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The Wreck of The River of Stars | [Michael F. Flynn]

The Wreck of The River of Stars

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 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What Members Say

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2.8 (15 )
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  •  
    Randal Dover, DE, United States 12-27-12
    Randal Dover, DE, United States 12-27-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    4
    4
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    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Well crafted & Poignant"

    I really enjoyed this book. I thought is was well-done and its haunted for for days afterward.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lelon Enterprise, AL, United States 02-25-14
    Lelon Enterprise, AL, United States 02-25-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Boring"
    What would have made The Wreck of The River of Stars better?

    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.


    What could Michael F. Flynn have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    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.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Dave Giorgio’s performances?

    possibly


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    None. I have all but forgot what I have listen to so far.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    steve Ferndale, Wa, United States 02-16-14
    steve Ferndale, Wa, United States 02-16-14 Member Since 2005

    I read and listen to books as much as possible.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This Book Is Killing me !"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    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.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    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.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Dave Giorgio’s performances?

    No


    Was The Wreck of The River of Stars worth the listening time?

    I don’t really know if the book is any good or not.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rick Olympia, WA, United States 02-13-13
    Rick Olympia, WA, United States 02-13-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    16
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    0
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    "Painful to listen to."
    What disappointed you about The Wreck of The River of Stars?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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