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monkeyman
05-12-2009, 17:24
Hello Everyone:

I know there has been some dissuasion on this topic, and I have already read all of that wonderful stuff, but I was wondering if anyone can point to a source (ie. An issue of White Dwarf etc) in which 40K’s game designers talked about the impact of Robert Heinlein? You see, I have a theory that they adopted his ‘Mobile Infantry’ trope and re-contextualized / reinvented it (through / as the Space Marines of course) as a way to critique Heinlein’s presentation of militarism/fascism etc in Starship Troopers. Now I have everything I need on this one (ie: how / why this was done etc) except for the proverbial ‘smoking gun’ and I am wondering if any of you fine people might know of a place where this type of reflective dialogue occurred? I should also note that I am writing a paper about 40K that I hope to get published in an academic journal and would, of course, thank anyone who pointed me towards such a source in the paper and send you a copy of the finished product. Anyhow, thank you all very much.

IJW
05-12-2009, 18:28
There has been no such article, that I'm aware of.

If you do a bit of searching around in this forum and the background forum you should find several long and detailed threads on the influences behind 40k.

Bear in mind that any such paper will have to touch on Haldeman's 'The Forever War' as well as Heinlein.

mdauben
05-12-2009, 22:10
Bear in mind that any such paper will have to touch on Haldeman's 'The Forever War' as well as Heinlein.
Its quite possible the direct inspiration for power armored space marines could have been The Forever War, although The Forever War has to acknowlege Heinlein's Starship Troopers, which featured the idea around 15 years before Halderman's book was published.

I could be wrong, but Starship Troopers is the earliest (1959) depiction of powered armor in SF that I am aware of.

Ronin_eX
05-12-2009, 23:43
Its quite possible the direct inspiration for power armored space marines could have been The Forever War, although The Forever War has to acknowlege Heinlein's Starship Troopers, which featured the idea around 15 years before Halderman's book was published.

I could be wrong, but Starship Troopers is the earliest (1959) depiction of powered armor in SF that I am aware of.

It is usually attributed to, not only, the concept of powered armour but also the Japanese mecha craze (fun fact: there was a Starship Troopers anime). I'd say it is as good an original source as any I've ever seen and books with powered armour seem much more prevalent after Starship Troopers than before which indicates a certain amount of popularization of the idea after ST was published.

Bregalad
06-12-2009, 00:13
Heinlein practically invented Space Operas and military SciFi, so no need to point out this source of inspiration (and 40k is a homage to Heinlein, not a critique of fascism). Same with Tolkien as inspiration for Warhammer Fantasy.

A collection of more references:
http://web.archive.org/web/20071125132841/http://ca.geocities.com/crazy40kguy/namesandhomages.html

Count de Monet
06-12-2009, 00:17
What WASN'T an influence on 40K? It's pretty much a compilation of the general 1980's sci-fi/fantasy zeitgeist. Starship Troopers, Foundation, Dune, Elric, Tolkein, 2000AD, Star Wars, Aliens, ancient myths, Victorian poets, etc. The specific influences aren't really what makes it good - it's how well they mashed them all together.

Meriwether
06-12-2009, 00:22
It's "good"?

Noserenda
06-12-2009, 01:38
HG Wells... Older than all the others! But then at some point Prometheus stealing fire was basically Sci Fi, where do you draw the line?

mdauben
06-12-2009, 01:59
HG Wells... Older than all the others!
Hmmm... HG Wells' Martian Tripods. Where they the original 'mecha??? ;)

(Going back to Haldeman, its been years since I read The Forever War. I think I'm going to pull that off my bookshelf this weekend and give it another read)

SonoftheMountain
06-12-2009, 03:22
Well, if you think about it, the armor worn by Heinleins' Mobile Infantry is already in 40k.

they're called Tau Crisis Suits

borithan
06-12-2009, 13:38
I know there has been some dissuasion on this topic, and I have already read all of that wonderful stuff, but I was wondering if anyone can point to a source (ie. An issue of White Dwarf etc) in which 40K’s game designers talked about the impact of Robert Heinlein?Don't think there ever has been such a thing, aside from the generally accepting that various different sci-fi ideas and stories have inspired them. Military History has also been a major inspiration... many things have been inspired by the Second World War, and an early picture of the Imperial Guard was inspired by an American Civil War painting.



