Synopses & Reviews
A never-before-published masterpiece from science fiction's greatest writer, rediscovered after more than half a century.
When Joel Johnston first met Jinny Hamilton, it seemed like a dream come true. And when she finally agreed to marry him, he felt like the luckiest man in the universe.
There was just one small problem. He was broke. His only goal in life was to become a composer, and he knew it would take years before he was earning enough to support a family.
But Jinny wasn't willing to wait. And when Joel asked her what they were going to do for money, she gave him a most unexpected answer. She told him that her name wasn't really Jinny Hamilton---it was Jinny Conrad, and she was the granddaughter of Richard Conrad, the wealthiest man in the solar system.
And now that she was sure that Joel loved her for herself, not for her wealth, she revealed her family's plans for him---he would be groomed for a place in the vast Conrad empire and sire a dynasty to carry on the family business.
Most men would have jumped at the opportunity. But Joel Johnston wasn't most men. To Jinny's surprise, and even his own, he turned down her generous offer and then set off on the mother of all benders. And woke up on a colony ship heading out into space, torn between regret over his rash decision and his determination to forget Jinny and make a life for himself among the stars.
He was on his way to succeeding when his plans--and the plans of billions of others--were shattered by a cosmic cataclysm so devastating it would take all of humanity's strength and ingenuity just to survive.
"I'd nominate Spider Robinson as the new Robert Heinlein"--The New York Times
"An enjoyable read."--Entertainment Weekly
"A splendid wondrous lovely Spider Robinson novel that just also happens to be a new Heinlein novel."--The San Diego Union-Tribune
"Completing a book from notes by a dead author is almost always a mistake. But Robert A. Heinlein apparently isn't really
dead. He was obviously standing at the side of Spider Robinson as he wrote this book, guiding his hand."--John Varley, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of The Persistence of Vision
and Steel Beach
"I've already laughed hard and wanted to cry....This book is a delight and I love you for doing it. I love you even more for doing it so damned well. Thank you."--David Crosby, Grammy Award--winning singer/songwriter and member of The Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash
Determined to forget the love of his life and make a life for himself among the stars, Joel Johnson was on his way to succeeding when his plans--and the plans of billions of others--were shattered by a cosmic cataclysm so devastating it would take all of humanity's strength and ingenuity just to survive.
Begun in 1955, "Variable Star" was set aside by Heinlein so he could focus on other novels--and was never completed. Now, almost two decades after Heinleins death, Nebula Award-winning author Robinson picks up Heinleins outline and expands it into a full-length novel, faithful in style and spirit to the Grand Masters original vision.
About the Author
Robert A. Heinlein
is universally acknowledged as modern science fiction's greatest author. At his death, in 1987, he left a legacy of books and stories that has profoundly influenced the course of the field for generations.
But one of Heinlein's most ambitious works was never finished. In 1955, he began work on a novel to be titled Variable Star, completing a detailed outline and making extensive notes for the book, only to set it aside to focus on other novels, including Tunnel in the Sky and the Hugo Award-winning Double Star. For more than half a century, the work lay forgotten among Heinlein's papers. Then, on its rediscovery a few years ago, the Robert A. Heinlein Trust selected an author to finish the work.
The author chosen for the project was, appropriately enough, a writer The New York Times has hailed as "the New Robert Heinlein"--Spider Robinson, the Hugo and Nebula Award--winning author of such modern SF classics as Stardance and "Melancholy Elephants." Faithful to the spirit of Heinlein's original vision, and laced with contemporary touches that will appeal to modern readers, Variable Star is a rare treat for the Grand Master's many fans.
Profits from the book will help fund the annual $500,000 Heinlein Prize for innovation in commercial manned spaceflight, a goal Mr. Heinlein considered crucial to humanity's long-term survival.