The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

I’ve begun a new science fiction novel by famous author Robert Heinlein. My first thought was ‘this a a bizarre narrator’ which if you’ve never read the book may not make sense. In order to truly submerge the reader in a futuristic universe while maintaining readability he has created an entire new colloquial in which some of the shorter words are dropped from language entirely. Instead of narrating a scene ‘I walked to the door and opened it to see a stunning woman waiting for me’ it might read more like ‘walked to door and opened. Behind was a stunning woman waiting for me.” It’s subtle, but that, plus the descriptions of futuristic scenes, setting in on a lunar colony, and including advanced technology in every day life (the main character had his left arm amputated and had various bionic arm attachments) plunges the reader into a world in which the characters’ plight is believable. It’s not just the setting, though. The plight the characters find themselves in is common: they want to rebel and become independent from Earth. IT isn’t clear yet, but it seems as though Earth has treated the moon much as the British Empire treated Australia, with similar effect.

One thing I adore so much about science fiction is that it’s not so much about one or two people, or about the future it’s set in, it is about people. Humanity. It’s a chance for the author to explore what might be. What happens when people as a group encounter a potentially sentient computer while under duress? How does one manipulate a group of people to do something they may not be inclined to do? I’m just getting started in the book, but I’ve already become invested in the future of the characters, of the world, and of the machine that has gained sentience and still operates on the social level of a toddler. How will those who discover what the computer is capable of choose to make use of it? Will the computer allow that? I can’t wait to find out.