You see, I have a theory that they adopted his ‘Mobile Infantry’ trope and re-contextualized / reinvented it (through / as the Space Marines of course) as a way to critique Heinlein’s presentation of militarism/fascism etc in Starship Troopers.Hmm... I am sorry to say this, but I don't terribly agree. By the time 40k was being imagined "power armour" was a well established idea in sci-fi, and even though I suspect Starship Troopers has served as one of many inspirations I don't think it was a terribly major one. Judge Dredd was probably more important, at least if you look at the earliest stuff (very punky, much like Judge Dredd of the time, and the whole authoritarian nature of the society is also one it shares with Judge Dredd). While they did seem to have a sort of anarchic sensibility back then, any political edge to 40k was probably more inspired by Judge Dredd (which was at least in part originally intended as an anti-authoritarian satire), and the culture in Britain at the time with the ascendancy of the Conservative Party (Ghazghul or whatever being named after Margret Thatcher, for example). The academic argument about the society in Starship Troopers probably didn't feature much in their thinking, which probably more inspired aspects of the tyranids ("Bugs!") and elements of the whole power armour thing ("Power Armour. Cool.").

Indigo
06-12-2009, 13:51
Heinlein practically invented Space Operas and military SciFi, so no need to point out this source of inspiration (and 40k is a homage to Heinlein, not a critique of fascism). Same with Tolkien as inspiration for Warhammer Fantasy.

A collection of more references:
http://web.archive.org/web/20071125132841/http://ca.geocities.com/crazy40kguy/namesandhomages.html

You should look up EE "Doc" smith some time. His Lensman series is definitely Pre-RAH and is one of the bigger Space-Opera series out there.

mdauben
06-12-2009, 16:41
Heinlein practically invented Space Operas and military SciFi,
No, Space Opera certainly predats Heinlein and little if any of RAH's work would really be considered Space Opera, anyway, and certainly not any of his most famous books. Space Opera is epic space battles involving thousands of gigantic space ships, its interstellar empires and galactic powers. Early Space Opera is almost always very black and white. The Lensman series is space opera. Star Wars is space opera. The Foundation series is space opera.

Heinlein's best and most famous work was almost always about individuals and issues of personal responsibility, society and government. This is why much of RAH's writing continues to resonate even today, when much early space opera is dismissed as simplistic or laughable. Even Starship Troopers, which is set against the backdrop of an interstellar war, spends most of its time focusing on the very personal experiences of one individual (Johnny Rico) and many more pages of the book are spent on his high school, basic and NCO classes than on any actual combat.


Well, if you think about it, the armor worn by Heinleins' Mobile Infantry is already in 40k.

they're called Tau Crisis Suits
Actually, the power armor of space marines both predates Tau crisis suits in the game and is much closer in concept to the power armor of RAH's Mobile Infantry. IMO Crisis Suits are closer in concept to the mobile suits of japanese anime (note that not all anime mobile suits are Titan sized walkers).


Judge Dredd was probably more important, at least if you look at the earliest stuff (very punky, much like Judge Dredd of the time, and the whole authoritarian nature of the society is also one it shares with Judge Dredd).
Yes, the work of John Blanche (a major contributor to the look-and-feel of the 40K universe) is stylistically very much a part of the genre of overall dark, dystopian european comics of the day. The same genre that included early Judge Dread amoung others.


