Robert A. Heinlein: Can You Grok This Playlist?

It was on this day in 1988 that science fiction lost one of its most brilliant and influential voices to emphysema and heart failure. Robert A. Heinlein was the man who wrote legendary novels like Stranger in a Strange Land, Starship Troopers and the Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. All in all, more than 100 written works bear his authorship, and he remains a controversial and innovative figure.

His works explored a huge range of social issues as easily as they explored the stars. Heinlein wrote thought-provoking tales dealing with religion, racism, feminism and sexual liberation that even today are still cutting-edge in their relevancy. Oh, and he predicted the screensaver in 1961. Seriously, it even used the fish animation that most of us have had at one time or another.

Today Heinlein's legacy is handled right here in Houston. The Heinlein Prize Trust publishes a remarkable complete collection of the author's work, and offers research grants and awards to individuals that make contribution to commercial space travel. His influence has also been felt in many songs, and in honor of one of the true masters, we dedicate this week's playlist to him.

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Jef Rouner is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner