36 votes

Whoa! Who here knows who Robert A. Heinlein is?

R.A. Heinlein, [on] 20th-century democracies:

"Those noble experiments failed because the people had been led to believe that they could simply vote for whatever they wanted and get it, without toil, without sweat, without tears."

-I love this guy!

http://www.goodreads.com/...

I always hated how bad Starship Troopers was, especially the acting and stupid catchphrases, "you kill bugs good". But I've watched the movie literally 25 times and I think I've discovered why. There are great little nuggets of hardcore truth interspersed in there, along with Denise Richards boobies. Amen, what a combo.

Also, this:

"Ah, yes, the 'unalienable rights.' Each year someone quotes that magnificent poetry. Life? What 'right' to life has a man who is drowning in the Pacific? The ocean will not hearken to his cries. What 'right' to life has a man who must die if he is to save his children? If he chooses to save his own life, does he do so as a matter of 'right'? If two men are starving and cannibalism is the only alternative to death, which man's right is 'unalienable'? And is it 'right'?

As to liberty, the heroes who signed that great document pledged themselves to buy liberty with their lives. Liberty is always unalienable; it must be redeemed regularly with the blood of patriots or it is always vanquished. Of all the so-called 'natural human rights' that have ever been invented, liberty is least likely to be cheap and is never free of cost."

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I just came across a free download of The Great Explosion

You can read it free online here, or cut & paste it to send to an e-book reader. Those of you who haven't read it -- you're in for a treat.

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition, http://www.amazon.com/Most-Dangerous-Superstition-Larken-Ros...

Thank you

Been a long time.

If not us than who?

I found the book & movie TAI PAN with Brian Brown & Joan Chen

Much more inspiring... but then, I like historical fiction.

http://www.ovguide.com/tai-pan-9202a8c04000641f80000000007c039c

Yes, please BUY this wonderful libertarian BOOK! We all must know the History of Freedom! Buy it today!

"The System of Liberty: Themes in the History of Classical Liberalism" ...by author George Smith --
Buy it Here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/05211820

Heinlein isn't just Starship Troopers.

There is 'Have Spacesuit Will Travel' (he mentions Skull and Bones just briefly in it near the beginning).

'Stranger in a Strangeland'

'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress'

'Citizen of the Galaxy'

and so many more books! Most are good.

_The Moon is a Harsh Mistress_ - me too!

I'll toss my recommendation on the pile as well. _The Moon is a Harsh Mistress_ is one of my all-time favorite books, up there with Twain's _Connecticut Yankee_. Life on the moon is completely alien, but completely withing our ability to visualize and understand since we have actually been there and studied what it might take to live there.

Ironically, the Loonies manage to create libertopia there, as the inmates of the asylum. Heinlein challenges us to really understand and internalize and embrace the concepts of libertopia in the same way we manage to understand the mechanics of lunar life.

I should go re-read it now...

I'm voting for Peace.

If you are a fan

I'd most strenuously suggest you read Heinlein's "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress". Pay particular attention to the cell structure the resistance utilized.

If not us than who?

Definitely one of his best. I

Definitely one of his best. I read Troopers when I was 11, Moon within a few years after that. I was countering the whole "troopers is just about how great fascism is" chestnut since before I was in middle school.

The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress

Is full anarcho-capitalist, sort of. I suggest giving it a try.

Heinlein's politics varied depending on whomever he was married to at the time.

I want to see Ron Paul versus Obama

in a Gowechian court. (I think that is how it was spelled... I read Heinlein before I had children.

Love or fear? Chose again with every breath.

Robert Heinlein

is one of the truly great libertarian science fiction authors. I'm a dystopian writer, and he inspires me.

If you want to know more about libertarian sci-fi, check this out:
http://lfs.org/index.shtml

“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”
― Albert Camus

showing my age

one of my buddies in college used to read this guy's books all the time. I was never motivated to, but now maybe I will.

