Skip to main content

View Diary: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Club: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (part 5) (26 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Heinlein knew (16+ / 0-)

    as much as anyone did when he wrote it. He wrote a series of "world-saving" articles just after WWII. He was one of the first to recognize exactly how horrible a nuclear war could be. But he also was well aware that there was--is--no way to prevent an attack from space--whether from rockets or from the moon. He feared what the Soviets could do if they got to the moon first. And he lived at Cheyenne Mountain--had friends and neighbors who worked there.

    If he wasn't explicit enough, it might be that he couldn't stomach it.

    He has to postulate the ecocide of Luna (and the resulting human catastrophe) to justify these actions. To get this published, he had to obey certain publishing conventions that we no longer have today.

    I found it quite graphic enough. YMMV.

    "Shared pain is pain lessened; shared joy is joy increased."--Spider Robinson

    by Maggie Pax on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 07:49:11 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Strategic Defense Initiative (12+ / 0-)

      One thing I noted this read-through, is that we have hints in this book of what became known during the Reagan Era as the "Star Wars Defense".  The occasional mentions of "The Wet Firecracker War" say that most of the missiles in the limited nuclear exchange were knocked out of the sky America's defenses.  Similarly, Finn and his laser crews use high-powered heavy lasers to burn out the sensors and controls of oncoming spaceships and missiles when Earth Attacks.

      On the other hand, when Earth's defenses attempt to stop the falling rocks with interceptor missiles, the results are far from satisfactory.  Only a few are destroyed; the rest are either nudged off-target (therefore doing more damage than they otherwise would have) or missed alltogether.

      "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

      by quarkstomper on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 07:58:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  SDI (12+ / 0-)

        Heinlein was a big supporter of SDI. He didn't know whether it would work, but he felt we had to try. I think Pournell put together a book called "The High Frontiers" supporting SDI; Heinlein wrote an intro, if I recall correctly.

        Really this is the thing that seems to have worried him the most. And he does have Federation ships armed with nukes heading for Luna. Mannie notes that all it would take is one ship, one nuke (in the right place) for total devastation for Luna.

        "Shared pain is pain lessened; shared joy is joy increased."--Spider Robinson

        by Maggie Pax on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 08:03:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Earth wouldn't have destroyed Luna domes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          quarkstomper

          with their inhabitants. Luna was too important as a source of major foodstuffs.

          For relevant sci-fi and fantasy, go to http://www.betty-cross-author.net/

          by Kimball Cross on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 08:02:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Killing the Cow (3+ / 0-)

            When Manuel met with the Lunar Authority rep on Earth, the rep admitted that they would not "kill the cow" in order to get more milk, as Prof put it, but that they would be willing to let the cow know she could be hurt.

            The missile attacks Earth used against Luna both in its initial attempt to re-take the colony and in it's response to Luna's rock-bombing was aimed primarily on taking out the connections between the domed cities rather than cracking the domes themselves.  In the second strike the objective was to cripple Luna's rock-throwing capabilities by destroying their catapault and their radars, but they also bombed Luna Complex, where the Warden's old office was and where the main computer -- Mike -- was located.

            But the Loonies had to worry about the possibility that Earth might decide to waste one of the domes to make an example for the others; and at least one dome was mostly above-ground and might have been damaged enough by nearby strikes to lose pressure

            "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

            by quarkstomper on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 09:44:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  No working prototype of an SDI weapon was (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          quarkstomper

          every made. However, it was worth something as a bluff in nuclear arms control negotiations with the Soviets. They thought we could make it work, after seeing what our PC's and software and industrial lasers could do.

          For relevant sci-fi and fantasy, go to http://www.betty-cross-author.net/

          by Kimball Cross on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 08:05:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Just like the projected SDI in the 80s, this was (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        quarkstomper

        a new technology. The lasers were originally designed and built for a different purpose.

        For relevant sci-fi and fantasy, go to http://www.betty-cross-author.net/

        by Kimball Cross on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 08:00:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site