Robert A. Heinlein [ free ] The Moon is a Harsh Mistress


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The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

Luna of the 21st century is a penal colony where everyone lives under the dictatorship of the hated Authority But the inevitab. TANSTAAFL There ain t no such thing as a free lunchMy three favorite books of all time are in no order Heart of Darkness The Dispossessed and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress When I first read this years ago I loved it I could not put it down As Stranger in a Strange Land was a Robert A Heinlein vehicle for theology so is Moon is a Harsh Mistress to ideology And just as The Fountainhead is the better though less epic of the pair with Atlas Shrugged so is Moon is a Harsh Mistress the focused and simple of the two better than Stranger in a Strange Land I liked the setting the use of libertarian principles and of course the brilliant work of the Grandmaster himselfThis is a virtuoso science fiction futuristic re telling of the American Revolution Told from the first person recollection of a computer technician with thick Russian accent and of the birth and progress of the Lunar independenceThe Moon Luna to it s residents who call themselves Loonies has been a penal colony for decades It is the perfect prison get outside the underground warrens and beyond the air locks and you re on the moon Without a pressure suit you re dead There are very little rules and no real laws so a hardscrabble anarchy has created a loose but tough and resilient populace who want freedomCertainly this libertarian paradise could have become an anarchistic hell but in Heinlein s hard loving hands his creation is the Free State of Luna This story tracks with the American Revolution with unfair and distant landowners inept and uncaring provisional governors the warden and even a declaration of independence on the fourth of July Students of revolutionary movements will also see an allegory for throwing rocks as a statement about the earliest stages of discontent and reactionFirst published in 1966 this was written at the zenith of his considerable powers and stands as a true classic of the genre I just re read this one the very few books that I have read than once and may re read it again it s that good 2018 addendum it is a testament to great literature that a reader recalls the work years later and this is a book about which I freuently think A friend commented about Heinlein books and I realized as we talked that when I think about Heinlein my mind automatically defaults to this book When I read SF I project this on that book and I wonder if that author read and was inspired This is on my short list of all time favorites and I think this should be on a very short list of greatest SF books of all time

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Ith the help of a professor a beautiful blonde and a jack of all trades The conspirators' plans go along beautifully for a whi. One of the presents for my mother this Christmas was an Echo Alexa Having recently reread Robert Heinlein s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress I couldn t stop thinking about the parallels between the awakened computer Mycroft Mike in this novel and Alexa This connection was reinforced when people kept asking Alexa to tell a joke While he helps the former convict Lunar settlers in a rebellion against Earth MIke s obsession remains fixated on jokes and whether they are funny only once in a given situation or always funny Maybe Alexa is not on the verge of becoming self aware however the idea that artificial intelligence could awaken is explored in an interesting way by Heinlein in 1967 without the knowledge of what AI looks like now The Moon is a Harsh Mistress feels a little clunky in my reread but this side plot Mike awakening works well with the main plot overthrowing Earth s control of the Moon I would also have liked on the implications of Mike s awakening but overall Heinlein tells an interesting and enjoyable story about the not so distant future The Valhalla Prophecy (Nina Wilde & Eddie Chase is a Harsh Mistress I couldn t stop thinking about the parallels between the awakened computer Mycroft Mike The Tunnel in this novel and Alexa This connection was reinforced when people kept asking Alexa to tell a joke While he helps the former convict Lunar settlers Secretos del Cosmos in a rebellion against Earth MIke s obsession remains fixated on jokes and whether they are funny only once The Secret Treasons in a given situation or always funny Maybe Alexa مريض الوهم is not on the verge of becoming self aware however the The Hypochondriacs Guide To Life And Death idea that artificial ¡Arde Troya! (Las aventuras de Ogú, Mampato y Rena, intelligence could awaken Doctor y campeón is explored La corruptrice in an Sweet for Her (Sweet Curves interesting way by Heinlein The Purpose-Guided Universe in 1967 without the knowledge of what AI looks like now The Moon The Abel & Cole Veg Box Companion is a Harsh Mistress feels a little clunky The Academy in my reread but this side plot Mike awakening works well with the main plot overthrowing Earth s control of the Moon I would also have liked on the Full Dark, No Stars implications of Mike s awakening but overall Heinlein tells an If Only Once (The Martelli Brothers, interesting and enjoyable story about the not so distant future

