Comparison of _Armor_ and _Starship_Troopers_

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Wayne Throop

Nov 25, 1986, 5:31:13 PM11/25/86

> r...@ihuxz.UUCP (r.l. schieve)
> Indeed there are many similarities between
> the story plots but no similarity between the two author's styles.

True, true.

> "Armor" kept me glued to the book with what I think would be a more
> realistic slant on human nature.

Ghak! "Realistic slant on human nature"? You think a story about an
architypical hero-figure is realistic? A story where soldiers are used
and abused as badly as they were, yet where desertion and revolution is
not a problem is realistic? Where a single man in a lightly armed
exoskeleton takes on an entire starship and a passle of ground troops,
and makes mincemeat out of 'em? And that's just off the top of my head!
REALISTIC? Gimme a break! Part of the charm of the thing was that it
was *NOT* realistic, it was a hero-myth.

Now, you may (as I do) disagree with many of the fundamental assumptions
and beleifs about the world spouted by the characters in ST, but the
story was much more realistic than Armor, or so I believe. Or do you
find government by retired military unbelievable? Is the fact that they
try to indoctrinate high school students with the idea that this
government is a Good Thing unbelievable? The fact that men would lay
down their lives for "manifest destiny" in one form or another
unbelievable? Just what is "unrealistic" here? G'wan! Kwicher kidd'n,
ya crazy galoot!

> I enjoyed and would recommend "Armor" to any science fiction
> reader looking for something new (with much less moralizing). I
> appreciate some of the posting and replies that provided information
> about Steakley and I hope he continues to write science fiction.

Well, I soit'ny agree with the recommendation, and the hope for future
SF from Steakley. But... uh... did you *REALLY* not think he was
preaching? I mean, really! One of the main themes is the big, bad,
military industrial complex chewing up cannon fodder and spitting it
out... and he's not preaching? Whew!

By contrast, while RAH preaches about manifest destiny, "expand or die",
and laces the story with invalid social darwinism and other silly things
in ST, I certainly don't think he preached any *more* than Steakley did
in Armor. I suspect it is just that Rich agrees with Steakley and
disagrees with Heinlein, and thus notices the pulpit pounding in the
latter case but not the former.

Nature abhors a Hero. --- Solomon Short
Wayne Throop <the-known-world>!mcnc!rti-sel!dg_rtp!throopw

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