George V. Reilly

Review: Variable Star

Variable Star
Title: Variable Star
Author: Robert A. Heinlein, Spider Robinson
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Tor
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 339
Keywords: science fiction
Reading period: 30 March-3 April, 2008

Joel Johnston is a budding young musician and the son of a Nobel-winning physicist, who gets engaged to Jinna, a fellow orphan, only to learn that she’s the grand­daugh­ter of the richest man in the Solar System. Her grand­fa­ther, The Conrad, wants him to breed more heirs. In a fit of pique at the deception, Joel goes on a bender then hops on a colony ship to a distant star. Even at rel­a­tivis­tic speeds, it’s going to be a one-way trip.

Fifty years ago, Robert Heinlein wrote a short outline for this book, then put it aside. A few years ago, Heinlein’s estate asked Spider Robinson to complete it.

Robinson has done a great job of writing another Heinlein novel, exploring one of his classic themes, a young man finding himself, and sounding very much like Heinlein himself.

Very enjoyable.

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