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Red Thunder (2003)

av John Varley

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
7451422,256 (3.6)20
"The U.S. space program is effectively over. The loss of the Ares Seven ship was the final blow. Everyone has accepted that the manned Chinese ship, Heavenly Harmony, being prepped for a mission to Mars, will be the first vessel from Earth to land on the Red Planet." "Almost everyone." "In a deserted warehouse near Daytona, a band of seven suburban misfits - including a Cajun boy genius and a disgraced captain drummed out of NASA - is constructing a spaceship, built out of old tanker cars and held together with determination, guts, and all-American ambition. They call her Red Thunder, and they plan not only to beat the Chinese to Mars, but to rescue everyone aboard the marooned Ares Seven as well. What's more, they've geared their beautiful beast to make the trip in just under four days - that's over three million miles an hour. It would sound like history in the making if it didn't sound so insane. Is it possible?" "Anything's possible."--BOOK JACKET.… (mer)
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» Se även 20 omnämnanden

Visa 1-5 av 14 (nästa | visa alla)
Not his best, but far from his worst. Many other reviews point out that Varley is in Heinlein mode in this novel, and there's some truth in this. Nonetheless, I was reminded of Spider Robinson more than Heinlein (Robinson was heavily influenced by Heinlein, make your own inferences).
I imagine this was a conscious choice on Varley's part, as he has such a strong, individual narrative voice of his own. ("The Golden Globe", his last book, was more than a little derivitave of the novel before it, even for a story set in the same fictional world.)

The plot is nothing particularly original, but as in almost all of Varley's work, it's the characters, the route they take, that will keep you turning the pages. I enjoyed the book quite a lot, and I'm looking forward to the next novel.
( )
  neilneil | Dec 7, 2020 |
An interesting exploration of one thing you could do if you discovered a radical new technology for compressing matter for free. I stayed up until 3 to read it, so I guess it was pretty good.

It reminds me of Heinlein's "Rocket Ship Galileo": some country boys team up with a genius and go to the moon (or, in this case, Mars). Varley even imitates Heinlein's non-elite heroes; the protagonists aren't particularly well educated and don't act like Ivy League graduates. They are just ordinary people, with dead end jobs and poor families who are working themselves to the bone.

The thing I didn't like about it is that I had a hard time believing the genius. I guess I don't like books where one person has an insight that is centuries ahead of the rest of humanity, because that feels so unrealistic. But given that premise, the story came off pretty well. ( )
  garyrholt | Nov 4, 2020 |
Wonderful plot, great action, and characters....well ...The characters come on a little too strong. Varley pays homage to fellow writer Carl Hiaasen by trying to write like Hiaasen and with Hiassen like characters. The result is a very,very mixed bag. The crisis point of the novel and the ending are stretched to far. The ending is too much of a have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too approach with a successful landing, departure, and a space rescue as well. There are better SF novels about getting to Mars. ( )
  Steve_Walker | Sep 13, 2020 |
Red Thunder is the Heinlein juvenile for those who, like me, would like to like Have Spacesuit Will Travel or Rocketship Galileo, but find them too annoying. A bunch of young adults -- adult enough to have sex fairly frequently -- and a washed-up astronaut build a spaceship and take it to Mars, thanks to the basically magical free energy invention of the astronaut's brilliant but multi-damaged brother Jubal. That magical device was clearly included to tell the reader "this is for fun, not for real." While characterizations here are not deep, they are solid and consistent. The primary voice has Heinlein's competent hero down pat. Thankfully, the adults, while competent beyond us mere mortals, do not include an infinitely wise pontificating author in disguise, as Heinlein did. The book goes on a little too long, and ends a little too tidily, but all in all it did just what it was intended to do.

Recommended! ( )
1 rösta ChrisRiesbeck | Oct 11, 2016 |
It's nice to read a John Varley book again, seems to have been awhile. This one is more aimed the YA market but still an enjoyable read. ( )
  Superenigmatix | Feb 16, 2016 |
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To Spider Robinson and
Robert A. Heinlein
for the inspiration;
and to Lee, for that,
and everything else.
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"The U.S. space program is effectively over. The loss of the Ares Seven ship was the final blow. Everyone has accepted that the manned Chinese ship, Heavenly Harmony, being prepped for a mission to Mars, will be the first vessel from Earth to land on the Red Planet." "Almost everyone." "In a deserted warehouse near Daytona, a band of seven suburban misfits - including a Cajun boy genius and a disgraced captain drummed out of NASA - is constructing a spaceship, built out of old tanker cars and held together with determination, guts, and all-American ambition. They call her Red Thunder, and they plan not only to beat the Chinese to Mars, but to rescue everyone aboard the marooned Ares Seven as well. What's more, they've geared their beautiful beast to make the trip in just under four days - that's over three million miles an hour. It would sound like history in the making if it didn't sound so insane. Is it possible?" "Anything's possible."--BOOK JACKET.

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