Beast, and just turned a lot of people off..

Not my favorite either, but the first 3/4 of the book, about Maureen and her Kansas upbringing, is somewhat Mark Twain(ish) to me...
I will accept any rules that you feel necessary to your freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. ~ Robert Heinlein
Anonymous Coward
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11/21/2012 07:57 PM
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Re: What is your favorite Heinlein book - or short story, and why?
I've read "Stranger............", but my favorite one was about an old man who has his brain transplanted into a young persons body. Turns out it was a young womans body. It is killing me that I cannot remember the title. It was almost 40 years ago.

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