Starship Troopers

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Overview

Starship Troopers is a classic novel by one of science fiction's greatest writers of all time and is now a Tri-Star movie. In one of Heinlein's most controversial bestsellers, a recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the universe -- and into battle with the Terran Mobile Infantry against mankind's most frightening enemy.

With Earth embroiled in a vast interplanetary war with the "Bugs," a young recruit in the Federal Reserves relates his ...

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Overview

Starship Troopers is a classic novel by one of science fiction's greatest writers of all time and is now a Tri-Star movie. In one of Heinlein's most controversial bestsellers, a recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the universe -- and into battle with the Terran Mobile Infantry against mankind's most frightening enemy.

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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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
“Elegantly drawn battle scenes.”—Science Fiction Weekly

“A book that continues to resonate and influence to this day, and one whose popularity and luster hasn’t been dimmed despite decades of imitations.”—SF Reviews

“Heinlein’s genius is at its height in this timeless classic that is as meaningful today as when it was written...a fast-paced novel that never gets preachy. This is a definite must-have, must-read book.”—SF Site

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786112319
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/1997
  • Edition description: Unabridged, 7 Cassettes
  • Product dimensions: 6.75 (w) x 9.57 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Anson Heinlein was born in Missouri in 1907, and was raised there. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1929, but was forced by illness to retire from the Navy in 1934. He settled in California and over the next five years held a variety of jobs while doing post-graduate work in mathematics and physics at the University of California. In 1939 he sold his first science fiction story to Astounding magazine and soon devoted himself to the genre.

He was a four-time winner of the Hugo Award for his novels Stranger in a Strange Land (1961), Starship Troopers (1959), Double Star (1956), and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1966). His Future History series, incorporating both short stories and novels, was first mapped out in 1941. The series charts the social, political, and technological changes shaping human society from the present through several centuries into the future.

Robert A. Heinlein's books were among the first works of science fiction to reach bestseller status in both hardcover and paperback. he continued to work into his eighties, and his work never ceased to amaze, to entertain, and to generate controversy. By the time hed died, in 1988, it was evident that he was one of the formative talents of science fiction: a writer whose unique vision, unflagging energy, and persistence, over the course of five decades, made a great impact on the American mind.

Biography

Robert Anson Heinlein was born in Butler, Missouri in 1907. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he was retired, disabled, in 1934. He studied mathematics and physics at the graduate school of the University of California and owned a silver mine before beginning to write science fiction in 1939. In 1947 his first book of fiction, Rocket Ship Galileo, was published.

Heinlein was guest commentator for the Apollo 11 first lunar landing. In 1975 he received the Grand Master Nebula Award for lifetime achievement. Mr. Heinlein died in 1988.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Books (USA).

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    1. Also Known As:
      Anson MacDonald; Robert Anson Heinlein (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 7, 1907
    2. Place of Birth:
      Butler, Missouri
    1. Date of Death:
      May 8, 1988
    2. Place of Death:
      Carmel, California

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 303 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(213)

4 Star

(59)

3 Star

(14)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(8)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 305 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 26, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Technofiction review of Starship Troopers

