Stranger in a Strange Land
by Robert A. Heinlein
Michael Valentine Smith Timeline and Summary
- Mike is born on Mars and raised by Martians. So far so cool.
- Twenty years later, the Champion comes to Mars and finds Mike. Our human Martian goes with the Champion to Earth, ready to grok.
- Mike is sent to Bethesda hospital, but Jill busts him out of there.
- Gil Berquist and Detective Johnson try to intercept Jill and Mike. Not cool—Mike kills them.
- Mike and Jill head to Jubal's house, and Mike begins to learn about human culture and society. Which, when you think about it, is a pretty strange phenomenon.
- Men are sent to capture Mike, Jill, and Jubal, but Mike whisks them into nonexistence. To celebrate, he kisses Jill. It's his first kiss and everything, awww.
- The World Federation conference is held. Mike gets to keep his Martian wealth, but he loses sovereignty over Mars.
- Mike visits a Fosterite religious service. There, he reaches a cusp and while grokking his actions, he decides he is no longer a nestling. Translation: boy's grown up.
- Next up, Mike loses his virginity to an unknown culprit (unknown to the reader anyhow, not him we assume).
- Mike and Jill travel the world together, grokking away. Mike ends up a carnie and becomes water brother to Patricia Paiwonski.
- Mike finally groks laughing by—you guessed it—laughing.
- Inspired to help humanity, he becomes ordained and starts the Church of All Worlds.
- Ben visits Mike at his new place, but he's scared off by the way Mike does things.
- In the end, the Church of All Worlds burns down. Mike is arrested, but, not surprisingly, he flies the coop.
- Mike and Jubal have one last talk in which Jubal convinces Mike that he wasn't a failure.
- Don't get too sentimental. Soon after, an angry mob murders Mike as he tries to preach to them.
- But it's all good—he ends up in the afterlife.