Variable Star

Variable Star

Book - 2006
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A never-before-published masterpiece from science fiction's greatest writer, rediscovered after more than half a century.

When Joel Johnston first met Jinny Hamilton, it seemed like a dream come true. And when she finally agreed to marry him, he felt like the luckiest man in the universe.

There was just one small problem. He was broke. His only goal in life was to become a composer, and he knew it would take years before he was earning enough to support a family.
But Jinny wasn't willing to wait. And when Joel asked her what they were going to do for money, she gave him a most unexpected answer. She told him that her name wasn't really Jinny Hamilton---it was Jinny Conrad, and she was the granddaughter of Richard Conrad, the wealthiest man in the solar system.

And now that she was sure that Joel loved her for herself, not for her wealth, she revealed her family's plans for him---he would be groomed for a place in the vast Conrad empire and sire a dynasty to carry on the family business.
Most men would have jumped at the opportunity. But Joel Johnston wasn't most men. To Jinny's surprise, and even his own, he turned down her generous offer and then set off on the mother of all benders. And woke up on a colony ship heading out into space, torn between regret over his rash decision and his determination to forget Jinny and make a life for himself among the stars.
He was on his way to succeeding when his plans--and the plans of billions of others--were shattered by a cosmic cataclysm so devastating it would take all of humanity's strength and ingenuity just to survive.

Publisher: New York : Tor, 2006.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780765313126
Characteristics: 318 pages ; 25 cm.
Additional Contributors: Robinson, Spider


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Jan 07, 2021

this says that it's by Heinlein, but actually someone else wrote it. The concepts are good, but it is so poorly written that I couldn't finish it.

Nov 05, 2019

This book has such wonderful depictions of time dialation, relativity, and coming of age. It also hits you over and over the head with the authors opinions about religion, history, and psychology.

Feb 11, 2015

Better than it would have been if RAH, himself, had finished it off during waning years of his career.

unbalancedbutfair Aug 14, 2013

I was unsure how I would like it. Heinlein's masterpieces like stranger in a strange land, the moon is harsh mistress, and starship troopers are some of my favorite books. The idea of someone else writing for him, even if following an extensive outline, filled me with trepidation. I am pleased to say that I was pleasantly and deeply surprised. In fact, I would say that it was better than Heinlein in his latest years would have been. This work feels like the Heinlein in his prime. Good sci fi, written recently, I was all but convinced such a thing was an urban myth.

Feb 06, 2013

Spider Robinson did a great job of writing a book (based on detailed notes from Heinlein for a book he never wrote) that feels much like Heinlein. An entertaining hard science fiction book.

May 05, 2011

Nice combination of styles from the two authors. Young boy, struggling for identity, heads off into space on epic adventure. At end finds himself, and his true love. No sex of course, barely a kiss. Our group did find this long-winded in places, but decided that happened often with Spider Robinson. There is an interesting Afterword - at the end - that describes the process of being chosen for, and writing, and editing this book.

Jun 21, 2010

In the midst of a typically twisty sci-fi tale come references to the power of music that brought tears to my eyes.


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