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Variable Star | [Robert A. Heinlein, Spider Robinson]

Variable Star

At his death in 1988, Robert A. Heinlein left a legacy that almost single-handedly defined modern science fiction. But one of Heinlein's masterpieces was never finished. In 1955, he began work on Variable Star, a powerful and passionate tale of two young lovers driven apart by pride, power, and the vastness of interstellar time and space. Now, the Heinlein estate has authorized award-winning author Spider Robinson to expand his outline into a full-length novel. And the result is vintage Heinlein.
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Publisher's Summary

At his death in 1988, Robert A. Heinlein left a legacy of novels and short stories that almost single-handedly defined modern science fiction. But one of Heinlein's masterpieces was never finished. In 1955, he began work on Variable Star, a powerful and passionate tale of two young lovers driven apart by pride, power, and the vastness of interstellar time and space. Then he set it aside to focus on other novellas.

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.

What the Critics Say

"I'd nominate Spider Robinson as the new Robert Heinlein." (New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (415 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Cassie Sultan, WA USA 07-07-07
    Cassie Sultan, WA USA 07-07-07 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    "Great Listen"

    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!

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randall Roseville, CA, United States 04-25-09
    Randall Roseville, CA, United States 04-25-09 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    633
    36
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    "Spider WHO"

    Spider Robinson, ruined a story started by Heinlein. Don't waste your time, the spider is horrible.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 08-31-08
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 08-31-08 Member Since 2014

    I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a surprise…"

    This felt like real Heinlein. If you are a fan, it is a must read. It is also contemporary, which is nice, since much of Heinlein has aged awkwardly. I enjoyed the story. The science sucks...but otherwise this was interesting, enjoyable, and funny.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lars 07-08-07
    Lars 07-08-07 Member Since 2013

    Long time book listener on the left coast. I work outside and spend many hours per day with a good book in my ear. Love Science, History, and above all Science Fiction/Fantasy.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Spider is Wonderful"

    So, I couldv'e done without the very short political shots taken, but beyond that, this book is awesome. Spider's narration is melodic enough for you to think you'll doze off, but the story flows beautifully from his lips and you find yourself deeply involved in Joel's (Main Character)life. This book held my attention better than any other I have listened to.
    At the most traumatic moment in this book It hit so hard that the blood drained from my face and a tear sprang to my eye. It was heart wrenching even though only fiction.
    Although the basic story was R A Heinlein's, this was truly a great Spider Robinson Book.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John HUGO, OK, United States 12-05-11
    John HUGO, OK, United States 12-05-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not Heinlein, but a great tribute"

    If you listen to this as a Heinlein book (as I started doing) you'll likely be disappointed. If you listen to it as what it is, a Spider Robinson book based on Heinlein's notes, (as I ended up doing) you'll probably love it.

    Spider Robinson and the Heinlein Foundation didn't intend this to be a Heinlein book, so don't blame either if you try to make it that - it's pure Spider Robinson; however, I think he captures the the spirit of Heinlein throughout.

    And yeah, he sings a bit, but come on it's not THAT terrible. Suck it up and just deal with the minute or two and enjoy the overall story. And yeah, there are the terrible Spider Robinson puns, but the same goes for those.

    I did find one lengthy and very out of context current cultural reference extremely annoying. Almost to the point I stopped listening (I love what it is based on, but if you recognize it, you'll know what I mean); however, upon finding out Spider is now a Canadian citizen, I forgave him as the item in question should be a Canadian national treasure.

    Bottom line, keep in mind what it really is and it's a great book.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Etta Seattle, WA, USA 06-04-09
    Etta Seattle, WA, USA 06-04-09
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    ""Variable Star (Unabridged)"."

    A great book, funny, fun. I really liked it and would like to see more like it.
    It was one of the best.
    Etta

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-11-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wondefull story but..."

    Spider does a wonderful job of building great a science fiction tale, very thought provoking, which brings me to the one flaw in the story. If you were going to send some people off on a 44+ year trip to colonize a far off planet, you would assure the success of the venture by excluding members that are solely homosexual as non-breeders. Spider gives in to political correctness by not doing so.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Lachs 07-10-07

    Andy L

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ugh"

    This book is terrible. When Heinlein is bad, he is tedius. As for the completion written by ... who cares, he just has to inject his leftwing, hate Bush, the West created terrorism, etc. What a jerk. The narrator is AWFUL, and his singing is ghastly. Save your money.

    4 of 18 people found this review helpful
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