Robert Heinlein, a former naval officer and aerospace engineer, is often cited as the father of modern science fiction.
His fiction is rooted in futuristic weaponry and machines and combines his own military service, libertarian political views and hawkish foreign policy beliefs in fantastical sci-fi settings. Heinlein is known as one of the “big three” authors of sci-fi, alongside Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov, and has left a permanent impact on the genre. Heinlein’s first published work was “Life-Line”, which appeared in the August 1939 edition of Astounding Science Fiction. His novel, Starship Troopers, details a single-world government in which citizens earn the right to vote by serving in the armed forces. The book established several long-lasting sci-fi staples such as space marines and powered armor. Stranger in a Strange Land, Heinlein’s more ambitious novel, won the 1962 Hugo Award for Best Novel and challenged religious and societal institutions. In 2012, the Library of Congress listed Stranger in a Strange Land on its list of Books That Shaped America.