This was one of Heinlein's earlier works, when he was in his "make war, not love" phase. The story follows the adventures of Johnny Rico as he joins the MI, the "military infantry", troopers equipped in powered armored that enables them to jump around, using all sorts of advanced weaponry. The enemy in this story is the "bugs" intelligent spiders who are bent on destroying humanity. The story follows Johnny as he goes through basic training, which is the "you're in the army now" part of the story that could be applied to any era. The futuristic part really begins when he gets his first combat assignment, zipping around in powered armor on a botched mission on the bug home planet of Klendethu.
The story is a classic if only because it was one of the first (if not the very first) to introduce the concept of a futuristic, high powered infantry that could shoot out of spaceship tubes in capsules to parachute down on planets--sort of elite paratroopers. The story goes into how the bug society is organized and what kind of enemy they actually are, which makes for interesting reading. Less interesting are the pages devoted to "moral philosophy", Heinlein's ideas on how a society should be run. But these are easy enough to skip past. If you want a great military adventure, this is one for you.
|Plot Summary of Starship Troopers|
|"The spiders are attacking! This is the story of mankind's fight against a race of intelligent aggressive insects."
stan, Resident Scholar
|"Johnny Rico goes to war to fight the bugs! Joining the MI, the mobile infantry,
he's given powered command armor that enables him to bounce around,
shooting intelligent spiders with rockets and bombs and flamers. This is a "classic"
science fiction military battles novel."
Steve, Resident Scholar
|"Johnny Rico, a wealthy teenager from Rio de Janiero, joins the Mobile Infantry and goes through a boot camp that makes Ranger school look like a picnic. By the time he finishes basic training, there's a war on, with humanity on one side and two sets of aliens, the communal-insectoid Bugs and the humanoid Skinnies, on the other. Johnny must stay alive from mission to mission while he matures and negotiates the more subtle hazards of command and Officer Candidate School."
Brian R. Hughes, Resident Scholar
|"Starship Troopers takes a science fiction setting and explores cultural and social issues in that context. It is both a classic of sci-fi and an excellent primer on libertarian/conservative views of society. Duty, honor and country come across strongly in it and Heinlein's background as a Naval Academy graduate is obvious."
Kelly Whiting, Resident Scholar
|"A young man joins the army and is engaged in war against giant spiderlike alians, while trying to understand his reasons for joining. "
irina, Resident Scholar
|"Starship Troopers is a classic Sci-fi novel based in the future. The lead character is John Rico, a member of the military elite MI, the 'Mobile Infantry' which is a combination of Marines, airborne and special forces, and is the main strike arm of the terran Federation.
The novel combines Heinlein's ideas of a model society, in which voting and being a citizen depends on serving in the Federation's military in some capacity, with an adventure story of a war in space.
The first half of the book covers a combat jump of the MI, and then flashes back to Rico's school days as well as him training for the MI at camp Currie. The second half centers around the bug war, as the MI battle an intelligent race of hive spiders.
Chris, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of Starship Troopers|
Our unique search engine provides a wealth of detail about books by breaking them down into many different literary elements, all of which are searchable (click here).
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Composition of Book
Descript. of chases or violence - 70%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 10%
Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places - 20%
FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?
- science fiction story
Coming of age
- great warrior
Working up the ranks of...
- armed forces
War or Invasion
Major kinds of combat:
Is this an adult or child's book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
- infantry soldier
- a teen
Is this an ordinary person caught up in events?
How sensitive is this character?
- sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Mostly serious with occasional humor
- Average intelligence
- average physique
- Planet surface, need spacesuit
A substantial portion of this book takes place on a non-Earth planetary body:
- unfriendly aliens
Takes place on Earth?
Planet outside solar system?
- mostly 1st
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
scientific jargon? (SF only)
- none/very little science jargon needed
How much dialogue?
- significantly more descript than dialog
Click here for more information about this book
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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