The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is a tale of revolution, of the rebellion of the former Lunar penal colony against the Lunar Authority that controls it from Earth. It is the tale of the disparate people--a computer technician, a vigorous young female agitator, and an elderly academic--who become... read more
In 2075, underground colonies are scattered across the Moon. "Loonies", as the residents are called, are prisoners serving out terms or exiles from Earth or the descendants of one or the other. Since the body quickly undergoes irreversible changes while on the Moon due to the vast disparity in... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
In 2075, underground colonies are scattered across the Moon. "Loonies", as the residents are called, are prisoners serving out terms or exiles from Earth or the descendants of one or the other. Since the body quickly undergoes irreversible changes while on the Moon due to the vast disparity in gravity, transportees have no choice but to remain. Although the Earth-appointed Protector of the Lunar Colonies holds power, in practice there is little intervention in the loose lunar society.
HOLMES IV is the Lunar Authority's master computer. It has gradually been given almost total control of Luna's facilities as a cost-saving measure; it is cheaper to have a single main computer and expand its capacity than to have multiple independent systems.
The story is narrated by Manuel Garcia "Mannie" O'Kelly-Davis, a computer technician, who is called in when HOLMES IV begins behaving oddly. He discovers that it has become self-aware and that the malfunctions are the result of its immature sense of humor. Mannie names it "Mike" after Mycroft Holmes, brother of Sherlock Holmes, and they become friends.
After Mannie plays Mike a recording of an anti-Authority meeting, Mike takes a keen interest in politics. Along with Mannie's friend Professor Bernardo de la Paz and political activist Wyoming "Wyoh" Knott, the four begin to plan for a massive revolution to ply Luna from the grips of its Earth-side overlords. The quest for a "Free Luna" begins...
“...anything free costs twice as much in long run or turns out worthless...one way or other, what you get, you pay for.”Mannie
“There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.”Professor Bernardo de la Paz
“At one time kings were anointed by Deity, so the problem was to see to it that Deity chose the right candidate. In this age the myth is ‘the will of the people’ … but the problem changes only superficially.”Professor Bernardo de la Paz
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