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What's Your Favorite Heinlein Book? 
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Post What's Your Favorite Heinlein Book?
I'm new to this site, and this is post number one. I'd like to get the to point, but before I get there, I'd like to say that I'm very excited to see a blog dedicated to my favorite SciFi author. Sadly, I was not able to make the Centennial last year, but I hope nobody holds that against me!

Anyway, on to business. I hope this is an appropriate subject for intelligent discussion, I'd like to get deep into some really good discussions about Heinlein, SciFi or the science in his books or anything of that nature. But it seems there are few topics yet this being such a new site. So I thought I'd try getting my feet wet with an easier subject then say "what do you think of the possibility that there will ever be powered suits in the military like in Star Ship Troopers?" (btw, on a side note, did you know that book was required reading at the USAF academy?).

Anyway, I'll start this, what is my favorite Heinlein novel? Hmmm, that is a tough one, as I really like them all. But I have to say, I think the book that really blew me away, and that I think was the one that got me really reading Heinlein was "Job: A Comedy of Life". I'm not sure what it was exactly, but I loved the way he could think large about the subject of religion and his view of multiple universes was a new idea to me at the time and really got me thinking. Anyway, I hope this is food for thought.

Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:34 pm
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Post Re: What's Your Favorite Heinlein Book?
Hello, there. In the "old" forum, this was discussed to death, but since you probably never participated (and, someone :roll: didn't retrieve the old content), I'll play again.

1. Stranger - main reason - Jubal Harshaw. Some call him long-winded, but I can never get enough of his beautiful cynicism.
2. Moon - simply the best hard science fiction Heinlein ever wrote. I don't admire it because of its alleged libertarianism, although I don't hold that against it. Prof, Manny and Wyoming three of the best characters Heinlein ever dreamed up.
3. Any of a number of juveniles, including Red Planet, Tunnel in the Sky, Citizen of the Galaxy, Starship Troopers, list not inclusive
4. Many of the early pulp short stories, with special honors to By His Bootstraps and The Roads Must Roll.

"Being right too soon is socially unacceptable." - Heinlein, Expanded Universe

Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:38 pm
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Post Re: What's Your Favorite Heinlein Book?
Asking for my favorite Heinlein novel is like asking what the favorite organ of my body is. I'd be lost without any one of 'em. I can't imagine a world without Stranger, nor would I be the same person without it. There is no romance like that of The Door Into Summer, and no heroism like that of TMIAHM and Gulf. I never got to be in the Scouts or go camping or anything like that as a kid, so I was basically raised by the juveniles instead.

Thu Apr 10, 2008 6:24 pm
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Post Re: What's Your Favorite Heinlein Book?
Also newto this forum (first post) but lifelong Heinlein reader. My favorite two books are Stranger and Moon, but I have a lingering fondness for all of the juveniles. They were my first introduction to RAH and have been read to pieces in many formats.


Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:31 am

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Post Re: What's Your Favorite Heinlein Book?
This is both a simple question and horridly complex.

Stranger In a Strange Land would have to go well beyond the definition of a favorite. That was my first Heinlein novel and it took a virtual blank teenage brain and hammered every neuron into a thinking sentient being, as sentient as you could get being in Mississippi in the sixties, if it would not have insulted Bob, I'd have gladly followed that novel like some programed sheep following the teachings of a prophet. The beauty of it is his works, mostly, correct the human failing to give up your own being for some Mumbo-Jumbo text, Politician, Movie Star, or fill in the blank. I has been said that Heinlein slew every sacred cow in the pasture with Stranger. Well, I tell you! There was BBQ in Mississippi that day and every day since.

This was when I entered my Religious Period.

Braingasming to the knowlege this man actually had been writing for years and I could read more, I followed with the next thing my greedy fingers could get my hands on. Lo and behold! There was Starship Troopers and Puppetmasters. Oh, My! The idea that you could have a world goverment run by people who actually had to earn the right to govern. How insane! To tell you the truth, this is an idea that still haunts me. I really want to try it and see how it works. They also foretold that aliens could be really that bad...not tribbles ((had not encountered flatcats yet)), not pointy-eared logical ones, but end of the world nasties.

This was when I entered my Militant Period.

Moon is a Harsh Mistress. What more needs to be said.

This was when I entered my Patriot Period.

In a record time, as republishing permitted in those days, I cleared all Past Future Histories and awaited each new novel like no other experience short of falling in love could match.

