Robert Heinlein’s 1966 classic novel, The moon is a stern mistress, explores the idea of a lunar colony declaring independence from Earth. Author of science fiction Anthony Ha found the book an interesting and exciting read.
“All the details of how they actually bring these different cells of the revolution together are all really interesting, and he just explains it so clearly, and it’s just a real story,” Ha says in episode 516. A guide to the galaxy for freaks podcast. “There are these great battles at the end, and I think he writes battles perhaps as well as anyone else in science fiction. So the whole book reads incredibly fast. ”
A guide to the galaxy for freaks host David Bar Kirtley agrees that Heinlein is a born storyteller. “He’s a very attractive writer,” Kirtley says. “You can understand why he captured cellulose magazines by storm when he appeared. He attracted a lot of fans and admirers and I can totally see that. I fully understand why you were fascinated by his intelligence and talent. ”
The moon is a stern hostess, which reflects a lunar society without laws and government, has been an inspiration to many young libertarians. Political journalist Robbie Soave liked the combination of science fiction and politics in the book. “I feel that if you described it – exactly – as a catapult construction instruction crossed out with a libertarian manifesto / sales statement, it would let everyone go,” he says. “But the book is really good, even though it’s a lot about those two things. This is a very fair introduction to our philosophy with some really juicy science fiction material. ”
Unfortunately, one aspect of the novel that fails miserably is a stereotypical view of gender roles. Professor of Science Fiction Lisa Yashak was initially intrigued by the lead female role in the book The Wyoming Knot, and was disappointed that the character plays such a minor role in the story. “I don’t want to be a woman in that revolution, to sit and serve coffee,” says Jaszek. “It really makes you understand what women were like in the 1960s.”
Listen to the full interview with Anthony Ha, Robbie Sovve and Lisa Yashek in the 516 series A guide to the galaxy for freaks (above). And check out some highlights from the discussion below.
Robbie Soave about Robert Heinlein vs. Ayn Rand:
Ten years ago, most people who came to the libertarian movement came because of Ron Paul; then 20 or more years before that was from reading Ayn Rand. Of course, there was a period of time – probably all the way – where The moon is a stern hostess was a gateway. I mean, the professor in many places just expresses an almost forced libertarian thought – actually in a similar way to what Rand does in his writings, where she just deviates from the plot in, “Okay, that’s clear that the author is thinking about something, so let me just set out my manifesto. ” Now Heinlein does it much, much more skillfully than Ayn Rand does, although it’s not a very high bar that can be cleaned.
Anthony Ha on The moon is a stern hostess against Dispossessed:
Dispossessed pretty close to representing my political philosophy, and The moon is a stern hostess this is not the case, so if you compare the two politically, I can understand: “Oh, I understand with suspicion of the state, with suspicion of power, and the attempt to have a much freer society is very interesting.” … I think so Dispossessed lets give a little more arguments, and I think this is something that is lacking in many later Heinleins. There’s what looks like an argument, but it’s actually just one character who says something clearly wrong and then lectures to them over many pages. I’m sure it’s happening in Dispossessedbut I think it’s less obvious, at least to me, when it happens.
David Bar Kirtley on the conflict:
У “Lexicon of the city of Turkey” there’s a record called “Cozy Catastrophe,” and at this end of the world – it’s a post-apocalyptic thing – but the characters have a great time. They get cars and weapons, they can go to the mall and take whatever they want, they get girls. So it’s a strange comparison where the world is in this state of horror, but the characters are spending a grand old time. And I feel that [The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress] it is the equivalent of a revolution. It’s like “Cozy Revolution”. It really makes the revolution seem like a great time, just a lot of fun. I read this book and think, “I want to start a revolution. It really seems great. ”
Lisa Jaszek on artificial intelligence:
Azimov is studying [AI] in stories about robots in the 40s and 50s. By the end of his sequence of robots, he imagines the world’s computers that control everything and carefully control humanity. Asimov always presents them as nannies and nurses, that they will take care of us as nannies – as the best nannies. But Mike [in The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress] it’s a friend and I think it’s different. He is a much more fully realized man, and it was new to the fiction of the time. And he’s a good man. He is not a crazy robot. … Asimov changes course in the 40s and 50s, then you get a lot of good robots and AI that reach about Mike. Then, of course, we will get HALand then everything starts going south again.