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Growing Up Weightless

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  188 ratings  ·  24 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 November 1993)
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Average rating 3.69  · 
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Jared Millet
Oct 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read this one based on a recommendation in a book by Jo Walton, otherwise I'd have never heard of it. Nevertheless, it's the kind of thing I love: a coming of age / slice of life story set on the moon, where the characters are a bunch of kids who grew up there and take everything for granted. There are big events going on for sure, such as an impending water supply crisis that concerns the main character's father, but it's all in the background. What the lead character, Matt Ronay, is mainly c ...more
Jul 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-ya
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.
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Holy shit.
Feb 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Kim Zinkowski
Nov 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Barry King
Dec 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 05, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
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
Nicholas Barone
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 23, 2007 rated it liked it
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
Mar 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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". ...more
Feb 17, 2009 rated it liked it
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. ...more
May 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: sffantasy
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.
Gaines Post
Sep 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Very inspiring and imaginative. A wonderful coming of age story, too. Six stars our of five.
Nov 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Parenting without oppressive expectations
Stephen Graham
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting look at a somewhat settled Lunar society, shaped through the eyes of a boy figuring out what he might want to do as an adult. I think the way the book was set, presumably by Ford's choice, hindered it a bit. Transitions between moments and characters aren't delineated as anything other than a paragraph break. ...more
Geoff Clarke
DNF. I have complicated feelings about later John M. Ford books. I think he's attempting to explore the archetypal issues: this one adolescence, of a nation and a person. But all the punches are telegraphed, and he can't help make stuff theatrical. Sometimes this can be fun, but it wasn't fun this time ...more
Ariadne Deborah Fassel
A thin plot to carry one through the mechanics of living on the Moon. Teens who can communicate with anything but their parents and are happier living in their virtual-reality adventure. It would have helped to know more Russian.
Jun 19, 2020 rated it liked it
had I read this in my teens, I think I would have loved it.
Katherine Helmuth
Dec 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
coming of age meets science fiction.
Kiro Selanor
I bought this book based on recommendations in Usenet. I was disappointed with this book mostly because it had good potential, but didn't live up to it. The basic problem is that it's at least a hundred pages too short. The story develops well, with interesting ideas and twists on familiary concepts. The plot is furthered a bit slowly, but then in the last fifty pages or so everything is suddenly accelerated, and at the end many issues are not at all resolved. It seems as if someone put a gun to ...more
Mar 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
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). ...more
Jan 01, 2010 rated it it was ok
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.
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Dec 26, 2013
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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

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