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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 ratingMentions
10,518183698 (4.1)382
Winner of the 1967 Hugo award, this novel marked Heinlein's partial return to his best form. He draws many historical parallels with the War of Independence, and clearly shows his own libertarian political views. In what is considered one of his most hair-raising, thought-provoking, and outrageous adventures, the master of modern Sci-Fi tells the strange story of an even stranger world--twenty-first century Luna, a harsh penal colony where a revolt is plotted between a bashful computer and a ragtag collection of maverick humans--a revolt that goes beautifully until the inevitable happens. But the problem with the inevitable is that it always happens.… (more)
  1. 162
    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. 00
    Radio Freefall by Matthew Jarpe (psybre)
    psybre: Lunar mayhem, and not just due to rock and roll, either.
  4. 11
    Freehold by Michael Z. Williamson (enrique_molinero)
  5. 11
    Illusions of Tranquility [short fiction] by Brendan DuBois (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: This short story puts a new twist on Heinlein's libertarian moon colony.
  6. 00
    Constellation Games by Leonard Richardson (bertilak)
  7. 00
    Moving Mars by Greg Bear (aspirit)
    aspirit: Similar themes but with a Mars/Earth conflict.
  8. 01
    Moon of Mutiny by Lester del Rey (infiniteletters)
  9. 01
    The Merro Tree by Katie Waitman (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For the seeds of revolution.
  10. 01
    Pallas by L. Neil Smith (enrique_molinero)
  11. 02
    The Unincorporated Man by Dani Kollin (MyriadBooks)
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» See also 382 mentions

English (177)  Swedish (2)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  Slovak (1)  All languages (182)
Showing 1-5 of 177 (next | show all)
Complex tale. Another pre-goodreads book i liked. ( )
  nitrolpost | Mar 19, 2024 |
Quite a challenging read with the dialect writing, but probably worth the effort in the end.
This is the earliest scifi mention of creches, also known as clans or lines, that I've come across. Definitely a welcome alternative to traditional childrearing. ( )
  MXMLLN | Jan 12, 2024 |
Many libertarian folks I know do all but sleep with this book under their pillow, and a few have gone so far as to claim that it's a viable model for a Libertarian Revolution, so I figured I'd read the thing finally. Those that want to use this as a model seem to have forgotten two steps:

Step 1: Accidently create a self-aware supercomputer to plan, organize, run, and run the aftermath of the minute details of your revolution.

Step 2: live on the moon.


Despite that, it was a rather fun read.
1 vote Moon_Cthulhu | Nov 9, 2023 |
It tried too hard. Basically a giant propaganda story for libertarianism. Would have liked a deeper, richer story. ( )
  kylecarroll | Jul 13, 2023 |
4.5*
I don't know what I had expected from this Hugo award-winning science fiction novel but it was so much better than I had anticipated! The main reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that Heinlein's personal views on politics (as voiced by Prof) were a little too pushy & some of the Earth politics was dated. However, it remains an insightful look at colonialism & revolution despite those flaws. And I loved the look at how the Luna colonists handled marriage as well as other aspects of life there. To top it all off, there is Mike -- the computer who has become sentient though nobody except Manny knows it at the start of the book!

Lloyd James does an excellent narration & I particularly liked his Russian accent for Manny (though I don't know if a character who is 3rd generation Luna with a name like Manuel Garcia O'Kelly-Davis is supposed to be Russian!). ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 27, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 177 (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 (64 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Heinlein, Robert A.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bergner, Wulf H.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bieger, MarcelRevisorsecondary authorsome 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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Important events
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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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

Winner of the 1967 Hugo award, this novel marked Heinlein's partial return to his best form. He draws many historical parallels with the War of Independence, and clearly shows his own libertarian political views. In what is considered one of his most hair-raising, thought-provoking, and outrageous adventures, the master of modern Sci-Fi tells the strange story of an even stranger world--twenty-first century Luna, a harsh penal colony where a revolt is plotted between a bashful computer and a ragtag collection of maverick humans--a revolt that goes beautifully until the inevitable happens. But the problem with the inevitable is that it always happens.

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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.
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