Robert Anson Heinlein (; July 7, 1907 – May 8, 1988) was an American science-fiction author, aeronautical engineer, and retired Naval officer. Sometimes called the "dean of science fiction writers", he was among the first to emphasize scientific accuracy in his fiction, and was thus a pioneer of the subgenre of hard science fiction. His published works, both fiction and non-fiction, express admiration for competence and emphasize the value of critical thinking. His work continues to have an influence on the science-fiction genre, and on modern culture more generally.
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I think all people would like to feel that they’re a necessary part of life. That they’re necessary in the world, and that life would be poorer if they weren’t in it. When you accomplish something, when you write good poetry, then I think you feel that the world would be slightly different if you weren’t in it. And that, I think, is part of what being needed is about.