You should look up EE "Doc" smith some time. His Lensman series is definitely Pre-RAH and is one of the bigger Space-Opera series out there.
"Doc" Smith was one of the archetypical authors of space opera and his major works (the Lensman series) do mostly predate RAH's heyday. Actually, though, if you read some of RAH's letters and essays, he and Smith were friends and coressponded with a fair amount of regularity. ;)

unheilig
06-12-2009, 16:53
What WASN'T an influence on 40K? It's pretty much a compilation of the general 1980's sci-fi/fantasy zeitgeist. Starship Troopers, Foundation, Dune, Elric, Tolkein, 2000AD, Star Wars, Aliens, ancient myths, Victorian poets, etc. The specific influences aren't really what makes it good - it's how well they mashed them all together.

i absolutely agree.

the reason 40k is better than any othr sci-fi setting, is that it IS every other sci-fi scetting... with more skulls.

nightgant98c
06-12-2009, 17:27
i absolutely agree.

the reason 40k is better than any othr sci-fi setting, is that it IS every other sci-fi scetting... with more skulls.

And spikes. Can't forget the spikes.

Arakanis
06-12-2009, 19:31
And spikes. Can't forget the spikes.

And a real thick, wet layer of "Grimdark Grey"

borithan
06-12-2009, 22:03
Actually, the power armor of space marines both predates Tau crisis suits in the game and is much closer in concept to the power armor of RAH's Mobile Infantry.Meh... not so sure about that. Space Marine power armour is purely that, fancy armour, while the Marauder suits that the MI wear appear to be more like an entire weapon system, including protection and several weapons (though a rather odd mix in my opinion. Small bombs of some variety, a flame thrower, small incendiary devices, and on special occasions, very small yield nuclear devices. Why no more conventional gun or the like is ever mentioned I have no idea). They are also appear (from my reading) to be larger than Space Marine power armour (at least when compared to the individuals who have to wear it), being more like piloted suits than "worn" armour. Maybe not quite as large as Crisis suits, but in between them and SM Power Armour.

Battle-Brother Wags
06-12-2009, 22:15
Heinlein's Starship Troopers is one of my favorite books, but I must admit I haven't heard of many of the other sources already cited in this thread, so I have some investigation to do and possible reading :-)

I can definitely see how power armor could have been inspired by the mobile infantry combat suits, but I completely agree that functionally Tau crisis suits are more close than Space Marine armor. SM power armor offers a great deal of protection, but one of the hallmarks of Mobile Infantry was just that, mobility. I also absolutely love the idea from the novel that putting to MI troopers on the same football field was basically standing "shoulder to shoulder." Their suits and weapons that were linked to them were just that powerful. If you cross a tactical marine with a tau crisis suit and throw in an obliterator for the weapon options, then you've got something akin to the Mobile Infantry :-)

I particularly liked the way Heinlein described how the suit amplified the movements and strengths of the wearers. Can anyone comment on how this then affected Halo MJOLNR(sp?) armor? And when did the Halo series come about in print form? Very recent, right?

Lothlanathorian
06-12-2009, 22:21
See, GW didn't borrow anything from anyone, man. Just ask them. GW's ideas actually are made of tachyons and reverse polarized thought molecule linked hydrocarbon nanotubule hole borers. So, what that means, as an physisisicistician can tell you, is that their ideas flow backwards through time. Basically, GW has these ideas in the future, and then they flow in the opposite direction of time and inspire people in the past. I don't know if you know this, but the Ordo Herecticus was the inspiration for the invention of fire and Space Marine Bikes inspired the creation of the wheel so that man could one day ride around on motorcycles with guns and look badass.

Arakanis
06-12-2009, 22:33
See, GW didn't borrow anything from anyone, man. Just ask them. GW's ideas actually are made of tachyons and reverse polarized thought molecule linked hydrocarbon nanotubule hole borers. So, what that means, as an physisisicistician can tell you, is that their ideas flow backwards through time. Basically, GW has these ideas in the future, and then they flow in the opposite direction of time and inspire people in the past. I don't know if you know this, but the Ordo Herecticus was the inspiration for the invention of fire and Space Marine Bikes inspired the creation of the wheel so that man could one day ride around on motorcycles with guns and look badass.

