Seven suburban misfits are constructing a spaceship out of old tanker cars. The plan is to beat the Chinese to Mars--in under four days at three million miles an hour. It would be history in the making if it didn't sound so insane.
I appreciated H's books when I was 12 and still believed in the power of the individual to move mountains. Events of the last 40 years have proved this to be unrealistic and I've gotten very cynical in all that time.
A lot of H's books were aimed at children. I've grown up and I resent being handed this watered down gruel by Varley, whose work I've always respected.
I didn't even finish this book. I got tired of reading the cajun patois voiced by many of the characters. It sounded hokey and unreal. I didn't like the fact that everyone has baggage that they're struggling against; in this story, it doesn't make them very interesting people.
Every creative person gets tired of doing the same old, same old. I understand that Varley might have wanted to branch out and do a very different style of story. But this book is a major flop. I'm appalled that neither he nor his publisher have so little respect for his fans.
I can't recommend this book at all. Read Titan/Wizard/Demon or the short fiction by this author, but this book is one to avoid.
I suppose Varley figured he needed a bit of juvenile fiction to round out his audience base. Unfortunately, he would have been better served by cutting out the first 150 pages of the book and deleting all the sex. If he wanted "character" (hah) development with these kids, he should have ignored their poor, downtrodded lives and developed their characters while they actually did something that furthered the plot.
Stay away from this book.
Pardon the rant but I am SO disappointed in this book. Read more
The first SF book John Varley ever read was Heinlein's RED PLANET. RED THUNDER is his tribute to RP, and ROCKET SHIP GALILEO, and HAVE SPACESUIT, WILL TRAVEL,... Read more