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Harsh Mistress

Original price $4,500.00 - Original price $4,500.00
Original price
$4,500.00 - $4,500.00
Current price $4,500.00

Photo-Kinetic Sculpture based on the Robert A. Heinlein classic “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”

One of Heinlein’s most popular novels, time has corroborated several key themes. The presence of water ice on the moon was only confirmed a few years ago, and is central to the plot.

Mare Crisium on Luna’s north-east quadrant (upper right as seen from Earth) is the principal setting of Robert A. Heinlein’s classic novel “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”. This sculpture is based on a Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter image with LEDs highlighting places mentioned in the novel. The LED locations are a best guess based on repeated careful readings of the source material. The sculpture measures about 970 x 570 mm, designed for wall mounting.

The entire sculpture is close to real scale. The curvature of the moon’s short horizon is obvious. The major item that is not to scale is the launcher. It is about twice as long as described in the novel. The location of the LuNoHoCo launcher is a guess, based on deliberately vague mentions in the novel. The locations marked by LEDs are: Lunar Authority (blue); Luna City (red); Crisium Spaceport (white); Tube Station West (orange); Davis Tunnels (green); LuNoHoCo (yellow). Each of the LED colours is biased in the specified shade, but has a pseudo-random variation. The name of each location is displayed in Morse Code.

The Launcher brass housings also act as touch-sensitive controls. Brightness and speed can be controlled within narrow parameters. The LEDs can be turned on or off, although the circuit always runs when power is applied. There is a mounting option of an internal battery bank. Current draw varies from 20 – 50 mA. A 2600 mAh battery will run the circuit for almost 2 days. Choice of battery bank is important. Since the current draw is so low, most battery banks designed for phone charging will shut off due to their power-saving feature. The best long-term display option is the provided USB wall charger.

The core of the Harsh Mistress sculpture is MDF, laminated from standard sheets. 16 hours of CNC machining produced the 3D surface and the cavities on the back. Multiple layers of epoxy consolidate, protect, and smooth the MDF. Metallic tints provide the background and the feature colour highlights. The control circuit is an Arduino Nano with custom code. The lights are AdaFruit NeoPixel individually addressable LEDs.

The Harsh Mistress sculpture is unique. There will not be any copies or reproductions. It will make a fine addition to any collection of Robert A Heinlein memorabilia.

Extra Information

coop fundraiser item
Mixed Media
Original Design
One of a Kind (OOAK)
ships to
Ships from Canada to Canada and USA only!
turnaround time
In Stock: Ships in 3-6 Business Days
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