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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.