    "Starship Troopers" by Robert Heinlein was the first science fiction story I ever read, way back in 7th grade or so (1960). That book was the first inspiring book I read by myself, and started me on a years-long devotion to reading science fiction. It was really inspiring. In 1990, I reread "Starship Troopers", and as I read it, I was surprised: it didn't feel like I was reading the same story. My impression the second time was of a "Sands of Iwo Jima in Space" instead of something entirely new and different. (and I was kind of shocked at how much living thirty years had changed my perspective!) Either way, the heart of the story was power armor, how to use it, and how its presence affected people's thinking. In this story Heinlein proposed that to become a citizen -- someone who voted on how to run the government -- a person needed to first demonstrate some responsibility to the community. .Sounded good to me, but for taking that stance many critics labeled this book as supporting fascism. In 1997 I saw the Starship Troopers movie, and saw that the director had missed the point of the story entirely by taking out the power armor. Without power armor, the soldiers were transformed into World War One "over the top" infantry who would be discouraged from asking "Why?" before they marched off into a do-or-die situation, and because of that, they lost any reason to be "responsible for the community" in the sense that Heinlein was emphasizing in his book version of the story. Unlike the book, the movie really was about a Fascist/Spartan "Come back with your shield or on it." mentality. These changes in what I read, and misinterpretations in what I saw depicted in the movie, inspired me to write my own version of the power armor story, and you can find it in my short story "The Ticket Out" in "Tips for Tailoring Spacetime Fabric Vol. 1" (Vol. 1 is about stories in space, and Vol. 2 is about stories on Earth). So in the end, I still found the book inspiring, but the movie a whole lot less so. Yeah, this is one of those "read the book, you'll like it a lot better"-cases.

    18 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2010

    Not at all like the movie

    Although the movie was loosely based on this book, it is not the same. It is amazing to me that it was written in the 50's but is such a social commentary on our world today. When I was in the Army, I used to make my soldiers read it and give me a report about what it meant to them. Awesome read!

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This is a very interesting and thought-provoking book on several

    This is a very interesting and thought-provoking book on several levels. There is the military level, the science level and the political/social level. (The 1997 movie, by the way, has practically no relation to the book.)

    Military: I first read this book in the late 1960s, when I was on active duty in the Marine Corps. Then, it was a good future-war book with some outlandish science thrown in.

    Science: with the simple passage of time, much of the science has become more real. Many of the far-out things RAH described in 1959 are now in actual use in the military - if not directly, then as recognizable equivalents. Laser range-finders. In-helmet displays that show the full tactical situation from many sensors. Communication systems that can link every soldier. Directed energy weapons (although they are not man-portable yet.) And now the military is developing a powered exoskeleton for soldiers - only the armor needs to be added to make "now" match Heinlein's vision of 1959.

    Political and Social: I did not really discover this level - which I now believe is the most important - until the early to mid-1970s, when I was a Political Science major at the University of Maryland. It resonates for me because I am an immigrant, and Heinlein's political thesis could be taken from the Oath of Allegiance that every naturalized citizen takes. It is (mostly) a concise statement of the obligations of ALL citizens.
    "I hereby declare, on oath, that I ... will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; ..."
    In the world of Starship Troopers, the United States (and all other countries) are unified into a single world government. In that world, everyone has the right to do as they please with their life in every area except political. You cannot vote unless you are a citizen. (There is no citizenship at birth.) How does one become a citizen in that world? By doing the things required since 1920 of all US Citizens in our Oath of Allegiance: bear arms on behalf of the government, or perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces, or perform work of national importance under civilian direction. This is all voluntary - you are not drafted (at the beginning of the book, at least). A person in this world becomes a citizen by enlisting in the military or working in government civil service for a period of time. Usually that term is only a few years, you leave it as a citizen, and have earned the right to vote. However, there is the little catch - and it was there when I enlisted in the Marine Corps (before I became a US citizen, by the way.) My term was six years, unless I was directed to stay longer by order of the President because of war or national emergency. For the characters in the book, a war happened to break out while they were in training ...

    Even though it was written in 1959, this book is still relevant today. For me, now, it is mostly relevant as a reminder of how far science has come in a little over 50 years - and how close to today's reality Heinlein's vision was. I also review it for the political thesis, which is always worth thinking about - the concept that one thing, the ability to help select those who govern - must be EARNED rather than handed out at birth.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Military Sci Fi - Heavy on Military and Ethics

    Recently, I've been reaching back through the decades to catch up on some classic Sci Fi. I reread Herbert's "Dune" which is as heavy and awesome as I remember. I discovered Miller's "Canicle for Leibowitz" and plan on reading H. Beam Piper's "Little Fuzzy" before John Scalzi's take on it is released this Spring.

