Thursday, June 03, 2010

Starship Troopers

I liked this book written by Robert Heinlein. In the future, individual rights are not a given. People born on Earth must earn their citizenship before they are entrusted with such important societal responsibilities. The quickest, surest route to citizenship is to serve in the military, which will eliminate those with no appreciation of duty and conviction. 18-year-old Filipino Juan Rico decides to join the military with his best friend even though his wealthy father discourages him from going through with it. Training is difficult, but there isn’t much too worry about until an alien species of bug-like creatures invades the Earth and starts a massive war.

Heinlein served in the Navy and used the novel to express his views in support of a nuclear weapons program. He also opposed conscription and preferred a voluntary military. The draft ended in 1973. Some of the actors in the 1986 film Aliens were required to read this novel to prepare for their roles. A 1997 film was made based on the book and starred Denise Richards and Neil Patrick Harris. Two sequel movies were also made, but by different directors. There was also an animated television show called Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles that aired on PAX and later the SciFi Channel.

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