You can't conquer a free man...

http://www.dailypaul.com/257856/you-cant-conquer-a-free-man
"When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, "This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know," the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything — you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him."

Pandas can't drive.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Very excited to find out about this new author

New to me, of course.

Especially after reading all the rave reviews below. 'Stranger in a Strange Land.' I've never read it, but it rings a bell. My dad was a big sci-fi fan, and he always said that his how he felt.

I figured out back in '08 that he probably voted for Ron Paul in '88. He was always voting for those crazy libertarians. I was still fully brainwashed back then, and I was trying to convince him to vote for Dukakis. Ack!

"I think I'll vote for the Libertarian," he said.

"Why?! He doesn't have a chance of winning!"

Ha ha ha.

Wish I could talk to him now. He passed on in '05.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

is an epic libertarian-oriented novel.

I'm a bit surprised that people here have never read Heinlein. He's one of my favorite authors.

I Grok you, man!

Heinlein is an author I have enjoyed since my teens.
I purchased a leatherbound, unabridged version of the
Stranger in a Strange Land, and read it to my sons
about 10 years ago.

Grok, from Stranger, was a word a Martian used to
express understanding, usually beyond the superficial
meaning of understand.

Sci-Fi has lots to offer, beyond the Action pieces.
Though that is all Hollywood seems to care about.

Damn Michael,

Sorry to hear about your dad... Finding these quotes by Heinlein made me think of my dad and I fb messaged him a few. Today was the first day I talked to his crazy ass in a LOOONG time. He sounded a lot like this growing up to, which is why I thought of him immediately.

But you kinda made me aware that time is short. And one day he'll be gone and so might I. Damn Michael. Thanks!

NO MORE LIES. Ron Paul 2012.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Yup, time is short. Enjoy your dad while he's here

We're all here temporarily.

On another note, I went to the library and had a nice conversation with the librarian in the Young Adult section, where the book was housed. He loved it - said he read it back in the 1960's. Had a nice conversation with him about Heinlein.

Now, if I'm only able to read it! It seems the internet has destroyed my ability to read like this any more!

Stranger in a Strange Land

Is one of my favorites and it's a good place to start. It is a "messianic" parable that shows, sadly, humans will ruin something they don't understand even if it's pure and good.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is good as well and it is an interesting view of the creation of a new society and their choices of self-governance and self-reliance and rebellion.

Time Enough for Love is about immortality and time travel but as the name implies focuses on love and freedom and the right to end one's life (as it means something entirely different to an immortal but applies to mortals as well).

The Cat Who Walks Through Walls is a quick read but it has characters from prior books so better not to start with it.

He's a great writer but also a great philosopher and searcher of truth and the meaning of human liberty.

History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Green Hills of Earth

The Green Hills of Earth

Let the sweet fresh breezes heal me
As they rove around the girth
Of our lovely mother planet
Of the cool, green hills of Earth.

We've tried each spinning space mote
And reckoned its true worth:
Take us back again to the homes of men
On the cool, green hills of Earth.

The arching sky is calling
Spacemen back to their trade.
ALL HANDS! STAND BY! FREE FALLING!
And the lights below us fade.

Out ride the sons of Terra,
Far drives the thundering jet,
Up leaps a race of Earthmen,
Out, far, and onward yet ---

We pray for one last landing
On the globe that gave us birth;
Let us rest our eyes on the fleecy skies
And the cool, green hills of Earth.

~Robert A. Heinlein

I agree with most of the posters below.

I have also read most of his books and loved most of them. I was talking to my sister today and told her about TANSTAAFL (There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch). Those of you that have only read one or two books need to take some of the suggestions below. One of my personal favourites is "Methuselah's Children".
And Starship Troopers (movie) used the book as only a broad (very broad) outline.
If nothing else do a search for "The Notebooks of Lazarus Long" and you will find quotes from it all over the web. Or you can get it at Amazon ( http://www.amazon.com/Notebooks-Lazarus-Long-Robert-Heinlein... )
(you can click the "look inside" to see what it's like.

favorite Heinlein quote:

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."

