- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Orb Books; 1st edition (June 15, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312863551
- ISBN-13: 978-0312863555
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 619 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress Paperback – June 15, 1997
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“We proceed down a path marked by his ideas.” ―Tom Clancy
About the Author
Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) is widely acknowledged to have been the single most important and influential author of science fiction in the twentieth century. Four Hugo Awards for Best Novels and three of his novels were given Retrospective Hugos fifty years after publication. He won Science Fiction Writers of America's first Grand Master Award for his lifetime achievement. His many influential novels include Starship Troopers, Stranger in a Strange Land, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, and Glory Road.
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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 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
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.
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.