Robert A. Heinlein Ë 7 REVIEW

Le takes place one day when Mike the master computer who controls everything on Luna devises an intricate revolutionary plot w. Ah Heinlein SF s great paradox artist I am fairly certain that I have personally held every possible wrong viewpoint on the man Namely that he was1 A radically forward thinking visionary of libertarianism2 A raging fascist homophobe and misogynist3 Any point on the sociopolitical spectrum in betweenIt s not my fault Over the course of his career Heinlein seemed to espouse every possible viewpoint on religion government and gender relations obviously he liked to stick to small themes showing little tolerance for moderate opinions Without a blink of irony he also placed a premium on pragmatism And the balance of pragmatism and idealism or rather the illusion that the two can coexist effortlessly is what The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress is all about It is the story of a lunar colony s revolt in the same way that The Fountainhead is a book about architects an insulting comparison Heinlein s prose is significantly readable than Ayn Rand s You see it s really about libertarianism or as one of the book s heroes characterizes it rational anarchismSo a small group of revolutionaries attempts to liberate the moon from her Earthbound oppressors and institute a perfect anarcho syndicalist commune in their stead They set about doing this of course with the help of a sentient supercomputer They organize the people of Luna and succeed in overthrowing the existing government but in so doing upset the nations of Earth After all the moon has been shipping grain down to help feed Earth s starving masses so they re a little cranky when the Lunies threaten to cut off the supply you d be cranky living on 1800 calories a day too Coincidentally the ruling philosophy on Luna is the maxim TANSTAAFL There Ain t No Such Thing as a Free Lunch I mentioned that Heinlein was subtle rightSo they go to war and then in the novel s single biggest twist the computer doesn t turn evil I could hardly believe itAlthough the book is riddled with bizarre moments that nag one s attempts to suspend disbelief the most persistent being Mike the Computer s regular updates as to the revolutionaries probability of success which starts out at 17 and then as everything proceeds to go perfectly to plan drops to as low as 1100 in unapologetic defiance of all mathematical logic the plot s weaknesses don t matter Heinlein is a gifted novelist and a natural storyteller Even when the characters decide to take 10 pages off and simply talk politics for a while it s enthralling And talk politics they do No one flinches at the notion of attempting to institute a perfect democracy run entirely by a handful of exceptional individuals who themselves defer to the managerial expertise of a supercomputer no tyrannic potential there right Nor do they worry themselves with the philosophical contradiction of attempting to forge a pacifistic state by means of terrorism and interplanetary warfare those who raise the issue and thus violate Heinlein s worship at the Altar of Pragmatism are conveniently Roslined out of the nearest airlock it s okay they re wormy enough that you won t miss em But all of this simply serves to illustrate Heinlein s mastery of the ideological paradox He s than smart enough to recognize the inconsistencies of his own personal politics and to play with them to terrific effect Notably Heinlein did not self dentify with the majority of his protagonists Instead his Mary Sues are characters like Stranger in a Strange Land s Jubal Harshaw and in the case of The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress Professor Bernardo de la Harshaw er Paz They are cynical old men who are in novel after novel infallible brilliant well connected and almost disturbingly capableExit thought why is it that the computer that makes the revolution possible just happens to share its name with the superhuman hero of Stranger In a Strange Land both of whom disappear suddenly and inexplicably upon concluding their tasks


10 thoughts on “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

  1. says:

    TANSTAAFL There ain't no such thing as a free lunchMy three favorite books of all time are in no order Heart of Darkness The Dispossessed and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress When I first read this years ago I loved it I could not put it down As Stranger in a Strange Land was a Robert A Heinlein vehicle for theology so is Moon is a Harsh Mistress to ideology And just as The Fountainhead is the better though less epic of the pair with Atlas Sh

  2. says:

    Space camp prison fun time So we have AI use of food as a weapon of war philosophy how probability influences human decisions and satirizing statistics rebellion how to treat colonies right or wrong and what true independence means with many side blows on history emancipation by imbalance of sex ratio that enables women to be powerful and what kind of family models form out of this new situation and as always i

  3. says:

    “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” – what a title sometimes I wonder if this book is considered such a classic in large part due to that title Despite some imperfections it does have much to offer especially bein

  4. says:

    Ah Heinlein SF's great paradox artist I am fairly certain that I have personally held every possible wrong viewpoint on the man Namely that he was1 A radically forward thinking visionary of libertarianism2 A raging fascist homophobe and misogynist3 Any point on the sociopolitical spectrum in betweenIt's not my fault Over the course of his career Heinlein seemed to espouse every possible viewpoint on religion

  5. says:

    Imagine a prison colony on the MoonNow add a new and updated twist on the American war of independenceA self aware computer that actually runs the colonyA non political computer engineerA beautiful freedom fighterA politically cynical professor The birth of a new nationAnd you have one of the best hard science fiction tales ever image Prison HistoryMy Grandfather Stone claimed that Luna was only open prison in history No bars no guards no r

  6. says:

    do you play games where you know the outcome of the game itself is without uestion where any fun to be had is not so much in the winni

  7. says:

    One of the presents for my mother this Christmas was an Echo Alexa Having recently reread Robert Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress I couldn't stop thinking about the parallels between the awakened computer Mycroft Mike in this novel and Alexa This connection was reinforced when people kept asking Alexa to tell a joke While he helps the former convict Lunar settlers in a rebellion against Earth MIke's obsession r

  8. says:

    If you're into stuff like this you can read the full reviewOn How to Spin a Top Notch Yarn of Bullshit The Moon is

  9. says:

    DNFed it at 55 % or so I can't believe that this difficult to read and difficult to follow story is so highly rated on GoodreadsThe story is so painstakingly revealed yet there are uestions than answers The coup prepared by the oppressed moon dwellers seems to take foreverEach successful book has its own audience or should I say readership Ma

  10. says:

    What do you want us to do? Throw rocks at them?Nah but we could have a tea partyWow I'm still amazed at how good this Revolution novel has held up over the years I had read it twice before this latest re read but it hasn't lost any of its char

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