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Heinlein, Robert A.

Robert Anson Heinlein (July 7, 1907 – May 8, 1988) was an American science fiction writer. Often called the "dean of science fiction writers," he was one of the most influential and controversial authors of the genre. He set a standard for science and engineering plausibility and helped to raise the genre's standards of literary quality. He was one of the first science fiction writers to break into mainstream magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post in the late 1940s. He was one of the best-selling science fiction novelists for many decades. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke were known as the "Big Three" of science fiction.

Heinlein, a notable writer of science fiction short stories, was one of a group of writers who came to prominence under the editorship of John W. Campbell, Jr. in his Astounding Science Fiction magazine—though Heinlein denied that Campbell influenced his writing to any great degree.

Within the framework of his science fiction stories, Heinlein repeatedly addressed certain social themes: the importance of individual liberty and self-reliance, the obligation individuals owe to their societies, the influence of organized religion on culture and government, and the tendency of society to repress nonconformist thought. He also examined the relationship between physical and emotional love, explored various unorthodox family structures, and speculated on the influence of space travel on human cultural practices. His approach to these themes led to wildly divergent opinions on what views were being expounded via his fiction.

The 1961 novel Stranger in a Strange Land is viewed by many as his masterpiece, incorporating many of the aforementioned themes found in his literature. It also contains perhaps the clearest explication of Heinlein's metaphysical, and possibly spiritual, philosophy, encapsulated in the iconic phrase "Thou art god". This philosophy resonated greatly with readers in the counterculture at the time. Since its publication, Stranger in a Strange Land has been a classic among counterculture readers. It has enjoyed widespread success, being one of the most popular science fiction books of all time, and is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written.

Heinlein won Hugo Awards for four of his novels; in addition, fifty years after publication, three of his works were awarded "Retro Hugos"—awards given retrospectively for years in which Hugo Awards had not been awarded. He also won the first Grand Master Award, given by the Science Fiction Writers of America, for his lifetime achievement. In his fiction Heinlein coined words that have become part of the English language, including "grok" and "waldo", and popularized the term "TANSTAAFL".

  • Heinlein, Robert A.

    Starship Troopers

    A recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the universe and into battle with the Terran Mobile Infantry against humankind's most frightening enemy.
  • Heinlein, Robert A.

    Stranger in a Strange Land

    Here at last is the complete, uncut version of Heinlein's all-time masterpiece, the brilliant novel that grew from a cult favorite to a bestseller to a classic in a few short years. It is the story of Valentine Michael Smith, the man from Mars who taught humankind grokking and water-sharing. And love.
  • Heinlein, Robert A.

    Farmer in the Sky

    Bill knew his destiny lay in the stars, but how was he to get there?George Lerner was shipping out for Ganymede to join the fledgling colony, and Bill wanted to go along. But his father would not hear of it -- far too dangerous a mission!Bill finally talked his way aboard the colony ship Mayflower -- and discovered his father was right!
  • Heinlein, Robert A.

    Double Star

    Lorenzo, an out of work actor in the year 2100, finds himself agreeing to play the most difficult role of his life--posing as a double for a missing political leader whose presence is necessary to prevent interplanetary war. Winner of the Hugo Award."In this intricately plotted novel of interplanetary intrigue, Heinlein is at his best."- St. Louis Post Dispatch"Pleasant and exciting reading."- Galaxy Science-Fiction"Bears the Heinlein cache of credible authenticity."- Anthony Boucher (Fantasy and Science-Fiction)"Not only America's premier writer of speculative fiction, but the greatest writer of such fiction in the world."- Stephen King"There is no other writer whose work has exhilarated me as often and to such an extent as Heinlein."- Dean Koontz"One of the most influential writers in American Literature."- The New York Times Book Review
  • Heinlein, Robert A.

