This collection from grand master Robert A. Heinlein includes five short stories sure to please science fiction fans everywhere. The title story tells the tale of a young man who meets a time-traveling bartender whose origins - and relation to the young man - are more complex and stranger than the Ouroboros ring on the barkeep's finger.
"Disappointing For Heinlein"
Shara Drummond was a gifted dancer and a brilliant choreographer, but she could not pursue her dream of dancing on Earth. So she went to space, creating a new art form in three dimensions. And when the aliens arrived, there was only one way to prove that the human race deserved not just to survive, but to reach the stars. The only hope was Shara, with her stardance.
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.
Ross Jenkins, Art Mueller, and Morris Abrams are not your average high-school students. While other kids are cruising around in their cars or playing ball, this trio, known as the Galileo Club, is experimenting with rocket fuels. Art's uncle, the nuclear physicist Dr. Donald Cargraves, offers them the opportunity of a lifetime: to construct and crew a rocket that will take them to the moon. But there are those who don't share their dream and who will stop at nothing to keep their rocket grounded.
"A science fiction classic"
It's more than 20 years since Spider Robinson revealed the existence of Callahan's Crosstime Saloon, and the original bar is gone. Mike Callahan is gone, too, but his spirit lives on in the new bar, named Mary's Place for his daughter. On this particular day, nothing seems to be going right for Jake Stonebender, proprietor of Mary's Place.
Mike and Annie, refugees from the world outside, find a home underground, behind the scenes of Dreamworld, a theme park where hope exists as it does nowhere else. But Dreamworld is threatened by a jealous competitor who kills what he can’t have. As if this were not trouble enough, the two discover that each day there are more of the “trolls” who maintain Dreamworld than there were the day before. As the trolls continue to multiply, they must discover why, or it could mean the end of Dreamworld - and the real world.
This concluding novel in the Stardance Trilogy takes readers to the year 2064; Earth is enjoying an era of unprecedented peace and prosperity due to the Starmind, a universal overmind engineered by benevolent aliens. Art in all its forms flourishes, and composer Rand Porter has been offered the job of a lifetime as a shaper of visual effects and music in High Orbit for the world's most famous zero-gravity dance company.
For Rain McLeod, a 46-year-old dancer whose failing body is about to end her career, the Starseed program is the only way to continue living her dream. But for others, including several religious groups and power hungry countries back on earth, the existence of Stardancers represents a threat to all humanity.
"A worthy follow-up"
Russell Walker retreats from the shock of his wife's death by becoming a hermit in the woods of British Columbia. There he finds himself thrust into a precarious role as intermediary between a telepath called Smelly, so sensitive he can't stand to be near most people, and Constable Hilda, a skeptical police officer who needs Smelly's insight to track down a monstrous serial killer.
"It's a good listen BUT..."