Starship Troopers was written by Robert A. Heinlein and published in November, 1959.
I’ve previously read “Have Space Suit—Will Travel” which is also written by Heinlein. Unfortunately I’ve similar negative thoughts for both books. Both have very detailed informations and settings but have superficial characterization and plot. While reading Starship Troopers I’ve tweeted; “Reading, actually listening, a book which has no #plot but has a good #setting and #hugo award. Guess the title? #scifi #hugoaward” I guess this tweet can tell my emotions at that moment.
— Ugur Basak (@ugurbasak) February 3, 2014
There is also a film adaptation. Starship Troopers is a 1997 film directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Casper Van Dien as Johnny Rico, Dina Meyer as Dizzy Flores, Denise Richards as Lt. Carmen Ibanez, Jake Busey as Ace Levy, Neil Patrick Harris as Carl Jenkins
Influences and Criticisms
As I’ve said above this story has a very great setting, also a few great authors have said they have influenced from Starship Troopers;
- Joe Haldeman’s Forever War
- John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War
- John Steakley’s Armor
- Harry Harrison’s Bill, the Galactic Hero
Heinlein not influenced only authors for writing novels, he has also influenced future of military. The book is in the reading list of United States Marine Corps and United States Navy. Also some of his terms have influenced the terms in the military, like Mobile Infantry and big steel gorillas.Heinlein has been criticized for glorifying war along with the military, endorsement of fascism and racist aspects.
Despite these positive inputs, Heinlein has been criticized for some of his themes in Starship Troopers. Having glorifying war along with the military, endorsement of fascism and racist aspects.
Setting and Theme
Interstellar war between Terran Federation of Earth and ArachnidsThe novel tells the story of an interstellar war between Terran Federation of Earth and Arachnids, which were mostly called as the Bugs, of Klendathu. The story is told from Juan Rico’s point of view using flashbacks. This flashbacks makes it difficult for me to follow the story, sometimes it distracts my concentration, and probably this is related to listening instead of reading the book.
At the start of the story we read a few things about a military action in which Rico participates. But this part is really very short, after this one we read many flashbacks on Rico’s past, school years, etc. In these parts Heinlein mostly tries to show how the world is, how the system works.
At some part, the Bug War has changed to full-scale war. In these part Heinlein has probably has used his military experiences because he is telling how a soldier lives and acts in a very realistic way.
The last part is interesting Juan Rico was leading a group of soldiers and his father as Sergeant Rick for a major attack to Klendathu.
This novel contains lots of politics, lotfs of military history, military traditions and military science. Heinlen has used his previous experiences.