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The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

Heinlein at his best



Author: Robert A. Heinlein
Narrator: Lloyd James
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Length: 14 h 12 m
Genre: Science Fiction
Published: 2006
Reviewer: Anonymous

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I want You to read this book

 

There is almost no use trying to rank the top 10 novels of all time, but this book is without a doubt to be within that elite club of “Best Books of All Time”.

 

The magic an author has is the ability to imagine and build new worlds, then live in them. Heinlein is master of this and I would argue this (not, Stranger in a Strange Land) is his masterpiece. The hero is a future moon colony inhabitant that works with an artificially intelligent computer to rebel against the evil imperialists from Earth who exploit the Moon workers. Plot wise, that is all you need to know as this books is all about world building at its best. The character development of the computer AI is genius, as our hero needs to teach the computer to be more human we learn about what that means and how much is often taken for granted. Heinlein explores what humor would be like for a machine, what love means and what it is to be free in a world where we are all a slave to circumstances, its fucking amazing. 

 

Heinlein succeeded in writing the best AI we have ever seen. So many authors are lazy as hell with “AI” character development and give us just a hyper intelligent humanoid, only Heinlein took the time to think though what real AI would be like, kind of dumb and useless at most stuff but amzing at a few things. What a lot of authors miss is that an AI can not understand MOST of the human experience. The majority of what makes people people is off limits to a disembodied consciousness and so it would be very hard if not impossible to even communicate with. As an example, even small changes in commands could produce radically different results and a machine will never develop emotions only reproducible results of statistical tests and a set of rules. The nature of man and machine is so radically different that any common ground would be difficult to maintain. The simple idea that AI can be switched off, stored and later switched back on means there is a default immortality to any AI, how would an immortal decorporate hyper intelligence be different than our own? We have no idea but we can say it would be completely unrecognizable, Heinlein does the best of any author I’ve seen in accepting this fact and I loved the exploration it allowed.