I’ve been reading a lot of Robert Heinlein lately. He really is an amazing science fiction writer, and his independent, productive, rational, and optimistic protagonists share many traits with the heroes of Ayn Rand. The only flaw I see in his writing is a pervading skepticism of all absolutes and ideals as such. His characters express their philosophy in specific (and usually true) “practical” principles like “Get the facts!” but never in terms of the broad abstract ideas needed to derive them. As such, they’re not the kind of individuals that could dedicate their lives to any idea (although a few do) or even one mate (Heinlen was a big fan of “free love” towards the end of his life). I think some of that came from his strong animosity towards any form of dogmatism, especially organized religion. His novels are full of lines like:
The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history.