    I've never read "Starship Troopers". My only previous exposure to the story was from the 1997 action film with the same title. The book has only the BAREST resemblance to the film. I think the film is cool. It's not great, but it's kind of fun in a blow-em-up action film sort of way. But the book is very different.

    The story follows Johnny Rico as he graduates High School and decides to enter the military. He doesn't have a great suite of skills to offer, besides strength, and as we find later in the book - leadership. So he ends up in the Mobile Infantry - sort of like the Marines. We follow him through basic training, a few battle interactions and then into officer training school before a final "bug battle". Each jump in his military career creates opportunity for Heinlein to introduce characters and events that provide a platform for his discourse on the evils, morals, and theoretic benefits of war, violence, punishment and education.

    It was like a 250-page lecture on the ethics and morals of war, violence and race. It's beautifully written and appears to include very realistic and detailed descriptions of what life is like in the military - specifically, boot camp and officer training (I say "appears" because I've not been in the military to judge first-hand).

    In terms of action, there's very little of it. The opening sequence shows off the capabilities of a futuristic battle suit that allows soldiers to run and "bounce" at speeds of 40+ miles/hour. It's cool. The last 30 pages or so is focused on a tactical battle exchange with the "bugs" that are the focus of the military's eye throughout much of the book. Both scenes are very detailed militarily.

    Heinlein's "Troopers" is a classic and understandably so, but it's a bit of a product of the era in which it was created (cold war), and reads more heavy-handedly than a more fun and high action-oriented military sci fi story like John Scalzi's "Old Man's War" series.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2008

    A reviewer

    Starship Troopers is a must read for those who wish to discuss politics, the philosophy of accountability, and the rights of an individual. Do not read it for action, because it hardly exists.... but it is great literature for curing the disease of liberalism that is ruining the world.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2011

    Timeless

    Heinlein wrote ahead of his time and speaks from the past regarding many of today's social views. This book is timeless and the story spun by a master.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2013

    High expectations...

    So i may have screwed myself way before I started reading this book... I have always been a huge fan of the first starship troopers film and knew that it was somewhat based on the book. Needless to say it is in everyway different and when I read quotes I found it difficult picturing the characters I am used to saying them. I also read the whole "Old Mans War" series which is extremely immersive universe with lots of high flying action and some great stories! I was expecting a combination of the two... I found this novel extremely hard to get through even with its sub 250 page count. I lost my interest multiple times and was bored mostly. Dont get me wrong, I love great stories but my god... 30 pages of great battle scenes.. 100 pages of boot camp or training... then same thing over and over again until the end... maybe 60 pages of action and the rest is Ricos experiance of learning how to grow up in life and in the M.I.

    4 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2011

    Book came first :)

    I've read reviews stating, "The book is nothing like the movie" or "The movie is better than the book", etc...well, in my own way of thinking, as the book came first, everything should be in comparison to as how accurate "X" is to the original, i.e. the Book. The book has been and always will be a classic on military and ethics. When I first read it, it had only been around for 15yrs. It's still relevant today as it was back then. Now that it's in an eBook form, no worries about lending it out and never getting it back (lost 3 copies that way :/ ) Anyway, I give it 5 stars.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2010

    Starship Troopers

    I'm going to be honest. I didn't know this book even existed until well after I had first watched the film. I am happy to say however that the book far surpasses the film in every way possible. The book is about a young man, Juan "Johnnie" Rico who decides to join the military. The novel is set against a futuristic backdrop and could be very well described as science fiction. But unlike a lot of other science fiction that I've read, this book never becomes cheesy. Robert A. Heinlein never tries to bash you over the head with futuristic technology. Instead he brings up themes ranging from politics to military tradition. This tale should be a must read for science fiction fans or military fiction buffs. The book wasn't a particularly long read, but days after finishing it, I am still thinking about it, and that is a surefire sign of success.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS EVER!

