Robert Heinlein. The man is a Grandmaster of science fiction, and in my opinion one of the greatest writers of American letters yet born. For me, what he did best was to put humanity back into a genre that is too often accused of being cold and technology oriented. His stories were always about the people, about the human condition, and sci-fi was just the setting he chose to do that with, though he does use plenty of science and technologican themes as well, but always and only in service to the people. I wish I’d been able to meet the man before he left us.
Now, as for which of his works that I liked best, I have to go with “Time Enough For Love.” A lot of people mention “Stranger In A Strange Land” or “Starship Troopers” as being favorites, and both of those are great novels, but I always liked his Lazarus Long character the best, and “Time Enough For Love” is the best of the LL stories. “To Sail Beyond The Sunset” is another great novel, and it is a LL book once removed (it’s about his mother), and I also enjoyed “Fear No Evil” (the story of a rich old man who has his brain transplanted into the body of a young woman – he doesn’t know that’s where he’s going when he dies – and finds that her spirit is still in the body).
Let me end this post by saying that I adore Heinlein, I wish I’d known him, and I can only hope to one day be a fraction as good as he was. Everyone should read his work, even if they aren’t sci-fi fans.