Universally considered "the Dean of Science Fiction," Robert Heinlein stands alongside Isaac Asimov and Arthur Clarke as one of the three pillars of modern SF. With the author's excellent HAVE SPACESUIT WILL TRAVEL getting a spiffy reprint edition from Del Rey and with Pocket Books promising to print the until-recently-"lost" novel FOR US, THE LIVING in the near future the Dean is hot once again. Here's a glimpse at some of Heinlein's most famous work:
Title: Stranger in a Strange Land (ACE, $6.99, 438 p.)
Main Character: Valentine Michael Smith, the only survivor of mankind's first mission to Mars.
Plot: Born during the trip to Mars, Valentine was raised by Martians. When he returns to Earth, he is a true innocent, having no knowledge of human culture and how it works. This innocence makes earthlings think of him as a messiah.
Why it's cool: Considered Heinlein's best novel, Stranger became the focus of '60s counterculture.