Friday, August 8, 2014

Prophets of Science Fiction ~ Robert Heinlein

Today on Far Future Horizons we present another instalment of the acclaimed documentary series the Prophets of Science Fiction which focuses on the life and work of Robert Heinlein.

Prophets of Science Fiction is hosted by Executive Producer Ridley Scott.

Science fiction legend Robert Heinlein is a walking contradiction. His stories address themes of patriotism and duty while at the same time stressing the importance of personal freedom and expression.

In Robert Heinlein's 1952 novel The Puppet Masters, the world is taken over by mind-controlling invaders. Is this mere science fiction? Not when an actual cutting-edge magnetic device has been proven to alter the outcome of decisions when trained on the human brain.

With 1960's Starship Troopers, Robert Heinlein writes of a military equipped with strength-enhancing power suits. Today, electronic exoskeletons are being developed for the U.S. Army, to create the super soldiers of tomorrow.

Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land struck a chord with the 1960s counterculture and made the writer a reluctant icon of the free-love movement. Among the future devices predicted by Heinlein is a sci-fi classic: the waterbed.

Robert Heinlein's challenging work addresses formerly taboo topics like religion and sexuality and propelled sci-fi towards mainstream literary acceptance. His innovative work continues to draw supporters and detractors, challenging readers with a steadfast theme: what is freedom?

Surprising But True

  • In the early 1960's, Robert Heinlein foresaw a future in which people would become addicted to the internet and lose hours of their lives to endless online searches.

  • Robert Heinlein had an open marriage with two of his wives and the future sex in his books made him a hero to the "make love not war" crowd. At first he was flattered, and then he built a hippie-proof fence to keep them away.

  • Heinlein invented the water bed.

  • The Manson Family loved Heinlein's novel, Stranger in a Strange Land and Charles Manson even named his son Valentine Michael Manson, after the lead character in that novel ('Valentine Michael Smith').

A very good review by Janice Kay concerning this episode of ‘Prophets of Science Fiction:  Robert Heinlein  appeared in Science Fiction.Com.

This episode of the Prophets of Science Fiction can be purchased from

Prophets of Science Fiction ~ Robert Heinlein 
Prophets of Science Fiction Robert.Heinlein from anonimus on Vimeo.

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