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The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress  by Robert A. Heinlein
  • Author Robert A. Heinlein
  • Title The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
  • Category Business & Money
  • Subcategory Management & Leadership
  • ISBN 0425081001
  • ISBN13 978-0425081006
  • Size PDF 1963 kb
  • Size FB2 1970 kb
  • Size EPUB 1652 kb
  • Publisher Berkley (December 15, 1984)
  • Language English
  • Rating 4.7
  • Votes 413

Reviews about The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein

This is my favorite Heinlein work. I’ve read it many times and just finished the Kindle version.

Must have been scanned and published without proofreading as it has many typos that would confuse a reader unfamiliar with this great book.

Five stars for the paperback or hard cover. Just two for the Kindle version.

How about proofreading/editing before you sell this any more.
The very best Robert Heinlein book ever. I've been waiting for this to come out in ebook format for a long long time and now I can take it with me and introduce friends to a classic.

The penal colony on Luna revolts and the resulting war between Terra and Luna is horrendous. Heinlein illustrates the first use of kinetic strike weapons and the propaganda use of food for a starving Earth. He details how personal integrity and personal freedom must interrelate. Read and enjoy and think
Simple fellow
I first fell in love with Robert Heinlein as a teenager. I thoroughly enjoyed his young adult adventures, but found this one annoying. Coming back to the author as an adult, I decided to re-read the books I found difficult before. I found the vivid descriptions of a possible life on the moon fascinating. The idea of a computer come to life is not that alien to us now (this was written in the 1940s, I think), but the character development was constantly interesting. Even more so were the concepts and tactics of revolution, the morality and strategy behind it. All this I missed as a youngster. I now fully understand its award status.
Scoreboard Bleeding
The year is 2075. The moon has been colonized for about 100 years, mostly by convicts transported to the moon, and their decedents. The colony is run by The Authority, which holds moon in trust for the Federated Nations of the earth. The residents of the moon (who call themselves "Loonies," derived from lunar) lead by a small cell of revolutionaries, are determined to win their independence, and thus freedom, from the "earthworms"--their term for people who still live on earth. This revolt is fueled in equal parts by a radical awakening, and computer projections run by the supercomputer The Authority has built to control virtually every function on the moon--projections which show that without change, there will be a severe food crisis within seven years. Inevitably, conflict breaks out as the earth won't let the Loonies go quietly.

As the plot unfolds, Heinlein has an opportunity to play out not only his deep knowledge of science (much of which seems pretty basic by today's standards--hand programing a computer by typing lengthy commands?) but a semi-anarchist view of politics. He summarizes Loonie political philosophy as "There Is NO Such Thing As A Free Lunch." This means everyone has to work and pay for what they need (including air, which is in short supply on the moon), but also that everyone forms extended families who undertake care for the elderly.

Heinlein does a great job of moving the story forward, developing a couple of characters we care about (including oddly the supercomputer, and building anticipation towards several well paced climaxes of the narrative. The science is right, and fairly complex, but Heinlein does such a good job of explaining it, and integrating it into the story, that it never distracts.

This is the first Heinlein I have ever read (which is embarrassing, since the book is now over 50 years old!), but it definitely will not be the last.
This is Heinlein's great political-economic masterpiece, told in a easy unpretentious manner by a computer programmer and repairman. There are an awful lot of subtle economic and cultural points made in an offhand way, that most pass unnoticed, making a second or third reading rewarding. Paying via double or nothing, avoiding Danegeld, ordered near anarchy, etiquette as a survival trait, no free lunches, private courts, ballistics, ...

And his imaginary future, now just 50 years away, is still plausible and engaging,. We do not yet have mike, a finely crafted computer character, but may someday. We do not have a world government but have so far avoided the world war that RH uses to motivate it. His vision of life on the moon with its fem-centered families still seems novel and imaginative, and could well emerge in the circumstances he sketches out.

It doesn't seem likely that farming will ever be a profitable export activity on the moon, but doubtless will be done if a sustainable settlement is created there--and yes most likely under ground, etc etc.

A great book, one that can be read casually or carefully as the mood strikes the reader.

It's among the most thought-provoking books I've ever read and shows that first rate futurism need not be pedantic in tone or or high brow in presentation.
Heinlein shares the ultimate throne for science fiction authors with Asimov maybe, and nobody else nobody else at all. And of Heinlein's stories, this may be the best, and certainly is among his best. Oh, well, there are several. I'd include even one of his juveniles, "Citizen of the Galaxy." Okay, S.F. has moved on since Heinlein died, but cannot have surpassed him for story-telling, or for penetrating detail. And the engaging personalities of his characters are superb, even or especially the supercomputer "Mike," in this story.
I've been waiting for the Kindle edition of Robert A. Heinlein's "The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress" for about six years. Finally, they published it. It's an interesting, good read and involves a lot of social and political ideas that, like the computer science behind the core concept, are something you wouldn't expect from a book published in 1966. Since the protagonists' culture and language heavily reflects a Russian background, the revolutionary direction involved is ironically amusing. I'm rating the book at a Very Good 4 stars out of 5.