First things first. Robert Heinlein is not Spider Robinson or vice versa. That little blurb about "nomination" is the stupidest thing I've ever heard, and it doesn't pay apropriate tribute to either author.
That being said,this book is just Heinleinesque enough to deserve his name in the title, but it is definitely written by Spider Robinson. Puns both bad and good abound. Marijuana and other chemicals are widely used by the characters, there are a few dirty words. The hero is a musician. In all of these regards the book is very Spider Robinsonesque.
The Heinleinesque part of "Variable Star" is that in many ways this is a rewritten version of "Time for the Stars". Not that this is a bad thing. It is never bad to take on an original idea and either improve it or twist it.
As for the book itself I really enjoyed it. I loved it. I thought Spider Robinson did a great job. This is a book true to its form, and I for one, want another; A sequel.
The only problem that I have with "Variable Star" is that the ending left too many unanswered questions. Do the Colonists make it to Bravo? What colony worlds end up being destroyed by radiation storms? What ever becomes of Conrad of Conrad? What happens to the little monk? And most importantly, who are the mysterious alien enemies to mankind? I demand another book. Or two or three. However many books it takes to fill out the plot.
As for the narration. The author did a good job except for his singing. Not so much a bad singing voice I suppose, nor even a bad song, but maybe the song goes better with the accompanyment of music. Accapella just didn't cut it. Besides the song, the narrarator does an excellent job. At least as well or better than his other two narrations. Except Spider Robinson should have given "Callahan an Irish brougue in Callahan's Legacy." I Haven't quite forgiven that one yet, but he did a fine job on "Rocket Ship Galileo", and he has done a fine job on this narration. BRAVO!
This book has convinced me to change my eating habits. I have never read such an important book besides the Bible. This for me has become dietary gospel. I can't say enough good things about this book and the research, and I truly hope that heart disease is reversible because lord knows what I have done to my heart over the past 33 years.
Do yourself the biggest favor you'll ever do yourself......READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!
It's all in your head. Well at least a large portion of it is in your head. Dr. Sarno's TMS hypothesis just makes sense. If you were to combine Dr. Sarno's recommended treatment for muscular pain with the dietary advice from "The China Study" written by Dr. Campbell, then you would have a winning combination for a healthy and pain free life.
I think that a little Prozac, maybe some cyclobenzaprine, quite a few prayers to Jesus, a mostly non-animal product diet, a smoke free and booze free lifestyle, and some psychotherapy can go a long way to solving most peoples pain problems. I'm no doctor, but I do very intense manual labor and this combination has done miracles for me, and I haven't found a physician yet who would refute my winning combination, though there might be a few surgeons that would be disappointed at the loss of business. In the long run it will save you and your insurance company a hell of a lot of money to do a few simple things. Even if you take out the psychotherapy and talk to a priest or pastor instead....all the rest of my suggestions are pretty much low cost or no cost. If you don't like praying to Jesus or Allah, then Buddhist meditations are said to work very well also, they just take more concentration than I can muster; it's all the same brain mechanisms at work no matter whether you pray or meditate and it is all said to be beneficial no matter what book you read.
At any rate, non-Dr. Mike will get back to the book review, so any-who, this book was very helpful. Half of all injuries have no identifiable cause, but Dr. Sarno and his Freudian approach gives a treatment to this unknown other half. I also strongly, very strongly recommend reading "The China Study". The combination of these two books will change your health and your life for the better if you implement them into your lifestyle.
In the pop-psychology genre there aren't a lot of women authors. Women think differently from men in a good many ways; so the amazing thing about this book, in my opinion, is that only a woman could have written a book about this subject and have done it in such a beautiful way. The hard science behind God is obviously non-existent, but does that mean that he/she is non-existent. Well that is for each individual to decide for his or herself. I recommend listening to this book if you are interested in this question and a few others. This lady does a good analysis of this subject from a semi-scientific point of view and she uses a woman's natural empathy to write a splendid pop-psychology book.
