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Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein

Starship Troopers (original 1959; edition 1987)

by Robert A. Heinlein (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
12,180220523 (3.85)326
With Earth embroiled in a vast interplanetary war with the "Bugs," a young recruit in the Federal Reserves relates his experiences training in boot camp and as a junior officer in the Terran Mobile Infantry.
Title:Starship Troopers
Authors:Robert A. Heinlein (Author)
Info:Ace (1987), 290 pages

Work Information

Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein (1959)

  1. 193
    Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (5hrdrive)
  2. 154
    The Forever War by Joe Haldeman (goodiegoodie)
  3. 122
    Old Man's War by John Scalzi (goodiegoodie, jlynno84)
  4. 30
    All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka (dClauzel)
    dClauzel: Starship Troopers et All You Need Is Kill ont tous les deux la même intensité, avec de brèves périodes de forte violence pour une quête de la recherche du sens.
  5. 10
    War Stories: New Military Science Fiction by Jaym Gates (dClauzel)
    dClauzel: Des instantanés de guerre, avec des super soldats humains et des technologies déshumanisantes… ou est-ce l’inverse ? Bonus : des extra-terrestres.
  6. 10
    The Lazarus War: Artefact by Jamie Sawyer (dClauzel)
    dClauzel: Des soldats dans l’espace. Des extraterrestres. Des armures de combat. Vélocité. Fatal.
  7. 11
    47 Echo by Shawn Kupfer (tottman)
    tottman: This book reminded me of Starship Troopers, without the aliens. A fun, quick, military romp with a healthy suspension of disbelief.
  8. 11
    Even Peons are People: Interplanetary Justice by D. Pak (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Interesting thought on the military and their responsibilities in a space travelling society.
  9. 01
    Brothers in Arms by Ben Weaver (infiniteletters)
  10. 01
    Kris Longknife: Mutineer by Mike Shepherd (jlynno84)

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» See also 326 mentions

English (211)  French (5)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (218)
Showing 1-5 of 211 (next | show all)
This book has three different plans.
1. Actual story of the war, which is a bit in the background.
2. First-person experience of the hardships of army training and the following army life.
3. Critiquing the weaknesses of our current democratic systems and showing how military-based democracy would fix them.

The story is just a background, but it works. The alien enemies add a bit more spice to the war story and the way humans have to strategize to defeat them.

The personal story we follow was very interesting. The harsh conditions make the MC think a lot about his life, both present and past. Despite dealing with some more heavy themes, this book has quite a bit of humor. The MC also happens to be in a position to see the training from the POV of the sergeants.

While the author has some very different views, he still made me think about some problems even if I didn't agree with the solutions. This part of the book wasn't so prevalent that it would hamper my enjoyment. ( )
  Levitara | Apr 5, 2024 |
I read this so long ago, but recently watched the movie and decided to pick it up again. While the movie is a fun, cheesy, hollywood adaptation only loosely based on this book, the book is an honest-to-goodness sci-fi, military story. Great characters, good action, fun premise/setting. Definitely a worthwhile read. ( )
  teejayhanton | Mar 22, 2024 |
I read this book for the first time in 1997 after seeing the movie. Although I think that Verhoeven captured the atmosphere and main message of the novel rather good (we are just one of the species in the universe and - like it or not - violence is usually first-contact language) book is much better, at least for me.

If I remember one [a: Robert A. Heinlein|205|Robert A. Heinlein|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1192826560p2/205.jpg]'s statement it is that every man and woman should be able to cook, explore, build bivouacs, survive in open country, work alone or in team/colony, be able to repair mechanical engines, handle mathematical and logic issues etc etc - you get my grip. But this does not mean that aforementioned individual is supposed to be able to ace all of the above - no. He or she needs to be able to do those things adequately enough and specialize in as much as possible.

This brings us to this book. Some people say that this is ode to the military and boo to the civilian life. I don't agree at all.

In multiple places in the book you will receive really clear message that civilians (in this story setting) are in majority more intelligent, more savvy and more versatile than the military. They even hold more prestigious jobs in military structure itself and military is more than ready to transfer as much work as possible to the civilians. Civilians make money, you have same pay-level differences as today (very rich and those mid-level-rich and those struggling that see military as the only way out into better future). Only difference is (when compared to modern times) who gets the right to vote. And this is what majority of the book is - who should control the political body and executive decisions and through that fate of its society/species so that society can thrive.

And now we enter interesting area that might be painful to some.
In Heinlein's world only people allowed to vote are those that did their tour in the military. Not necessarily front line duties but basically what comes as a public service. Whats the difference - these are people who took part of their life and dedicated it to the common good, working for their society (you might even say species because in this novel there are no nations, all humanity lives in society that knows no race or sex boundaries - even mutants (usually villains in these types of stories) are highly esteemed for their special gifts; if you look at it entire society is ran by science and common sense, scientific research done by people that do not work for military but for themselves - civilians).

