The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

Paperback, 288 pages

Published March 14, 2005 by Hodder & Stoughton Paperbacks.

ISBN:
9780340837948
OCLC Number:
59205664

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (72 reviews)

It is the late 21st Century and the Moon has been colonized -- as a giant, open, prison. Every aspect of life is overseen by the Federated Nations "Lunar Authority"; until one day when a self-aware Super-Computer, a Jack of all Trades Technician, an Anarchist Professor, and a beautiful Blonde Revolutionary decide to change their world. The conspirators' plans go along beautifully...for a while.

TANSTAAFL! There ain't no such thing as a free lunch! Robert A. Heinlein was the most influential science fiction writer of his era, an influence so large that, as Samuel R. Delany notes, "modern critics attempting to wrestle with that influence feel themselves dealing with an object rather like the sky or an ocean." He won the Hugo Award for best novel four times, a record that still stands. The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress was the last of these Hugo-winning novels, and it is widely …

26 editions

Review of 'The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress' on 'Storygraph'

4 stars

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress pleasantly surprised me with how good it is. It has polyamory (healthily), a sentient computer, a point-of-view character with a prosthesis, and serious discussions of morality/ethics under oppression and during/after revolution.

The language and code-switching is cool, I knew enough of the words in the polyglot that I only missed things borrowed from Russian. The world building is on the right side of the balance between info dump and sparse description that all sci-fi books have to navigate. The polyamory and polygamy is described well, has a bit of a “relationships... in SPACE” feel but is really cool. Overall I have no qualms recommending this to someone, and I enjoyed it a lot. The main cw is for sexual assault/murder, but even that is handled very well and described in as low-stress of a way as is possible while still including it.

Review of 'The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

I'll rate this book as one of the best sci-fi books I've ever read, right up there with Dune and Foundation. The fact that it was written in 1966, years before the age of the computer, is just remarkable. Heinlein manages to accurately predict so many things that we take for granted today: Big Data analysis, predictive modelling, voice recognition, social media marketing, pervasive electronic communications ("internet"). And this is just the computer side of things, scratching the surface of what this book is about.

The book may be categorised as sci-fi, but it's really about the human condition. The political drama is superb.

Highly recommended.

Review of 'The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress' on Goodreads

3 stars

''When Mike was installed in Luna, he was pure thinkum, a flexible logic -- ''High-Optional, Logical, Multi-Evaluating Supervisor, Mark IV, Mod. L'' -- HOLMES FOUR. He computed ballistics for pilotless freighters and controlled their catapult. This kept him busy less than one per cent of time and Luna Authority never believed in idle hands. They kept hooking hardware into him -- decision-action boxes to let him boss other computers, bank on bank of additional memories, more banks of associational neural nets, another tubful of twelve-digit random numbers, a greatly augmented temporary memory. Human brain has around ten-to-the-tenth neurons. By third year Mike had better than one and a half time that number of neuristors.
And woke up.''

Review of 'The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is a political/sci-fi masterpiece. The book tells the story of Lunar (used to exile criminals and their families, once you adapt to life on the moon it was almost impossible to adjust back to the gravity of earth) and their struggle to become a free nation. Lunar while a place of criminals, political exiles or their descendants is like any other countries; yearning for liberty and to be free from the tyranny of their slaves. With the help of a supercomputer with a personality; Mycroft, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is a well-paced, action charged, science fiction must-read. Without giving much away this book has a strong political message but done in such a way that the story and climax is never effected.

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