Also, they invented the Emperor so that Evolution would know how to create me.

Seattledv8
07-12-2009, 03:10
My favorite GW reverse IP was when they were going to sue Michael Moorcock for Chaos and the Chaos eight pointed star.
Then someone pointed out to them that Moorcock story's dated from the early 70's.
hmmm who borrowed what?
Ooh...oops beat you to the punch by a decade or two...lol

Shadowfax
07-12-2009, 04:00
To go back to the OP, I think it's a huge mistake to credit the GW designers with any sort of intellectual mission. More than likely they were just a crew of nerds amalgamating all their various influences and inspirations (fairly obviously, at times) into a single sci-fi setting.

What you're picking up on could simply be a result of the understandably different viewpoints held by a 50 year old man writing in 1959 and a group of much younger men writing in the late 80s.

Occulto
07-12-2009, 04:43
i absolutely agree.

the reason 40k is better than any othr sci-fi setting, is that it IS every other sci-fi scetting... with more skulls.

And when it isn't, people do it themselves.

Star Wars themed armies, anyone? :rolleyes:

I remember before Tau were even mentioned, people were posting that they wanted GW to make a Japanese style anime-mecha-manga-super-high-tech army.

Then Tau was released and other people started complaining that GW had just stolen the idea of a Japanese style anime-mecha-manga-super-high-tech army.

They can't win.

GrimZAG
07-12-2009, 06:07
To go back to the OP, I think it's a huge mistake to credit the GW designers with any sort of intellectual mission. More than likely they were just a crew of nerds amalgamating all their various influences and inspirations (fairly obviously, at times) into a single sci-fi setting.

They made it work though, which is an effort and a half. Look at us now talking about it.

Vaktathi
07-12-2009, 06:13
Actually, the power armor of space marines both predates Tau crisis suits in the game and is much closer in concept to the power armor of RAH's Mobile Infantry. IMO Crisis Suits are closer in concept to the mobile suits of japanese anime (note that not all anime mobile suits are Titan sized walkers). Given from what I remember of Starship Troopers (been probably 7 years since I've read it) they do stuff like limited flight, have inbuilt rocket launchers and the like, and are sort of a middle ground between the two. If anything, the Elemental armor from Battletech is probably the closest thing I can think of. I think in terms of capability, they are closer to a crisis suit, but more like Astartes armor in look and functionality.

PaddyF
07-12-2009, 06:22
Beat your children - Robert Heinlein

carldooley
07-12-2009, 06:37
does anyone actually read The Forever War? or just mention it considering that it has a daunting title? Remember that the Story, and the War that it does describe actually does come to an end, and that at that end the author waxes eloquently on the futility and unnecessary nature of that war. Frankly, anyone that mentions the Forever War in relation to 40k needs to have their heads examined**.

**some explanation - yes the Forever War and the Endless war may sound similar, but the Forever War comes to an End, while the Endless War is just that - an endless war. In the 40k universe they fight because they KNOW that they would face Xenocide if they stopped fighting, and if the ever got around to singing Kumbaya, well, where would GW be then?

As for sources, you may want to check out Cyrano de Bergerac (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrano_de_Bergerac) and his story here (http://www.bewilderingstories.com/special/tow.html). Just mentioning Starship Troopers because it is modern Sci-fi is like saying that the Chicken came first. Even then, depending on your viewpoint, people could say that the first Sci-fi would be the mention of Ezekial's Wheel in the Bible.

