Book Reviews

So many books (you know the rest)

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
by Robert A. Heinlein
Published in 1966 (I finished it on June 26, 2013)

I wanted something fitting the style of mid-20th century science fiction, which is a very fascinating time since computers were quickly changing technology for mankind. This did the trick.

It’s a moon penal colony of a sort with descendants as well. The inhabitants are growing rebellious and tire of the laws of earth. Think French Revolution, American Revolution, and Australia’s beginnings, and you pretty much have it.

The protagonist (and narrator) is fairly apolitical and gets sent to check out a computer error where the computer overpaid a janitor by about $1,000,000. Turns out the computer thought it would be a funny joke. Thus, we (and the narrator) learn that this computer has “woken up” and is a sentiment being now. It’s pretty much like HAL from 2001.

The book is well done, and takes place 100 years in the future from the writing date; however, it also has strong echoes of the 1960s in many ways.

There are varying themes, but the ideals of a working political system are dominant, with a focus on using persuasion instead of coercion in trying to get people to follow the laws, also suggesting that revolutions happen when too many people find the laws obnoxious and no longer tolerable.