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Variable Star Audiobook

Variable Star

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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 (499 )
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4.4 (274 )
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Performance
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  •  
    John McCampbell 11-21-16 Member Since 2011
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    "not bad"

    Don't be fooled, this is not a Heinlein story. It was briefly outlined by RAH, but written by Spider Robinson. It reads like a Spider story, not RAH. RAH wouldn't be caught dead displaying the levels of emotion that Spider Robinson can't help but virtually ooze with every phrase. I like spider, but his style is far more introspective than RAH. it was a decent listen, all the same.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicole 04-05-16
    Nicole 04-05-16
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    "Pleased and surprised."

    As a lifelong Heinlein fan, I was a little skeptical. But I'm also a longtime Robinson fan, so I gave it a shot. I was pleased by the end product and pleasantly surprised by how the voices of both authors distinctly rang through in the story. A beautiful collaboration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Edward Stockton 03-18-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Good story, wrong narrator"

    My husband is a huge Robert A Heinlein fan so when I asked him for a book he would recommend to me for a challenge, he recommended Variable Star. I enjoyed the characters and their idiosyncrasies as long as I didn't have to be confined to a space ship with them for 20 years. I appreciated the plot and the twists and turns it took. There was only one thing that was bothersome: and that was that the narrator's voice was much older and more mature than the 18-26 years in age of the main character and that made the performance/story unconvincing more than anything else.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Riddick 08-30-15
    B. Riddick 08-30-15 Member Since 2017

    BR

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    "Spider, look and see if Robert had any more ideas"

    I enjoy Spider Robinson's sorry stories way more than his books..... until now.

    Like many geeks who grew up in the 80s. I wanted to start my own Callahan's, I wanted to find Mary and her lovely home, I wanted to fit in. Spider gave me hope that I could.

    Robert Heinlein introduced me to the greatest man who never lived (Jubel Harshaw), and the greatest man who never dies (Woodrow Wilson Smith) and concepts about love and life that I thought were only mine.

    Alas, Robert Heinlein refused to be Laurie Lazarus Long and crushed my dreams of one more story, and nearly 20 years later, Spider came in and brought me hope once again. Thanks Spider for a perfect job writing the "best Spider Robinson story based on Robert Heinlein's notes"

    If your ever in Portland, I owe you a drink.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cayden 08-13-15
    Cayden 08-13-15 Listener Since 2003
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    "Best book ever"

    Spider Robinson rules! This book is for anyone who enjoys a good plot, and appreciates science fiction humor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blanche 06-24-15
    Blanche 06-24-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Variable quality"

    Spider Robinson speaks way too fast. I had trouble following the story because of the breakneck speed of the narration. Parts of the story seemed familiar, containing many puns and phrases RAH used in other novels. Not sorry I bought it, and I want to thank Nr Robinson for completing it for us.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ark1836 05-27-15
    Ark1836 05-27-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Could've Been Great...Ruined by Political Ranting"
    Would you try another book from Robert A. Heinlein and Spider Robinson and/or Spider Robinson?

    I would definitely read more books by Heinlein, but I don't think I would try Spider Robinson again. The story had great potential--it had a sound plot, some very witty/funny moments and interesting Sci-Fi elements. The potential, sadly, was ruined by unnecessary, disjointed rantings on contemporary political issues that had nothing to do with the story.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Variable Star?

    They should edit out the entire political ranting scene at the end that was clearly meant to be nothing but criticism of the war in Iraq. Politics or personal feelings aside, it really ruined the book and left a very bad taste in my mouth. The rant was unnecessary. Looking at it almost ten years after the book was written, the rant also badly dated the book. It was a completely unnecessary distraction that ruined the book. I'm also not sure that Robert Heinlein would have agreed with direction that Spider Robinson took that part of this postmortem book--it really made this book less "Heinlein" and more "Robinson"...I would have felt better about it if the book had been credited as by Spider Robinson with ideas borrowed from Heinlein...I didn't think it was fair to Heinlein to stick his name on a book with such rapid political statements without definitely knowing what his feelings would have been on the issue.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bobbye McKinney Texas 02-21-15
    Bobbye McKinney Texas 02-21-15 Member Since 2010
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    "A masterpiece! By 2 great authors RAH"

    Great story! Excellent psychology & science definably a repeat read. Spider Robinson weaves an excellent tale w Robert Heinlein. Thank you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mysie Cairns Seattle, WA 12-24-13
    Mysie Cairns Seattle, WA 12-24-13 Member Since 2014

    bibliophile

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    "Spider Robinson made this book come to life"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Variable Star to be better than the print version?

    I've never read a print version of this book, but I can safely say that the narration made this book come to life in a way not possible in print.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Most of the characters either weren't very likeable or not developed enough to truly appreciate them. The main character had my sympathies, and by the end of the book I was rooting for him, but I'm not sure how much I actually liked the guy. My favorite characters were probably Sol(omon) and Ms. Rob, as they both seemed quite interesting and very likeable, but they weren't developed enough to know them as much as I would have liked.


    What does Spider Robinson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He was incredibly engaging. As with all narrators, there is the obligatory random distraction of wondering about their voice, accent and inflections, pronunciations, and pauses. Having the knowledge that the narrator was also a co-author, it was easy just to relax into the idea that you were listening in on the true inner-monologue and speaking cadence of the main character, allowing you to just accept the voice quirks and listen to the story.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I had a very extreme reaction to this book. First, I have to say this is the best first chapter of a book I have ever read. Dickens may have written the best first line in a book, but Spider Robinson's verbal delivery of the first chapter had me nailed to my spot and weeping. Do not take to heart any comments about his singing voice until you have actually heard it for yourself. I can only assume there is something about his voice that you will either love or hate. I am mystified by other reviews picking at his voice and trashing his singing. I found the lyrics and their delivery haunting.

    Also, this book has convinced me that I have to read another Spider Robinson novel immediately. I have never even heard of the guy until I bought this audiobook, and now I anticipate he will be another favorite.


    Any additional comments?

    Do not take any reviews to heart until you've read the first chapter or three for yourself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Olaf 10-24-13
    Olaf 10-24-13
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    "enjoyable easy book"

    Heinlein's name drove the decision to purchase this book even though I knew that it was really written by Spider Robinson. The story is simple. The ending is happy, so to speak. All in all - I enjoyed listening to the story but it's not something I would go back again and again, like some other Heinlein's books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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