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Starship Troopers

A book by Robert A. Heinlein

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Far, far more than a simple juvenile space yarn!

  • Mar 19, 2010
On the face of it, an exciting juvenile adventure story in a marvelous classic hard sci-fi setting! The edition I read summarizes it well,

"The Mobile Infantry of the startling twenty-second century attracts young and eager to serve Johnnie Rico. He enters basic training as a naïve youth who must learn quickly how to cope with every soldier's problems of courage, discipline and loyalty. But he barely learns the value of freedom before he finds he must fight for it bravely - in fantastic interplanetary battles against the most incredible adversaries of the future."

Futuristic weaponry, interstellar travel, aliens, glitzy slam-bang technology, imagination and suspense - "Starship Troopers" has got it all!

But even a moment's analysis below that tantalizing, exciting surface story will reveal the much more profound, sterner stuff which will form the basis of numberless formal and informal philosophical debates for many, many years to come. The suggestion that the statement "Violence never settled anything" is utter nonsense; the surprising thesis that the term "juvenile delinquent" is an oxymoron; the proposition that man has no moral instinct, only a cultivated sense of moral duty that must be learned; the completely contrarian idea that franchise, the right to vote, is not a universal right but rather a responsibility which must be first earned and then exercised as a matter of duty; the suggestion that capital punishment is not only reasonable but should logically be carried out against a perpetrator judged "not guilty by reason of insanity"; the place of the fairer sex in the armed forces; the relationship between honor, experience, rights, duty and responsibility; the morality of imperialism and war; and much, much more - how is it possible that an author could cover so much ground in a mere 200 pages?

Only an author of the caliber of Robert A Heinlein could pull it off! Hand "Starship Troopers" to your 10 year old child who enjoys a rollicking space adventure and you'll turn him into a science fiction fan for life. Hand it to the dean of the philosophy department at your local university and you'll spark a series of fascinating, intellectual debates that could last until the turn of the next century.

Highly recommended.

Paul Weiss

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April 19, 2010
Great review, Paul! This is one where I'm sure I would enjoy the book more than the film.
April 17, 2010
I've heard generally positive critiques of the book and I have been meaning to get around to reading it. I did see the film and didn't care for that much. How did you feel they stacked up against each other?
April 17, 2010
That's what I figured, but I wasn't sure. It didn't seem like Heinlein would favor action over story or characters. Not really his style. The film was kind of gruesome too.
April 17, 2010
And I really couldn't say at all because I haven't seen the film
More Starship Troopers reviews
review by . October 06, 2014
I would never ever suggest that my take on any particular novel should be considered either (A) definitive or (B) set in stone.  Why?  Well, in my fifty odds years on this big blue marble, I’ve not been the most prolific reader.  As a kid, I read mostly comic books and/or graphic novel collections, and getting me to sit down and lose myself in a novel of any format was limited largely to school requirements, book reports, and the like.  As I aged and discovered how much …
review by . July 15, 2010
Starship Troopers- Read the book, nothing like the movie.
Probably my favorite Heinlein book of all time. Heinlein develops characters so quickly into real people, you find yourself pulling for them and get really invested in their wellbeing. Just enough philosophy to make you think, just enough drama to make you care, and amazing action scenes that put your feet in the boots that are involved.       It starts off with Johnny and a class he despises, History and Moral Philosophy. It is set in the future and the teacher discusses …
Quick Tip by . February 27, 2011
posted in SF Signal
   One of those stories that seems to get re-read on a regular basis, and one over which controversy continues to reign.      The novel was originally slated to be Heinlein's final juvenile tale, but was considered to be too "adult".  It was eventually released on its own and tells a coming of age tale, chronicling the rise of Johnny Rico through the ranks of the Mobile Infantry.      The story is largely responsible for the creation …
Quick Tip by . September 29, 2010
I always wondered how they'd make a movie out of this, but they did a good job. The book's better though.
Quick Tip by . July 15, 2010
I usualy don`t like sci-fi, but Starship Troopers is awesome. It's very easy to enter this world.
Quick Tip by . July 02, 2010
The movie ruined this book's idea, but at least you can still read it and see why it is a sci fi classic. Must read book.
Quick Tip by . June 15, 2010
Heinlein's libertarian manifesto in action story form.
review by . February 23, 2010
Now, boys and girls, a little lesson on fiction. A novel is a long story in which a developing series of events happens to a character or group of characters, in such a way that when it's over something has changed - one of the characters is a different person from who he or she is at the beginning. By that definition, "Starship Troopers" is not a novel, it's a slightly fictionalized political manifesto in which the characters involved remain pretty much as they were, only more advanced and at higher …
review by . November 15, 2009
In many ways, this is as much a political treatise as it is a science fiction novel about interplanetary war. It is several centuries in the future and the Earth Federation is at war with species in other solar systems. The social structure is based on the military, only citizens can vote and the path to citizenship is military service. It is a harsh service, it is truly a situation where many try and few succeed. The training is tough and it is very easy for a recruit to resign.    Johnnie …
review by . September 17, 2006
Arguably Robert Heinlein's best work, STARSHIP TROOPERS is a classic piece of science fiction displaying an Earth of the future in a galactic war against a sentinel race of giant bugs that are set on destroying humankind. The story is told through the eyes of Juan Rico, a member of the Mobile Infantry. Rico explains how he joined MI, some of his adventures, and how he rose through the ranks. STARSHIP TROOPERS is actually more a book of philosophy and military thought set against the backdrop of …
About the reviewer
Paul Weiss ()
Ranked #15
   A modern day dilettante with widely varied eclectic interests. A dabbler in muchbut grandmaster of none - wilderness camping in all four seasons, hiking, canoeing, world travel,philately, … more
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About this book


Juan Rico signed up with the Federal Service on a lark, but despite the hardships and rigorous training, he finds himself determined to make it as a cap trooper. In boot camp he will learn how to become a soldier, but when he graduates and war comes (as it always does for soldiers), he will learnwhyhe is a soldier. Many consider this Hugo Award winner to be Robert Heinlein's finest work, and with good reason. Forget the battle scenes and high-tech weapons (though this novel has them)--this is Heinlein at the top of his game talking people and politics.
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ISBN-10: 0441783589
ISBN-13: 978-0441783588
Author: Robert A. Heinlein
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Publisher: Ace
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"A Sci-Fi Classic."
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