Why this book?
Heinlein, who served in the Navy, is best known for Starship Troopers, but The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress is a more nuanced tale about rebellion, politics, and war. I have a PhD in political science and I worked on the staff of the US Army/USMC Counterinsurgency Center, so I have a soft spot for Moon. Military science fiction and fantasy (SFF) is awash in stories about state-sanctioned military forces duking it out with cool tech, but Moon tells about the rebels. The Loonies launch a shoestring rebellion using a self-aware supercomputer, an electromagnetic catapult, and a DIY ideology summed up by the now-famous acronym TANSTAAFL (there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch). In Moon, as in real life, politics and warfare are inextricably intertwined, which is why I can’t recommend this novel enough.
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
Why should I read it?
7 authors picked The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.
What is this book about?
In 2075, the Moon is no longer a penal colony. But it is still a prison...
Life isn't easy for the political dissidents and convicts who live in the scattered colonies that make up lunar civilisation. Everything is regulated strictly, efficiently and cheaply by a central supercomputer, HOLMES IV.
When humble technician Mannie O'Kelly-Davis discovers that HOLMES IV has quietly achieved consciousness (and developed a sense of humour), the choice is clear: either report the problem to the authorities... or become friends.
And perhaps overthrow the government while they're at it.
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress has been called…