Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn't open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To download from the iTunes Store, get iTunes now.

Already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download
iTunes for Mac + PC

Building Harlequin's Moon

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


The first interstellar starship, John Glenn, fled a Solar System populated by rogue AIs and machine/human hybrids, threatened by too much nanotechnology, and rife with political dangers. The John Glenn's crew intended to terraform the nearly pristine planet Ymir, in hopes of creating a utopian society that would limit intelligent technology.
But by some miscalculation they have landed in another solar system and must shape the gas giant planet Harlequin's moon, Selene, into a new, temporary home. Their only hope of ever reaching Ymir is to rebuild their store of antimatter by terraforming the moon.
Gabriel, the head terraformer, must lead this nearly impossible task, with all the wrong materials: the wrong ships and tools, and too few resources. His primary tools are the uneducated and nearly-illiterate children of the original colonists, born and bred to build Harlequin's moon into an antimatter factory.
Rachel Vanowen is one of these children. Basically a slave girl, she must do whatever the terraforming Council tells her. She knows that Council monitors her actions from a circling vessel above Selene's atmosphere, and is responsible for everything Rachel and her people know, as well as all the skills, food, and knowledge they have ever received. With no concept of the future and a life defined with duty, how will the children of Selene ever survive once the Council is through terraforming and have abandoned Selene for its ultimate goal of Ymir?

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

From Publishers Weekly

May 16, 2005 – Fans of both hard and softer, psychological SF will welcome veteran Niven and newcomer Cooper's well-written tale of a 60,000-year layover in space, in which physical challenges of world building are matched by social challenges of collaboration among disparate groups. After arriving in an inhospitable solar system, the Earth Born, colonists on an interstellar journey, need to refuel their ship, John Glenn, with antimatter. Since they lack laborers, the Earth Born construct a moon where they can build a particle collider and raise a work force, the Moon Born. Destined to be abandoned, the Moon Born struggle to gain as much knowledge and technology as they can before the Earth Born depart. Some of the technology includes artificial intelligences, whose unrestricted use caused the Earth Born to flee Earth in the first place. Niven and Cooper provide complicated characters, particularly the AI, which struggle with realistic moral dilemmas. If the novel loses a bit of its emotional credibility in a compressed climax, it errs on the side of telling a rich story completely in a single volume.

Customer Reviews

Masterful, intricate and probing

The very best science fiction is writ large with concepts and principles having past shaping influence, contemporary conflict and far-reaching cultural ramifications, in addition, of course, to being entertaining. Niven and Cooper have produced just such a story. A masterful tale spanning millennia, grappling with questions of technology, ethics, social power, and indivdual purpose, Building Harlequin's Moon is at once BIG and intensely personal. In entering this story, one feels the growing weight of having the available use of powerful technological tools and the associated responsibilities and fallout in wielding them. The story explores the contrasting assumptions between those who have extensive scientific knowledge and the beneficiaries who are expected to serve them, but it also explores the factions within each of those groups. What happens then when individuals in each group become aware of the other's reactions and begin to doubt their own?

Building Harlequin's Moon IS entertaining, but you will walk away with new perceptions and new questions for your own culture.

Several OCR typos, but still a nice novel

A good novel -- not as sweeping as some sci-fi plots, but rather more focused on the human conflicts and personalities that ultimately determine the success or failure of any grand endeavor. As for the quality of the format, it's clear that the text of this e-book was generated by optically scanning a printed format, because there are scanning errors throughout. Not frequent enough to ruin the book, but still an annoyance, and inexplicable given how recently the book was written.

Building Harlequin's Moon
View in iTunes
  • $7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: High Tech
  • Published: Apr 01, 2007
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Seller: Macmillan / Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
  • Print Length: 400 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings

More by Larry Niven & Brenda Cooper