    The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

    Robert A. Heinlein was the most influential science fiction writer of his era, an influence so large that, as Samuel R. Delany notes, "modern critics attempting to wrestle with that influence find themselves dealing with an object rather like the sky or an ocean." He won the Hugo Award for best novel four times, a record that still stands. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress was the last of these Hugo-winning novels, and it is widely considered his finest work.It is a tale of revolution, of the rebellion of the former Lunar penal colony against the Lunar Authority that controls it from Earth. It is the tale of the disparate people--a computer technician, a vigorous young female agitator, and an elderly academic--who become the rebel movement's leaders. And it is the story of Mike, the supercomputer whose sentience is known only to this inner circle, and who for reasons of his own is committed to the revolution's ultimate success.The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is one of the high points of modern science fiction, a novel bursting with politics, humanity, passion, innovative technical speculation, and a firm belief in the pursuit of human freedom.
    The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is the winner of the 1967 Hugo Award for Best Novel.
  • Heinlein, Robert A.

    Job: A Comedy of Justice

    After he firewalked in Polynesia, the world wasn't the same for Alexander Hergensheimer, now called Alec Graham. As natural accidents occurred without cease, Alex knew Armageddon and the Day of Judgement were near. Somehow he had to bring his beloved heathen, Margrethe, to a state of grace, and, while he was at it, save the rest of the world ....
  • Heinlein, Robert A.

    Time Enough for Love

    [This is part 1 of a 2 part cassette audiobook, library edition.] Time Enough for Love is the capstone and crowning achievement of Heinlein's famous Future History series. Lazarus Long is so in love with life that he simply refuses to die. Born in the early 1900s, he lives through multiple centuries. Time Enough for Love is his lovingly detailed account of his journey through a vast and magnificent timescape of centuries and worlds. Using the voice of Lazarus, Heinlein expounds his own philosophies, including his radical (for 1946) ideas on sexual freedom. His use of slang, technical jargon, sharp wit, and clever understatement lend this story a texture and authority that seems the very tone of things to come.
  • Heinlein, Robert A.

    Friday

    Engineered from the finest genes, and trained to be a secret courier in a future world, Friday operates over a near-future Earth, where chaos reigns. Working at Boss's whimsical behest she travels from far north to deep south, finding quick, expeditious solutions as one calamity after another threatens to explode in her face....
  • Heinlein, Robert A.

    Glory Road

    E. C. "Scar" Gordon was on the French Riviera recovering from a tour of combat in Southeast Asia , but he hadn't given up his habit of scanning the Personals in the newspaper. One ad in particular leapt out at him:"ARE YOU A COWARD? This is not for you. We badly need a brave man. He must be 23 to 25 years old, in perfect health, at least six feet tall, weigh about 190 pounds, fluent English, with some French, proficient in all weapons, some knowledge of engineering and mathematics essential, willing to travel, no family or emotional ties, indomitably courageous and handsome of face and figure. Permanent employment, very high pay, glorious adventure, great danger. You must apply in person, rue Dante, Nice, 2me étage, apt. D."How could you not answer an ad like that, especially when it seemed to describe you perfectly? Well, except maybe for the "handsome" part, but that was in the eye of the beholder anyway. So he went to that apartment and was greeted by the most beautiful woman he'd ever met. She seemed to have many names, but agreed he could call her "Star." A pretty appropriate name, as it turned out, for the empress of twenty universes.Robert A. Heinlein's one true fantasy novel, Glory Road is as much fun today as when he wrote it after Stranger in a Strange Land. Heinlein proves himself as adept with sword and sorcery as with rockets and slide rules and the result is exciting, satirical, fast-paced, funny and tremendously readable -- a favorite of all who have read it. Glory Road is a masterpiece of escapist entertainment with a typically Heinleinian sting in its tail. Tor is proud to return this all-time classic to hardcover to be discovered by a new generation of readers.
  • Heinlein, Robert A.

    Have Space Suit - Will Travel

    Kip Russell wants nothing more than to go to the moon. But after entering a contest to help realize his dream, he is thrust into a space adventure he could never have imagined--with the most unlikely of friends and enemies. A favorite among Heinlein readers."Here is superior science fiction."—The New York Times"Not only America's premier writer of speculative fiction, but the greatest writer of such fiction in the world."—Stephen King"There is no other writer whose work has exhilarated me as often and to such an extent as Heinlein."—Dean Koontz"One of the most influential writers in American Literature."—The New York Times Book Review