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(Firestar #1)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  701 ratings  ·  77 reviews
In 1972, young corporate heiress Mariesa van Huyten sees a meteor streak across the daytime sky over the Grand Tetons. It awakens an all-consuming fear in her, a fear that the Earth is living on borrowed time in a hostile solar system. With a trusted inner circle and vast resources, she aims to make her planet strong.
Paperback, 896 pages
Published March 15th 1997 by Tor Science Fiction (first published 1996)
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Specialk It's dense and descriptive - so know that before you start. There are times where I've been wondering if the last 15 minutes of listening have been wo…moreIt's dense and descriptive - so know that before you start. There are times where I've been wondering if the last 15 minutes of listening have been worthwhile at all.

I'm on part 23 of 34 and my interest is only just beginning to flag...but I'm also hoping we're starting to ramp up for the end and it will be renewed. In a way it's a great audiobook because if you zone out for a few minutes, you likely haven't missed anything key. (less)

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Average rating 3.68  · 
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 ·  701 ratings  ·  77 reviews

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Feb 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Michael Flynn continues to work with economic/mathematical predictive models of the future that are dead on target. In this book, he (correctly) predicts a recession leading to a small war in the year 2001-2 from the time of his authorship in the mid-1990s.

Perhaps more importantly, Flynn spends a lot of time showing us how the educational system would change if he were in charge. He seems to have a bit of utopian overconfidence in privatization, but some of his ideas about education (competitiv
Oct 24, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Ayn Rand meets The Man Who Sold the Moon.

Comparable to early Heinlein. Good hard science fiction. Flynn's book reads like an alternative history now that its near-future events (when published in 1995) have become recent past, but it's easy to see--given his premises--how he got there. And getting there is half the fun.

While the story keep pulling me forward, the prose is a bit dense. The character development was complex enough to seem realistic. The cast was diverse enough to occasionally conf
Aug 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I am going to comment on this book from a libertarian's standpoint. And, actually, I am going to comment on the entire series, sans spoilers. The reason is because some of my views regarding this book are certainly expanded by my view of all four books. And my comment is this: fantastic!

If you have libertarian or (even) objectivist leanings, I am quite certain you will enjoy the journey. And, if you do not have those leanings, the story does not push political propaganda down your throat, so I s
Dec 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In 1972, young corporate heiress Mariesa van Huyten sees a meteor streak across the daytime sky over the Grand Tetons. It awakens an all-consuming fear in her, a fear that the Earth is living on borrowed time in a hostile solar system.

What can humanity do about it, she asks?
What could humanity do about it?
Swat the asteroids aside.
Get out of the way.

With a trusted inner circle, and the resources of Van Huyten industries at her conditional disposal, she sets out to act on these premises. T
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Really good book. It was very well-written, although the prose may be a little dense or descriptive for some people. I thought the plot was very good, though it is slow-moving. There are a lot of characters to keep track of, although I think Flynn does a good job of developing them. All in all a very good read but it just lacks that extra something to make it a 5 star. I look forward to reading more of Flynn's work. ...more
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Love the alternative present day sci-fi.
Oct 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
Near future sci-fi tends to age very, very poorly, and even though I found this book incredibly boring for the most part, it definitely feels like a plausible, alternate recent past.

A super right wing anti-government fantasy written in the most mind numbing prose, to be sure.
Aug 23, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Reminded me very much of Ben Bova's Grand Tour books. The story threads are woven nicely and thoroughly. However, I felt that a number of the characters were too shallow or cliche. Also, while the story is fun/interesting, the motivations were a bit suspect for me. Despite all that, it's a series I'll keep reading. ...more
Feb 14, 2021 marked it as mooched
Recommended to Jon by: Jamie Collins
Still available for mooching! Will be donated to local Friends of the Library annual book sale in March 2021.

Decluttering my shelves and sharing my treasures. Available for mooching in my BookMooch inventory:
Jan 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Well, here's to the first book of 2017!

Firestar is a book that has a very, very impressive scope. There are a few key characters, but also many, many secondary characters who are also important and get their own viewpoint chapters, and many of these characters interact with each other over the span of several years. What's more, there's everything from an impressive array of near-future, realistic sci-fi to minor tangents into economics, domestic politics, geopolitics, and a variety of other iss
Scott Templeman
Feb 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Lots of popular reviews here compare this book to Atlas Shrugged, but I respectfully suggest that it's been a while since they have read Ayn Rand. Rand's works preach her philosophy of Objectivism, or to over-summarize, the virtues of selfishness. The protagonist of this novel is a successful driven female capitalist, and that's where the parallels will end. Government agencies will serve as foils at some points, but competing businessmen and other elites are the main antagonists. Instead of the ...more
Jan 19, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars.

I doubt Michael Flynn would appreciate my use of the L-word, but this is an entertaining Libertarian Fairy Tale written in the late 90s about what it would take to resurrect interest in space. The premise of the story is the US government would remain incapable or uninterested in accomplishing anything in space, so it would be up to private industry. (With 20 years of hindsight - point Flynn).

