Michael Flynn has written the best SF in the tradition of Robert A. Heinlein of the last decade. His major work was the Firestar sequence, a four-book future history. "As Robert A. Heinlein did and all too few have done since, Michael Flynn writes about the near future as if he'd been there and was bringing back reports of what he'd seen," said Harry Turtledove. Now, in this sweeping standalone epic of the spaceways, Flynn grows again in stature, with an SF novel worthy of the master himself. Indeed, if Heinlein's famous character, the space-faring poet Rhysling, had ever written a novel, this would be it.
This is a story of the glory that was. In the days of the great sailing ships in the mid-21st century, when magnetic sails drew cargo and passengers alike to every corner of the Solar System, sailors had the highest status of all spacemen, and the crew of the luxury liner The River of Stars, the highest among all sailors. But development of the Farnsworth fusion drive doomed the sailing ships and now The River of Stars is the last of its kind, retrofitted with engines, her mast vestigial, her sails unraised for years. An ungainly hybrid, she operates in the late years of the century as a mere tramp freighter among the outer planets, and her crew is a motley group of misfits. Stepan Gorgas is the escapist executive officer who becomes captain. Ramakrishnan Bhatterji is the chief engineer who disdains him. Eugenie Satterwaithe, once a captain herself, is third officer and, for form's sake, sailing master.
When an unlikely and catastrophic engine failure strikes The River, Bhatterji is confident he can effect repairs with heroic engineering, but Satterwaithe and the other sailors among the crew plot to save her with a glorious last gasp for the old ways, mesmerized by a vision of arriving at Jupiter proudly under sail. The story of their doom has the power, the poetry, and the inevitability of a Greek tragedy. This is a great science fiction novel, Flynn's best yet.
©2003 Michael Flynn (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
I really cannot say that this could have been made better. I listen to 4 hours and 42 minutes of the book and it still had no peaked my interest.
I only just realized that I was still listening to the book out of habit and was was not engaged by the story. Guess his style of writing is just not for me.
None. I have all but forgot what I have listen to so far.
I read and listen to books as much as possible.
I would not recommend this audiobook to a friend because the reader drives me nuts. He sounds like he is reading a nursery rhyme to a 3 year old and after 15 minutes it becomes unbearable.
I am over half way through the book and I am yet to encounter a most or least interesting aspect of the story because I keep checking out.
I don’t really know if the book is any good or not.
I have been through the two trilogies by Michael Flynn available on Audible and enjoyed them both very much. As far as I can tell, this story connects them in some ways but it is such a hard book to listen to. I can’t really determine if it is poorly written or if I just can’t get past the performance but I usually give it about a half hour a day and then listen to something else. It is turning out to be the longest book of my ten years with Audible. I will not get another book narrated by Dave Giorgio.
The story failed to capture my imagination and the narration did nothing to invoke any emotional response. It was so difficult to listen to I turned it off after I gave it a little over 3 hours to pull me in. I don't like to give bad reviews of any of the audio books that I've listened to and I have always finished the entire book before I decide wether I liked it or not. Not this time. I do not think I will purchase another audio book by this author.
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