The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

by Robert A. Heinlein
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The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein

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 find 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 considered his finest work.

It is a tale of revolution, of the rebellion of the former Lunar penal colony against the Lunar Authority that controls it from Earth. It is the tale of the disparate people--a computer technician, a vigorous young female agitator, and an elderly academic--who become the rebel movement's leaders. And it is the story of Mike, the supercomputer whose sentience is known only to this inner circle, and who for reasons of his own is committed to the revolution's ultimate success.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is one of the high points of modern science fiction, a novel bursting with politics, humanity, passion, innovative technical speculation, and a firm belief in the pursuit of human freedom.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is the winner of the 1967 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781441740052
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date: 06/01/2010
Edition description: Unabridged
Pages: 12
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 5.80(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Robert Anson Heinlein (1907-1988) was born in Missouri. He served five years in the U.S. Navy, then studied mathematics and physics at the graduate school of UCLA, took a variety of jobs, and owned a silver mine before beginning to write science fiction in 1939. His novels have won the Hugo Award, and in 1975 he received the First Grand Master Nebula Award for lifetime achievement.

Lloyd James hails from the Midwest. He received a B.A. in theater from a small liberal-arts college in New Mexico. He acts in the theater when his schedule permits and spends much of his free time working in his garden. He lives in Virginia with his wife and son.

Date of Birth:

July 7, 1907

Date of Death:

May 8, 1988

Place of Birth:

Butler, Missouri

Place of Death:

Carmel, California


Graduate of U.S. Naval Academy, 1929; attended University of California, Los Angeles, 1934, for graduate study in physic

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Moon Is a Harsh Mistress 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
Zenophile More than 1 year ago
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is a fascinating and politically gripping novel of gargantuan proportion. Written by Robert Heinlein during the peak of his creative genius, the novel surrounds and encapsulates its reader by transporting them to a time and place that today many believe is not possible. The novel is set during 2076 on a Moon colony where the residents were once convicted criminals on Earth. The regime that is depicted in the novel is reminiscent of a dictatorship and the population is oppressed to the point of insanity. The plot centers on a computer technician and a super-computer that becomes sentient during the opening chapters of the book. The computer, referred to as MIKE, chooses to help the technician and others who have come to believe that a revolution is needed on the Moon in order to restore the basic human rights that were once guaranteed to them. The libertarian-style revolution that the computer and the revolution's leader, an eccentric and highly educated professor named de la Paz, orchestrate forces a response from Earth that ultimately leads to confrontation. The confrontation leads to revolution with the Moon colonists faring quite well thanks mostly to MIKE who controls much of the Moon's electrical and mechanical systems. However, even though the colonists ultimately win recognition from Earth, in the final barrage of the Moon, MIKE is knocked about quite violently and when rebooted no longer has sentience. The novel is about liberty, desire, and self-awareness. Libertarianism, a key concept in the book, is evaluated and examined with more voracity than any professional political pundit could do and yet, at the end you are left wondering-did it work? For at the end of the story, Heinlein leaves much open. It appears he wanted to let his reader decide the true fate of the revolutionaries. The novel is more than just a fiction book about libertarian revolution on the Moon, it is provides a true social and political critique on the system of government that exists in the United States. There are many threads of thought and consciousness the run through the book that require the reader not only to just read and possibly understand the story, but to question the story. And, as always to recognize "TANSTAAFL" or there ain't no such thing as a free lunch! This Hugo Award-winning novel is a true testament to Heinlein's writing genius and style and in my opinion is possibly his greatest work. This book should be required reading for any individual who questions the motives of the society in which they reside and anyone interested in libertarianism, government authority, and freedom.
Markf More than 1 year ago
Heinlein at his best as he works in sex, freedom, economics, artificial intelligence, family, government and a host of other topics. Even if you don't agree with his point of view, RAH at least makes you think and think deep about your own beliefs.

Personally, I think this is the best of Heinlein's early and middle works. He was about to go off the deep end (in many ways) with his next book - Stranger in a Strange Land.

Guest More than 1 year ago
The subject line says it all, really. Manuel Garcia O'Kelly (Davis!) is a great protagonist and the world in which he lives is just as real as our own. It is no surprise this garnered Heinlein's fourth Hugo Award. Everyone should read this amazing novel.
Jortiradan More than 1 year ago
I first read this book more than 40 years ago. It still sticks with me. The characters are compelling and the concepts are thought provoking. Best of all, it is highly entertaining, hard to put down.
catburglar More than 1 year ago
A dependably enjoyable Heinlein story. Well-written; mostly pure, hard science-fiction, except for the sentient computer. The events that take place are similar in many ways to the American Revolution. As in other Heinlein novels, it has many social and political themes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I agree. This may have been Heinlein's best work. Can't think of anything else to add. If you haven't read it, you've seriously missed a winner!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely incredible.
RobMajor More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite books of all time. I first read it in junior high school. I am now 58 years old. I have read it at least ten times in the past 40 years, and it still has the magic. Heinlein's was brilliant, I've read all his stuff, and this is, in my view, his best work. WHY IS THIS NOT A NOOK BOOK???
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If you are ready to get serious about your science fiction then it is time to pick up this book and start your journey. There are numerous social undertones regarding the political machine and social architecture. Be prepared to think and assess the daily institutions while reading a sci-fi.
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