- Bewertet: Buch (gebunden)
In the 2070s, the moon has long been used as a penal colony. It's pretty much ideal for that purpose since escape is impossible, conditions are harsh enough that it's lethal not to cooperate, and workers are needed because by now earth is so overpopulated that farming on the... In the 2070s, the moon has long been used as a penal colony. It's pretty much ideal for that purpose since escape is impossible, conditions are harsh enough that it's lethal not to cooperate, and workers are needed because by now earth is so overpopulated that farming on the moon is essential to feed people back on earth. And last but not least, once you have spent your prison sentence on Luna, it's almost impossible to ever leave (and possibly make trouble again), not just because of the high cost of transport, but because the body has adapted to low gravity, no germs etc. to such a degree that going to earth might be fatal or is at the very least almost unbearable. As a result, there are are now not just the prisoners and their wardens, but over 90% of the population are their descendants who never even committed a crime. They are understandably frustrated with being treated like criminals regardless, having to do underpaid labour under highly dangerous conditions, and a revolution is brewing. But their chances are zero until they find a highly unlikely ally in Luna's central computer system. Mike, as it's being called, has become so complex over time, that it / he developed self-awareness and a personality. And since the only people who know and bother to talk to him are a computer specialist and his friends who dislike the present system and want to change it, Mike is soon at the head of a revolution and - when earth refuses to grant Luna equal rights and independence - a war against earth. But can the small penal colony up in space with almost no arms and little support on earth succeed? This story and the society on Luna are very convincing and interesting, so is the sentient computer. What's also very fascinating is the use of language, a kind of pidgin with simplified grammar and a mix of central words or phrases from the languages spoken by the people who were forced to settle there (English, Russian, Chinese etc.). That's exactly what you get when cultures are mixed while nobody bothers with a formal education (why pay for schools for criminals), but it's unusual indeed to find a writer who can develop something like that. That alone may have been a reason for the awards this novel got. Add to that fact that it was written before there ever was a moon landing and it still made you feel that this could all be done just so, and it's truly impressive. There are Heinlein novels I like more (Friday or Stranger in a strange land) because of their characters and I feel that the characters here don't have quite that strength, but this is definitely high-quality Science Fiction and should not be missed.