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Robert A. Heinlein: A Biographical Sketch
The Heinlein Society ^ | 1999 | Bill Patterson

Posted on 11/30/2002 8:58:37 PM PST by Sparta

Edited on 07/10/2004 1:42:45 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

Robert Anson Heinlein was born on 7 July 1907, in Butler, Bates County, Missouri, the third son of Rex Ivar Heinlein and Bam Lyle Heinlein. At the time of Robert's birth, the family had been living with his maternal grandfather, Alva Lyle, M.D. A few months after Heinlein was born, his family moved from Butler to Kansas City, Missouri, where he was to grow up, but Heinlein vividly recalled the summers spent with Grandfather Lyle until his death in 1914.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Free Republic
KEYWORDS: catholiclist; greatness; heinlein; nasa
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A treat for all Heinlein fans, so enjoy.
1 posted on 11/30/2002 8:58:37 PM PST by Sparta
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To: Sparta
This wonderful read about a literary giant deserves a bump.
"Democracy can withstand anything but democrats."
Jubal Harshaw (Robert A. Heinlein)

2 posted on 11/30/2002 9:12:53 PM PST by Drumbo
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To: Sparta
Mr. Heinlein was a great man.

"Have Spacesuit, Will Travel" and "Friday" changed my life.

Regards,

P.S. "Be able to find your clothes and your weapons in the dark" Lazarus Long

3 posted on 11/30/2002 9:16:50 PM PST by Lurker
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To: Sparta
This is "sketch"?????

I don't grok this....

4 posted on 11/30/2002 9:22:32 PM PST by Windshark
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To: Sparta
Thanks!
5 posted on 11/30/2002 9:31:15 PM PST by coydog
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To: Sparta
Heinlein BUMP!!!!!

redrock

6 posted on 11/30/2002 9:33:47 PM PST by redrock
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To: Sparta
Why doesn't NASA finally procure better, cheaper launching services through Newt Gingrich's idea of awarding competitive prizes, instead of wasteful cost-plus contracts? NASA's flirting with the idea but.... For more details:

http://www.spaceprojects.com/prizes

7 posted on 11/30/2002 9:40:30 PM PST by End The Hypocrisy
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To: Sparta
Thank you.
8 posted on 11/30/2002 9:41:11 PM PST by calenel
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To: Sparta
Thanks for finding this.
9 posted on 11/30/2002 9:47:34 PM PST by Neanderthal
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To: William Terrell
ping.
10 posted on 11/30/2002 9:54:47 PM PST by LostTribe
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To: Sparta
I had the opportunity to spend two months on the
boat with them when he and Ginny visited Antarctica.
They both regularly kicked my ass in Scrabble.
They were very active in the cause of getting more
people to donate blood on a monthly basis much as
they do in New Zealand.
11 posted on 11/30/2002 10:02:56 PM PST by Wondering in Wyoming
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: Sparta
Thanks for the post. This has has been very enjoyable reading. I am a lifelong sci-fi fan and collector.

I have always been amazed at the junk put out by movie makers when there is so much good material available in literature. It is a shame that most people never get further than TV and movie exposure to sci-fi. My parents used to think science fiction was giant spiders and creatures spawned from the atomic age. Well, that was the 50's for you. The TV series in the early 60's, "The Outer Limits" came close a few times to some great fiction...used to be rivited to that show!

While Heinlein is not my favorite author, he is certainly right up there. He might well have been the most influential in getting me into science fiction at a young age. He had a way of making it all seem so real. I do have most of his works in paperback.....along with my other 1200 or so....lol

His early works are, by far, the best, IMO. They are well structured and very enjoyable reading. I think his writing got stranger as the years went by.

Just went over and counted 29 of his works on my shelf. Think I will dust them off and re-read a few!

13 posted on 11/30/2002 10:28:20 PM PST by TheLion
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To: End The Hypocrisy
Why doesn't NASA finally procure better, cheaper launching services through Newt Gingrich's idea of awarding competitive prizes, instead of wasteful cost-plus contracts? NASA's flirting with the idea but.... For more details:

I think NASA would have to be abolished first. NASA was formed from NACA in so that the space program would be in civilian control rather than military. NACA had primarily been a research institute for aeronautical engineering problems. With the start of the space program, it became a monopoly provider of launch services for both manned exploration missions but also military, scientific, and commercial payloads.

