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Monday, February 11, 2019

Starship TroopersStarship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One of the original Mil-SF classics!

I've read this before. Several times, even, back when I was a newb when it came to Heinlein or SF in general. You know, pick up the Hugo Award winners and see if I like the author enough to continue on. Twenty books later, (THAT YEAR,) I discovered something. I like Heinlein. A lot.

But not ALL of Heinlein equally. Starship Troopers seemed kinda preachy to me, a little slow, and RAH, RAH, RAH Civic Duty. :) Suffice to say, I liked it pretty well. Caveats: it did come out in 1059, riding the social wave following the Korean War and very reminiscent of WWII war stories, updated for SF and focusing less on the horrors of war and more on Heinlein's usual Self-Reliance, Responsibility, and Duty.

I can't say I mind that at all. In fact, it just made me feel rather warm and cuddly and proud to be an American. Just a few years later, Kennedy would ask us what we would do for our country. We would feel responsible enough to take on those other things we called a social wrong. Like Red Scares. Cuba. Vietnam. But that wasn't this. Not yet.

Patriotism was at an all-time high. And this novel reflects that. Wide-eyed wonder and hope and gritty realism when it came to doing What Was Right.

Coming from another generation, this novel didn't quite hit the same buttons for me. But that's all right because some really smart people made a different movie by the same name but using MOSTLY the same story in the 90's that rocked hard with it's updated sensibilities and satire. :) And yet, the core RESPONSIBILITY remained very much intact. Amazing, no?

This novel is far from being Heinlein's best, but damn if it isn't excellent in its own right. I don't always have to agree with the sentiments as they apply now to appreciate the idealism on parade then. :)

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