“With laws shall our land be built up, but with lawlessness laid waste.”
-Njal Thorgeirsson

Michael Nystrom's picture

I love Starship Troopers!

But I had no idea about Heinlein. Thank you.

Yes, the movie is campy & corny. It is a metaphor for our society, abstracted in such a way that you can see clearly the absurdity of war.

What also struck me was that not everyone was granted citizenship by default; it was something you earned. I'll have to go back and watch it again.

Thank you. And I'll look into Heinlein.

Check out Robocop

For great sideline commentary on government, individual safety and personal freedoms.

From the same director, Paul Verhoeven.

TwelveOhOne's picture

I'd buy that

for a dollar!

I love you. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.
http://fija.org - Fully Informed Jury Association
http://jsjinc.net - Jin Shin Jyutsu (energy healing)

More good pulp fiction writers:

Jack Vance
Clifford D. Simak
Robert E. Howard
L. Sprague de Camp
H.P. Lovecraft
E. Hoffman Price
John W. Campbell
August Derleth
Robert Bloch
Arthur C. Clarke
L. Ron Hubbard (Long before the scientology crap he was a good scifi writer)

Some of my favorites, anyways. Happy reading!

What?

No Philip K. Dick?
Also Frank Herbert and Stephen Donaldson.

[F]orce can only settle questions of power, not of right. - Clyde N. Wilson

Solid writers all

But a bit late to be classified as pulp writers IMO.

More good guys from the glory days

Theodore Sturgeon (BEST short story writer of his day)
Roger Zelazny
H. Beam Piper (good libertarian themes)
Cordwainer Smith
Eric Frank Russell (The Great Explosion, anarcho-libertarian classic)
C.M. Kornbluth (The Syndic)
John Wyndham
Poul Anderson

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition, http://www.amazon.com/Most-Dangerous-Superstition-Larken-Ros...

Lovecraft as well as Zelazney are two of my all time favorites,

Lovecraft's "The Walls of Enx" was an incredible exercise of foresight for the 1920's. His utilization of the mad Arab and the Necromonicom as well as his conjuring up the many reptilian creatures around the Miscatonic still evokes visions in my head. Zelazney is immensely entertaining, his Amber series being a masterpiece. We have omitted two authors here who, as far as I'm concerned, are the top of the game. Issac Asimov and his "Foundation Trilogy" was one of the most complex descriptions of a totally separate reality, one of many he wrote. Another author that is over looked is Harlan Ellison. Ellison was in the Sci Fi TV biz in the early and middle 60's. He wrote many of the original "Twilight Zones" as well as the original "Star Trek". Ellison demonstrated an incredible amount of anger in his works. "The Glass Teat" was an expose' on the mass media and it's mind numbing goal upon the masses which he wrote after being tossed out of the loop on many of the shows he was responsible for. As far as anger, his "I have no mouth and I must Scream" is a true masterpiece. He also wrote a story which was adapted as a movie starring Don Johnson who fed his girlfriend to his sentient dog. Watch "A Boy and his Dog" for some good kicks, as with most adaptations it loses a bit in the translation from written word but is still watchable.

If not us than who?

Tastes vary.

My own tastes run to Romantic fiction, as Ayn Rand defined it: a vision of life as it might be and ought to be. She and I don't entirely agree on what constitutes "ought to be," but the definition is sound.

Lovecraft did horror well -- but I'm not much interested in being horrified. Asimov did science and alternate reality well -- but he had no moral center, and his characters suffered for it. After awhile, he bored me. Ellison isn't exactly a contemporary of Heinlein, so I've left him out of my discussion here. He's a powerful and passionate writer and I've admired his work, but somewhere along the line I stopped enjoying it because his visions are all dystopian. Books I really love are on this list.

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition, http://www.amazon.com/Most-Dangerous-Superstition-Larken-Ros...