"When the Betelgeuse message was detected, it changed a lot of things on Earth. We began to look seriously outward, not with the heady optimism of the early days, but with deliberate calculation. We knew that Someone was out there, and that eventually, they’d be coming. If Earth didn’t occupy the High Frontier, it could be ours to lose."
Esther "Star" Svensdotter’s job is overseeing the completion of the American Alliance’s first O’Neill cylinder - a massive space hub capable of supporting thousands of colonists. It’s just weeks away from commissioning, and she’ll be damned if Luddite terrorists, squabbling bureaucrats, military takeovers or rogue AIs will stand in the way. Frontier justice on Ellfive sometimes involves an airlock - you don’t want to be on the wrong side of justice. Or the wrong side of Star Svensdotter.
The first in Dana Stabenow’s Star Svensdotter trilogy, Second Star is a tale of first contact, declarations of independence, and new frontiers.
©1991 Dana Stabenow (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Stabenow worked hard to get some good science into her fiction. The influence of Heinlein on both plot device and characterization is strong, but the females in the story are given a more satisfactory personality than Heinlein usually did. It seems clear that the succeeding novels are being prepared for in this tale, although it is good in itself. I ended up listening to three quarters and reading the last quarter in e-text, since it was free. Both media compelled my interest.
overall this was a nice little series of the "daily life" aboard a future space station type. the influence of Clarke, Heinlein etc is very apparent several ways, especially Clarke of the early years and later 2001. I liked it for the most part, but had some trouble with the narrator who mispronounces some items, and ultimately by the end of the series i began to wonder if Stabenow couldn't make up her mind on what the series was to be. at one point or another almost all the stock elements of Scifi are present, which I thought detracted from the more interesting ideas she presented but didn't quite develop. "first contact" pops up, but in 2nd book seems not to have altered mankind's thinking much. then in 3rd book there is a search for yet another human precursor society which almost seems forgotten for much of the book, & then the book ends where it should be getting interesting. I wanted to like the set more, but kept feeling that the 3 books could have been condensed (in fact some entire scenes are repeated here and there )
Learned to read at 3; any day I can't read at least 1 book is a day wasted. I earn my living with words as well (word processing/editing).
Yes I would recommend it...I have been waiting and hoping for this series to come out, and to have Marguerite Gavin as the reader was wonderful (I love her reading of the Kate Shugak books).
I want to be able to fly like the characters on EllFive!!! The scene where Star, Caleb, Elizabeth, and Paddy launch themselves off the mountains of EllFive (with their strapped-on wings) was wonderful.
Yes, I have listened to all of her Kate Shugak performances, and this is just as wonderful as those. She doesn't over-emote, but gives just the right amount of feeling, and doesn't fall into the trap many readers have of reading as if the listener needs a massive amount of help from his/her voice to decide what to feel at any particular point.
I highly recommend anything by Dana Stabenow. Her three SF books didn't make much of a splash when they were first published, but I have worn out several copies of each, and I am pleased to now have the Audible version of the first in the series.
I am a Dana Stabenow fan. This was one of her first books. You can tell she did a lot of research to write such a compelling story. If you are a Sci Fi fan this is a very believable story of what Earth's future could be. You can also see her progression to the Kate Shugak series. It is good to see that the other two books in this series are coming out in April and May. What a great series.
To Dana's Kate Shugak series, you can see her progression as a writer.
Elizabeth, what a kid!
Given that I grew up in the days when the Russians (or Soviets) were a driving force, this novel felt familiar. This is basically an alternate future book, where a message from space shows that Aliens are out there and motivates the world to head outwards to greet those aliens on a more equal footing.
Star is basically a construction manager / captain of the still developing L5 community being put together by the Western alliance (US, Japan, Mexico, Canada) on a grand scale (miles long rotating habitat meant to house 1 million people? That's the definition of grand scale!). Of course, there are a lot of issues. The potential of a hostile takeover, construction delays, solar flares and, yes, aliens all make this book an entertaining read.
Amazingly for a book written 2 decades ago, the book holds up fairly well (other than the geo-political aspects). I had to go back see when it was written and was quite surprised at the date.
I would not hesitate to recommend the book. I would not hesitate to recommend Ms. Gavin's narration with the following warning. Either Ms. Gavin or her editor should be far more vigilant about finding out the way to correctly pronounce common scientific and mathematic terminology. It grates to hear words mispronounced when we all know it is possible to find out the accepted way to say all terms...it just take a layer of caring about the product which I have never encountered before in this narrator's performances. Ms. Gavin, the pleasure of listening to your nuanced characterization does not deserve to be reduced this way!
If you enjoy Dana Stabenow's Kate Shugak and Liam Campbell, wrench yourself away from the wilds of Alaska and try a yarn set in a fabricated space ecosystem.
Early chapters, yet, but thus far similar to early Heinlein.
nuanced, mispronounced, energetic
I will repeat that I do not think the blame for narration errors in a single person's error!
Old Broad with Keyboard
I would suggest this one to some friends. It's not a book for Fantasy lovers. And not enough action for the Action lovers. But, enough of a story that I think it could go places.
More action would certainly improve the book. It's not a bad start on a new series & certainly leaves several avenues that could be explored in subsequent books.
I can see this as a TV movie & it's just too damned bad that Kathleen Turner is way too old for the part!! But, I think Katie Holmes might fit the bill.
If Stabenow writes another book in the series, I'll buy it just because I love her Kate Shugak & Liam Campbell series. I'm hoping it develops into another good series of books.
The Story itself was good. Traditional SCI FI story. Characters were believable for the most part and situations had logical purposes. Descent attention to physics and how things would work in such a universe.
Have listened to several of Gavin's books before. She can seem somewhat forced when performing SCI FI. This does depend on how the author wrote the story, so that has to be considered.
The only issue is how the book comes across. The main character is a woman but the personality of that character is unfocused sometimes. Reactions don't always follow what you would expect, especially when dealing with other people the story. At one point she will be a strong willed space commander then turn around and act like a whiny teenager. Secondary characters too can be somewhat off.
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