Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress (original 1966; edition 2018)
by Robert A. Heinlein (Author)
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein (1966)
» 38 more
Favorite Childhood Books (380)
Favourite Books (236)
SF Masterworks (7)
Books Read in 2019 (361)
Top Five Books of 2017 (354)
Best Family Stories (106)
Best Love Stories (32)
20th Century Literature (512)
Top Five Books of 2019 (300)
Books Read in 2022 (819)
Unread books (328)
SF Masterworks (16)
Strange Cities (5)
Read These Too (68)
Solar System (3)
Five star books (1,468)
No current Talk conversations about this book.
A very good read. Quote dated but holds up pretty well to the hype. ( )
Having worked for and with libertarians for the past nearly 4 years, I have been told time and again how essential Heinlein's seminal work was to my political and philosophical development. Having finally read it, I can attest they were right. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress may be a book from decades ago, but its teachings remain as salient as ever.
Dealing with a penal colony on the moon with minimal oversight, Heinlein provides us with a unique blank slate to explore concepts of society and spontaneous order. The colonists of the moon have developed their own culture, with rules and mores not seen in any culture on Earth. A society in which women hold the ultimate authority in choosing a mate and running a household, where husbands can be divorced and dismissed at will with no formal processes. There is very minimal crime, and what crime there is tends to not be of the violent variety, for violence is punished with community sanctioned death, and everyone knows it. While some aspects of this society may seem archaic and others too bizarre and foreign for our sensibilities, Heinlein weaves a story of a society that on a whole functions quite peacefully.
On the flip side, what little authority does exist on Luna, exists only to rob the people and the land of its resources for the benefit of those on Earth who have been unable to manage their own. The people farm or mine resources and sell them at government determined rates for currency that the government determines the value of, while forcing the people to purchase vital resources back from the government at also rates they have determined. A free market exists where the people can circumvent authority rules. And in that, they thrive and do a much better job at managing their resources than the authority can.
The book also offers wonderful insights into the psychology of fermenting a revolt, organizing insurgent/revolutionary groups, and war/diplomacy. By giving us the barren playground of the moon to experiment with, Heinlein succeeds in exploring many aspects of what we currently assume to just be absolutes and monoliths in our life. And as always, the lesson to be learned is "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch" (TANSTAAFL).
This book surprised me. I hadn't read any Heinlein works before, and I had him pegged as a "minor" sci-fi author. Obviously I was wrong, at least regarding this book.
As a writer, I appreciate how he uses chopped-up english and russian terms to create a very specific language that acts as a way of immersing the reader in his world. Also, the technicalities of the moon are pretty well thought-out (for the time it was written) and it makes for an extremely interesting rumination on revolution, social control and propaganda (or realpolitiks, to sum it up).
The only weak spot I found is that the ending is not as powerful as it could have been, though it does portray the motto of the whole book: TANSTAAFL.
Good novel about moon colonists who rebel against the Earth government.
There is so much I hated about this book. But it was quite well written and kind of entertaining in its awfulness.
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.
Belongs to Series
World As Myth (Prequel)
Belongs to Publisher Series
Bastei Lübbe SF (24191)
Folio SF (320)
Heyne Science Fiction & Fantasy (3132/3133)
SF Masterworks (72)
— 3 more
Is contained in
Chroniken der Zukunft II. Revolte auf Luna / Die dunklen Wüsten des Titan / Das letzte Sternenschiff. by Robert A. Heinlein
Is a (non-series) prequel to
Has as a student's study guide
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English (3)
For fans of Artemis--The visionary tour de force from "one of the grand masters of science fiction" ( The Wall Street Journal ). Widely acknowledged as one of Robert A. Heinlein's greatest works, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress rose from the golden age of science fiction to become an undisputed classic--and a touchstone for the philosophy of personal responsibility and political freedom. A revolution on a lunar penal colony--aided by a self-aware supercomputer--provides the framework for a story of a diverse group of men and women grappling with the ever-changing definitions of humanity, technology, and free will--themes that resonate just as strongly today as they did when the novel was first published. The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress gives readers an extraordinary, thought-provoking glimpse into the mind of Robert A. Heinlein, who, even now, "shows us where the future is" (Tom Clancy).
No library descriptions found.
Amazon Kindle (0 editions)
Audible (0 editions)
CD Audiobook (0 editions)
Project Gutenberg (0 editions)
Google Books — Loading...
Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.54Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
Is this you?
Become a LibraryThing Author.