    Robert Heinlein was in the middle of writing his seminal Science Fiction classic, "A Stranger in a Strange Land" when he happened to see youngsters on television protesting against serving in the Vietnam War. Furious, he wrote about what happens in a near-future pacifist society when they're attacked by an overwhelmingly hostile alien culture. His point: we need a strong military because some day we may REALLY need it. From this premis he crafted one of the most exciting hard sf novels of all time (which - alas - was made into a mediocre film). Heinlein is the only author who can put together space ships, battles, creepy aliens, mind powers, awesome technology, and great characters into a mind-blowing book that you will never forget. That's how you win a Hugo! - - Mary Tills, Barnes and Noble, Frederick, Maryland.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2008

    Excellent read

    The epic science fiction novel ¿Starship Troopers¿, by Robert A Heinlein, is perhaps one of the most controversial books of its time. It follows Juan ¿Johnnie¿ Rico as he trains and fights his way across the galaxy with the Mobile Infantry, 'MI', attached to ¿Rasczak¿s Roughnecks¿. Though not a well written novel, in the literary or grammatical sense, ¿Starship Troopers¿ kept me hooked because of the political ideals that Heinlein introduces. These same ideals are also the main source of conflict between his critics and fans, 'I now identify myself with the latter group'. Johnny Rico is introduced after his High School graduation. As an 18 year old, he is faced with two choices, join the Armed Forces and become a citizen of Terra, 'an allied earth of the future', or live a normal and prosperous life, but never be able to participate in the government. In an effort to impress a girl, 'typically', our young hero signs up for the military. Though he lists many jobs and roles ahead of the MI when he enlists, fate was not with him. Stuck in a dangerous and seemingly glory- less position, he is sent to the hardest boot camp in all of Terra, with the highest attrition rate. Somehow, he survives through his hellish training, and becomes enthralled with his newfound occupation. So, when a war breaks out with the ¿bugs¿, or Arachnids from the planet Klendathu, he, along with the Roughnecks, is sent off to war, and the story unfolds from there. Throughout the book Heinlein promotes a governmental system where only veterans run the government. His reasoning is surprisingly sound. Veterans, in his, 'and my', opinion, are the obvious choice for leaders. They have already proven their dedication to the country by risking their lives to protect it. Heinlein reasons that Earth would be a more peaceful place if its leaders knew the costs of war. In Heinlein¿s system, all people had the right to free and happy lives. Crime however, was dealt with harshly. Instead of babying criminals in an ineffective prison system, first offenders are flogged, and second offenders immediately win a death sentence. Heinlein believes, 'correctly', that dealing harshly with crime will serve to eliminate it in most cases. In one instance, Rico has a flashback to his High School years, and they speak of our system as being inhumane, and make a surprisingly good argument. He also believes that revolutions would be non-existent in this system, because the most aggressive people, the ¿sheepdogs¿, 'if I may refer to LTC 'ret' Dave Grossmans article', are the leaders of the government. The¿ sheep¿, those people who would not be likely to take up arms against the government, are safely protected under the government¿s power. These are just a very few points that Heinlein brings out in his novel, I¿ll leave you to find out the rest, 'wouldn¿t want to ruin the book!'. Though his critics call him militaristic, Heinlein manages to weave a thought provoking tale of war, bravery, and tragic loss, and offers a novel that has gone down in history as one of the greatest of its kind ever written. Though your opinion may differ then mine, anyone can appreciate the Johnny Rico¿s and Terran Mobile Infantrymen that live on today through their real life counterparts. All in all, this book was one of the most powerful I have ever read, and it would do you good to pick up a copy and follow the adventures of the Roughnecks, as I have.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2008

