The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress

Clarke, Asimov and Heinlein are known as the Big Three of science fiction. After sampling Clarke, I have started on Heinlein with his The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. I was actually looking for his Starship Troopers in the library and found this instead. The story is set in 2075 when the Moon has become a penal colony where convicts are dumped and they grow food underground to swap it with Earth for their other needs. The story is narrated by an one armed computer technician named Mannie. It is about the first Lunar revolution against Earth.

The descriptions of a Lunar country where humans have adjusted to the gravity and environment is good. The formation of a secret rebel organization is well detailed. Heinlein excels in showing the futility of the Loonies (the Lunar residents) who many times end up with something that they had actually started out opposing. His subtle takes on liberty, democracy and our way of life (and the actual futility of it all) is pretty cool. The book introduces the now popular acronym TANSTAAFL (There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch). But to be frank, I found the book quite dry and stretching in many sections. But, it has stoked enough interest to try his other works.

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