Friday Face Off : Spaceships and Explosions #VintageSciFi


Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy .  This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book (this doesn’t have to be a book that you’ve read), compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future week’s themes are listed below – if you have a cover in mind that you’re really wanting to share then feel free to leave a comment about a future suggested theme.  I’ve also listed events that take place during the year, that I’m aware of, so you can link up your covers – if you’re aware of any events that you think I should include then give me a shout.  I’m currently linking up with Vintage Sci-Fi and if you also want to link up then please do so but this isn’t a requirement simply my way of highlighting events.  This week’s theme:

An Aerial encounter – spaceships and explosions

This week I’ve gone for another vintage sci-fi book and one that I read previously (I think for a previous Vintage sci fi event).  The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A Heinlein and here is a small selection of the covers:

My favourite.  I may have mentioned that I’m quite often a sucker for the SF Masterworks covers and this week is no exception.  I love the colours and this fits the bill so perfectly:


Do you have a favourite?  And have you read this book?

I’ve updated the list now to include themes for next year.  If you know of an event that’s coming up let me know and I’ll try and include covers that work for the event itself so that you can link up to the Friday Face Off and, as always, if you wish to submit an idea then leave me a comment – or if you’d like to host a week then simply let me know.  Also, I would just mention that it’s very possible that some of these might be repeats from previous FFOs although I have tried to invent more ‘open ended’ prompt that can be interpreted differently and also prompts that relate to emotions.  Finally, don’t struggle with any of these, this is meant to be a fun way of highlighting books.  If you can’t come up with a book you think fits for a particular week use a freebie – perhaps a recent read for example:

Next week – An Alien Encounter – ‘we come in peace’ or maybe not.



Vintage Sci-Fi month – if you’re taking part you could try and find some vintage style covers

22nd – An Alien Encounter – ‘we come in peace’ or maybe not.

29th – A favourite classic or vintage sci-fi


5th – A Book with a romance that you enjoyed

12th – Furry – a beast, something cuddly, or a fur covering

19th – Serpentine – could be a snake, could be a snake-like font, could be a snakeskin style cover

26th – A book with ‘Magic’ in the Title


5th – March is named for the Roman God of War – a Roman style cover or a cover with a God or Gods or simply a book about war

12th – Middle Grade – choose whatever pleases you

19th – Ruin or derelict, old and worn, could be the book itself, a building, a place

26th – A picture within a picture


2nd – A train or tram – travelling down the track, could be old style, futuristic, overhead, down below.

9th – Cartoonish or graphic

16th – I have to have it – a cover that gave you ‘grabby hands’

23rd – Your current read (if it has covers to compare) or any recent read

30th– A series that you love – highlight all the books in the series


Month of Wyrd and Wonder

7th – A Series where the cover changed midway through – which style do you prefer most

14th – The earliest fantasy you recall reading – or the first fantasy book you really loved, maybe the book that kickstarted your love of fantasy

21st – The Top Hat

28th – The Hood


4th – The nose boop – any animal, or human, with a close up shot.

11th – A cover that annoyed you and why

18th – Out of Perspective, or make you feel a bit dizzy

25th – Upside down, back to front or topsy turvy


2nd – A book with a landscape you’d like to visit

9th – A Wicked Grin

16th – Books with ‘book’ in the title

23rd – A Black Hole – could be in the universe or going deep into the ground

30th – Chaos – maybe too much going on in this one


6th – “They cluck their thick tongues, and shake their heads and suggest, os so very delicately!” – The Motel

13th – A favourite holiday read

20th – Dressed to kill (could be literally someone dressed to kill, or someone dressed up for a big night out

27th – Sunbathing or on the beach

September (RIP event)

3rd – 1920s feel, noir detective

10th – I’m Henry the Eighth I am – let’s look at Kings or other Emperors/rulers

17th – Books with ‘Murder’ in the title

24th – A favourite thriller


1st – A Halloween read

8th – Chills – anything at all that almost makes you too scared to pick up the book (your own pet hate)

15th – Your favourite book of magic

22nd – Books with ‘Queen’ in the title

29th – Must be gothic

November – Sci Fi Month

5th – Your earliest sci-fi read or the first sci-fi you reviewed

12th – A book with ‘star’ in the title

19th – Futuristic vista

26th – A Black Hole – in the universe or going deep into the ground


3rd – Windswept, the classic figure, stood majestically, with wind blowing out in a fetching way

10th – A fairytale retold

17th – Winter Solstice approaching – anything cold and seasonal

24th – All things fire – red hair, red covers, fire breathing dragons, simply fire?

31st – What’s your catnip – if it’s on a cover you have to pick it up

Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.


Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy .   This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book, compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future week’s themes are listed below. This week’s theme:

Planet “Any planet is ‘Earth’ to those who live on it”

This week I’ve gone for: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein.

Oddly enough I like the fourth cover.  It just feels really retro:


Which is your favourite?

Next week – A knife

Future themes:

28th July 2017 – The kindest use a knife, because the dead so soon grow cold (A cover which features a knife)

4th August 2017 – From the ashes a fire shall be woken (A cover which features fire)

11th August 2017- No soldier outlives a thousand chances (A cover which features a soldier)

18th August 2017 – The world was my oyster but I used the wrong fork (A cover which features food)

25th August 2017 – If I be waspish, best beware my sting (A cover which features an insect)

1st September 2017 – Being born in a stable does not make one a horse (A cover which features a horse)

8th September 2017 – That great condenser of moral chaos, The City (A cover which features a city)

Vintage Sci Fi: Book No.23

No.23: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A Heinlein

As part of Vintage Sci Fi month being hosted by Little Red Reviewer I’ve given myself a small challenge to post a vintage book each day – one that I’ve read – and to highlight some of the covers.   Today’s choice is : The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A Heinlein.  First published in 1966 this story largely takes place on the Moon which is used by the Earth as a self policing penal colony.  I think my favourite amongst these covers are the three later ones.

