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The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A.…
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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
7,443127469 (4.16)1 / 283
  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 (119)  Swedish (2)  Slovak (1)  Catalan (1)  All (123)
Showing 1-5 of 119 (next | show all)
It’s not easy writing a short review of a major classic in the science fiction circles. It’s almost as if you have to write a positive review to really be “accepted.” Fortunately that’s not this review!

I like Heinlein’s shorter novels such as Farmer in the Sky, Starship Troopers and Space Cadets. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, story of a revolution against the harsh yolk of Authority from Earth, is a drawn-out ramble in deep need of editing.

Despite the rambling dialogue and pages & pages of family life and long commentaries on social etiquette on the Moon, there are several interesting themes throughout.

Manuel is an engineer and is disabled, and is able to put on various “arms” that he uses in his work. He has an extended or “line” family where you can have several wives and different levels of husbands. This gets confusing but is fun to read about. Heinlein’s version of new future relations no doubt. These are frowned on when Manuel gets back to Earth looking for acceptance for his new government on the Moon, even to a point of a jail sentence for polygamy!

Manuel’s friend is a computer that has achieved sentience -- Mike! Mike slowly learns the personalities of those around him as he develops his own. Unlike “computer comes to sentience and kills his creator”-type of stories, Mike becomes indispensable in rallying the humans to throw off the yolk of oppression.

Heinlein’s commentaries on governments, libertarian ideals and forcing acceptance through meteor-throwing are also interesting. Lots of people die in this novel – certainly not a young adult book! – But the reader does not have time to mourn as we move on through the book.

Bottom Line:

The book makes some very discussion-worthy comments on marriage & relationships, government oppression, the true meanings of freedom and what that costs and the realization that there really is no such thing as a free lunch!

Recommended for its place in science fiction and being brave enough to tackle the themes of the day, but be prepared for a long and at times tedious read!
( )
  James_Mourgos | Dec 22, 2016 |
I liked the way "Mike" was brought to life. Making the whole story a parallel to the US Revolutionary war was interesting the first time, doesn't stand up as well on rereading. I always cry at the end though. (Someone asked me if I cry a lot - yep, it's one of the signs that the book pulled me into the story line and the characters.) ( )
  CarolJMO | Dec 12, 2016 |
A SF story about a civilization taking place on the Moon and their fight for independence from their Terran masters. I really enjoyed the way the inhabitants on the moon had a very different lifestyle, politics, and way of life and seemed like a great exploration of alternative civilizations. The fight for independence was well-written, interesting, and, at times, exciting. Parallels can easily be drawn throughout our history, but with a SF twist. The only drawback was that it could get overly technical at times, but I really enjoyed this book. ( )
  renbedell | Nov 29, 2016 |
I believe I've read this three times so far, and every time I get something out of it.

I read it once, I listened to it as an audiobook once, and just reread it again.

I definitely got more out of it after reading some of Heinlein's other books, as the story line - and characters - are just so intertwined with each other - past, present, and future. ( )
  anastaciaknits | Oct 29, 2016 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 119 (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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People/Characters
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Important events
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Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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
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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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