Frankly, if you want a decent Sci-fi book that has 40k overtones you may want to check out Orson Scott Card's Treason. Then, there is John Ringo's Legacy of the Aldenata series that you may wish to stick your noses into.

tu33y
07-12-2009, 08:15
40k is just a huge jambalaya of all the stuff geeks have dug for 30 years. From 200AD you have Mega City One as a hive city, elements of Rogue Trooper and the Genetic Infantryman (and im sure 200AD are looking at Avatar closely on that one) and even Robo-busters. Pluss a million others-the inqusition reminds me of Strontium Dog.

Starship troopers, aliens, loads of other cool action movies- hell look at Sly Marbo.... John Rambo and Slyvester Stallone.
Sergeant Bastonne reprisents the sige of Bastogne during the Battle of the bulge (seen Band of Brothers?)
hell if you got right down to it you see influences of He-Man.

you would do pretty well if you focus on the marrige of all these mongrel sources into quite a rich and exiting whole- some of the Emporers backstory even reminds me of Gemmels drenai saga.

that is why i get so dissapointed when GW get overly pissy about their IP. I know they have to protect it but really, is it theirs to start with?

mdauben
07-12-2009, 11:42
Given from what I remember of Starship Troopers (been probably 7 years since I've read it) they do stuff like limited flight, have inbuilt rocket launchers and the like, and are sort of a middle ground between the two.
Not quite. They do have a lot of weapons hanging off their armor, they are all hand-held not built in (well, except for the grenade launcher on their backs). They have jets to help them jump (like Assault Marines) but not true (or even limited) flight. The armor also... conforms to the shape of the person inside (the person's head is in the head of the armor, their arms are in the arms of the armor, etc.) just like a Space Marine.

With the Crisis Suit, on the other hand, the Tau sits in a cockpit totally inside the torso of the suit, and the head, arms and legs are remotely controlled from there, just like most anime mobile suits. It also makes use of "buit in" weapons systems, unlike the armor in Starship Troopers.

Now, the SM power armor is by no means an exact copy of the power armor from Starship Troopers but I do think it is closer in concept to what is in the novel than the Tau Crisis Suit is. ;)

Cultist of Sooty
07-12-2009, 13:00
40k is just a huge jambalaya of all the stuff geeks have dug for 30 years. From 200AD you have Mega City One as a hive city, elements of Rogue Trooper and the Genetic Infantryman (and im sure 200AD are looking at Avatar closely on that one) and even Robo-busters. Pluss a million others-the inqusition reminds me of Strontium Dog.
They remind me even more of the Inquisition from Nemesis the Warlock.

Be Pure! Be Vigilant! Behave! Cleanse the festering sore that is the deviant!

N810
07-12-2009, 13:35
Also there are Dropships in Starship Troopers,
they use them to deliver the MI to the surface of the planet from orbit... ;)

PaddyF
07-12-2009, 13:38
Also there are Dropships in Starship Troopers,
they use them to deliver the MI to the surface of the planet from orbit... ;)

In the film yes, in the book they were dropped using individual pods fired from cannons on the side of the space craft.

The drop ships in the film looked very similar to those from Aliens and some props were used from Aliens in Starship Troopers.

N810
07-12-2009, 13:43
In the film yes, in the book they were dropped using individual pods fired from cannons on the side of the space craft.

The drop ships in the film looked very similar to those from Aliens and some props were used from Aliens in Starship Troopers.

Actualy I was refering to the one man units in the book.
While the movie was decent the changed a lot of things unneceriarly.

The short lived CG Anime was a bit truer to the book as they used real power armor.

borithan
07-12-2009, 13:48
I particularly liked the way Heinlein described how the suit amplified the movements and strengths of the wearers. Can anyone comment on how this then affected Halo MJOLNR(sp?) armor?Again, it may not be a direct inspiration. Halo is relatively new, and strength augmenting power armour is a long established thing in sci-fi.


And when did the Halo series come about in print form? Very recent, right?Yes... they were presumably working on the background alongside the development of the first game (which took quite some time), so it doesn't serve as an indicator of when they came up with their ideas, but I imagine late 90s is probably about right (though they do have many recurring things throughout their games which date back to the mid 90s at least).


