Robert A. Heinlein

He is by far the most influential author on my life to date. His many contributions ended up forming my views on some of the most important things in life: love, war, politics, religion, and family. My love of the genre itself, I also attribute to the Father of Modern Science Fiction. My own father first introduced me to Heinlein with the novelette, Red Planet. Even though the story was full-blooded science fiction, it was really a coming of age whodunit set in a fantastic landscape. I was intrigued. The next book, Space Cadet, could have been lifted right form the pages of a 50’s Boy’s Life magazine. Incidentally, it was—in addition to writing for Amazing Stories, Heinlein also wrote for the popular youth magazine. I was hooked. I began hounding my mother to take me to the used bookstore near the dentist’s office on Vista Way. Once I walked out with an armload, 12 paperbacks I had never read before. My folks had let me clean the place out. As I got older, I read the more controversial books, such as Stranger in a Strange Land and I Will Fear No Evil. However, I read them with virgin eyes, at the time I did not know that they were taboo and subversive to the majority, including my mother.

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