Stranger in a Strange Land
Why this book?
It’s been many decades since I read this book but it will always stay with me. Storyline, details, many things fade. But at the time, it had a profound effect on me. I definitely related to Valentine Michael Smith, the protagonist human raised by Martians who had never seen another member of his species. And I’ll never forget the scene where he’s coaxed into a bath by his lovely, human guide. On Mars, water was rare and precious and powerful ceremonies were conducted around very spare amounts of it. So, for him, entering a tub full of water was an overwhelming, pinnacle experience. And, of course, I related to his special powers that far exceeded those of his brethren and his destiny to bring about transformations far beyond their conception. And I love the word ‘grok’ which Heinlein coined for this book and which, to some degree, has entered the English lexicon. It’s a Hugo Award-winning masterpiece classic, in my book, perhaps the best.