Robert A. Heinlein is an American science fiction author who usually wrote very controversial pieces of writing. He is commonly referred to as the dean of science fiction writers because of his popularity and influential writing. Heinlein had a big obsession with writing and reading science fiction.
When he was 16 years old he had read every book written on science fiction and astronomy. In his writing he often brought up themes of individual liberty, self-reliance, obligations people have to their societies and the influence of organized religion on culture and government. In 1998, he ended up being a part of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame due to his achievements. Several of his books have been changed to fit movies and television shows. Whether you love his writing or have never heard of him, I strongly urge you to read the best Robert A. Heinlein books.
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
In this book, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, Manuel Garcia O'Kelly-Davis, Mannie, goes on a usual computer repair job to find out that the super computer has self-awareness. This is a classic science fiction book. The protagonist, Mannie, ends up becoming friends with the computer and calls it Mike. She helps the computer understand human behavior. In three books, That Dinkum Thinkum, A Rabble in Arms and Tanstaafl there are themes of traditions and customs, rules and order and manipulation. In The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress Mannie decides to join the revolution with Mike and tries to overthrow the authority. This book has many twists and turns that will keep readers engaged and gain a love for science fiction, which makes it one of the best Robert A. Heinlein books.
This novel is focused on Juan Rico, a responsible young kid who joins the elite Mobile Army during the outbreak of the "Bug War." Rico ends up surviving the boot camp, moving through the ranks and goes to Officer Training School. He ends up doing well as a platoon commander and telling young officers the wisdom he learned. It is only until Rico joins the army that chaos breaks out. As a trained soldier Rico ends up being very modest and extremely honest about his intellectual shortcomings. He eventually becomes a part of the Officers Candidate School and is sent as a temporary "third lieutenant" on an apprentice cruise which will determine if he gets a permanent commission. Starship Troopers shows how Rico grows up into a mature officer and passes his wisdom and experiences on to a new apprentice. This book is clearly one of the best Robert A. Heinlein books due to its creativity and theme of self-reliance, and is regarded as one of the best sci-fi cult classics of all time.
The Door into Summer
This novel, The Door into Summer, takes place in 1970 with the main character, Daniel Boone Davis. He has a drinking problem and lost his company, Hired Girl, Inc. to his partner, Miles Gentry, and company bookkeeper, Belle Darkin. The company specialized in robot vacuum cleaners. Belle was Dan's fiancée and lied to him to give her enough voting stock to allow her and Miles to gain control. Dan ends up being injected with a drug to try and keep him calm and docile and is put into a cold sleep, a suspended animation with the hope of having a better future ahead of him to avoid causing any more trouble. He ends up waking up 30 years later and is left completely empty, with no friends and money. He essentially has nothing left to live for besides getting revenge.
The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
The Cat Who Walks Through Walls is one of the most entertaining and best Robert A. Heinlein books. It is about a writer, Colonel Colin Campbell, at a well-known restaurant who is approached by a guy who tries to convince him that "Tolliver must die" and shot in front of the writer. The writer is with a lady, Gwendolyn Novak, who helps him go to Luna. Campbell and Novak end up being rescued by an organization known as the Time Corps. This organization is responsible for changing multiple events in the past and creating an alternate universe. Throughout the novel, Gwen is frequently hurt, Time Corps retrieves Mike, the computer discussed in The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress and Campbell reflects on his mission and relationship with Gwen.
The Puppet Masters
This science fiction novel is about an alien invasion in the summer of 2007. It's one of the first alien invasion books to utilize the motif of predatory aliens having a symbiotic control over the human nervous system. Evidently, there is no way to fight against an alien. The aliens end up knowing everything the humans know meaning humans can't keep a secret. The main character of the novel is Elihu Nivens, who has a code name, Sam Cavanaugh. He is an agent in a secret service organization serving the US government. The head of the organization, Charlie Cavanaugh, poses as Sam's uncle. However, it is later revealed that he is Elihu's father, Andrew Nivens. This novel will keep you intrigued with the drama and aliens landing in Des Moines, Iowa.
Tunnel in the Sky
This novel is one of the best Robert A. Heinlein books. It is a science fiction book about a guy named Rod Walker who is taking a survival course needed in order for him to become an Outlands professional. When Rod is required to take a test he ends up becoming nervous because he is put on an unfamiliar planet and forced to stay there for four to ten days. He is afraid however he wants to prove he can live on his own. It turns out later in the book that days become months and then soon, years. This book is an interesting take on how a young boy can survive by himself without any form of help. Also, it pulls at your emotions because Rod's sister arrives and tells him that their dad is dying and the father and mother want to be frozen until they can find a cure for their illness. Rod ends up being able to survive for several weeks. Rod's father ends up being cured and he comes him to pursue his dream of becoming an Outlander. He becomes the captain of his team of pioneers ready to settle a new world.
Citizen of the Galaxy
In this novel, Citizen of the Galaxy, a young boy, Thorby, is sold at an auction on a faraway planet, Jubbul. Baslim, an old, one-eyed, one-legged man named purchased the young boy. The guy looks like a simple beggar, but it's later revealed he is an anti-slavery agent. He ends up raising and educating this young boy and teaching him important life lessons. Thorby ends up leaving Jubbul and going on an adventure to have him travel across the galaxy. He has many interesting experiences along the way. The book takes a surprising twist because in the end Thorby goes back to Earth and meets his birth family and finds out he is actually a part of a wealthy family. However, he learns his family is a part of the slave trade and tries to eliminate it. This is one of the best Robert A. Heinlein books due to how powerful a young boy can be and his hopes for a world without slavery. Citizen of the Galaxy is often measured at the half way point on the scale of hard and soft fiction, making it just realistic enough to be believable.
Orphans of the Sky
The book, Orphans of the Sky, is made of two parts, "Universe" and "Common Sense." A huge ship is traveling without any guidance through space since a mutiny killed most of the officers. The officers on the ship have memory loss and believe the space ship is their whole world. The book is focused on the protagonist, Hugh Hoyland, who is an apprentice by a scientist. Hoyland ends up persuading Joe-Jim to complete the mission of the space ship. Joe sadly ends up being killed in fighting and Hugh is able to land on the habitable moon of a gas giant to explore the surroundings.
The Star Beast
The Star Beast is a unique book that has themes of conflict with parents, a child who divorces the parent, female dominance in a relationship, non-white protagonists and a positive look on having arranged marriages. In this book, an ancestor of John Thomas Stuart XI brought Lummox a long lived alien home. This pet ended up growing to be huge. The Lummox is viewed as an annoyance. John wants to save his pet and thinks about selling Lummox to a zoo. However, he decides to run away from home and ride into the wilderness with Lummox. The court tries to have Lummox destroyed but is not able to do so. Lummox ends up being viewed as important royalty and partially a female. This book is one of the best Robert A. Heinlein books due to its creativity and the dedication the boy has to his pet.
Sixth Column is a very controversial book because it's up to six people to fight a new empire. In this book, Washington ends up being destroyed and labor camps are set in place. There is a lot of action that takes place in this book. A secret research facility in Colorado is the last outpost in the United States after its defeat by PanAsians. The invaders are viewed as ruthless and mean. All but six people have passed away because of unknown forces released by experiment operations. These scientists end up learning they are able to choose who they can kill with the internal pressure of their cell membranes. With this invention, they can choose to only kill Asians. From beginning to end there is not a dull moment in this book, making it one of the best Robert A. Heinlein books.