This Hugo Award winning novel written in 1966 by Robert A Heinlein, who may have been the most influential science fiction writer to bring the genre to the mainstream since HG Wells, it is the story of the next great revolution for independence. It is set on the Federal Authority’s (similar to the UN) penal colonies on the Moon in 2075. The story revolves around Professor de la Paz- a rational-anarchist, Wyoming- a political revolutionary, and Manuel- an engineer born and raised on the Moon as a free man. Together they collude to gain independence for their beloved Luna from the Authority, who keeps the residents there as a perpetual indentured servants unable to leave because of the irreversible physical changes of living in the Moon’s low gravity field.
Story mostly told by main character, Mannie, who speaks Lunar dialect. Basically a futuristic version of English, sounds like Chinese person learned English second language. Drops word “the” and most sentence subjects. Believe is actually taken from Russian sentence structure. Still makes sense. Mind own business.
Yes, I was writing in Mannie’s dialect above. It is annoying for awhile, but you get used to it. Authors love to take these stylastic “freedoms”, I guess you just have to live with it. All in all, I think it made him more interesting and therefore more “real”.
The book has a lot of standard Heinlein theme’s. There are many unusual social relationships – like the polyamorus line marriages and the Loonie’s (Lunar people) respect for women derived from the relatively few females that live on the moon. And the usual interesting structures of law. For example on the moon, there are no police or laws. The Lunar Authority basically let the people that inhabit the moon do what they want. So the people have developed a strong sense of “be a part of society or don’t”, which means if you offend someone and they can throw you out of the pressurized airlocks, they will. Hopefully you have enough people to rely on to come get you if you were wrongly thrown out, if not, well, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.
Another noteworthy point about the book is that it first coined the term TANSTAAFL, “There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch” as the Loonie’s motto, which turned into a legitimate economics term that’s used all the time now when studying economics. Of course The Man has changed it to TINSTAAFL to avoid the use of double negatives.
I plan on reading some more Heinlein. Stranger in a Strange Land is the only other book by him I have read and it was real good too. He is able to set a story in an environment in the near future that isn’t the social norm, but makes you question if it isn’t more appropriate than the norms we have today.