The detailed outline and notes he created for this project lay forgotten for decades, only to be rediscovered almost a half century later. Now the Heinlein estate has authorized award-winning author Spider Robinson to expand that outline into a full-length novel. The result is vintage Heinlein, faithful in style and spirit to the Grand Master's original vision.
©2006 The Robert A. and Virginia Heinlein Prize Trust and Spider Robinson; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"I'd nominate Spider Robinson as the new Robert Heinlein." (New York Times)
I'm a huge Heilein fan, and Spider made be very happy with this book. I'm just sad that there won't be any more Heinlein books. Now I'm going to check out some of Spider's other books.
First, realize this is a Spider Robinson book based off 12 pages of notes left by Robert Heinlein. He wrote it as Spider Robinson would, not some caricature of Robert Heinlein. That said, it's a fun adventure.
The narrator was good, and the story worked along well. It's not an earth shattering, point of view changing sci fi book, but not all can be. The universe he sets up seems interesting, and I wouldn't mind a follow up book.
I have read this and another "colaberation" with Spider Robinson. This is the worst of the two and clearly neither have the Heinlein touch. It does not move smothly nor does it hold this readers attention as does even the least of the true Heinlein books.
This brings back the granduer of Heinlein and melds beautifully with Robinson's style. This book crosses age boundaries to reach young and old. I loved the twists and the imbellishments within the story line. Great Book
I think Spider captured the essence of Heinlein. Many people wil be turned oof by this story because Heinlein's work is, well, dated. But if you enjoy his classic works, you will enjoy this story as well. Spider really captured Heinlein's essence in this story.
First of all the narration was poor. Just as in "Rocketship Galileo" Spider sounds like he is mumbling with rocks in his mouth. So, that definately distracts from the book. Just a hint for Spider, stick to the day job, singing is not a forte and also distracts from enjoyment of the book.
Now, about this being the completion of a Heinlein work - NO WAY. There was obvious use of some of the Heinlein word choices and techniques. But, the book in no way could be considered at the Heinlein level. Heinlein had an amazing grasp of what were, in his time, cutting edge technologies and he took great pains to clearly describe these in his books. This book didn't even try to do this. Just when you thought that the author would, he would gloss over anything that started to touch on technical detail, since that would just prove his incompetence in this area.
Heinlein also used his books to experiment with ideas in the way people interact socially. Keeping in mind that that he was writing mostly in the 50's these ideas didn't just follow popular trends, he was out in front of the trends and ideas that became more clear and public in the 60's. Spider's book does none of this. At best he tries to mimic it by falling in with popular liberal ideas that are already out in the public media (for example his view on Iraq). But, he does nothing to push the envelope as Heinlein did.
Despite all these failings, it wasn't a bad book. It is entertaining. Just DO NOT expect to be reading Heinlein. You will be disappointed!
As a devout RAH fan I had some serious doubts as to it even being possible for anyone to pick up on a Heinline thought and bring it to bring to anything more entertaining than you r run of the mill sci-fi television show, but Spider Robison does the most amazing job in this book as both “coauthor” and narrator.
I really hope Spider takes the time to come back to this novel, yes there are many unanswered questions.
I would defiantly recommend this book to any Sci-Fi Reader, possibly even to someone’s first taste of the genre.
I just love Variable Star, And Spider Roberson is great. The story has a good plot. But there is a small problem. I do not believe Robert A. Heinlein every used four letter words in his other story, and if he had finished this one I do not think he would have used them in Variable Star. Beside that, I think it a great book.
I think that Spider Robinson should read all of his and Robert Heinlein's books to us! Not only is he a great writer but he reads with the passion of a true fan. And when he's reading his own works I can truly hear the characters come to life. Thank you Spider! Thank you!
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