Even worse it was a monopoly supplier of satellites. A company that wanted to use a communications satellite had to contact COMSAT which was the domestic communication satellite monopoly which would buy it from NASA. INTELSAT was the corresponding legal monopoly supplier of international communications satellites. NASA would then order the satellite from a satellite manufacturer order a rocket from one of the rocket manufacturers and launch the satellite from its facilities. It was not till the Reagan administration that satellite procurement was decoupled from launch services, although until the Challeger explosion launch services and launch vehicles were sold bundled by NASA.

Actually the US was very fortunate the Challeger disaster did not happen a year later. NASA had decided to cut costs and eliminate all expendable launch vehicle procurement after the ones on hand had been used up. McDonnel Douglas and Martin Marietta were going to start destroying the dies and machine tools for the Delta and Atlas rockets. One result of the Challenger disaster was to ban the use of the space shuttle for launching commercial satellites. The Reagan administration debundled launch services from launch vehicle acquistion. Companies wanting to buy a communication satellite could now buy satellites and launch vehicles directly from the manufacturers they chose, and they would pay NASA to launch them from their facilities.

NASA should go back to being a research bureau and let the private sector provide space transportation.

14 posted on 11/30/2002 10:44:44 PM PST by Paleo Conservative
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To: Sparta
When I had heard about the Starship Trooper's project I was quite excited. When I saw it in the theatre I was quite disappointed.

Avalon Hill had done a great board game based on the book in '76. I am surprised it was not mentioned here as another "medium", for this essay seems quite complete.


15 posted on 11/30/2002 11:30:59 PM PST by Jalapeno
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To: Sparta
Great Read! Thanks

Heinlein ranks right up with my other SF favorites: Asimov and Verne. Any other SF author, no matter how great, come in on the next tier.

If pressed, I would say that Stranger and Moon is a Harsh Mistress are my favorites. I had a great chuckle when I read the line in the story about Mike the computer taking revenge for him on Cheyenne Mountain in Mistress. That twist I had not heard before.

I disagree with some other posters as to his later works. Some are certainly more difficult reading, but they are all spectacular and worth the time.
16 posted on 12/01/2002 12:09:18 AM PST by AFPhys
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To: Jalapeno
I would note that the military has Troopers on its reading lists. I have also seen several sources that indicate the popular Anime/Magna "Mecha" (Gundam) were born of Troopers. I know my folks freeked out when they read parts of the book. I survived.
A lifelong fan of RAH, I would note that Navy service seemed to run in the family - I met & visited regularly a cousin of RAH in Las Vegas who was a wonderful man & Navy/Air Force vet, I can only guess how RAH would be to meet.
I remember one key phrase "There are no dangerous weapons - only dangerous people."
Hoo-ah
17 posted on 12/01/2002 1:26:38 AM PST by ASOC
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To: Sparta
Thanks. Bookmarked. BTTT

The conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense.

18 posted on 12/01/2002 3:18:51 AM PST by dhuffman@awod.com
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To: Sparta
Heinlein lost the race at the Democratic primary in August 1938, even though he was running unopposed.

Bwahahahaha.

Glad even the democraps recognized him as the commie traitor that he was.

19 posted on 12/01/2002 3:23:25 AM PST by Rodney King
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To: Lurker
"Have Spacesuit, Will Travel" and "Friday" changed my life.

Mine as well. Made me want to leave Iowa and do something with my life.

20 posted on 12/01/2002 6:37:31 AM PST by bribriagain
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To: TheLion
"Just went over and counted 29 of his works on my shelf. Think I will dust them off and re-read a few! "

What's your take on "Farnham's Freehold"? It really spooked me when I read it at the tender age of 10.

21 posted on 12/01/2002 6:41:59 AM PST by bribriagain
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To: Sparta
Many thanks for this post. I hope to be able to repay in kind some day.

"Never try to outstubborn a cat"

Regrads

alfa6 ;>}
22 posted on 12/01/2002 6:42:59 AM PST by alfa6
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To: Sparta
Bump.
23 posted on 12/01/2002 6:43:43 AM PST by Rocko
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To: dhuffman@awod.com
The conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense.
That expression is quickly getting very old.
24 posted on 12/01/2002 7:04:55 AM PST by philman_36
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To: ASOC
I would note that the military has Troopers on its reading lists

Thanks for reminding me on that one, I had forgotten this, and yet always thought it was interesting they included it. Again, would of been an interesting fact to add for this essay.

