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Interspersed with the primary plot are classroom scenes in which Rico and others discuss philosophical and moral issues, including aspects of suffrage, civic virtue, juvenile delinquency, and war; these discussions have been described as expounding Heinlein's own political views.Despite the controversy, Starship Troopers had wide influence both within and outside science fiction. The story is set in a future society ruled by a world government dominated by a military elite, referred to as the Terran Federation.
Rico and his best friend Carl are considering joining the Federal Service after graduation; Rico is hesitant, partly due to his father's attitude towards the military.
Rico's choice is taken poorly by his parents, and he leaves with a sense of estrangement.
It's only when Carmen rejects Rico that he makes an attempt to connect with Diz on a deeper level.
the story was first published as a two-part serial in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction as Starship Soldier, and published as a book by G. The first-person narrative follows Juan "Johnny" Rico through his military service in the Mobile Infantry.
Two extraterrestrial civilizations are also depicted. The "Pseudo-Arachnids" or "Bugs" are shown as communal beings originating from the planet of Klendathu.
They have multiple castes; workers, soldiers, brains, and queens, similar to ants and termites.
Asked whether it was aimed at children or adults, he said at a sales conference "Let's let the readers decide who likes it." Those who do not perform this service, which usually takes the form of military service, retain the rights of free speech and assembly, but cannot vote or hold public office.
People of either gender above the age of 18 are permitted to enlist.
Those who leave before completing their service do not receive the vote.
This structure arose ad hoc after the collapse of the "20th century Western democracies", driven in part by an inability to control crime and juvenile delinquency, particularly in North America, and a war between an alliance of the US, the UK and Russia against the "Chinese Hegemony".