Anyone who has been around lit SF for any amount of time is likely aware of the nearly instant debate that can be generated with a single name: Robert A Heinlein.
Depending on who you ask, Heinlein was….
The best Sf Writer of all time. (including future tense)
A talented creator of female characters.
And he was all these things at the same time. Truly he is the Rorschach test of SF Fandom.
One of his most controversial works was the novel Starship Troopers. He wrote the book as a juvenile, it was rejected, new material was added and ti has not been out of print ever since. This is the book many point to when they call Heinlein a Fascist.
I have stumbled across — thanks to the comments and discussions at TOR SF — an archive of criticisms and defenses of Starship Troopers spanning a time from 1959 when it was being serialized in F&SF through its publication as a novel and ending in 1963.
Wow. The Heinlein flame wars are sort of like the 100 years war. This was a fascinating series of comments and essays to read. It has not moved my thoughts on the matter. (I’m a Heinlein Fan, but I worship no man. Something I think got from reading Heinlein; though — like Ayn rand — fantatical followers are upsetting and close-minded.) The essay comparing Starship Troopers with The Star Dwellers has made me want to find a copy of The Star Dwellers and give it a read.
If you have any interest at all this link is worth your time.