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POLL RESULTS: My Favorite Heinlein

Here are the results of the latest SF Signal poll.

Which of the following is your favorite Robert A. Heinlein book?


(66 total votes)

Does anyone else notice the bell curve of Heinlein’s writing career? I tried to pick a range of career-spanning work to see if there was a trend since I hear many people say (or few people often say) that Heinlein’s later stuff is lame. It seems his earlier stuff may also be the least-favorite as well. I wonder what the “other” novels were?

Be sure to vote in this week’s poll: SciFi Channel Progress Report!

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

10 Comments on POLL RESULTS: My Favorite Heinlein

  1. I’m the only one to vote for “Friday?”

  2. Apparently, Pete. I suspect it’s because there’s a chick on the cover. 😉

  3. This isn’t enough to show the least favourite books (Though personally I also think that his later books tended to be lame and some looked like pure “Let’s see what junk could I sell just because it has my name on it” stuff), because people were only able to vote for one.
    So some of these didn’t get votes because they’re bad, and some didn’t get votes because they just weren’t as good as the best one.
    Could be interesting to see how this would look like with a weighted poll, one that allows people to place several votes by preference.

  4. There’s only a chick on the paperback edition of “Friday”, so it’s kind of unfair to pick on Pete. You have to find out which edition he read!
    Which leads me to a thought: Which version of “Stranger” is better? The one that first came out or the unedited version? How about “Puppet Masters”? Do you like the cut version or the more recent uncut version?
    “Podkayne of Mars” and “Red Planet” also were edited and later released as Heinlein wrote them. I recall the changes to “Red Planet” being pretty minor, but “Podkayne” had a very major plot change.
    It’s intersting to read Heinleins “Grumbles from the Grave” to see some of the stuff the YA editor at Scribner’s (where most of his YA stuff was published) forced upon him. I got a real hoot about her comments for his suggestion for an artist–he submitted the name of an artist that did illustrations for him at Astounding SF without saying it was for his stuff (illustrations for some of his “Anson MacDonald”). She rejected it as being “too pulpy”. Heh.
    My vote? “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”. Probably my favorite Heinlein novel, and believe me, it is hard to pick a favorite among all the ones by him that I like!

  5. I also voted for MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS. 1776 in Space! What’s not to like?
    At least one of the “Other” Heinlein novels includes a personal favorite of mine (and the first one I ever read) HAVE SPACE SUIT WILL TRAVEL.
    You also do not list STARMAN JONES, CITIZEN OF THE GALAXY or TUNNEL IN THE SKY, any of which would have won my vote quicker than to his more famous STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, GLORY ROAD, TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE, I WILL FEAR NO EVIL etc., merely because the author’s anti-marriage philosophy (which I find distasteful) intrudes into the tale in these later books. Am I the only one taken aback by how often Deety’s nipples are mentioned in NUMBER OF THE BEAST, a book with no plot and no ending?
    Also favorites of mine include the Heinlein anthologies,his Future History shorts, including ‘Man Who Sold the Moon’ and ‘Green Hills of Earth.’
    (And while I am giving my opinions, I thought the edited, first released version of STRANGER was better than the author’s cut version, and ditto for PODKAYNE.)

  6. I also voted for TMiaHM. Had I voted in the “other” category, it would have been for “Job: A Comedy of Justice” or one of his juveniles. Concur with Fred, though. It’s hard to pick a favorite.

  7. I didn’t reread the author’s cuts because I frankly didn’t like the books well enough for that. I can’t imagine what book I would read a different revision of – what a strange concept to me. Seeing a movie in a different format is one thing – it has at most maybe 4 hours of my life to steal. But a book could take 10 or more and I just wouldn’t gain the same value from reading a book with different editing.
    I liked Starship Troopers best because of the action sequences and the sci-fi ideas presented. I also liked Have Space Suit Will Travel.
    However, I honestly don’t find Heinlein to be all that great an author – I’ve always felt he was more popular than good. Number of the Beast is just wierd, and I’ve avoid the rest for various reasons (from ‘I don’t like the cover’ to ‘JP said it sucked.’)

  8. Just finished the Baen collection of Revolt in 2100 & Methuselah’s Children and I think they put to rest the notion that his earlier works were in any way inferior.

  9. Friday was certainly memorable… I’m sure it twisted my young brain in both good and bad ways, but it wasn’t his best. I would’ve voted for The Moon is a Harsh Mistress — with or without a babe on the cover.

  10. I tend to consider MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS a textbook on how to write a science fiction novel. One piece of “magic” tech (the AI), and everything else is perfect sociological extrapolation from 1966.

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