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The Man Who Sold the Moon

(Future History or "Heinlein Timeline" #5)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  9,491 ratings  ·  170 reviews
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. And the space frontier is opened by an unlikely ...more
Paperback, 295 pages
Published February 2007 by Baen (first published May 1950)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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Feb 16, 2009 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
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.
Kara 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, its 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
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of some of RAH's older stories & they vary a lot by edition, I think. This edition starts off with a really good foreword by John Campbell who 'discovered' RAH (A happy slush pile find of "Life Line".) & published a lot of his short stories over the years. Campbell points out how difficult it is for SF short story writers to put the reader into the world of the story quickly & completely. There aren't pages of description & cultural mores shift a lot. In some places ...more
César Bustíos
"There it is, dad. Cold light at a bare fraction of the cost of ordinary lightning."

The second one in his "Future History" timeline.

Two scientists are responsible for creating a new source of energy in the form of light panels. This draws the attention of the Power Syndicate, a group of companies from the power production industry that will try to stop their invention from reaching the market.
Oct 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
This is a short story collection covering a lot of the stories that set up the common timeline that Robert Heinlein set a lot of his later stories (like The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and others) in. One of the interesting parts was the preface, which Heinlein began with a quote from L. Sprague de Camp: It does not pay a profit to be too specific.

The stories that follow are textbook Heinlein: fast-paced and fun with just enough pseudo-science to make them sound plausible-enough-for-fun. There are
Mar 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Just about anybody
This is a collection of short stories from the master of Science Fiction, Heinlein. Ive 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 dont 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 and ...more
Nov 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
1989 grade B+
2019 grade B+

Series book FH1
This book contains 5 short stories and one short novel. The publishing dates range from 1939 to 1953 so some of them are rather out of date (actually all of them, but only "Blowups..." is so bad as to be unreadable). The science discrepancies are understandable considering successful basic rockets were only developed in WW2. The stories also have a fictional chronology and one story will include an occurrence from a previous story. I will cover the
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Awesome story. Could not stop reading it. Highly recommend, especially for those getting into sci-fi and looking for something short to peak their interest.
Deborah Ideiosepius
Difficult to review, even more so than the regular collection of short stories.

This is, almost by definition, classic science-fiction, practically historical sci-fi, if there can be such a thing. Heinlein was one of the founding greats of the genera, he had foresight, vision and very exciting concepts. But, at times, the execution of the concepts does not enhance them as it should.
This is a collections of stories showing in a fairly linear fashion, how mankind in Heinlein's universe made it to
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.

Merged review:

I read this story before, but I didn't know exactly when this story was written or or how that compares with the history of the development of solar energy. Heinlein could be relied upon to be fairly accurate if he followed it, but I wondered if this were one of the cases where he anticipated the development, and if so, how close he got to how it
Camille McCarthy
Nov 09, 2013 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
Tyler Wanden
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
The Man Who Sold The Moon is a collection of short stories by Robert Heinlein, all set within his fictional history timeline. He attempted to explain this in a preface by saying The stories in this and later volumes of this series were not written as prophecy, nor as history. Not a great explanation, but its my mistake for not reading more carefully. Im wasting valuable words here because you need to know that the stories, while taking place in the same timeline/universe, are really not related. ...more
Feb 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Following my reread of Heinleins juveniles over the last few years at SFFWorld, I thought I would read more from where he started - with his short stories.  The Man Who Sold the Moon is generally regarded as the first collection of Heinleins Future History stories, which showed us, in the Golden Age of SF, how Heinlein saw humanity expanding beyond Earth into space. It includes much of Heinleins early short stories and in this first set involves love, death, union issues and one of Heinleins ...more
Kevin Findley
Each of the three stories here are in other anthologies and compilations of course, but these go well together, hence Signet publishing this edition for what must have been 20 years at least.