Now I'm going to have to go and read the book this afternoon....

US Marine Reading List

25 posted on 12/01/2002 7:17:09 AM PST by Jalapeno
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To: Rodney King
Care to explain the "commie traitor" remark?

No regards

alfa6 ;>}
26 posted on 12/01/2002 7:49:46 AM PST by alfa6
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To: Sparta
Anyone who critisizes John Ross's "Unintented Consequences" as being too long with too much sex has never read the Lazarus Long series of books.

In this order:
Time Enough For Love
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
The Cat Who Walked Through Walls
To Sail Beyond the Sunset

My Favorite short story is "The Green Hills of Earth"
27 posted on 12/01/2002 7:57:34 AM PST by Shooter 2.5
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To: Jalapeno
Interesting that the Marines put it in the Doctrine, Training and Tactics section. When you get a chance to read the book be sure to pay attention to chapter 8. I would be willing to bet a small sum that Starship Troopers ia the only Sci-Fi book on that list and one of the few fiction books as well. In paperback Starship Troopers is only about 150 pages and it is IMHO a fairly easy read.

BTW I glanced through the whole list and would say that I have read about a fourth of the list. There are several books on the list that are on my to read list as well and a few more that I will need to put on my list as well.

Thsnks for the link

Regards

alfa6 ;>}
28 posted on 12/01/2002 7:59:24 AM PST by alfa6
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To: alfa6
Heinlein had joined Upton Sinclair's EPIC ("End Poverty in California") Democratic Party organization shortly before Sinclair was defeated for the governorship in the November 1934 election. Heinlein's Wellsian progressivist socialist inclinations easily fit together with Sinclair's EPIC program, and his talents were rapidly recognized by the organization

Although having read more I realize that he turned around later, so I take back the remark.

29 posted on 12/01/2002 8:17:05 AM PST by Rodney King
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To: Rodney King
Okay, works for me.

Having read many of his books I had a hard time understanding where you were coming from with that remark. If I may suggest, check out Expanded Universe and Requiem,at the library or book store. IIRC they are both compilations of RAHs short stories and esays. One would hardly believe Heinlein to be a communist after reading some of the stories.

Regards

alfa6 ;>}
30 posted on 12/01/2002 8:23:02 AM PST by alfa6
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To: philman_36
The conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense.

Well, since I originated it from whole cloth, then I guess you're reading a lot of my comments. Good. You're welcome to use it and to complain about it and think how it applies to YOU!

31 posted on 12/01/2002 10:15:19 AM PST by dhuffman@awod.com
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To: Shooter 2.5; ASOC; bribriagain; Jalapeno; alfa6; Rodney King
"What's your take on "Farnham's Freehold"?"
FF is a brilliant study of self-reliance, racism, authority and freedom. It's an excellent read.
"In this order: Time Enough For Love"

Oh No! Lazarus Long's adventures in Methuselah's Children is a must read prior to TEfL imho!

It's no wonder that the military reading list includes Starship Troopers, in it, Heinlein (pronounced Hine-Line) invented the military of the future. This is from military.com and gives him credit:



Military.com Image

Sandia National Laboratories is also developing hopping robots. This one leaps 10-20 feet high on each jump. The Sandia researchers have achieved hops as high as 30 feet with their unique combustion approach. (Photo by Randy Montoya)

New Exoskeleton to Clothe Soldiers

$50 Million Project Intended to Increase Soldiers’ Strength, Performance



The Pentagon is researching a powered exoskeleton that would make soldiers stronger, faster, able to carry heavier weapons and "leap extraordinary heights," according to military documents and officials.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or DARPA, the Pentagon's research arm, is spending $50 million on "Exoskeletons for Human Performance Augmentation."

Sandia National Laboratories is working on a segment of the project, with a small group of scientists in its Intelligent Systems and Robotics Center developing several technologies, officials acknowledged.

“The idea would be some kind of exoskeleton that would allow a soldier to have increased strength, increased endurance, increased speed," said Jan Walker, a DARPA spokeswoman in Arlington, Va.

The soldier would wear it as an outer skin, rather than operate it, and its functions would optimally become an extension of the soldier's natural
movements.

“A guy in combat doesn't need to figure out which button to push," Walker said.

She emphasized the program is in the earliest of stages, with scientists and engineers figuring out what advances are needed to make it work. Tests could be as much as a decade away.

