The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress

This is a story about insurgency and revolution set on Luna, Earth's satellite. The main character, Manuel Garcia O'Kelly, is a computer technician, "a general specialist" he calls himself, as he an on-call grasp of arcane subjects relating to the digital omnipresence (such as physics, electronics and micro-machining).
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On his way home one evening, as a favour for his computer 'friend' Mike, he checks out a political rally which gets raided by state troops. With "Loonies" forbidden any armaments, mayhem and murder ensues but "Man" escapes, as do the two other main characters Wyoming ("Wye")Knott and the academic Professor Bernardo de la Paz.

This triumvirate spend much of the first half of the novel discussing and planning rebellion. Following a gang rape and slaughter of a civilian by six troopers, Professor la Paz, the intellectual motive force, signals the time for the revolution.
The review of this Book prepared by Tamaal Ghosh

Manuel Garcia O'Kelly, a freelance engineer/handyman on Luna in 2075, is a descendant of convicts, as are nearly all inhabitants of the moon. "Man" discovers that the supercomputer that runs most systems on the moon for the Federation Authority, the dictatorial corporate government of Luna, has achieved sentient intelligence, so he calls him Mike (for Mycroft Holmes). Man's old professor, Bernardo de la Paz, and a small band of revolutionaries, decide to overthrow the Authority, with Mike's unseen assistance. This entails a trip to Earth by Manual and the Prof, in the hope of enlisting allies, as well as preparing to bombard Earth with rock canisters and defend Luna from terrestrial counterattack. This 1966 libertarian classic won Heinlein a Hugo award.
The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

A lunar colony, built by repressive governments of earth, is used to store, in perpetuity, the misfits and criminals, who decide to rebel, modeling their rhetoric and their war on the American Revolution.
The review of this Book prepared by Travis J.I. Corcoran

A small group of humans and a computer start a revolution on Luna against Earth. It paralells the American Revolution (except it's fun because it's sci-fi)
The review of this Book prepared by Brittany Wallace

In the late 21st century, the Moon (Luna) is a penal colony, with an overpopulated Earth taking the fruits of the "Loonies" hard work. Three people and a superintelligent computer plan a revolution to overthrow the authority imposed on them by earth-bound rulers. Full of wry humor and political intrigue; good not only for science fiction lovers but also political thriller lovers as well.
The review of this Book prepared by Harry Thomas

The moon has been used as a slave colony for generations, and although many of the residents are technically free, the society is not. Manuel O'Kelly, Wyoming Knott, Professor Bernardo de la Paz, and Mike the sentient computer work together to foment a revolution and then form a new, free society.
The review of this Book prepared by Ivy

A revolution aided by self aware computer. Very well written.
The review of this Book prepared by Philip A. Petmecky

In the future, the moon is a prison colony; full of the decendants of both violent or political prisoners. Because prisoners are usually men, the women have all the social power and usually have several husbands. The main characters plan and execute a revolution with the help of the first self-aware computer. Since prisoners have no weapons, they need to find a way to fight back against the United Nations and all the armies of the Earth in order to win their freedom. This is a great book!
The review of this Book prepared by Sean Gutman

Citizens of the Moon, used as a penal colony, struggle for freedom from Earth's control. The unusual setting allows a fascinating visualization of a truly free people and society and how beneficial that would be. This book won the Hugo for Best SF Novel.
The review of this Book prepared by Dan Starr

The descendants of convicts exiled to the moon build a political/military force using what's available to fight from independence from an oppressive Earth government. They have the help of a special friend, an aware computer named Mike! This is an excellent book, written in the 'old days,' when honor and duty meant something.
The review of this Book prepared by Bob Hartle

Chapter Analysis of The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 30% Tone of book    -   very upbeat FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Political power play    -   Yes Political plotlets    -   overthrowing govt/kingdom Repressive society story    -   Yes Repressive because:    -   strict rationing of freedoms/goods Robots, Computers, VR    -   Yes Robot, PC, VR Plotlets:    -   good computer AI Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Who's a slave/repressed?    -   humans are slaves of other humans

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   engineer Age:    -   20's-30's


Terrain    -   Planet surface, need spacesuit    -   Domed/Underground City Which planet?    -   Earth's Moon Planet outside solar system?    -   Yes Not Earth, in Solar System?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   a moderate amount of scientific explanation Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only How much dialogue?    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Robert A. Heinlein Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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