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The Man Who Sold the Moon (Future History or "Heinlein Timeline" #5)

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  8,360 Ratings  ·  118 Reviews
D. D. Harriman is a billionaire with a dream: the dream of Space for All Mankind. The method? Anything that works. Maybe, in fact, Harriman goes too far.

But he will give us the stars....

(Source: back cover)
Paperback, 295 pages
Published February 2007 by Baen (first published March 1st 1951)
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Feb 16, 2009 Manny rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
See, the government's never really going to organize a project that will send a man to the Moon, are they? Course not. Just a huge, bloated bureaucracy that's going to waste billions of dollars of the taxpayer's money without achieving a goddamn thing. The only way to do it is to have a smart, unscrupulous entrepreneur, who's determined to make it happen and is willing to bend a few rules to get there. Trust me, the profit motive is more powerful than you think.

Well, having worked at NASA, I mus
3.5 stars. This set of short stories plus the title Novella is a good introduction to Heinlein's "Future History" especially the title novella and "The Roads Must Roll." The latter is my favorite from the collection and was included as one of the best short stories of all time by the Science Fiction Writers of America.
Ben Babcock
More Heinlein! Not planned. It just so happened that this paperback was on the New Books shelf at the library, so I snatched it up. (In fact, it’s a double feature, with Orphans of the Sky as the second book. This edition has an afterword, two introductions to The Man Who Sold the Moon, as well as a preface from Heinlein. It is saturated. If you like Heinlein, buy this edition.)

The more I read Heinlein, the more the experience becomes a reaction to how his writing is so old, but not quite old en
Mar 20, 2012 Mark rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Just about anybody
Shelves: science-fiction
This is a collection of short stories from the master of Science Fiction, Heinlein. I’ve been a big fan of his for years, devouring a lot of his novels. Amy bought this for me for Christmas thinking that it was a novel. I was, admittedly, a little put off from reading it initially because I don’t typically enjoy short stories. But I read the foreword and discovered that Heinlein had written several of his books with the same overarching “story” such that the events of one story are the history a ...more
Camille McCarthy
Nov 09, 2013 Camille McCarthy rated it it was amazing
I liked this a lot better than "Stranger in a Strange Land" because I feel that Heinlein is a lot better as a short-story writer. With "Stranger in a Strange Land" it seemed like he got a little bit carried away with some of his fantasies and the story kind of ran away with him, but in this collection of somewhat-interconnected stories, the stories are cohesive and succinct and flow together nicely, and his ideas come across well without being shoved down the reader's throat. I still feel like ...more
Apr 26, 2011 Raj rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, short-stories
This is a collection of five short stories and the titular novella, all set in Heinlein's own future history. I enjoyed most of the stories, although the behaviour of the union in The Roads Must Roll (about the union that brings the America's trunk moving walkways to a halt) took me out of story completely. Mind you, this may be a trans-Atlantic difference - Americans have had a very different history with unions to Europeans, and may find this more believable.

The title story took a long time to
Apr 26, 2016 Dmitry is currently reading it
У Роберта Хайнлайна в одной из его вселенных был цикл рассказов, в котором фигурировал один человек — Харриман — финансовый гений, щедро сыпавший невообразимыми идеями. Любая его «авантюра» приносила доход…
А сам Харриман мечтал побывать на луне, несмотря на то, что космических кораблей, способных достичь Луны, ещё не существовало. Но Харримана подобные пустяки не могли остановить, ведь если хочешь побывать на Луне — нужно построить ракету и полететь туда.

Спустя многие десятилетия люди вышли в ко
Dec 19, 2009 Darth rated it really liked it
Shelves: heinlein
I go into anything Heinlein knowing he is sci-fi royalty and trying to balance my expections vs remembering many of these are 70 years old.

The stories in this collection have a definitely PULPY feel to them, lots of - "Hey chum what do you think you're doing?" - type of lines in them. A bit corny really, but all in good fun, and written in a WWII world, you have to take them with a pinch of salt.