1966 first Edition:

1966 First Edition.jpg

1968 Berkeley:

1968 Berkeley2


1979 Berkeley.jpg

1981 Berkeley:

1981 Berkeley.jpg

1987 by Ace Books:

Ace Rock.jpg

1998 by New English Library:

1998 New England.jpg

2001 by Gollancz:

2001 Gollancz2.jpg

2005 by Hodder & Stoughton:

2005 Hodder & Stoughton.jpg

2015 by Hodder & Stoughton:

2015 Hodder & Stoughton


The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A Heinlein

Hey, smile if you bundled last night!!

Okay, that out of the system, just finished reading The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A Heinlein.  I’ve read this as part of the Vintage Sci fi event I’m taking part in and happily this also counts to my other none challenge event being hosted over at Stainless Steel Droppings.

Oh my giddy aunt.  What a thought provoking book.  It creates a little tornado of emotions and, yes, (slight spoiler) it has a somewhat sad end (did I say somewhat! slight understatement) but it also has plenty of humour – a good deal of which I probably missed or that went over my head but, I’m getting away with myself.

The Moon really is a Harsh Mistress!  Without a doubt.  The story brings to us a Moon that has been colonised – mainly with criminals or political exiles but what is interesting is that the population is obviously now increased due to the number of people actually being born to families within these colonies (the reason I found this interesting is that there is no return to earth for any of these people – it seems a little like the children are also suffering from the sins of the parents in a way although it’s not like they could return on their own).  The families live in underground tunnels and work hard to survive sending a good deal of their produce back to earth, probably as part of their punishment.  They pay for air and they live without luxury.  And yet, they seem content.  They have their own strict rules that they abide by and woe-betide anybody who breaks the code – think of honour among thieves – put basically you keep your good family name, you settle your debts and you don’t step out of line otherwise you might as well walk out onto the surface without your airtight suit.  Think not of being sent to Coventry but of being sent to a small planet in the outer ring of Saturn.  Dead.

So, life goes on.  However, the inhabitants have no idea that at the current rate that they are using the planets resources they are likely to run out fairly quickly and that will have disastrous results.  (Actually, now I’ve actually stated that in print was Heinlein trying to make a point about our use of the Earth’s natural resources?)

At the start of the story we’re introduced to Manuel, who used to be a farmer but due to the loss of a limb is now an engineer who is frequently called upon to service the planet’s mainframe computer – Mike.  Mike is developing a personality and Manuel or Man is becoming his only friend.  Then step up and meet Wyoming and Professor de la Paz.  Manuel meets Wyoming at a sort of political rally that goes a little bit pear shaped and means that the two of them have to keep a low profile for a while.  Wyoming is something of a political activist, fairly well known in her home town and the authorities have their eye on her.  The professor is a ‘rational anarchist’ – what a lovely phrase and contradiction in terms.  Anyway, to cut a long story short and not to go too much into detail Manuel introduces his two friends to Mike.  They pretty soon become aware of the impending threat to their way of life and start to cook up a rebellion.  That’s all I’m going to say for the plot.

Put basically this is a book about revolution and an overthrowing of unacceptable control.

Like I said earlier, there is such a lot to think about in this book.   I wish I’d actually kept some notes as I was reading because I’m sure that I’ve forgotten more than I ever knew and everything is now a big jumble!  But, for example, the Professor’s idea of not living with rules – he basically states he’s a free man, he abides with the rules he can tolerate and not by those he can’t. Yet, we all do live with rules don’t we?  Even in the colonies on the moon the inhabitants live by their own self-imposed rules.  They don’t have a Government or Royalty or a President – and yet again, interestingly, when they begin their revolution they almost start to emulate the very systems on the planet they’re rejecting (puts you in mind of animal farm – no more farmer, all the animals in a co-operative until the pigs get bigger ideas that is).  Really there is such a lot of interesting reading going on here.

I admit that at first I wondered what was going on with the form of writing.  It’s told in a strange type of translated Russian – not sure whether that is a reflection on the author’s thoughts in terms of the Russian Revolution? or not??  But, it took me a little while to get used to it until I suddenly seemed to have turned a corner and was almost reading with an accent going on in my head!  I also confess – when Mike kept saying things to Manuel such as ‘you’re my only friend man’ – I just thought he was imitating some strange type of hippie talk until it dawned on me that Man was short for Manuel (ahem, well I never said I was going to split the atom!)   Anyway, once I got used to Manuel’s form of narration I found myself enjoying the book a lot more and actually understanding a lot of the fun that is incorporated.

I thought there was a lot of humour in the book, although there is a very strong possibility that I’m reading it wrong.  And, I’m sure that I missed things that will be funny for some whilst laughing at other things that they may have missed.  But that’s part of the reading experience after all.  For example, I loved the little speech during the revolution that the Professor made to the crowds on luna – which was virtually the famous ‘we will fight them on the beaches’ speech made by Churchill adapted for the current situation.  I loved the fact that the inhabitants of Luna are called loonies.  And, I thought it was great that due to the ratio of men to women on the planet the women on Luna really do rule the roost!  So original.  Let’s face it chaps – one wrong move and you’ll find yourself ejected into outer space!

Now, obviously there’s a revolution and as we know from history we can’t have a revolution without some casualties.  I won’t say any more except TANSTAAFL!  Ain’t it the truth!

Very enjoyable read.  Now reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep – only two chapters in but I think it’s got me already!