Who wrote this book and when?
Robert Heinlein wrote this as a serialised story in 1965 and 1966. It was published as a novel in 1966.
Has there been a film version?
No, but rumor has it Buffy and Firefly writer Tim Minear is working on a screenplay based on this novel. And according to my ubergeek husband, it’s more than a rumor.
Who are the important characters?
Manuel “Man” or “Mannie” Davis – a computer tech who befriends the computer and becomes one of the major leaders of the lunar revolution
Mike/Adam Selene – a computer who has become sentient
Wyoming Knott – a gorgeous woman who helps spearhead the Lunar revolution
Professor “Prof” Bernardo de la Paz – the human brains behind the Lunar revolution
Stu La Joie – a Terra (Earth) resident who sides with the “Loonies,” or inhabitants of Luna (the Moon)
What’s it about?
Mannie Davis has discovered something – the main computer for the penal colony of Luna (the Moon) has become sentient. “Mike” the computer is now one of his best (and most definitely smartest) friends. When Mannie does some basic recon for Mike, he finds himself introduced to the stunningly beautiful Wyoming Knott and caught in the middle of a very real uprising against the leadership of Luna and the tyranny of Terra. After revealing to Wyoming, “Wyoh,” and the Prof, the enormity of opportunity they have with a sentient computer who controls most of the systems on Luna – the three set out to gain Loonie freedom from Earth. They have no ships of their own, nearly no weapons – only the grim promise from Mike that if nothing is done, cannibalism will be the only option in 8 years due to the depletion of natural Lunar resources. And Mike himself, who is possibly the most brilliant thing in the entire galaxy. And who might have motives of his own for helping the Loonies win their freedom.
Why is this book a classic/bestseller?
Probably because the universe Heinlein presents is a realistic one, the politics are realistic, the consequences are realistic. It’s a very possible book.
Do you recommend I read this book?
I guess so. Maybe if they decide to make it into a movie you should read it before you see it.
Why did this book make your list?
I put a lot of Hugo and Nebula award winners on my list.
Has it won any awards?
The Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1967, although it was also nominated in 1966. It was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1966. And three times it has placed in the top 10 in the Locus Poll Award All-Time Top 10 Novels.
“Women are amazing creatures – sweet, soft, gentle, and far more savage than we are.” – p 189
“[North America] Is mixed-up place another way; they care about skin color – by making point of how they don’t care. First trip I was always too light or too dark, and somehow blamed either way, or was always being expected to take stand on things I have no opinions on. Bog knows I don’t know what genes I have.” – p 253
Heinlein sure must’ve done a lot of research for this book. I mean I never thought about my physiology being altered if I lived on the moon for more than a few months…Plus, the dude won FOUR Hugo Novels. That’s talent.
This book was a very weird reading experience. I would always get tired of reading about a page exactly before the end of a chapter and push myself to finish it, only to find myself eagerly turning the pages onward once I’d reached the goal. I was either completely engrossed in what was going on, or saying “huh?” There was a lot of action in this book. A lot of fighting and scheming, even a little romance. And there was a ton of politics and international relations talk-talk going on. That was where I got lost. See…in my only class of International Relations in college, the professor found out she was pregnant and had to go on bed rest after the second day. So a man who normally works as a professional clown took over the class. I. Am. Not. Joking. He really knew a lot about the world, but his knowledge of international relations wasn’t really large enough to consider him a specialist. We mostly just “read the book” (who does THAT in college?) and wrote poems about ourselves. It was a fun class, but all that to say, I don’t understand a bit of it. And politics never really interested me. Not even revolutionary politics. I loved the characters of Mike, Mannie, Wyoming and the Prof. Mannie has a very real voice; he was an honest character, very likeable, and once I got over Heinlein’s unique narrative grammatical voice – very easy to follow. I can see why this book won awards.