The developers' first task, according to Walker: build a compact, wearable and quiet power generator that would provide the juice for all the other devices on the exoskeleton. It would have to provide power for between four and 24 hours of continuous use.

“We're not sure what kind of fuel to use or how to store the fuel," Walker said.

With greater strength and endurance, the soldier could wear more armor and carry heavier weapons and more ammunition, she said.

DARPA, in documents displayed on its Web site, announced last year it was seeking devices that do one or more of the following:

-- "Assist pack-loaded locomotion"

-- "Prolong locomotive endurance"

-- "Increase locomotive speed"

-- "Augment human strength"

-- "Leap extraordinary heights and/or distances"

The suits could also be equipped with computers and communications gear that would give soldiers real-time intelligence about their comrades and targets, military documents say.

Such devices have long been the stuff of science fiction, most notably in Robert Heinlein's 1959 novel "Starship Troopers." The story is about the infantry of the far future, with soldiers wearing mobile combat armor to fight alien bugs.

In the 1986 movie "Aliens," Sigourney Weaver fends off the alien hive queen wearing a machine that looks like a cross between an exoskeleton and a forklift. And a whole genre of Japanese animation is devoted to these things.

Walker said the work is going on at various labs around the country. Sandia officials confirmed this week that theirs is one of them, but they declined to give many details.

Lab spokesman John German provided a written statement from project officials. "Sandia is proposing and assessing various solutions for improving speed, strength, endurance and payload," the statement said.

German said project officials declined to provide more information because they have not obtained patents on their work.

German said the lab has received $310,000 from DARPA to work on the project since 1999.

Last month, the Defense Department awarded Millennium Jet Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., $1 million under the program "for the development and testing of a one-man vertical takeoff and landing flying exoskeleton."

Copyright 2001 Albuquerque Journal.


Finally, here's a link to "This I Believe" by Robert A. Heinlein, a very short essay that every American should read! Anyone calling him a "commie traitor" is an ignorant oaf.

32 posted on 12/01/2002 11:11:33 AM PST by Drumbo
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To: 20yearvet
Ping
33 posted on 12/01/2002 11:18:48 AM PST by S.O.S121.500
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To: dhuffman@awod.com
And I found this http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/moon.htm
34 posted on 12/01/2002 11:58:14 AM PST by dhuffman@awod.com
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To: Drumbo
"What's your take on "Farnham's Freehold"?"


I haven't read it yet. I'm reading, "The Number of the Beast" right now. It's the only one my son stopped reading after the first chapter. Thanks for including "Methuselah's Children". I thought I had read all of Lazarus Long's story.
35 posted on 12/01/2002 12:42:55 PM PST by Shooter 2.5
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To: Jalapeno
Just so.... as an adult I now see that Sci-fi comes in types - liberal, or perhaps Libratrain (SP?) and some of RAH would fall under "survivalist" - Tunnel in the Sky, Sixth Column, If this goes on... The one piece I stand in awe of is "Searchlight", a novel in 1200 words, if only I could write that well! I get sales, just not in the community. HAVE FUN HOO-AH
36 posted on 12/01/2002 12:44:25 PM PST by ASOC
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To: Drumbo
Saw a piece on TV about a Russian with gasoline powered boots that (with pratice) would let you run at high speed. The boots had a piston arrangement that boosted your step length...
He could could get no takers & could not figure out why. ("Hold muh beer" effect maybe?)
Guess most folks would rather die on a motor bike : )

This holds promise for hadicapped vets IMO, can't wait to see the spin-offs.
Hoo-ah
37 posted on 12/01/2002 12:51:36 PM PST by ASOC
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To: Jalapeno
John Ringo's written a series of military science fiction novels ("A Hymn Before Battle", "Gust Front", and "Dance with the Devil") featuring troopers in mobile armor very similar to the "Starship Troopers" M.I. (!)
38 posted on 12/01/2002 1:04:11 PM PST by Jonah Hex
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To: bribriagain; boris
What's your take on "Farnham's Freehold"? It really spooked me when I read it at the tender age of 10.

Farnham's Freehold freaked me out also at age 14. One can see from this account though, where Heinlein got the model for the alcoholic first wife.

Boris, you shouldn't miss this thread.

