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The ageless juveniles

I recently finished the twelfth, and last, of Robert A. Heinlein's famous "juvenile" novels, published when the late Grandmaster of science-fiction was approaching, but not quite yet at, the very peak of his immense literary powers. Now I am, of course, a huge Heinlein fanboy; I have been singing the praises of Starship Troopers, my candidate for the greatest military science-fiction novel of all time, for several years, and I've read through several of his greatest works (including the flawed but still superb Stranger in a Strange Land) and been hugely impressed.
However, in order to appreciate just how good, and how versatile, the legendary Mr. Heinlein was, you really have to read through his earlier works, written for a very different audience than his later adult-oriented novels. The investment of time and effort required is amply repaid.
The word "timeless" does not apply to very many works of science fiction, if we are honest. Most sci-fi from the 1950…

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