Monday, January 22, 2007

Variable Star by Robert A. Heinlein and Spider Robinson

Author Spider Robinson was picked to complete a story that Heinlein shelved decades ago. And after reading it, I have to ask, did anyone perhaps think that maybe he shelved it for a reason?

Don't get me wrong. For a character-driven story, it's well written; the characters in it are an intriguing bunch with all their foibles, and Robinson certainly shows his strength in that regard. But for a "hard" SF story, the science borders on fantasy, and there is much political preachiness within. But that's all well and good, and even those who don't view the politics in the same light, or not concerned about the believability of the science, would be able to overlook that if...well.

It's the plot. The main character gets onboard an interstellar craft for completely stupid reasons. A whole bunch of character interaction goes on. Everything meanders from one place to the next. Then Earth gets destroyed. And after that...

Please tell me because I have no clue. Amidst all the babbling and yacking, I kept waiting for something else to happen, but nothing did beyond tying up all the dangling loose ends of the many subplots. Who or what blew up Earth's star? Dunno. What can be done about it? You tell me. Will the human race survive? Should you even bother to ask? The ending just doesn't leave you satisfied in any way.

Others may like this book, but from me it gets a big fat NEXT!

Publisher: TOR
Price: $24.95
Hard Cover 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0-765-31312-X
ISBN-13: 978-0-765-31312-6
Genre: Science Fiction


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