This being a cog in the wheel of what has come to be called Heinlein's Future History - these are req
I had strep throat this weekend, and had a fever. So I had some pretty wild, and I mean WILD, dreams. Including a dream where I colonized Pluto, renaming it Planet Stacy (because in my mind, Pluto will always be a planet, dammit!). When I became conscious again, well, what could I do but reach for Robert Heinlein? Apparently, this is going to jump start another science-fiction phase ...
How the world might have become

The Man Who Sold The Moon tells the story of the early days of space exploration from the viewpoint of the entrepreneur who had a dream of going to the Moon and set out to get the finance and backing to make his dream come true.
Dec 12, 2014 Paige rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Every time I read Heinlein, I have this moment where I pause and remember I really really like Heinlein. Really good collections of stories here, the title one's my favorite but they're all a really interesting mix of ingenuity, sadness and hope as humanity reaches for something bigger.
Jeff Yoak
There are some really good stories here. Most of them were familiar to me, though this is the first time I had many of them in audio.
Rena Sherwood
Robert Heinlein (1907 – 1988) is revered in the science fiction genre. He’ll be forever linked to Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke as the Holy Trinity of top Sci-Fi Writers. Although best known for his trippy Stranger In a Strange Land (1961) that novel is a long, hard slog that often puts off readers unfamiliar with Heinlein.

If you only have time to read one Heinlein novel, read The Man Who Sold the Moon (1951). Okay, technically, this is a novella and not a novel but that’s just hair-splitti
Syd Logsdon
Mar 10, 2017 Syd Logsdon rated it it was amazing
There are two collections of short stories called The Man Who Sold the Moon, each containing both its title novella and the short story Requiem. The novella The Man Who Sold the Moon is a romp and Requiem is sentimental. They are two halves of the story of D. D. Harriman, and are stronger read together.
At a point in future history when government sponsored spaceflight has temporarily failed, D. D. Harriman decides to send a rocket to the moon. His motivation is not profit, but the sheer desire t
Jan 11, 2016 Irene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Leer este conjunto de relatos es mi manera (un tanto extraña, quizá) de homenajear a David Bowie tras leer en varias fuentes que el título (aunque no el contenido) le inspiró para su canción "The man who sold the world", maravillosamente versionada por Nirvana. Y no ha sido una pérdida de tiempo, en absoluto, a pesar de haberme costado bastante seguir leyendo ciertos pasajes. Heinlein abarca muchísimos temas (leyes, moral, militarismo, psicología, economía, cienca, política) en tan pocas líneas, ...more
Oct 04, 2016 Grevick rated it liked it
I always think of Heinlein as a writer, brilliant at concepts, plots and ideas, and not so much at developing characters, showing emotions, writing dialogs etc.

This story is also about the ideas and events. Harriman's feelings are not in the foreground of the story, but we still understand them. (view spoiler)
This is a collection of tales from Heinlein's Future History universe. I listed them below in the order that I read them in, which I believe is almost the publishing order.

Life-Line (1939) 3.5/5 Stars
A man discovers a way to tell when someone is going to die. He first sees it as an opportunity to get rich, but his mind soon changes... This is a very interesting story about what we think we want to know versus what we actually want to know. It brings up some interesting ideas and ends about how
Oct 26, 2008 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Man Who Sold the Moon is a collection of six short stories Heinlein wrote early in his career, and were part of what he called his Future History. The original collection came out in 1951 from Shasta Press, but was often cut to four stories when published in paperback. Then in the 1970s I think, they added the two cuts stories back. Most editions after the two Shasta editions dropped the introductions by Heinlein and John W. Campbell. Even in The Past Through Tomorrow, Heinlein big collectio ...more
Austin Wright
Feb 13, 2017 Austin Wright rated it it was amazing
While I had some biases against this book going in (I hate Libertarianism, and this is the most Libertarian premise I the history of all written civilization), the book itself felt more like satire and comedy. The conversation were really clever and comical and flat out ridiculous at the same time. As far as cleverness goes, this story is one of his best!

If you're reading the 1950 book collection also titled "The Man who sold the Moon", it is important to note that the stories are scattered:

Feb 13, 2008 Jason rated it it was ok
It seems to me that Robert Heinlein had a lot of interesting ideas, but he never took the time to organize them into a consistent story. It is as if he had an idea, started writing, got halfway through the story and discovered some problem with the plot, then decided to ignore it and just finish his story. This would explain why so many of his books simply turn into rambling social commentaries.
In "The Man who Sold the Moon" Heinlein describes the financial manipulations of a group of business
Mike Ehlers
I read this as part of a '50s reading challenge at It read surprisingly well for a story about trying to put a man on the moon. Parts were still relevant today, like privatizing the space race. On the other hand, every time someone looked for a phone booth it takes you out of the story. But Heinlein is still worth reading.

