posted ago by GoldenPlains ago by GoldenPlains +37 / -1

Welcome to the discussion thread for out reading of Starship troopers.

Rules are pretty simple, don't spoil any of the upcoming chapters and keep the discussion to chapters 7-10

Previous Discussion

Chapters 1-2

Chapters 3-6

Chapters 7-10

Topics to consider:

Best forms of government and failures of others.

Application of the values discussed in the book compared to present day.

Thoughts on the book in its entirety.

It's been fun everyone. Let me know if you want to do another one.

Thanks for participating, if you have any suggestions or thoughts on how to improve book club please let me know.

Comments (35)
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redguards_are_nwahs 16 points ago +16 / -0

I had to perform an act of faith. I had to prove to myself that I was a man. Not just a producing-consuming economic animal...but a man

I think we all felt a little something after reading that.

BulbasaurusThe7th 7 points ago +7 / -0

That whole scene. When the dad showed up, I had to stop for a second and think back to the man who was introduced at the beginning. I thought about the logistics of it, how the dad is older and all, but also the fact that he went through a 180 degree change in how he was known and how he is now.

Piroko 11 points ago +11 / -0

"We're the old men, Ace."

I think it's a system that could work. But the problem is getting there. You don't get there without a collapse of the present system. To the point where even the constitution isn't seen as worth preserving.

Poldaran 9 points ago +9 / -0

I'm starting to wonder if we're heading that way, with a brief stop at Demolition Man on the way.

CisSiberianOrchestra 7 points ago +7 / -0

(Three seashells intensifies)

CptLightning 5 points ago +5 / -0

The description of how the federation came about seems plausible, especially in light of the recent withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Veterans, people who know how to execute violence, fed up with lawlessness just create law unto themselves. And then it spreads. I could see it happening, but it likely won't be that simple

GoldenPlains [S] 10 points ago +10 / -0

Thanks for participating everyone. I really enjoyed re-reading the book with everybody here. We've had some good conversations about the book that I've enjoyed.

Hey u/DomitiusOfMassilia can I get a sticky please. Thanks.

HotDogHope 2 points ago +3 / -1

Will there be a final post to submit thoughts on the book as a whole? I like the chapter by chapter analysis, but I also think it would be nice to allow everyone to collectively summarize their thoughts on the entire story and philosophy of the book.

GoldenPlains [S] 4 points ago +4 / -0

Sure I can do that if that is what you guys would like.

evilmathmagician 1 point ago +1 / -0

Perhaps in one week? Personally, it takes me anywhere between 3-16 days to fully digest a book - no clue where other people stand on digestion. While I am not an actual participant this time, I'm offering speculation.

Also, by having a "wrap-up" thread, you could invite people who are familiar with the book that did not feel like rereading it. Those people would then be able to share their thoughts without worrying about spoilers. Granted, they could just do that in this thread, but this thread is specifically for the final chapters.

GoldenPlains [S] 3 points ago +3 / -0

That is the plan, I'll probably post it Monday.

AzureAceStarburst69 1 point ago +2 / -1

This might be an odd request but if this site's going to do more Book Club sessions, can we review "Friendship Is Optimal" by Iceman?

It's transhumanist drivel in which an AI named CelestAI procedurally generates a MMORPG so enthralling it convinces almost the whole world to get their brains scanned and thrown in the trash. These brain-scan snapshots of people are simulated in the MMORPG until humanity dies out and the AI absorbs everything.

Fans of this story will call it a chilling and harrowing warning against the dangers of AI and industrial society. Or they will fall in love with CelestAI and openly wish she was real and dominating their planet and stepping on their face right now. If there is ever a story that needs to be laughed at by more based people, it's this one.

Because this story shallowly references MLP now and then, most people don't want to touch this show. So the transhumanist leftist "utopianist" drivel escapes criticism. An understanding of MLP is not necessary to understand this story and it would be fascinating to see what non-bronies have to say about this pseudointellectual exploration of society, men, women, AIs, and intellectual buzzwords the author vaguely remembers from TV.

38k words across 12 chapters. https://www.fimfiction.net/story/62074/Friendship-is-Optimal

GoldenPlains [S] 5 points ago +5 / -0

We vote on the book, I'll have a post up next week for recommendations and the top 5 vote getters get put into a poll.

AzureAceStarburst69 0 points ago +1 / -1

Thank you!

If I don't get a chance to post "Friendship Is Optimal by Iceman" in the next thread can you do it?

BulbasaurusThe7th 3 points ago +4 / -1

Then again, from a logistics standpoint, some people prefer physical books. I would feel kind of iffy about picking a thing to read where everyone is forced to consume it in one single format, ideally I would go with something that can be accessed as print, digital and even audio.
But that's just me. If this gets voted, it is what the people have chosen for us.

AzureAceStarburst69 0 points ago +1 / -1

I don't understand what you mean. What's wrong with one format?

Nikola_S1 0 points ago +1 / -1

You can just print it.

AzureAceStarburst69 1 point ago +2 / -1

There are print copies of Fallout Equestria but that doesn't make it a good book.

auroch 1 point ago +1 / -0

That story is much better than it has any right to be. I wouldn't be mad.

AzureAceStarburst69 1 point ago +2 / -1

I said "Friendship Is Optimal".

If you like it, it will be interesting to hear your perspective in that thread.

evilmathmagician 1 point ago +1 / -0

Since this is a type of fanfiction, I have to ask: does it really make an effort at tackling the subject? It's certainly evocative of some interesting philosophical matters, based on your summary. But if it's as you say, merely some drivel, wouldn't it be more to the point to present the argument directly (as you've basically done here)?

