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Stranger in a Strange Land

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Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein – If you have ever heard the word “grok” used and wondered where it came from and what it means, this is its source.

In this work, which in my opinion defined Heinlein’s career as a science fiction writer, Heinlein explores the meaning of religion, social frameworks, and pre-conceived notions.

The main character is a human born of a failed exploratory team of scientists on a mission to Mars. After his parents died, the baby was taken in by martians and raised as one of their own, learning their culture and absorbing their vast understanding and intellectual power.

Upon his return to earth, the young man finds himself on a quest, in his simplistic, monk-like way, to reform earth’s inhabitants to save them from the looming martian threat: become enlightened or face extinction as “heathens.”

In his fascinating and, in many ways, Christ-like adventure, we learn of true humanity and gain an understanding of self.

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