The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

Sticking with the last sci-fi review of Speaker for the Dead, here is another analysis of a classic of the sci-fi literature. An analysis of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein.


1. You (situation, comfort)

We’re on the moon. And we’re following the adventures of Manuel (“Manny”), a supercomputer (Mike), and their rebel friends. The introduction does a great job of describing where we are, what is different from ‘our’ world and not focus too much on the logistics of a moon colony.

2. Need (want something)

Manny needs to break free from the Warden (the local authority figure). He wants to live free. A secret organisation is started.

3. Go (new situation)

Government is overthrown.

4. Search (progress, adapt)

Now they have to scramble to become a state in their own right.

5. Find (no turning back)

They go to earth to try and convince others they are the real thing. This phase (5) is the opposite of the start (1) and true in every way. They are not on the moon anymore, they are being diplomats (not technicians).

6. Take (trouble, pay a price)

The world isn’t listening to diplomatic channels. So a raid and bombings are on the way.  “There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch!”.

7. Return (go back to where it started)

Finally, earth recognizes their independence. They are cheered on by the crowds on the moon.

8. Change (now capable of change)

Manny withdraws from politics. Mike stops talking. They are now a free state, but some things are just the same again.