Talk:Stranger in a Strange Land

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"Wrong Source for Name[edit]

It was named for a line in an Ernest Dowson poem from the fin de siecle period. I'll find the poem's name shortly. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:30, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

This is an interesting line of discussion. The earliest English citation I can find resembling the Heinlein title is in the life of Eumenes in Thomas North's 1579 translation of Plutarch's Lives of the Noble Grecians... In the comparison of Eumenes with Sertorius, Plutarch says that they were both "straungers in a straunge contrie." It does not appear, though, that Heinlein used Plutarch's life of Eumenes in any way, although it seems to me more likely that he knew Plutarch rather than Dowson.

GianniBGood (talk) 17:51, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

"Cult Classic"?[edit]

Does the sentence, "Eventually Stranger in a Strange Land became a cult classic, attracting many readers who would not ordinarily read a work of science fiction," seem a bit contradictory to anybody else? Even wikipedia's own definition of "cult classic," linked in that very line, clearly doesn't fit Stranger. It specifically requires that 1) the fan base be specific or somehow limited, and 2) that the work was only modestly successful upon release. Neither of these are true of Stranger, and the former is even directly contradicted by the second half of that sentence. This is one of, if not the most widely read, not to mention best-reviewed science fiction works of all time - "cult" doesn't seem to describe it at all. (talk) 10:13, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

one of, if not the most widely read, not to mention best-reviewed science fiction works of all time[edit]

I'm more than halfway done reading it, and I cannot for the life of me understand why it would be one of the best-reviewed science fiction books of all time. Surely this statement is intended to suggest that science fiction books are generally poorly reviewed? I wish it were not so well-known, as I would never have bothered with it had I not heard of it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:50, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Reference in U2 album October?[edit]

There is a song on U2's 1981 album October titled 'Stranger in a Strange Land'. Should this song be included in the list of references or is it confirmed that this is a coincidence and not a reference? Tricorne (talk) 04:05, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Waterbed Patent[edit]

The claim "Charles Hall, who brought a waterbed design to the United States Patent Office, was refused a patent on the grounds that Heinlein's descriptions in Stranger and another novel, Double Star, constituted prior art." appears to be misleading or apocryphal. Charles P. Hall did in fact receive United States Patent No. 3,585,356 entitled "Liquid Support for Human Bodies" which was granted on June 15, 1971. See:,585,356.PN.&OS=PN/3,585,356&RS=PN/3,585,356

I also note that the link to this claim is now dead.

AlanSiegrist (talk) 19:02, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

I can only speculate here, but it is possible that, as often happens, an initial patent application by Hall may have been denied as being excessively broad, with claims that were construed as being so broad as to include the concept of the waterbed itself. If so, the descriptions of the waterbed in Heinlein's books and the previous designs of waterbeds mentioned in this article may very well have been presented as prior art. Since the patent cited above was granted, presumably the application was amended or re-filed to eliminate these objections, eventually leading to the granted patent. AlanSiegrist (talk) 19:26, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Sentence makes no sense[edit]

"Critics disagree over whether Heinlein's preferred original manuscript is superior to the heavily-edited version originally published." says the article. It makes no sense. It looks like two sentences got jumbled. I don't know which is true. JIMp talk·cont 08:17, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

:Makes perfect sense to me: critics can't agree which version is the better. Maybe it is a tad awkwardly worded, but still is understandable. Wschart (talk) 04:49, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Iron Maiden song[edit]

On this page it lists Iron Maiden song under 'in popular culture', but on the page about the song it says "The song is unrelated to Robert A. Heinlein's novel by the same name"

Why is Dr. Mahmood Called "Stinky"?[edit]

This insulting nickname is never explained, and in fact is used by characters who are otherwise friendly to Mahmood. Was "Stinky" less pejorative when this book was written than it would be today? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:51, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Add summary of material in the extended version?[edit]

Should there be a section explaining the differences between the original and extended version? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:44, 14 October 2012 (UTC)

Why on earth is Thou_Art_God linked to this page?[edit]

What does this page have to do with Thou Art God? Can someone please fix it? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:47, 20 July 2013 (UTC)