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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE (2012), HUMANITY ENHANCED (2014), and THE MYSTERY OF MORAL AUTHORITY (2016).

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Currently reading Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein

It is many, many years since I read this novel, which is one of Heinlein's most loved and most reviled works. Starship Troopers won Heinlein a "best novel" Hugo Award, but it is despised by most academic critics and many others.

From my viewpoint, it is a key novel in Heinlein's oeuvre, but also in science fiction's tradition as a literature of ideas. Does that mean I actually agree with its ideas? No. There is much, I think, to view with horror! Yet, this book is written off by many people who seen unwilling to grapple with its merits, it philosophy, and its complexities. Up to a point, it can reasonably be viewed as militarist propaganda. But at the same time, it is an important and thoughtful didactic novel that deserves careful, imaginative engagement and some nuanced discussion. I have about 50 pages to go, and I'll give it some sort of review very soon.

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