Happy Birthday Robert A. HeinleinI’ll admit right away that I still have so much read­ing to do when it comes to Robert Hein­lein. I’ve only read a few of his books. But two of those books total­ly shaped my grow­ing years. Those books were good friends to me.

Those books also intro­duced me and made me fall in love with sci­ence fic­tion. Hein­lein wasn’t just writ­ing about mon­sters from space or ray guns and float­ing cars. His books dealt with a lot of social issues, pro­vok­ing his read­ers to think about the way the world was head­ing. He also dealt a great bit with things that were super impor­tant to a young me: he chal­lenged the ideas of sex­u­al­i­ty and gen­der.

If you haven’t yet, you should read Stranger in a Strange Land. As soon as pos­si­ble. And while you’re read­ing it, you should keep in mind that it was pub­lished in 1961.

Also, just FYI, if you like waterbeds, you should thank dear Robert. He invent­ed the idea after stay­ing in the hos­pi­tal and wrote it up in one of his books. He nev­er patent­ed it, but he used a detailed descrip­tion in his book that allowed some­one else to make it a real thing.  Also, on the note of him being a man before his time, he also wrote about this thing that was real­ly a cell phone before peo­ple had cell phones. What a clev­er guy.

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Here are some amaz­ing quotes from his work.

Love is that con­di­tion in which the hap­pi­ness of anoth­er per­son is essen­tial to your own.” — Stranger in a Strange Land

Wom­en and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.” -not from a book

Hap­pi­ness con­sists in get­ting enough sleep. Just that, noth­ing more.” -Star­ship Troop­ers

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So, what do you think?