Robert Heinlein wrote the outline and some index cards for Variable Star in 1955, but never wrote the novel. It was discovered in 2003 and given to Spider Robinson, Heinlein's friend and a great science fiction author himself, to complete.
The blend is ...more
This may set the record for my quickest time reading a Heinlein novel. I finished reading it at about 2:30AM this morning. I would say it is safe to say that I enjoyed this novel that seems to float between revered and rejected by the Science Fiction community.
In all honesty, I have trouble considering it really a Heinlein novel, as it was written based on 7 pages of outline, a handful of index cards, and a familiarity with Heinlein's voice and style. It d ...more
Bright teenager Joel Johnston learns something surprising about his beautiful girlfriend, and in consequence makes a rash decision that affects his own future and (indirectly) all of humanity.
I don't know that I've read much Spider Robinson before; maybe a few of his Callahan stories. I have read a lot of Robert Heinlein - most of what there is to read. So I can say with a high degree of confidence that Robinson did a masterful job of producing a new Heinlein nov ...more
And, the plot was compelling and possessed of many unexpected twists, even if meandering at times. Lots of stock RAH characters: the irreverent geniuses, the TANSTAAFL-believing rugged individualists, etc.
The bad: How can I put this? Bluntly, I guess! Heinlein wasn't just an atheist, ...more
This was a book based on a portion of an outline and some notes discovered after Heinlein's death, and written by Spider Robinson.
I was sad that Robinson didn't delve into the various social structures as much as Heinlein would have, so he missed out on what could have been some thought-provoking moments. He also failed to say anything insightful about oh, the end of all human ...more
I really enjoyed this book. Robinson has a wonderful sense of ...more
Robert A. Heinlein
"Finishing" a book left by a dead author almost never works out. While Variable Star was written by Spider Robinson from notes left by the science-fiction superstar, it comes across as more of an homage than a bastard novel.
Joel Johnston is a college student on Earth, hailing fro ...more
Set in an off-shoot of the Future History novels, so you will recognize a few names and places: New Frontiers, Leslie LaCroix, Andrew Jackson (Libby, one presumes, since he designs a ...more
The protagonist is Joel, who has just graduated from high school (or its future equivalent) and is awaiting a scholarship acceptance so that he may study to be a composer. His high school sweetheart Jinny wants to get married, but he is so poor he cannot justify it. Then Jinny reveals she actually Jinny Conrad, t ...more
That was the case here. Spider Robinson took 7 or 8 pages of an outline RAH left behind, and fleshed it out into a novel.
In this case however, I thought it was great. I saw the footprints of SR all over it, but it didnt bother me at all. The story had plenty of familiar elements from other RAH books, without feeling like a rehashing of the events of previous ...more
It is well that Robinson does not purport to have created a Heinlein novel. There were too many swears, for one thing, which I thought needlessly disrupted the Heinleinian feel. (I'm not opposed to swearing, but one simply does not picture a Heinlein character uttering an oath stronger than, "bushwah!" or, in great extremity, "damn it all!") And too much o ...more
It does, at times, get a little straight-forward or convenient, and did feel like it rushed towards the 'end' a bit. But ...more
The only thing that kept me from giving this book 5 stars was the "deus ex machina" Robinson pulls near the end of the novel and just barely gives a possibly believable reason for. Other than that the way Robinson and Heinlein so smoothly blend ...more
This takes a quick turn for wrenching after a very engaging start, and then ultimately becomes very redeeming. This is a wonderfully human story with a good amount of science (or fantasy dressed up as science) gee-wow.
The author's ending anecdotes of ghost experiences are very fascinating, too (and to me, convincing--I've no reason to doubt him).
Of particular note, or something I particularly appreciated in this book, is its cynical take on how popular approac ...more
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.
He set a high standard for science and engineering plausibility and helped to raise the genre's standards of literary quality. He was the first SF writer to break into mainstre ...more