John Ringo was in the military something like 30 years ago, but he describes modern weapon systems and light armored vehicle maneuvers, etc. to such a high degree of expertise that you would think that he got out of the military two years ago. I really appreciate that degree of accuracy. As far as the being in the Army itself goes, whether it be 30 years ago or 20 years from now, some things stay the same no matter what, and there really are officers like Bandit 6, and there are good and bad BC's, and there are grunts, tech soldiers, and Fobits, and Remps and on down the line. Me I was a grunt at first and then I turned into a fobit. He described what happens to fobits stuck on FOB's perfectly, but what makes a soldier one thing or another is only dependent on what MOS he chooses when he is at the MEPS. With the right training most grunts could be just as good of mechanics as most mechanics and vice versa. So all the distinctions of suck are sort of arbitrary. Anyways its a good book, right wing or not.
It is easy to take a select number of anecdotes of failure and paint a big picture that the CIA was a huge waste of resources and that it failed to prevent or predict every big event to happen in the previous 65 years of world history, but I believe that they succeeded. How they succeeded through happenstance was to prevent the cold war from turning hot. They did this by building relationships and communication links with the USSR and with our allies during the Cold War.
The CIA may have missed predicting certain major events in world history over the previous 65 years, but the nature of military and political intelligence is not clairvoyance. An intelligence analyst is not a fortune teller. I'll even bet that within the organization there were people who made adequate and very accurate predictions for the major events that the CIA is accused of missing, but the nature of reporting to U.S. Presidents and other politicians is political. This means that the reporter tells the politician what they want to hear. If you go telling them what they don't want to hear, wrong or right, you will be replaced.
So don't blame this Agency for failures that it is not responsible for. Blame the culture surrounding the Office of the Presidency, and that of the Congress. Therein lies your problem.
There was a time before the end of the Cold War when post-nuclear holocaust books were everywhere. How humanity and civilization moved on after the bomb was a big subject in fantasy writing. Muties and bands of pirate robbers and cannibals abounded through fiction. This book took that subject matter, which was once so popular, and twisted it to fit the point of view of the persecuted Mormon people. In the beginning of the book the Baptists of Greensboro massacred the Mormons of Greensboro and survivors were forced to move to Utah were law and order still presided. Interesting enough. It would be awfully offensive subject matter if you were a Baptists or an "Evangelical Christian". I wonder if the Greensboro Baptist did anything to the Greensboro Catholics or the Greensboro Jehovah's Witnesses. There are Christian Sects that exists that the Baptist find more offensive than the Mormons. Mr. Card didn't mention any of these. I do think that if there were six bombs dropped and civilization crumbled soon after there would be a lot more racial tension in the Southeast U.S. than the author believed to be the case. It's funny to me that the author thinks the Mormons would be persecuted 20 years ago, but just two years ago the Republicans almost had a Mormon candidate for President. Of course, it was the far right block of Christian Conservative Republicans who threw their weight behind McCain, but if McCain hadn't been there it could have very well been Romney who received the nomination. Obviously, the Mormons aren't as objectionable in the American mainstream as the author would like to believe. They're not exactly persecuted or outcast in America. To me they seem to be a wealthy, highly educated, well-mannered, if not slightly brainwashed group of people. But they are not objectionable as a religious group. I would at least place them above the Muslims as far as religious likability goes. But this subject explored in length in this book makes it interes
This is a most worthy sequel to Ender's Game, and probably is one of the best science fiction books in science fiction history. It is fantastic story.
Eckhart Tolle has such a soothing voice. I think that this is why the audio book was so pleasurable to listen to. It was relaxing. The teachings of Mr. Tolle are fairly standard Buddhists/new age/self help doctrines. His ideas about pain bodies becoming traps that people get locked into and eventually come to rely on is such a clever way of explaining what he calls the "insanity" of most peoples existence. I recently listened to another book that is focused on using Christian doctrine to overcome pain bodies. "The Sacred Romance" described pain bodies as arrows. I would recommend both books using "The Power of Now" first and "The Sacred Romance" second if you are wanting to approach the subject of consciousness from a christian perspective. I noticed in Eckhart Tolle's online reviews he received a lot of criticism from christian readers because he does not profess the gospel. These are valid criticisms, however, there is still a great deal of useful and thought provoking information in this book, and the author has such a pleasant voice.
If you were to go back and read my numerous reviews that run the course of four years, it would be easy to accuse me of being a Ayn Rand Conservative. However, since the BAILOUT by H.W.Bush, I have had a huge change of heart, and I now see the light. I am among the working poor and everyday I feel screwed. However, I should bite my tongue seeing as how I am fortunate enough to actually have a job. There are people out there even more screwed. This book tells us why we are screwed.
This is a fun series. Podunk deserved to be deposed.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.