Not quite. They do have a lot of weapons hanging off their armor, they are all hand-held not built in (well, except for the grenade launcher on their backs).Hmm... not sure about this at all. The bomb launcher is backmounted, as you said, but I vaguely remember the flamethrowers being something wrist mounted (when someone falls into Bug tunnels). The fire pellets I think were hand deployed, but they never actually have a "gun" as such (as far as I can remember). The nuclear devices I presumed were used from the bomb launcher. I don't even remember there being any other weapons mentioned (and as I said, thechoice of weaponry is rather strange).

N810
07-12-2009, 14:01
Well the tactics are a bit unusual too,
basicily they would drop from orbit,
when they got close they would drop some
mini nukes to make a place to land,
also mini nukes there automaticly deployed
on every jump to clear out masses of bugs,
regular guns didn't work well on bugs as any
apendage on their body was lethial so you
had to either make a lot of concerated shots into
their core or try to shoot off all of their limbs,
this is why a flame thrower was a better choice,
as it kills the whole bug at the same time.
there are more weapons on the armor and more than
on model of armor as well, but I believe most had jump jets.

Tamwulf
07-12-2009, 14:21
I love the 40K universe and to a lesser extent the Warhammer universe.

Is there anything original about the 40K universe? It just seems like every element in the 40K universe can be easily recognizable in some literature, comic book, or movie/television.

mdauben
07-12-2009, 14:51
Hmm... not sure about this at all. The bomb launcher is backmounted, as you said, but I vaguely remember the flamethrowers being something wrist mounted (when someone falls into Bug tunnels). The fire pellets I think were hand deployed, but they never actually have a "gun" as such (as far as I can remember). The nuclear devices I presumed were used from the bomb launcher.
Both the Flamer and nuclear missle launcher were hand weapons, not built in. The back mounted launcher was stictly an unguided weapon with no targeting capability (it just "tossed" grenades to each side of the trooper). I'll try to remember to pull out the book tonight and give you some exact quotes.


I don't even remember there being any other weapons mentioned (and as I said, thechoice of weaponry is rather strange).
IIRC, both heavy (rifle) and light (pistol) flamers were mentioned, the nuclear missles, the auto grenade launcher and several types of hand grenades. There may have been one or two others but I'll have to double check the book to confirm.


basicily they would drop from orbit,
when they got close they would drop some
mini nukes to make a place to land,
Not exactly. While they did employ orbital nucear bombarments in some cases, in others (ex, the opening drop on the Skinny city) they didn't. The MI drop pods themselves did not mount any weapons.


also mini nukes there automaticly deployed
on every jump to clear out masses of bugs,
Nope. The grenade launchers were non-nuclear. Johhny Rico makes a big deal at one point inthe story out of finally being able to carry nuclear weapons, and of needing to make sure the other members of his squad have sufficient clearance from the blast. The grenade racks on the other hand seem to be standard equipment for the "marauder" armor (the type worn by most troops) and were relativly short ranged weapons employed even while the troops were moving together in skirmish lines.

monkeyman
07-12-2009, 15:04
@Seattledv8 and anyone else who wishes to comment.

"My favorite GW reverse IP was when they were going to sue Michael Moorcock for Chaos and the Chaos eight pointed star.
Then someone pointed out to them that Moorcock story's dated from the early 70's."

Are you serious? :eek: :wtf:That is more than slightly obscured… And by obscured I am referring to the fact that GW would try to see Moorcock….

N810
07-12-2009, 15:06
Opps
sorry about that mdauben,
I am going from memory, and it's
been about 10 years since I read the book.

I thought I rembered Jonny shooting a nuke
just after he got out of the drop ship on his desent...
it think the drop ship origionaly burnt up like a heat shield or something..? :confused: