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Falling Stars [Mass Market Paperback]

Michael Flynn
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 15 2002 Firestar Saga (Book 4)
In the early years of the 21st century humanity has advanced step by slow step into space, but has discovered through constant monitoring of the heavens that certain asteroids have changed their orbits and are headed for horrifying impact with Earth. Urgent action is required, but politics and a worldwide financial crash get in the way. The members of the van Huyten family, led by matriarch Mariesa who heads the vast space industry complex she has spent her life developing, the Pooles with their computer and security expertise, many political movers and shakers and dedicated pilots and space travelers of all stripes must pull together to save humanity from disaster. From the government offices and factories of Earth, to the Low Earth Orbit station, to manufacturing facilities on the moon, all of space-going humanity is united in an epic effort to save the planet from certain destruction and a new Dark Age, or perhaps even the extinction of all life on Earth.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The world is menaced in true cataclysmic fashion in this epic of the near future, the conclusion to Flynn's previous books, Firestar, Rogue Star and Lodestar. The premise of the novel is exciting enough, and Flynn handles a vast number of characters reasonably well (there's a four-page list of names at the beginning), but the overall effect is exhausting. In the year 2017 certain asteroids have changed their orbit and are on a collision course with Earth. There's a global financial crash, and politics--including the quasi-fascistic machinations of a Huey Long-like politico--force the principals from Flynn's other novels to band together and voyage to an asteroid in a desperate, if not suicidal, attempt to save the world. Some of the characters are jaw-droppingly yclept (Chase Coughlin, Choo-choo Honnycott, Alexandra Feathershaft, Meat Tucker), and some of the techno-babble is irritatingly obtuse. And if Bill Pronzini ever does an SF version of Gun in Cheek, he need look no further for absurd, "alternative" dialogue. (A sample: "No, carry on, Rosario. I just realized. Some herbie dust bunny with his thumb up his toot stepped up on that flange and crunched the fibrops against the edge with his goddam boot!") Still, for readers hungry for a politically astute, crisis-laden SF novel in a well-imagined future, this is adequate fare.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The discovery of a group of asteroids headed toward Earth sparks a flurry of political and scientific maneuvering to prevent a disastrous collision. When some of the asteroids change their course, as if directed by some alien intelligence, a fleet of ships travels to the nearest asteroid in a desperate attempt to deflect it, destroy it, or, perhaps, capture it for future study. The conclusion of Flynn's grand-scale near-future epic combines the rapid pacing of sf action adventure with the subtle maneuverings of political intrigue in a panoramic drama of human courage and sacrifice. A good choice, along with other series titles (Lodestar, Rogue Star, Firestar), for most sf collections.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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5.0 out of 5 stars The Woman Who Sold the Moon Nov. 12 2002
Format:Hardcover
The Firestar saga is, in many ways, a traditional SF story. It brings together a group of young space enthusiasts dedicated to the development of a defense against meteors. Realizing that the government is unlikely to develop such a defense in the face of massive indifference, the group pursues a commercial approach to space exploitation.
In previous novels, Flynn has recorded the spread of industry into low Earth orbit (LEO) and beyond. Indeed, the LEO Consortium can't grow fast enough to meet the demand and some sharp operators find a way to cheat.
Meanwhile, a space probe observing an asteroid is destroyed and the data indicates that the destruction resulted from a rocket flare. And then telescopic observations find that the asteroid has changed orbit and is on course toward Earth.
Falling Stars begins with a market crash following exposure of the LEO fraud and announcement of the incoming asteroid. The president reacts to the downturn by raiding the federal budget to bailout social security and raises interest rates. Stocks of the LEO Consortium and other space industries are hurt the most in the downturn and lines of credit are drying up. Businesses are failing and jobs are becoming scarce.
With the business panic, nobody is really concerned about the asteroid, except Mariesa van Huyten. Realizing that the six years to impact is a very short lead, Mariesa uses her money and influence to start laying an infrastructure to defend against the asteroid.
This novel illustrates the weaknesses of both government and industry in sustaining the growth and viability of space development. As evidenced by the abrupt termination of the Apollo project, government funds are fickle and subject to the whims of the public and politicians.
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3.0 out of 5 stars 'Stars' Faw Down. Go 'Boom!' Feb. 17 2001
Format:Hardcover
The fourth book of the trilogy...
Maybe if the third book in this series had not marked time so badly, Flynn wouldn't have had to cram as much material into the fourth. And maybe he wouldn't have had to leave so many major plot elements (Most notably: Who Threw the Rocks and Why?) dangling. Just from the viewpoint of plot mechanics, "Falling Stars" is unsatisfying -- and that makes the whole series frustrating.
From a viewpoint of characterization, all the major characters dig down to the clockwork in their souls -- and somehow it's just not very interesting. Possibly that's because it's the male characters getting in touch with their inmost selves in "Falling Stars," where the women went through this process in the earlier books. Flynn has written some of the most unpleasant, manipulative, driven female characters I've read in years -- but they're capable of better than their clockworks would indicate and they're always interesting. The males, on the other hand, don't seem to get beyond overripe adolescence.
I'm glad I read the "Stars" series -- Flynn is hugely inventive and his style is pleasant -- but I doubt I'll ever feel drawn to re-read it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great finale to this epic series Feb. 6 2001
Format:Hardcover
Through insider trading a scandal destroyed a highly regarded company and led to a depressed economy. The dip forced the Treasury to move massive finances to keep social security afloat. Layoffs and bankruptcies became the norm and leaders turned narrow-minded and short sighted.

