The Brass Cannon (a.k.a. The Moon is a Harshe Mistress)

Massad Ayoob blogs about a training event put on by a group called a Polite Society in reference to a quote from the Robert A. Heinlein novel “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”. One of my all time favorite novels.

This led me to Wikipedia where I discovered that the working title was originally “The Brass Cannon”.  A reference to some dialog in the novel, but also a tip of the hat and pointer to the events of the Texas revolution.

Per Wikipedia…

The cannon and flag were inspired by the Battle of Gonzales (1835), an event which is seen by many as sparking the Texas Revolution.

Heinlein owned a small brass cannon, which he acquired prior to the 1960s. For nearly 30 years, the firing of the brass cannon, or “signal gun”, was a 4th of July tradition at the Heinlein residence. It is believed that this cannon was the inspiration for Heinlein’s original title for the work which eventually became The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. Virginia Heinlein retained the cannon after her husband’s death in 1988. The cannon was eventually bequeathed to friend and science fiction writer Brad Linaweaver, after Virginia Heinlein died in 2003. Linaweaver restored the cannon to working order and subsequently posted a 2007 video of it being fired several times (with very small charges) on YouTube.[3]


Fast forward to about the 6 minute point to watch the cannon being fired.

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