Study Guide

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress Chapter 9

By Robert Heinlein

Chapter 9

  • Mannie opens the chapter by considering how the Loonies were "as non-political a people as history every produced" (9.3). That kind of makes it hard to get a revolution going…
  • Security Chief Alvarez helped with the problem by asking for reinforcements—he got Peace Dragoons and instituted a passport system—and the added rules and regulations caused the Loonies to begin fighting against the Warden and Security Chief's ways.
  • Mannie begins seeing the advantages Mike's manipulation of the phone system will have for the revolution: It keeps information speedy yet confidential.
  • The covert cells begin to grow in numbers.
  • They decide Mike needs a not-computer face if he is going to be chairman, so Mike fabricates a persona out of thin air—well, thin data at any rate—named Adam Selene.
  • Mannie has Mike get "sick" about once a month. This allows Mannie to tinker with his hardware, and as a bonus, it drives Warden crazy.
  • Word Snack: When Mannie pretends to find a bug in Mike's circuitry, it is a shout-out to a supposed, though unlikely, origin for the term "software bug"—a fun tale about a moth flying into a Harvard computer back in the day when computers were room size.
  • As the revolution grows, party members need to contact Adam Selene more often, so Mike creates a face, body, and even office space for Adam Selene. Of course, this Adam can only appear on television, but that hardly makes anybody less real; Mike even gives the guy a secretary named Ursula.
  • The revolution also needs to be funded. Skimming money through a "pyramided swindle" (9.164), Mike launders money into their new—and only real on the books—company, LuNoHo.
  • They also construct their own secret catapult. How did they hide it? Right on the surface of the moon, in plain sight so to speak.