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The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress Paperback – Jun 15 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Orb Books; 1 edition (June 15 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312863551
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312863555
  • Product Dimensions: 15.1 x 2.6 x 21.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 322 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (181 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,656 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"We proceed down a path marked by his ideas." --Tom Clancy

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First Sentence
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. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John S. Ryan on Sept. 8 2003
Format: Paperback
I rank this among Heinlein's three absolutely magisterial novels (the other two being _The Door into Summer_ and _Double Star_).
I'm not altogether sure why it's regarded as a "libertarian" novel; although Heinlein was indeed calling himself a libertarian by the time he wrote it, there's nothing much here by way of a principled case for liberty. But it sure is some great storytelling.
It's 2076, see, and Luna is a penal colony (rather like Botany Bay). Projections indicate that it's losing natural resources at such a rate that it will become uninhabitable within a small number of years. So it's time to reenact the American Revolution.
But this time it's led by computer repairman Manuel Garcia O'Kelly Davis, "rational anarchist" Professor Bernardo de la Paz, rabble-rousing rebel Wyoming Knott, and a HOLMES IV computer named Mycroft who happens to have become sentient.
Okay, the technological projections aren't the most accurate (even for Heinlein, who didn't average all that well anyway). But man oh man, what a story.
And it's narrated by Mannie himself, in a thick Lunar dialect that owes a lot to Russian (and, one suspects, to Anthony Burgess's _A Clockwork Orange_). Heinlein does a wonderful job here, keeping the tone just right throughout the entire novel and never drifting into obscurity.
Heinlein made his original reputation with brilliant short stories, but this novel is one of the reasons he kept it. Nearly forty years after it was written, it's still on the shortlist of the best SF ever. Don't miss it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richard C. Drew on Nov. 3 2003
Format: Paperback
I'm not embarrassed to admit that I actually got teary eyed at the end of this book. It was one of the most engrossing, well written books RAH penned. It proved that his "black belt" in writing was well deserved. Any SF fan would enjoy this book, period. I know a LOT of people that love SF and some that tolerate it. All really - really- liked this book.
Come on, RAH even did some time hopping in another novel to revisit the events of this one - and "save" a key character. As the old cereal commercial states "try it - you'll like it!"
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Format: Paperback
I am not much of a science fiction reader or film watcher but when my friend bought THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS for my birthday, it instantly became one of my favorite books. Not one of my favorite science fiction books, one of my favorite books period. And what makes it such is its sturdy character development and plot development. All the characters are believeable and likeable. This includes Mike the computer. His desire to understand humor and humans must have been revolutionary for the time the book was written.
I have heard of Heinlein's political leanings and how they affected his writing. However, I did not sense that the novel was a veiled attempt at spewing a manifesto. The story is simply about humans wanting to be treated as such, and having to fight for that treatment. Mike's suggestion to "throw rocks" at the oppressors was absolutely brilliant. It made me think of the Biblical line: "Let he who is without sin throw the first stone". Maybe there's a link, maybe not. I'm sure there are dozens of master's theses out there on this subject. In any event, this is a brilliant work of fiction of any kind! Read it!
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By TANSTAAFL on Jan. 13 2004
Format: Paperback
With TANSTAAFL for a screen name, how could I not review this book. ;-)
TANSTAAFL (There Aint No Such Thing As A Free Lunch) is the theme of this book and here Heinlein, unlike some of his other works, manages to intertwine his plot and theme without being too preachy.
Heinlein who, preachy or not, is always a great storyteller is at the top of his game with this one. The people of the moon, populated primarily by prisoners and their decendants a la Australia, rise up for a hopelessly outmanned and outgunned battle with Earth. The story is told through the eyes of an everyman hero, Manuel Garcia O'Kelly, jack of all trades and even master of a few of them. An everyman protaganist is, of course, helpful for the reader to identify with but Heinlein makes the book great, rather than good, with the inclusion of three of the most memorable characters in SF literature. Professor Bernado de la Paz, a veteran revolucianario full of contradictions, Wyoming Knott, who I do not want to describe here because you should discover her for yourself in the book, and Mycroft Holmes, not Sherlock's smarter brother, but rather the smartest computer who we know has reached sentience because he wants what we all want - to be loved.
If you have never read Heinlein, read this book.
If you have read Heinlein and haven't yet read this, read this book.
If you have already read this book, read it again, I have been re-reading it every few years for more than 30 years now, and I still love to read it.
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Format: Paperback
Not surprisingly, this 1966 Heinlein classic is, by today's (2003) standards, ludicrously dated in terms of it's vision for artificial intelligence. More importantly, the books character development is simply juvenile. Seems odd, in retrospect, how the Libertarian movement could have sprung from interest in this sappy book.
Near the end, I was, in all honesty, simply begging for one of the fictitious lead characters to expire (and he did), and for the computer to shut up (and it did).
Good science fiction, like "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea", remains worth reading whether or not it's scientific vision has been outlived by the real world, simply because it's good fiction. Some science fiction, like the "Dune" series, would still be good fiction even if it's science vision became outdated, either because you come to care about the characters or because the story line itself is so compelling.
Unfortunately, "The Moon..." fails on both accounts for today's first time reader.
Instead, try Dan Simmons' "Hyperion". Deeply satisfying human drama amid a mind-blowing future universe. Certainly an unfair comparison, but hey, my only purpose is to point you to a great read. Enjoy!
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