Imagine Atlas Shrugged if Ayn Rand wrote sci-fi, could write at all for that matter, or crea
I like science fiction about an early space program, so I liked this. But Michael Flynn was too interested in descriptions of sexual attributes, especially of the female characters. Still, he had a female character in a lead role.
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible, audio
Published in 1999 and set between 1999 and 2009, it was really interesting to note the differences between what the author envisioned and what happened during those years.

Dense, and with multiple POVs, it was hard to get into, but worth it.

Malcolm Hillgartner's narration is excellent.
May 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
I mean. It's 900 pages. And it's not 900 pages of fast-paced plot and insanely interesting characters. It's 900 pages of intensely described and well written (ish) characters and a pseudo-believable plot.

Putting aside the huge technology gaps that Flynn missed coming in the 2000s, the plot could be speculative fiction as easily as the hard sci-fi everyone flags it as. Privatization of public services is a real issue/solution (depending on which way you lean), and the ignorance of government wit
John (JP)
Mar 03, 2019 rated it liked it
This is an alternative history of the space flight. Flynn writes a story that covers 10 years between 2000 and 2009.It begins with the heroine realizing that the Earth may be in danger from an asteroid. It ends with her having created major changes in America's educational system and facilitid major technological advancements in space transportation.

The bulk of the story is how she and her company is able to create this change. In a lot of was the story degenerates into a soap opera. It gives

Pat Beard
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not sure what I want to say about this one. In some ways I really liked it, other ways not so much. The characterization was well developed but there wasn't one character that I would like as a person or even want to be around. I like the private business approach to space having grown up reading Heinlein. But the woman is so obsessed, not so say nuts, I'm not so sure that she could have kept it together enough to accomplished the goal. Anyway . . . I guess I like the book enough to go with the ...more
brian andrews
Jan 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Tis a long book about the inception of a privately funded space business based on the early fears of an extremely wealthy lady Marisa and the challenges of getting into space using a re-usable vehicle and the aims of humans being a multi planet culture.
I enjoyed the book but found it long.
Character definition was good, usual types; strong female, favourite uncle/confident, brash hero's, trusted friends and of course multiple enemies along the way.
Part of a series, unsure if I will progress to bo
Trey McIntyre
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it

I have many thoughts about this book. There are a lot of things that I really love about it. So many of the characters are really brilliant. And it's very well plotted, I think.

But it's so long. So. Very. Long.

And it ends without a real resolution. So, I guess to get the ending, I will have to keep reading the series. I doubt I will do that any time soon.
Albert Hook
Apr 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Sometimes when you get invested in a thing you just have to ride it out. This book had promise but man it was like the life and times of Zap Brannigan test pilot intermixed with a stereotypical white guy imagining how minorities live and breath. It was hard to deal with the man's pigeon language, thank god he didn't stretch that out over every chapter. ...more
Sep 19, 2017 rated it liked it
interesting hard Sci Fi... but turned into to much of a soap opera for ME(characters cheating on each other/acting like 12 year olds and hating without reason). Well written but, not my thing. If you like the people part and Sci Fi, you'll love it. ...more
Mark Breneman
Feb 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Wow, it's long and this is only book 1. OK, SciFi storytelling. I did not realize it was a series, I just assumed the author got tired of these characters / book and ended it all. Fair overall, not sure I will read the other books. ...more
Carol Ladwig
Jul 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Science was interesting, but I hated most of the characters and didn't care at all about their soap opera antics. ...more
Aug 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Started out great and went downhill from there.....
Kathryn Baron
Dec 10, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
4 hours in and I am rooting for the asteroid. There is not a single character that I like or that is more than cardboard. No real story yet. No real science yet, just blue sky hand waves.

Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
it's a 31 hours...definitely a commitment! but it's good. it's my cup of tea. ...more
A very, very, very long novel. I listened to it as an audiobook, so it kept me occupied while I was doing other things. Not a ringing endorsement but for what it was, it was fine.
John Connolly
Nov 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting story and premise. However, does it really need to be nearly 900 pages? From my perspective there was way too much time spent in minutia that did not further the plot of the story.
Rob Markley
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
I really like this tale, but peculiarly the bit that impacted most was an aside about taking three years to truly change an organisation... or at least that's what I remember. ...more
Gary Holt
Dec 14, 2015 rated it liked it
(This review is for the entire series, since it doesn't really end at a terribly satisfying place at the end of each novel. There is some attempt at closure at the end of each book but he has basically one very long story to tell and he's not done until the very end.)

This series was pretty good, but looooooooong. So many characters. Most of the many subplots are kind of interesting. It definitely held my attention through four long novels. But I was definitely done when he finally wound up the l
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. Please see this page for the list of authors.

Michael Francis Flynn (born 1947) is an American statistician and science fiction author. Nearly all of Flynn's work falls under the category of hard science fiction, although his treatment of it can be unusual since he has applied the rigor of hard science fiction t

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Firestar (4 books)
  • Rogue Star (Firestar, #2)
  • Lodestar (Firestar, #3)
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