Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein

In my adolescence, Heinlein was one of my favorite authors. I read both Stranger in a Strange World and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and enjoyed them both a great deal. So, I decided to read this other Hugo winner by him. I have to say I was largely disappointed.

Perhaps my disappointment was due to unmet expectations. I knew that the story involved a space soldier in the future when humanity is at war with an alien race referred to as the Bugs, since they look like giant earth insects. This was further reinforced from the ads for the movie that came out in 1997. As a result, I was expecting a war story largely about battles with the aliens. It wasn’t that at all. It was largely the autobiographical journey of a young man who decides to enlist, from boot camp through to his going to school to become an officer. Most, if not all, of the battle scenes were in the largest and penultimate chapter.

Once I got over my unmet expectations, it was simply a story of a future soldier, why he joined up, and his journey in the military. It seemed fairly accurate to how military things go. It also went into some detail about the culture and how society was built around military service. I didn’t think it was spectacular, but I also didn’t think it was that big of a deal. It was certainly no award winner to me. But maybe it was in the time it was published. After all, it was originally published in 1959.

My rating: 3/5

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