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Robert A. Heinlein
Robert Anson Heinlein was born on July 7th, 1907and died during a nap on the morning of May 8th, 1988. 
Certainly one of the three greats of SF (along with Asimov and Clarke), he won four Hugos for best novel of the year with the books Double Star in '56; Starship Troopers in '60; Stranger in a Strange Land in '62 and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress in '67.

Heinlein's work possessed three qualities essential for good SF: well-designed plots, vivid characters and good scientific arguments. He was scientifically precise (when science succeeded in keeping up with his imagination) and even his fantasy stories had science fiction's logical structure. He mixed hard and soft SF and fantasy in various doses, showing that he could create good stories in any area of speculative fiction (as he preferred to label what he wrote).

One of his major contributions to the genre was to bring into SF some of those sciences which until then had been practically ignored: administration, politics, economics, sociology, linguistics, mathematics, genetics, parapsychology and others; transforming his work into a precursor of New Wave SF. His writing style, showing most of the context through dialogue rather than narration, and permitting his characters to act and speak like real persons and not like characters from books, lent more verisimilitude to SF stories and was and is copied by many other authors. He also made it part of his style to use situations that he and his acquaintances had really experienced.

Throughout the Fifties, Heinlein worked on Stranger in a Strange Land, which would become his best-known and probably greatest novel.

In it, Heinlein satirized prevailing sexual, religious and political attitudes; in other words, all of Western society's structure. Many believe that this novel was the consequence of the social unrest of the 60s, but what happened was precisely the opposite; in 1960 the book was already ready for publication. Heinlein, always attentive to society's trends, was a step ahead of it in the liberation from and questioning of customs that would soon follow. Hippie culture adopted Stranger in a Strange Land as their guidebook. Heinlein became a national celebrity.

When he submitted Stranger in a Strange Land for publication, Heinlein was obliged by his editors to trim 30% of its words and edit some of its more graphic sex scenes. It was only after Heinlein's death that fans could read the original, unredacted version of the novel, making it a unique case of a book's becoming a best-seller twice, the second time 30 years after its first edition.

After the incredible and unexpected success of Stranger in a Strange Land (it became the best-selling book in SF history), editors no longer dared reject or cut Heinlein's material; what he wrote sold--and all's well that sells well. 

Heinlein took advantage of this new-found freedom to write the books that he really wanted to write, without worrying about editors' tastes. He revisited his Future History universe and described to us the "lives" and loves of Lazarus Long (perhaps most prominent of cult-figure characters among Heinlein's fans) in Time Enough for Love (1973). He "invented" inter-universe travel and the concept of "World-as-Myth" (each fictional universe runs parallel to and is as real as our own, and our own universe is a fiction created by an author from another universe). These concepts allowed the meeting of characters from several of his books (universes) and from those of other authors in the novel Number of the Beast (1980). Heinlein analyzed the consequences of these concepts in his last two books: The Cat Who Walks through Walls (1985), and To Sail beyond the Sunset (1987).

Heinlein was the first modern SF writer to live exclusively from the sale of his stories, the first to publish SF in large-circulation magazines not specialized in the genre, and the first to turn SF books into bestsellers, even among non-fans. He was, without a doubt, the writer who most influenced modern SF. 

Još neke knjige:
The Man Who Sold the Moon (1950)
Have Space Suit--Will Travel (1958)
I Will Fear No Evil (1970)
The Notebooks of Lazarus Long (1978)
The Number of the Beast (1980)

Stranger in a Strange Land 

Robert A. Heinlein

If any work of fiction will earn Robert Heinlein a permanent place on the collective bookshelf, it is going to be Stranger in a Strange Land, for the prescient and cultlike impact it has made on American society. If a person has not managed to read Stranger in a Strange Land by now, then he has at least absorbed a bit of it osmotically; Stranger is flowing through our cultural consciousness. Perhaps least of all, it anticipated Nancy Reagan's reliance on astrology and spawned the water bed and the neologism "grok," (Heinlein's Martian verb for a thorough understanding), though "grok" would never have taken hold, had not the young cultural rebels of the 1960s discovered Stranger and held it up as their counterculture bible. Some went even further and formed "nests" and churches based on what they found in Stranger; perhaps the most famous instance of that is the Church of All Worlds, a pagan group who lifted their name and logo intact from the book. Stranger has also begun to be included in many canonical college reading lists, and Billy Joel saw fit to mention the title in his 1989 Top-40 hit about history, "We Didn't Start the Fire." 
Stranger's fire was kindled in 1948 in a brainstorming session between Robert Heinlein and his wife, Virginia. While looking for material to fit John Campbell's title, "Gulf," Mrs. Heinlein thought it would be interesting to explore the case of a human raised by Martians. Heinlein thought that the idea would make a pretty good Lettres Perses-type novel, took some notes and filed it away for later use, finally placing the completed but abridged version with Putnam's in 1961 (an unredacted edition was released in 1991). 
Stranger in a Strange Land tells the story of Valentine Michael Smith, orphaned progeny of the first manned expedition to Mars, who has been raised by Martians and brought back to Earth by a second human expedition. Though he is a man in his twenties, Smith looks at absolutely everything on this new planet through the ignorant eyes of a baby, and faces the job of learning how to be a human being. If the world government of Earth will let him, that is, for Smith, through a legal fluke, not only has sole survivor rights to the space drive that his mother invented, but also to the surface of Mars. In a Byzantine maneuver that makes Watergate look like a jaywalking infraction, the government holds Smith hostage while it tries to figure out how to seize his assets. Ben Caxton, a Lipmannesque muckraker, suspects the worst and attempts to rescue Smith. The problem is, if you can't fight City Hall, how can you even begin to fight a world government? 
Enter Caxton's friend, Jubal Harshaw, attorney, physician, hack writer, bon vivant, curmudgeon, anarchist. He caches Smith in Freedom Hall, his Poconos enclave, and takes on the dual chore of fighting the world federation for Smith's liberty and of educating Smith in the ways of his biological race. The youth is an apt student, a strange admixture of human infant and Martian superman, and as time goes on, he manages to win more and more people over to his own alien viewpoint. He becomes a kind of messiah--with explosive results. 
Given that, I leave it to the reader to pick up Stranger in a Strange Land and revel in it. In spite of the movements and religions it has birthed, Stranger is no bible; it is a sprawling satire of human conceits, including marriage, love, sex and--most importantly--religion. Satire usually aims to inform, so if you are looking for any message in Stranger, take a good, long look at Heinlein's targets and think. As Heinlein himself said in a letter to a a cultish fan, ". . .I would never undertake to be a `Prophet,' handing out neatly packaged answers to lazy minds. [. . .] anyone who takes that book as answers is cheating himself. It is an invitation to think--not to believe."