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The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A.…

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1966)

by Robert A. Heinlein

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: World As Myth (Prequel)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,361119477 (4.16)1 / 277
Recently added byprivate library, LitaVore, MaryPieroCarey, dcunning11235, werlen, leedbee, nichole1988
Legacy LibrariesInternational Space Station
  1. 132
    The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: A different moon, a different anti-authoritarian community, but the same experience of thinking about other ways to run human societies
  2. 21
    Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (JFDR)
  3. 11
    Illusions of Tranquility [short fiction] by Brendan DuBois (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: This short story puts a new twist on Heinlein's libertarian moon colony.
  4. 00
    Constellation Games by Leonard Richardson (bertilak)
  5. 11
    Freehold by Michael Z. Williamson (enrique_molinero)
  6. 00
    Radio Freefall by Matthew Jarpe (psybre)
    psybre: Lunar mayhem, and not just due to rock and roll, either.
  7. 01
    The Merro Tree by Katie Waitman (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For the seeds of revolution.
  8. 01
    Pallas by L. Neil Smith (enrique_molinero)
  9. 01
    Moon of Mutiny by Lester Del Rey (infiniteletters)
  10. 02
    The Unincorporated Man by Dani Kollin (MyriadBooks)

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English (115)  Swedish (2)  Slovak (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (119)
Showing 1-5 of 115 (next | show all)
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress might deserve five stars. I'm not the right person for this job. I dislike the idea of focusing on politics and revolution and all that. That means I should have hated this book. Instead, I liked it very much. That's why it probably deserves 5 stars.

It's full of fantastic ideas, as a work of science fiction, as a weirdly humanist semi-dystopian novel, and as a book about political intrigue and the nature of government and the citizens within a government.

I prefer this to Stranger in a Strange Land, if that means anything to you. ( )
  valzi | Sep 7, 2016 |
The story begins with Mannie, our hero, a free-lance computer tech who discovers that the Warden's thinkum dinkum is sentient with a fully engaged sense of humour. Intrigued, a precarious friendship develops with the mainframe being guided along the precarious path of humanity. This wonderfully attentive opening sequence quickly progresses from a first contact story-line to a developed portrayal of the mechanism, reaction and consequences of revolution. For my full review visit: goo.gl/uXg0dv ( )
  HollyBest | Jun 9, 2016 |
This is not the kind of book I typically read. I picked it for the 2016 pop sugar challenge of protagonist with the same occupation. I listened to the audio version and I really enjoyed the narrator.

It was definitely all politics all the time, but it didn't really annoy me much as the protagonist hates politics too. I really liked pretty much all of the characters so it was an easy story to get into. ( )
  LenaR0307 | May 30, 2016 |

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress – Robert Heinlein – n. Lloyd James

I was very fond of Robert Heinlein when I was younger. Fortunately, it didn’t last. I outgrew his simplistic libertarian politics and cringed at his supposedly liberal feminist views. So, why did I choose to listen to this classic of science fiction? I needed an audio of a book that I’d read before to help me pass the time without requiring too much of my attention. Lloyd James is a good reader and did a great job with the accents required by this story. The book continues to have a certain entertainment value despite being technologically dated.

In this Heinlein universe, the moon has been colonized much as Australia was historically. It has been used as a prison colony and has continued as a homeland for the ancestors of the original transportees. The Lunar natives of this moon are unhappy with their semi-enslaved status and foment a revolution with the help of an all knowing, self-aware computer. The computer is called Mike, short for Mycroft Holmes. The story is told by Manuel O’Kelly in a synthetic Russian accent.

For me, the entertainment value of this story is chiefly historical. Heinlein anticipated the versatility of computer technology, but did not dream of the personal computer or even a cordless telephone. Most important, this is the book that introduced “tanstaafl” into working vocabulary. (There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.)
( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
TMIaHM is about consciousness and its corollary: the urge to oppress/break free from oppression. It's about the pursuit of freedom: whether to enlarge or restrict its borders. "Seems to be a deep instinct in human beings for making everything compulsory that isn't forbidden."

In the year 2076, the residents of Luna, the moon's largest city, declare revolutionary war on Terra, the Earth. Luna was founded as a penal colony sometime, the book posits, in 2015 or 2020. This pretty much make's Luna the future's Australia (minus gravity, an atmosphere, and fair dinkum dingoes). The Loonies, as 'they' call themselves, are tired of being slaves -- for that is what they are: slaves laboring to supply Terra's 11 billion residents (Hail Malthus!) with grain -- and are ready to flourish as an independent nation.

The Loonies' bid to break their bonds will require more than pluck, money, good planning and desire: as with the Israelites and Egyptians, the Loonies need a Jehovah. He appears in the 'person' of Mike, the sentient super-computer. How Mike becomes sentient, and what he does with that consciousness, and how he's also a kind of Jehovah, these are questions only a thorough reading of the novel will answer. There's No Such Thing As A Free Lunch is more than a pithy maxim; it's this novel's version of PT Barnum's crusty adage about suckers and time.

After finishing last night, I immediately wanted to read it again; and in fact re-read the first chapter.

What is it about a book, how many pages must accumulate in a reader's head before that book becomes a living entity? And where does it come alive? In the reader's head? I think a book comes alive both In and out of a reader's imagination; it exists outside any one reader's imagination insofar as that reader attempts to describe the text to someone who hasn't yet read it. And then that someone reads the text, and yet another text-world is created. Worlds orbit, and world's collide. ( )
  evamat72 | Mar 31, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 115 (next | show all)
None of these complaints are to say that Harsh Mistress is a straight-up bad book. As with any Heinlein book, it offers a lot of food for thought and fodder for argument.
added by lorax | editio9, Josh Wimmer (May 2, 2010)

» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Heinlein, Robert A.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bradbury, Raymistaken ascriptionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
James, LloydNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lippi, GiuseppeContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Patrito, MarcoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pinna, AntonangeloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warhola, JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
For Pete and Jane Sencenbaugh
First words
I see in Lunaya Pravda that Luna City Council has passed on first reading a bill to examine, license, inspect—and tax—public food vendors operating inside municipal pressure.
There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.
TANSTAAFL (There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch)
We never did it that way again ... Alvarez was not a scientific detective.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
Für die ersten Raumfahrer war sie das Ziel ihrer größten Sehnsüchte, doch nun ist Luna ein Hort der Alpträume geworden. Die Menschen haben den Mond in eine riesige Strafkolonie verwandelt. Niemand, der hierher verbannt wurde, hat die Chance, auf die Erde zurückzukehren. Das System ist allen verhaßt, doch keiner lehnt sich gegen die grausamen Unterdrücker auf - bis Mike, der gigantische Computer, für die Loonies Partei ergreift. Und plötzlich scheint alles möglich zu sein - selbst die Revolution auf dem Mond.
Ein Klassiker! Einer der fünf besten SF-Romane aller Zeiten.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312863551, Paperback)

Tom Clancy has said of Robert A. Heinlein, "We proceed down the path marked by his ideas. He shows us where the future is." Nowhere is this more true than in Heinlein's gripping tale of revolution on the moon in 2076, where "Loonies" are kept poor and oppressed by an Earth-based Authority that turns huge profits at their expense. A small band of dissidents, including a one-armed computer jock, a radical young woman, a past-his-prime academic and a nearly omnipotent computer named Mike, ignite the fires of revolution despite the near certainty of failure and death.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:57 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A one-armed computer technician, a radical blonde bombshell, an aging academic, and a sentient all-knowing computer lead the lunar population in a revolution against Earth's colonial rule.

» see all 7 descriptions

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