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Growing Up Weightless

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  121 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Talented, imaginative, and self-confident, Matthias Ronay has never known any life but that on the moon, and he clashes with his brilliant politician father, Albin Ronay, in an attempt to change his future. Reprint. NYT.
Paperback, 246 pages
Published July 1st 1994 by Spectra (first published 1993)
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Barry King
Because of what seems to me to be a particularly ugly copyright dispute, this book is not available anywhere in retail, nor will it likely be available as an ebook in my lifetime. There are still good condition used copies to be found, which is good because it's a classic that shouldn't be forgotten.

In many ways it's a classic coming-of-age story, and like all good science fiction, it doesn't really represent society in the future, but today's society projected into the future. It was written in
This is a delightful story of a young man growing up on the moon. The author does a nice job of imagining what life on Luna would be like. It took me awhile to figure out what was going on because there are no chapters and the action jumps from character to character with little warning. Of course some of the references are unfamiliar as well. For example, a 'cold' place is one that is away from electronic surveillance. Earthlings are called "slammers' because, due to low gravity, they tend to s ...more
Nicholas Barone
Winner of the 1994 Philip K Dick award, Growing Up Weightless is an impressive coming of age story set on the moon 4 generations after permanent settlements have been established. The story is not action packed, by any means, but it does a wonderful job of sketching out a Lunar civilization that has only recently seceded from earth to form its own nation. The setting is revealed in the background as we follow the story of Matt Ronay - teenage son of one Luna's leaders. Matt and his friends are t ...more
This book sticks with you long after you've first read it.

So, this was published in the mid ninties, as I recall, and the descriptions of the tech and structure of the colony don't quite hold up to what we now know about tech. But that doesn't really matter, because what Ford does so expertly is create a culture and society that is at once alien and familiar; his Lunar colony, divorced from Earth, told through the muddy third person omniscient narratives of his male characters, is different and
A coming of age tale set in an unspecified time in the future on the moon. Matthias Ronay lives in the lunar city of Copernicus. His father is responsible for the water supply for the lunar population and, at the time of the story, is faced with an aging fleet of ships that bring water back from the asteroids, a diminishing water supply relative to the growing lunar population and faced with a proposal that would ensure near unlimited water for the moon but at the cost of the sacrifice of a huma ...more
Anyone who's ever had any kind of childhood will love this book. Really captures what it feels like to grow up... Saying goodbye... having your views on the world turned upside down.

The backdrop of the story is no slouch either. The political intrigue with Vacor does a good job of carrying some of the slower slice of life parts (which are needed for the ending to pack a punch).

I admire dense, no-word-wasted writing as much as anyone, but maybe Ford could have spent a few extra words on making it slightly clearer what was going on? I don't expect my SF fun reading to be harder going than my academic reading.

LOVED the trains. The trains made it all worthwhile.
A great story about father/son relationships, and also about what it might mean to live an everyday teenage life with your friends on the Moon. It's got some speculative-but-not-wild technology and environments, which is fun, and it doesn't try to assault you with any "big idea".
Gaines Post
Very inspiring and imaginative. A wonderful coming of age story, too. Six stars our of five.
Excellent world-building; terrible pacing. Teenage Matt and his friends live on the moon and have grown up with its culture of resenting earth and being able to jump really high (a more accurate title would have been Growing Up in Low Gravity). It's a slice-of-life sci-fye, but it feels like something big is about to happen, and when nothing does, it's disappointing (I don't mind slice-of-life, just don't pretend to be something else).
Another smart and carefully crafted coming of age novel from this excellent and underrated writer. Unlike his other works, this is a bit easier to follow on a first read through (all Ford's novels reward multiple rereadings). World building is impeccable as always, and the fact that he confines his action to a single setting allows him to explore things in much more depth. A very fine, mature piece of work.
Coming of age on the moon, when the great adventure is over and the accomplishments of the parents completely overshadow the lives of the children. Our hero feels trapped, oppressed and monitored and searches for a chalenge that’ll make his life worthwhile. An effective story from the late, lamented Ford.
Jan 01, 2010 John rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: sf
Not too bad, but not my favorite Ford book by any stretch. I really enjoyed the setting and some of the supporting characters, but the main character was a bit of a whiner, and the ending was both completely unsurprising and weirdly rushed. Meh.
This book is okay but not great. I don't like that it has no chapters, no divisions of that which was written. Also there is action and not necessarily the best resolution. A number of things were left hanging.
Carol Miller
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John Milo "Mike" Ford was a science fiction and fantasy writer, game designer and poet.

Ford was regarded (and obituaries, tributes and memories describe him) as an extraordinarily intelligent, erudite and witty man. He was a popular contributor to several online discussions. He composed poems, often improvised, in both complicated forms and blank verse, notably Shakespearean pastiche; he also wrot
More about John M. Ford...
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