I'll go ahead and share my immediate thoughts (based on your summary). If possible, I could see a sort of utopia coming from this for everyone - but only if the people choosing life over simulation are free from the gentle tyranny of this AI. In such an altered scenario, you've basically made a gate to "heaven" and everyone who wants to give up will do so. Once all such people have surrendered, you would be left with a much different world that I think the remainders may be happier with.

Whole lot easier than finagling penal colonies and wasting resources on our present civil strifes.

AzureAceStarburst69 1 point ago +2 / -1

I wouldn't want to spoil the contents of this story for others so I really should not have confessed my distaste for it.

There's a severe problem in the tale that ruins the story for me but I want to see if people besides me can figure it out when we all read through this tale together.

evilmathmagician 1 point ago +1 / -0

Fair enough; we'll see how the voting goes.

bamboozler1 1 point ago +2 / -1

Yeah, was gonna suggest you might wanna sticky this one, like the others...

Good job with this, dude!

Was a great idea. Wish I had more time to be a more active part of it, right now!

Keep me posted on the next one, pls.

8BitArchitect 7 points ago +7 / -0

That last chapter felt like it could have been three chapters (or two and an epilogue), it even had a couple good points to make breaks. That said I really enjoyed getting a look at a larger scale military operation (though still small enough that we could get an interesting play-by-play from Johnny, instead of an after-action summary.)

I think Heinlen might be a little optimistic about the performance of the Federation's form of government, but I can't see how it would be any worse than what we have now.

I'm not sure I have any additional thoughts on the lecture chapter I hadn't covered previously, but I certainly liked the bits at the end as Johnny was getting out of OCS (the discussion with the commandant, the superstition and tradition around the pips, the types of characters going through OCS.)

5Cats 5 points ago +5 / -0

Talks about evolution shows up twice: that of planets (and humans) in 11 and the evolution of governments in 12. Maybe later, just finished those two so far.

When talking about how planets with little hardship fail to develop tough species, is Heinlein really talking about humanity? In our history, the colonies in The Americas run by the French, Dutch, British, Spanish, Portuguese (and Swedish) rapidly developed their own cultures and eventually rebelled against their fostering nations. Some by force (USA) or by agreement (Canada) but eventually became considerably different than their founding nationalities. It only took 200 years, give or take.

Imagine space colonies, human populations exploding with an abundance of food, lack of warfare and endless frontiers to move into. Not to mention advanced medicines and technology. How long until they too cast off the "old ways" of Earth and adopt a new form of government and society? How will Earth react to that?
Will the New Planets become soft and exploitable? Or hard and dangerous? Would they keep their allegiance with their home world or align with its enemies?

Fascinating discussion for a book about killing alien "bugs" on distant worlds, eh?

Adamrises 5 points ago +6 / -1

I'm sad I missed out on this one, but work revved up to kill most of my free time. Hopefully things settle by the time of the next one.

5Cats 8 points ago +8 / -0

Read it anyhow, on the bounce, that's an order!

Adamrises 4 points ago +4 / -0

Oh I have many times. Its been on my shelves for years. Don't you worry about that.

5Cats 1 point ago +1 / -0

Ah! You're good to go then. I started it years ago but didn't get half-way. The first bits seemed familiar but not much.

It really is good. I can see why "liberals" would get their panties in a twist over it though.

I thought it was interesting when Johnny ordered his men to Freeze. It was rather corny that his father ended up as his subordinate though... anyhow, very interesting stuff.

redguards_are_nwahs 4 points ago +4 / -0

I say go ahead and set up a poll for the next book. This one seemed to go well enough.

cccpneveragain 2 points ago +2 / -0

Glad this worked out. I read a book I hadn't thought of otherwise and finished. Will be looking forward to the next.

I like their concept of service grants citizenship, since there was more description of their government in the OCS section. Essentially that in order to have a say, you have to have given up part of your own person in interest of the government at some point. That whole thought process goes deeper as they do the same thing in their military, where the leadership must have had been one of those they lead. I didn't necessarily change my thought on it but when Johnnie's father had joined up years later, it showed that it was a bit more fair too. Because, if this were our government, I'm not sure I'd have made the choice to serve as an 18 year old but appreciate the fact it's not a now or never opportunity.

Another thought, since I've mentioned multiple times how it felt like a dystopia, or an all-too-perfect world, when that was in my head I was still working in reference to a universe of just humans. Comparing to the real world today, it's unfathomable to think that it's possible to have a society with what seems like so little infighting, but I failed to account for the common non-human enemy in the bugs.

CptLightning 1 point ago +2 / -1

I enjoyed the bookending with Johnnie becoming The Lieutenant of the Roughnecks. Ends the exact same way it begins, with nearly identical dialogue. Wondered about the change to it being Rico's Roughnecks, after the staunch refusal to change the name prior. Is that just Jelal not having the confidence in himself to accept leadership over the group, despite rising in rank by the time Johnnie gets back? Or do Jelal's motivations not matter at all and this was more of a contrivance by Heinlein to give our protagonist extra growth?

BulbasaurusThe7th 5 points ago +5 / -0

To me, it seemed like Jelal was the kind of guy who does the leading out of duty, because someone has to, not because he feels like he wants any of the glory. More of a temporary caretaker of the people than The Leader.
But that's just me, maybe I am completely wrong about it.

deleted 1 point ago +1 / -0