Starship_Troopers_(novel).jpgEverybody interested in science fiction and fantasy should read Starship Troopers, by Robert A. Heinlein, you might like it. Or you might not.

The book has become a foundation of the modern science-fiction genre–especially anything dealing with Space Marines and a “Grimdark” future.

Just don’t expect a lot of action, like you’d see in the film Starship Troopers.

Yes, you’ll to read about the Mobile Infantry, decked in power armor, fighting the Arachnids. Yet there’s maybe about three or four battle scenes, if that.

Most of the action takes place off-stage: outside the classroom, so to speak.

Most of scenes are set in the classroom, or in retrospect of the main character, Johnny Rico, as he tries to figure out his place in the Mobile Infantry and society as a whole.

What does it mean to be a citizen?

The book is it set sometime in the future after the collapse of the major world super powers in the late 20th Century. In the ensuing anarchy, soldiers stepped in to restore order and slowly (in a generation or two) constructed a one-world government based on, what many readers would see, as totalitarian.

Only retired soldiers get to vote.

If you don’t wish to read a weighty tome like The Republic, by Plato, the read Starship Troopers. If Karl Marx’s Das Capital intimidates you, then read Starship Troopers. You’ll get an idea of what those books are about (Heinlein refutes portions of them), and you’ll get a nice grasp of the dialectic argument.

Believe it or not, if you roll your eyes at the latest advice on “how to raise your child,” read Starship Troopers.

The book might even pique your interest in military history; Heinlein makes numerous references to famous and obscure battles, as well as personalities, throughout the book. Examples include Rodger Young and the USS Chesapeake.

Read this: If you haven’t read it before.

Don’t read this: If you’ve already read it before and didn’t like it. Try The Republc instead.