    Hangin' Tough

    While not my favorite book by any means, Heinlein¿s classic *Starship Troopers* provides a humorous and contemplative romp through a future in which the earth world, ¿Terra,¿ must defend itself from ¿bugs,¿ foreign invaders that seek to destroy life on the planet. It¿s lightly enjoyable as a work of fiction, especially in the beginning as we learn about Juan Rico and his sincere journey into citizen and soldier-ship (the first chapter is rough though ¿ keep going) suspending disbelief and jumping into this oft cheesy yet slantedly-serious work are not without a few imaginative reader-rewards, although by the end of the book, I felt as if the drift of the book had long been established and we were continuing to fight a battle at a loss to what little substantive plot was present. The personal first-person ¿gist¿ kept it tolerable and Heinlein¿s theories on the role of soldiers and civilians felt heartfelt enough to initiate a second thought about what the one-world responsibilities he proposes. My problem with the story (other than the writing style which was as attractive as tobacco spat), is that the human truths of the book fell off the planet in honor of Heinlein¿s ¿lock-n-load,¿ adolescent rambling panache. By the end, the reader is sifting through a sea of masculine, gung-ho grit to get to the substance, and there was ultimately little of that to hang your hat on (or your powered armor, if that¿s more your thing). I was admittedly glad to see it end. It¿s in your face comradeship, and represents a forced kind of ¿internationalized¿ Americanism that¿s probably best enjoyed by armchair warriors and adolescents.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2012

    Excellent Book

    Presents the possible development of a global state and its approach on law, including who should be able to vote and how criminal punishments should be handled. Very interesting!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 27, 2012

    The book is rather different than the popular sci-fi movie version

    The 1997 Starship Troopers sci-fi action movie is likely want many contemporary readers might first think of rather than this 1959 original book by Heinlein. While the running background plot of the "Bug War" is common, they are very very different stories. Whereas the movie focuses on the action of the war itself (and is very entertaining!) this book follows the life of Juan Rico from his entrance into the training program of the Mobile Infantry through his initial deployment and involvement in the Bug War, and his maturation as a young officer under battle. This story is very much a biography of Rico, told in the first person. It's a good read and those who liked the movie will find this a nice -- albeit much more "cerebral" -- complement to the movie storyline. Bearing in mind it was written in the late 1950s, there are some socio-political commentaries tossed in along the way that are very interesting viewed some 50 years later.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 6, 2011

    great story in orignal book

    I read this book back in the late sixty's. There two books out, one is the Heinlein book. It is a lot of reading and takes some time to read and some staying with it. The other is a copy of the movie and in the print verson it doesn't come as much enjoyment as the movie does. Reading the orignal book is better, more about the mobile army and the people in it. If they had made a movie that followed the orignal book it would have a great movie. That is why Mr. Heinlein didn't like having his books turned into movies. I recomend the orignal book and would take back the movie version to how sold it to me.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 13, 2011

    Fantastic read.

    I enjoyed this book a lot. There is a lot of talk about government and political theory which i thoroughly enjoyed. This book appeals on many levels and i definitely recommend it to any military fiction fan or anyone else for that matter.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2011

    Exciting and thought provoking military sci-fi

    I love this book. The attention to detal, his experimentation with future military operations and ideas, the politics, this is a real classic. The only downside is the kindle book price, are you frigging kiding me???!!!!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 9, 2011

    My anchor to the writen word

    This story spoke to me as a young child and related a sharp focus to personal duty. Now that I am older i reflect on the parts of Starship Troopers that i hadn't grasped in youth and they strike even coser to home. For this i will always hold Heinlein's books closest. As young man lost in the world this book provides focus to goals not yet realized.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 26, 2011

    great sociopolitical view

    the best thing about this book is its take on future government and culture. fantastic vision of future life, if only we could live like this.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2004

    Virtual waste of time...

    Ok, this is a story of a soldier-of-the-future, but it was one combat scene right after another. It didn't feel any controversy or overwhelming story that would be beyond menial story-telling. I also couldn't relate to the characters or the story line. Then there's the political side, which is almost irrelevant. By the time I was halfway through, I couldn't wait for it to be over. However, I gave it 2 stars for the detail Heinlein gave the battle scenes.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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