In 12017 scientists predict that an asteroid will ravage the earth in 2023 unless money is appropriated to create the technology to stop the destructive projectile. Visionaries from around the globe form an alliance to test various means to deflect the asteroid before it hits in six years. Soon the astronomers detect other asteroids heading towards the planet. The world needs heroes rather quickly or else face doomsday and both men and women quickly rise to meet the challenge.

FALLING STARS, the fourth book in this exciting series, brings all the characters back from the previous tales for a glorious finale. The story line is packed with non-stop action expected from a hard core science fiction novel, but surprisingly is character-driven as Michael Flynn emphasizes the staff as much as the quest. Though the conclusion of a strong quartet, this novel easily stand alone as a great genre entry.

Harriet Klausner
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4.0 out of 5 stars the asteroids are coming! Jan. 3 2002
Format:Hardcover
I would have to say that since my years of reading Robert Heinlein I have yet to find an author that has drawn my attention more than Michael Flynn. He takes a very messy world view, scrambles it up with a host of characters & their very messy lives & brings a clarity to the struggle. I really like that!
Falling Stars is the final book in his Stars Series which brings together a dream for the human race & its stepping out of the cradle with the hard realities & political necessities such dreams must really face. Anyone with children knows those first steps bring bloody noses & so it is brought to life in vivid color in Flynn's writings.
Great Space Opera!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Orbits Converge April 1 2013
By John M. Ford TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
This is the last book in Michael Flynn's Firestar series. It follows Firestar, Rogue Star, and Lodestar. Some of the character development is realized as we understand the reasons characters do what they do. For a change, much of the action takes place in space. At last everybody on Earth knows that at least one asteroid has been aimed at earth by technology of unknown, but presumably alien technology. Our spaceships are going out to meet them.

Three people in the middle of it all are:

Mariesa van Huyten has grown older and less involved in the business of space. But she has lived to see others take up the cause. Her life has slowed, allowing one or two relationships from the past to catch up with her. Space defense is not the only long-term project that has borne fruit.

Jimmy Poole has settled into the role of a respectable software developer. Because of his programming skills and reputation, he is hired to "cut the cheese" for a number of automated space systems. He does this well and, being Jimmy, keeps on telling everyone how well. Developing the navigation system for a new kind of field-based space drive, Jimmy moves outside of his comfort zone.

Jacinta Rosario is a third-generation spacer, taught by those who began their careers in Mariesa van Huyten's experimental education system. As her skills mature and she accumulates experience, it is clear Jacinta will be offered a place on an asteroid mission. It is less clear how her personal relationships will fit into these plans.

Some of the plot threads are wrapped up; some are only half-wrapped. Even when it was reasonably clear what would happen after the story ended, I would have preferred to see it played out.
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