The novel takes place sometime in the future, on the planet Mars. Humans have colonized the planet, but have not yet conquered its...

(The entire section is 74 words.)

Literary Qualities

Red Planet is an adventure novel that explores such issues as friendship, intercultural relationships, and the importance of...

(The entire section is 299 words.)

Social Sensitivity

Red Planet stresses the danger of allowing initial impressions to control one's opinions of others. Heinlein relates the colonists'...

(The entire section is 130 words.)


(Masterpieces of American Literature)

Aldiss, Brian. Trillion Year Spree: The History of Science Fiction. New York: Atheneum, 1986.

Franklin, H. Bruce. Robert A. Heinlein: America as Science Fiction. New York: Oxford University Press, 1980.

Gifford, J. Daniel. Robert A. Heinlein: A Reader’s Companion. Sacramento, Calif.: Nitrosyncretic Press, 2000.

McGiveron, Rafeeq O. “Heinlein’s Inhabited Solar System, 1940-1952.” Science-Fiction Studies 23 (July, 1996): 245-252.

Nicholls, Peter. “Robert A. Heinlein.” In Science Fiction Writers: Critical Studies of the Major...

(The entire section is 160 words.)

Topics for Discussion

1. During the discussion of whether or not Jim can take Willis to school, Doc MacRae says, "Trouble is the normal condition for the human...

(The entire section is 216 words.)

Ideas for Reports and Papers

1. More than once, Doc MacRae compares Mars to the "Old West" in America. Why? Are the comparisons valid? What do they add to the story?...

(The entire section is 154 words.)

Related Titles / Adaptations

Red Planet has an interesting connection to Heinlein's most famous work, Stranger in a Strange Land: the Martians in both...

(The entire section is 45 words.)

For Further Reference

Panshin, Alexei. Heinlein in Dimension: A Critical Analysis. Chicago: Advent Publishers, 1968. An overview of Heinlein's works. An...

(The entire section is 144 words.)