Cheap power, mass transportation, and lunar exploration are the main ideas here, but also the type of men and women it takes to turn these ideas into reality for the rest of us. Heinlein's individualism is not as extreme as that of Rand or other thinkers of the day. For the former Navy officer, it is the
My voyage through the Golden Age of Science Fiction: Part 3

The Man Who Sold the Moon is a collection of science fiction short stories by American writer Robert A. Heinlein. Some of the stories originally appeared in the American magazines Astounding Science Fiction and Super Science Stories in 1939 and 1940, while the award-winning title novella was written especially for this edition. Together these stories were woven together into a 288 page book for publication by Shasta in 1950. Also
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 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The four stories contained in this paperback edition were originally published in the 1940's (two more that were in the original hardbound edition published in 1949, were omitted). The longest one included is the title story - The Man Who Sold the Moon - about how an old fashioned private business entrepreneur named H.H. Harriman financed and built the first rockets and settlements on the moon. As we all know by now, that's not how it happened. We created NASA, a big government bureaucracy with ...more
Dec 19, 2009 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
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 ...
The title story stretches a simple (if innovative) concept to the breaking point. Once you get the concept, the rest is just decoration.

Again, I'm not sure what other stories are in this collection. There are some stories I rather liked, and I should get a copy to see if they're included--I read Heinlein collections indiscriminately, and didn't keep a record of what was where.
Dec 12, 2014 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.
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.
Morgan Dhu
May 16, 2018 rated it liked it
The Man Who Sold the Moon is a collection of short stories from Heinleins Future History sequence, most of them strongly focused on technological advances that form the background to the later, space-faring novels. Included here is Heinleins first published short story, Life Line, about Dr. Pinero, a man who develops a scientific method of determining the date of a persons death. The apparatus is destroyed when Pinero is murdered by the insurance companies,and the only reason its part of the ...more
Rena Sherwood
Robert Heinlein (1907 1988) is revered in the science fiction genre. Hell 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 thats just hair-splitting.
Rod Van Meter
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Solid stories, including the iconic "The Man Who Sold the Moon" and "The Roads Must Roll". Fine stuff, the core of Heinlein's "Future History" series of stories. I think I had read this whole collection before, but parts stand out clearly in my memory and parts don't. My (Kindle) edition includes the stories "Life Line" and "Blowups Happen", which apparently aren't included in all editions; I hope I tagged the right one here on GR.

I had read "Roads" as part of the SF Hall of Fame as a kid.
Angela Blount
2.5 Stars

Alternate Title Suggestion: A Series of Unscrupulous Bureaucratic Events

I picked this up after a very pleasant binge of 3 of Heinleins short storiesall of which involved some redemptive aspect and/or theme of overcoming a disability set within his Future Histories series. This was an altogether different experience.

Very aptly named, The Man Who Sold The Moon is a 14 chapter book about a rich man named Delos D. Harriman who becomes obsessed with the idea of going to the moon. (Gaining
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Angel Issa
Dec 20, 2017 rated it liked it
It really took my a while to finish the book. I wasn't as engaged as usual with this genre, but then I remembered that Heinlein wrote this in 1950 - almost 20 years before Apollo 11 landed on the moon. When you consider this time frame, the book is actually quite good and shows unique elements of futuristic realism, albeit delivered in a style that obviously feels old these days.

D.D. Harriman, the protagonist, actually reminds me of people like Elon Musk. This is the story of the perennial
Mikael Cerbing
Apr 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This book is a collection of early Heinlein storys set early in his timeline of future history, and they are classic Heinlein. Mostly interesting stories played out With A4 characters, focused on technical and mechanical problems with a bit of social stuff (mainly economics) in the background. As a man now living in 2018 I usually have quite a few problems with early Heinleins decriptions of women, but as there is almost no women in these stories that problem solves itself. But they are good ...more
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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

Other books in the series

Future History or "Heinlein Timeline" (1 - 10 of 23 books)
  • Life Line
  • The Roads Must Roll
  • Astounding Science Fiction, September 1940
  • Delilah & The Space Rigger
  • Astounding Science Fiction, January 1940
  • The Long Watch
  • Gentlemen Be Seated
  • The Black Pits of Luna
  • It's Great to Be Back!
  • Astounding Science-Fiction, July 1941

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