Stranger in a Strange Land tells the story of Valentine Michael Smith, a human who comes to Earth in early adulthood after being born on the planet Mars and raised by Martians.

Stranger in a Strange Land - Netflix

Type: Scripted

Languages: English

Status: In Development

Runtime: 60 minutes

Premier: None

Stranger in a Strange Land - Grok - Netflix

Grok is a word coined by American writer Robert A. Heinlein for his 1961 science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land. While the Oxford English Dictionary summarizes the meaning of grok as “to understand intuitively or by empathy, to establish rapport with” and “to empathize or communicate sympathetically (with); also, to experience enjoyment”, Heinlein's concept is far more nuanced, with critic Istvan Csicsery-Ronay Jr. observing that “the book's major theme can be seen as an extended definition of the term”. The concept of grok garnered significant critical scrutiny in the years after the book's initial publication. The term and aspects of the underlying concept have become part of communities as diverse as polyamory (in particular the Church of All Worlds) and computer science.

Stranger in a Strange Land - Descriptions of grok in Stranger in a Strange Land - Netflix

“The Martian Race had encountered the people of the fifth planet, grokked them completely, and had taken action; asteroid ruins were all that remained, save that the Martians continued to praise and cherish the people they had destroyed.”

Critic David E. Wright Sr. points out that in the 1991 “uncut” edition of Stranger, the word grok “was used first without any explicit definition on page 22” and continued to be used without being explicitly defined until page 253 (emphasis in original). He notes that this first intensional definition is simply “to drink”, but that this is only a metaphor “much as English 'I see' often means the same as 'I understand'”. Critics have bridged this absence of explicit definition by citing passages from Stranger that illustrate the term. A selection of these passages follows:

Stranger in a Strange Land - References - Netflix