Still, Stranger holds the role as most dear. I'm curous if everyones first Heinlein novel does not do that to at least some degree until they encounter something in his body of work that touches an individuals soul and takes it's place. I believe that Stranger is also one of those novels that almost always means something different and unique to each reader. It seems so in the years of discussion that this is the case. In that context, it does almost qualify as religious text. Sorry Bob! Not my fault, you wrote the yarn to damn good.


Sat Apr 12, 2008 1:29 am
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Post Re: What's Your Favorite Heinlein Book?
This is my first post to the board. I'm very glad you folks put it up!

Believe it or not, that's an easy question for me...The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. I didn't realize how much I loved that book until about a year ago, when I found an audio book version of it on As I started to listen to it on my iPod, everything came rushing back from when I read it for the first time when I was in grade school.

Other favorites are Starship Troopers and The Number of the Beast, believe it or not. I was in graduate school when it came out, and it kept me laughing during some pretty tough times. How can you not soldier through whatever is happening to you when Zeb Carter is by your side?

Jeff Waggoner | Clarendon Hills, Illinois
"No matter where you go, there you are." - Buckaroo Banzai

Sat Apr 12, 2008 7:53 am
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Post Re: What's Your Favorite Heinlein Book?
As Kelly mentioned, this topic was hashed over thoroughly in the "old" forum but I'll gladly share, once again, my choice(s) !

first on my list is Glory Road- while there are many RAH novels which offer up much more for thought, this book struck me as just plain fun ! as a vietnam era vet (like Oscar), I could envision, nope hoped to be, whisked off this earth and into this great adventure. Alas, I still peer into my closet and look for my non-existent sword and await contact with Rufo (who in my mind is portrayed by Danny Devito !) and wonder if Star's imprints (NO not implants) are finished.

Stranger has to be included for all the usual reasons (playing safe here)

I'll throw in Farnham's Freehold also if only for it's dealings with race relations which at the time of publication were a "fiery" (think Watts) topic

yeeegads this is akin to picking which one of your children is your favorite

I challenge us all to think outside the box on this topic and makedangerous choices ;)

all offered as my humble opinion


Sun Apr 13, 2008 7:56 am
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Post Re: What's Your Favorite Heinlein Book?
I don't have that much of a problem picking a favorite, but that's in the context of a long list I would have a hard time living without. For me, it's Time Enough For Love. It's deliciously long, effortlessly got me thinking outside my narrow cultural box (as Heinlein so often does), and pulls in references to earlier favorites (notably Methuselah's Children), making it even more explicitly than most a continuation of the beloved Future History. Lazarus Long has been, for as long as I can remember, the closest thing I've had to a role model in life. I have two great kilt outfits!

Others on my favorites list that have had particular impact on me:

Have Space Suit, Will Travel, because it was my first (in 1957 at age 8). That book made me an enthusiastic reader.

Friday. She's my favorite Heinlein Woman, and, again, it was a continuation of earlier stories (I loved reading more about Kettle Belly Baldwin).

Job: A Comedy of Justice. I haven't been able to articulate *why* I love it, and I do. I jumped at the chance to visit the Society Islands, twice, because of the early scenes in this book, and I already lived in Texas, so the later scenes felt like home, especially when it turned out that, in the book, Texas really *was* Hell.

Glory Road, for the adventure and for Star; she's my second favorite Heinlein Woman. I became a member of my college fencing team because of this book.

I could go on, of course, and I won't. Thanks for starting the topic; I never knew about the earlier Forum.

“Don’t believe everything you see on the Internet.” –Abraham Lincoln

Wed Apr 16, 2008 2:01 pm
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Post Re: What's Your Favorite Heinlein Book?
Like Nick, Glory Road holds a special place in my heart. I return to adventure with Oscar and Star at least every other year and seeing that I read it first in 1967 that is a lot of readings.

Citizen of the Galaxy was the first Heinlein that I ever read and that also is one that I have read many times.

Moon, Friday and Door into Summer would round out my top 5.

Wed May 14, 2008 12:25 pm
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Post Re: What's Your Favorite Heinlein Book?
I always enjoyed "The Puppet Masters" ever since it scared the bejeezus out of me in grade school. (And that was back in the mid-1960s.) I just received Mr. Gifford's "Reader's Companion" and it mentions a restored version of that book from 1990. Does anyone know how I might find that version, or identify it in web searches on Amazon or eBay? I'd love to get my hands on a copy...


Jeff Waggoner | Clarendon Hills, Illinois
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Sun May 18, 2008 2:05 pm
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