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Why Starship Troopers Is a Controversial Science Fiction Classic

Starship Troopers is one of the most controversial science fiction novels ever released and Gadgets 360’s unofficial book club couldn’t pass on the opportunity to talk about it. Kawaljit Singh Bedi and Aqiul Colombowala join host Pranay Parab to discuss everything from the book’s plot to our favourite bits from the movie.

Before we begin talking about the book, we reveal why everyone needs to email Aqiul and why we’re extremely nice to Kawaljit. Then, Pranay explains why Starship Troopers is so controversial. We touch upon various aspects of the novel, including how it treats women characters, the constant pro-war theme, and how the plot develops.

We look at how the novel has aged and how Heinlein has avoided mentioning technology too specifically to keep it from reading like a dated piece of literature. Kawaljit and Aqiul highlight how the novel seems dated in certain parts, but overall still manages to hold its own. We speak about its treatment of women characters in-depth and mention how it could have been done better. 

An entire chunk of this podcast is about the pro-war theme of Starship Troopers. We share our views on this theme and discuss how the book affected us when we read it as teenagers, as opposed to our reaction to it now. It’s no surprise that this book has divided opinion so much since its release.

Finally, with a lot of apprehension, we start talking about the Starship Troopers movie. There are a thousand reasons to avoid it but Aqiul and Kawaljit still manage to find a couple of reasons to watch it. However, the discussion is swiftly brought to a close by Pranay, who thinks there are much better movies to be watched, even in the “so-bad-that-it’s-good” genre.

You can subscribe to Transition via Apple Podcasts or RSS or just listen to this episode by hitting the play button below. The music for this episode comes via Magnus Souleye Pålsson’s album PPPPPP, which is the soundtrack for the game, VVVVVV.

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