6 Sci-Fi Books for People Who Miss Robert Heinlein

shelved under Sci Fi & Fantasy

These two authors, John Varley and John Scalzi, have each written three loosely-related sci-fi books that are definitely channeling Robert Heinlein's earlier works (and in Scalzi's case, with a bit of Joe Haldeman, too). All are excellent for those who miss Robert Heinlein, and for anyone just wanting a great sci-fi book to read.

 

Old Man's War

by John Scalzi

I am convinced that John Scalzi is channeling both Robert Heinlein and Joe Haldeman (and let's ignore the fact that Haldeman is still alive). Strongly reminiscent of both Starship Troopers and The Forever War, but plenty original enough to stand on its own.

 

The Ghost Brigades

by John Scalzi

A continuation of the Heinlein/Haldeman homage, not quite as good as Old Man's War, but still quite excellent. Follows a different character than the first book, but continues the story of the green soldiers :-)

 

The Last Colony

by John Scalzi

Third book of the trilogy (ok, there is actually a fourth book now, Zoe's Tale, but it was a trilogy when I read it :-) Continues the story of John, Jane, and Zoe, as well as assorted aliens, a new space colony, and a galactic conspiracy to destroy humanity. Continues Scalzi's tradition of excellence.

 

Red Thunder

by John Varley

Reads a lot like a Heinlein juvenile — four kids and a spaceship they built themselves, along with the obligatory eccentric adults (washed up astronaut and his brilliant but wacky brother) travel to Mars to rescue the U.S. space program. It's not so much that the plot is believable, but that the characters are great, and the book is fun to read.

 

Red Lightning

by John Varley

The story of Manny and his friends set partially on Mars, and partially on Florida, in the aftermath of a tsunami. As with the first book, it isn't so much about the plot, but the description of a colony on Mars on the one hand, and the effects of a tsunami on the U.S on the other, are believable and interesting.

 

Rolling Thunder

by John Varley

A continuation of the previous two books, centering around the next generation. Still worth reading, although not as good as the first two, and beware, this one partially switches to channeling later Heinlein, which for the uninformed, implies somewhat of an obsession with sex :-)