The Man Who Sold the Moon

By Robert A. Heinlein

Rating: 3 stars

This is a collection of five short stories and the titular novella, all set in Heinlein’s own future history. I enjoyed most of the stories, although the behaviour of the union in The Roads Must Roll (about the union that brings the America’s trunk moving walkways to a halt) took me out of story completely. Mind you, this may be a trans-Atlantic difference – Americans have had a very different history with unions to Europeans, and may find this more believable.

The title story took a long time to get into. I found the idea of a bunch of very rich men scheming over how to effectively buy the moon to be unpleasant and unattractive, but eventually the sheer energy and enthusiasm of the protagonist got me engaged. It was worth it just for the follow-up, Requiem, which rounds off the collection and which is is wistful, sad yet uplifting as well, following the protagonist of the previous story, now as an old man.

In general, this is pretty classic Heinlein, with lots of rugged hero-engineers and scientists, making vast discoveries as individuals and having no truck with this namby-pamby government malarky.

Book details

Publisher: Sidgwick & Jackson
Year of publication: 1940

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