The Moon is a Harsh Mistress


My first foray into classic science fiction. It’s hard to get any more “classic” – than Heinlein. He hits all the scifi buttons: weird technological futures, questionably crude political ideas, and some lazy metaphysical speculation. It’s technical, but fanciful at the same time. It’s seems like its a parable, but you wind up thinking that the whole thing is just a bit too trite for it have been the author’s main purpose for writing the thing.

It’s the Moon in 2076…and it’s a penal colony that ships grain to a badly overpopulated Earth. A self-aware computer and a computer repairman essentially go and torment a revolution, roughly a redux of the American and Bolshevik Revolutions – it’s a bit like Heinlein could’t decide which revolution to crib off of; or he couldn’t decide if he’s in favour of revolution or not. Because a big part of this book is a cynic’s depiction of revolution; but another part of this book is a a man having his political revolution fantasy…aka how would my revolution go and what sort of government would it create?Heinlein would probably be at home with the Tea Party or an Ayn Rand convention; his politics seems to veer between an at best Platonic fascism, and a libertarian free for all bordering on pure anarchism.

It’s an enjoyable read; Heinlein is at his best musing on technology, like sentient computers and moon economics. It’s a big let down when it comes to characters, plot, and humanistic ideas.



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