First published in 1959|
Latest edition: 1997
Publisher: Ace Books
Mass Market Paperback
Reviews Starship Troopers shows us Earth in the 22nd century, when all nations are united and in peace, without discrimination of color, sex, religion or nationality. In that federation the only person who has a right to political participation (that is, the right to vote and be voted for) is the one who has proved that he puts the interests of humanity ahead of his own, volunteering for federal service, performing for a period of two years dangerous and/or disagreable services, on of which is military service.
In that distant future, Johnny Rico, a pampered son of Filipino millionaires, rebelling against his father and wanting to impress a girl, decides to enlist in the Federal Service, hoping to get a stint as military pilot, but since he does not have the necessary mathematical preparation, all that he gets to be is a Mobile Infantry recruit. In the infantry he discovers (along with us) how the military structure functions, why it is that way and most importantly why a person ought to be disposed to defend humanity.
During his training, humanity goes to war against a hive-minded insectoid alien species that, just like humans, wants to dominate the galaxy. Johnny then learns what hell war is, and the reason why we should be prepared for it, but also learns about the cameraderie among soldiers, who are willing to risk their lives to save a fellow platoon member. "Everyone fights, everyone comes back."
One interesting aspect of this book is the powered suits, real "wearable tanks," that are worn by the Mobile Infantry while in combat and which, after the publication of the book (in 1959), were used in dozens of Japanese animés.
Starship Troopers is a book about military life, about why men fight, about social responsibility and about the importance of studying mathematics. A thrilling work, full of adventure, and at the same time profound. ~~Carlos Angelo
Excerpts The historians can't seem to settle whether to call this one "The Third Space War" (or the fourth), or whether "The First Interstellar War" fits it better. We just call it "The Bug War." Everything up to then and still later were "incidents," "patrols" or "police actions." However, you are just as dead if you buy the farm in an "incident" as you are if you buy it in a declared war. . .