I started reading the main novella in another collection, but found these stories really do work better collected together. I believe this is the first I'
L’homme qui vendit la Lune est le premier tome de l’histoire du futur d’Heinlein, récement réédité, mais que j’ai récupéré dans une version plus ancienne. Cela dit, ça n’est pas si grave, parce que les différentes nouvelles qu’on y trouve sont pour la plupart exceptionnelles. Et, surtout, elles dressent un portrait sympathique, quoique parfois effrayant, d’une valeur qui est désormais complètement périmée (même si pour ma part j’y crois) : le progrès scientifique.
Ca peut paraître un peu ridicul
Dec 20, 2009 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." - Robert Heinlein, The Man Who Sold the Moon

Heinlein's monumental "Future History" series continues. Two scientists develop cheap solar power-and threaten the industrial status quo. The nation's cities are linked by a system of moving roads-and a strike can bring the entire country to a halt. Workers in an experimental atomic plant crack under the mental strain
Sep 15, 2015 Tamra rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
I'm a real fan of Heinlein after reading The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. I picked up this book because I thought it would be equally brilliant! It wasn't.

First off, this is a collection of short stories. Had I known that, I wouldn't have opened the book, I'm sure. I dislike collections of short stories. But if anyone could pull it off, I figured Heinlein could.

I read the first story and then couldn't finish the rest. Not that it was a bad story (a guy invents the solar panel, pretty much), but two
Apr 05, 2016 Frank rated it it was amazing
“The Man Who Sold the Moon” is a story by Robert A. Heinlein is a fantastic story of future history. It’s essentially that, a version of the future. But what’s interesting isn’t necessarily the story, which is great, but the predictions.

While some people will say he misses a number of things, that’s a flawed view. He actually nails quite a few things in the process of talking about launch a ship to the moon, but beyond that, he also takes the time with the story. He doesn’t describe a possible t
This contains 5 of Heinlein earliest stories and probably his most famous earlier work which form the start of his future history series. Unfortunately, they are a pretty sorry lot. First off they are repetitive series of Rand-esque tales where a genius generally pushes the boundaries of scientific process, even though the establishment (corporations, governments, unions, other jealous scientists etc) is trying to do everything to stop him. Within the first 5 or so pages you'll most of the story ...more
Zoffix Znet
Nov 10, 2013 Zoffix Znet rated it did not like it
I love Heinlein and it's the only reason why this book is worth spending any time on. "The Man Who Sold The Moon" is not the only story in this volume. The book also includes "The Roads Must Roll," "Requiem," "Life Line," and "Blow-Ups Happen." All were written in early 50s, I believe, or even earlier, which is why it's hard to get any excitement over monstrous and loud rolling "roads" (ginormous safety hazard), or atom bombs as power-plants (atomic power plants are nothing new any more; and the ...more
Sep 03, 2009 Miska rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Päätarina, "Mies joka myi kuun" on vanhahtava, ja sen vuoksi kenties teknisesti hieman naivi kuvaus yhden miehen lapsellisesta pakkomielteestä päästä Kuuhun. Sinne pääsy edellyttää kokonaan uudenlaisen kuljetusmuodon kehittämisen ja vaatii siksi suuria taloudellisia ponnistuksia. Henkilökohtaiset uhraukset ovat myös kuvauksen kohteena.
Kirja alkaa muutamalla lyhyemmällä tarinalla, jotka tuntuvat liikkuvan ainakin osittain samassa maailmassa kuin kirjan päätarina, joka on lähes romaanimittainen.
Dec 30, 2015 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was considering getting rid of the RAH "future history" collections but this made me hesitate. The Roads Must Roll remains one of the best shorts. Characters are a bit thin...they're more bundles of motivations and ideas...but the man puts together such a driving story of just about any length. I think the particular brand of libertarianism that has picked up Heinlein's flag needs to look back at things such as his respect for labor--although his political affiliation did change over time. The ...more
Trevor McGuire
Apr 05, 2016 Trevor McGuire rated it liked it
This collection of short stories ran the Heinleinian gamut. The titular short story was entertaining, but decidedly lacking in scientific content; it was an interesting take on how one might fund an expedition to the moon. There were some other gems in the book, specifically the first story about 'reverse solar panels'.

The final short story, almost as long as the namesake itself, was the worst of the bunch. It had all the hallmarks of what Heinlein detractors cite: far fetched scientific predict
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Robert Anson Heinlein was an American novelist and science fiction writer. Often called "the dean of science fiction writers", he is one of the most popular, influential, and controversial authors of "hard science fiction".

He set a high standard for science and engineering plausibility and helped to raise the genre's standards of literary quality. He was the first SF writer to break into mainstre
More about Robert A. Heinlein...

Other Books in the Series

Future History or "Heinlein Timeline" (6 books)
  • Requiem
  • The Green Hills of Earth
  • Methuselah's Children
  • Orphans of the Sky
  • The Past Through Tomorrow (Future History, #1-21)

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