39 posted on 12/01/2002 1:32:42 PM PST by xJones
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To: redrock
A BIG Heinlein BUMP!
I love his "coventry" concept for prisons...
As well, as you must SERVE in the Military to be able to Vote as in "Starship Troopers". Or the concept of local Judges on "The moon is a harsh mistress". BUMP.BUMP.BTTT
40 posted on 12/01/2002 1:47:26 PM PST by vannrox
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To: vannrox
AU Contrair dear vannrox, one must have FEDERAL service which included the military to vote not just military service. A minor point but important.

Heinlein had some interesting thoughts on universal sufferage.
Mainly he was against it. It was his opinion that a person should have some degree of education in order to vote. I do not recall exactly where I read this but I will try to find the cite and pass it on to you.

Regards

alfa6 ;>}
41 posted on 12/01/2002 2:04:42 PM PST by alfa6
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To: Drumbo
Thank you for the link to "This I believe". I read Farnhams Freehold when I was in High School, probably my junior year. A very intersting book. It was sort of a primer on how to survive the coming nuclear holocaust. It also had some overtones of Planet of the Apes as well. I am not sure of the publishing date off hand I suspect it was the early 60s though.
This type of book had an active niche market in the late 50's early 60's. as most folks were sure that we would have some sort of nuclear exchange with the Soviet hordes. Remeber the back yard fall out shelters?

Glory Road was also a book I read in High School, it was a good intro to the sword and sorcery genre. A genre I never really got into much.

Regards

alfa6 ;>}
42 posted on 12/01/2002 2:17:37 PM PST by alfa6
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To: xJones
Heinlein really took a bizarre turn with that novel. In fact, I found it so disturbing that I considered not reading anymore SF.
43 posted on 12/01/2002 2:19:45 PM PST by bribriagain
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To: Sparta
Did you know that there is an actual "Church of All Worlds," based on the one founded by Smith in STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND? They just celebrated their 40th anniversary!

Their Website is here.

44 posted on 12/01/2002 2:21:07 PM PST by MikalM
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To: Lurker
"Have Spacesuit, Will Travel" and "Friday" changed my life.

Megadittoes for, in my case, "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress".

45 posted on 12/01/2002 2:32:41 PM PST by BlazingArizona
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Comment #46 Removed by Moderator

To: Sparta
I remember a short story about Heinlein from a few years back. Seems a senator/congressman in modern times was tired of all the money being spent on the space program, and his research pointed to Heinlein's fiction as having been one of the driving forces behind the push to space.

In order to stop this, he sends an operative back in time (through the use of a top secret project) in order to inoculate Heinlein on the Roper so he wouldn't get sick, and wouldn't write his sci-fi.

After the operative returns and reports success, they realize that the space program hasn't been destroyed, but has been strengthened a thousandfold. Orbital colonies, lunar colonies, and heading towards Mars and beyond.

Turns out that without the illness, now Admiral Heinlein stayed in the Navy, and used his imagination and pull to start a space program much earlier than originally, and continued the push into space.

I wish I could remember who wrote it, and the name of it, but I thought it was an excellent story.

47 posted on 12/01/2002 3:06:23 PM PST by Tennessee_Bob
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To: bribriagain
Heinlein really took a bizarre turn with that novel.

Something about the race warfare with cannibalism was rather disturbing. Also, the neutered first son. It was paranoid, IMO.

48 posted on 12/01/2002 3:06:27 PM PST by xJones
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To: Jonah Hex
"John Ringo's written a series of military science fiction novels ("A Hymn Before Battle", "Gust Front", and "Dance with the Devil") featuring troopers in mobile armor very similar to the "Starship Troopers" M.I. (!)"

Actually, I would say that Ringo's work actually surpasses Heinlein's (as far as the "mobile armor" concept--he goes Heinlein one or two better). Of course, Heinlein STILL takes the prize, as he devised the concept with science and technology concepts fifty years older than were/are available to Ringo.

Damn--I don't know how I am going to make it 'til the NEXT installment of Ringo's series comes out!!!!

49 posted on 12/01/2002 3:14:21 PM PST by Wonder Warthog
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To: Tennessee_Bob
"I wish I could remember who wrote it, and the name of it, but I thought it was an excellent story."

I believe it was either written or anthologized by Spider Robinson. The "operative" was none other than William Proxmire (he of "Golden Fleece Award" infamy). Proxmire hated the space program--it took bucks away from his beloved social(ist) programs.

50 posted on 12/01/2002 3:19:28 PM PST by Wonder Warthog
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