If person decides to take this step, to put his life into the hands of peers (and maybe at later time control the life of others) and lives through it, person gets a chance to decide the fate of the society in general.

Is the above militarization of the society? No, I think above is very logical thing if one wants responsible society. There are mechanisms today in certain countries to fine their citizens if they decide not to go out to vote on national election days (Belgium and Australia come to mind). If you are not willing to take responsibility for your choice (its not like you are electing anyone for life) then what are you actually doing in your society? I live in a country where a lot of people are full of talk but when decisions are to be made then nobody does anything (they get very indisposed - very popular approach to armchair politics). But do you think this prevents them from yapping about the results and aftermath - no it does not. Unfortunately.

Lets look at this from the other hand - if people do not want to vote because they are not interested then should they complain about the aftermath and possible new laws and decisions that might affect them (reduced rights anyone)? Once you let unsuitable people to high level decision making positions you gonna have a lot of problems and lots of work required to correct things later (if ever) . But OK, one does not want to vote so somebody else takes his or hers position in polls. Whose fault is this? In my opinion of the person that decided not to control its political body and representatives. Again you are not electing people for eternity - you are electing them for specified number of years. They fail you, you are not honor bound to vote for them all the time - change the candidate and push other alternatives. But if you do not partake in elections then you chose worst possible option for yourself.

And this is what book is about - if society/species wants to evolve to stars it needs to be built on foundation that awards commitment to the society/species, to be able to give your best for your peers to prospect. It needs to be built on hypothesis that 90% of job positions are ran by people who actually know what they are doing (be it military fighting the battles, politicians debating political decisions, teachers teaching kids in schools or construction workers building whatever is required). You notice I say 90% not 100% because idiocy does come to front from time to time together with psychopaths and outright lunatics. But society that is strong enough will weather these storms and survive because core values are in. Once this trust is lost - meaning you cannot rely on people around you for anything, hypocrisy and corruption creeps in - everything falls down (as stated in one of the places in the book). It is a very thin line to walk on but as long society/species holds to its core values it can be walked on.

Author chose military because of his own experiences and because military is usually micro-cosmos of society. It is usually part of society everyone calls for in times of need and shuns as fast as possible when there is no longer need (lets be honest about it). But [usually] it is built on certain set of values that predispose it for sacrifice in order to obtain safety for people military swore to protect. And lets be honest (whether one agrees or not) giving life for people you want to protect is still the highest form of sacrifice.

But it does not mean that this story could not be told through perspective of anyone else - be it recruiting officer, Rico's father and his daytime job or freighter pilot. Military is chosen because of author's personal experiences and to make an interesting read.

There can be philosophical discussion about this but the thing is only true valuable thing in ones life is how person builds and treats his family and indirectly society. Once strictly personal goals take precedence over the public good then it is not a society but a collection of individuals without anything to bond them. In greater picture of universe around us this equals almost certain demise.

One comment said that books is out of sync with the Vietnam war era - I do not agree. I think that author was aware of society that stopped at my-rights-are-this and decided to ignore socual responsibilities of the individual. Thus incompetent people came to decision making positions and they did what they did causing loss of entire generations that could have done wonders for their society.

Recommended to all fans of SF. And in case you are interested in purely military stuff give it a go - but be warned you wont see much action [in classical sense]. ( )
  Zare | Jan 23, 2024 |
Fantastic adventure. Despite being rather "slice of life", the book remains intense and ends warmly. Definitely will add Heinlein to the queue of readable science fiction authors. ( )
  MXMLLN | Jan 12, 2024 |
If I remember correctly, this was the first rated R movie I saw and I didn't even know it was a book until years later. First, I enjoyed the book much more (and when is it ever the other way around?) and second, I'm surprised about why I enjoyed it more.

The movie was too overt with the fascist, military-hyped Federation running a crooked war. The plot of the novel is much more nuanced and I enjoyed the philosophical points of the boot camp and OCS scenes (though I didn't agree with many). It's even more interesting that this book was published in 1959 written on themes that hold true today. ( )
  ohheybrian | Dec 29, 2023 |
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» Add other authors (87 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert A. Heinleinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brambilla, FrancoIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Caldwell, TomCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davies, Gordon C.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edwards, LesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giancola, DonatoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Haldeman, JoeIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hickman, StephenIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
James, LloydNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lehr, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lundgren, CarlCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warhola, JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I always get the shakes before a drop.
Anyone who clings to the historically untrue-and thoroughly immoral-doctrine that 'violence never settles anything' I would advise to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and of the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler could referee, and the jury might well be the Dodo, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedom.
"The noblest fate that a man can endure is to place his own mortal body betwen his loved home and war's desolation."
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With Earth embroiled in a vast interplanetary war with the "Bugs," a young recruit in the Federal Reserves relates his experiences training in boot camp and as a junior officer in the Terran Mobile Infantry.

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In one of Robert Heinlein's most controversial best-sellers, a recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the Universe--and into battle against mankind's most frightening enemy.
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