Felix Dance's Reviews > The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein
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Jul 16, 11

Read in June, 2011

This is pretty much my favourite Heinlein book. I started reading this about two years ago before I headed off on my epic trip around the Indian Ocean having bought it from Readings on Lygon Street, but had to interrupt it until a few days ago. In the book, a band of rebel libertarians living in a penal colony on the moon organise and fight for freedom. Eventually they're liberated, but the battle to remain independent from Earth has only just begun. So many excellent concepts are introduced in this book, from a self-aware computer impersonating the rebel leadership, to an optimum nodal array of rebels arranged so as not to encourage betrayal of one another, to a strange new form of marriage for a colony with a bad sex-ratio. Strangely, as a call-to-arms for libertarianism, it falls flat: the authoritarian actions of the clearly superior main characters belie their principals. They kill off the opposition and impose their rule on the colony through election fraud to secure its ecological sustainability. I was never sure if this was supposed to be ironic. I read most of this book taking the train home from a geohash at night in 2009, finishing it while sick in bed in Inverloch.
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