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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

The Wreck Of The River Of Stars

Copyright 2003 by Michael Flynn

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Mediocre (2/5)

I first read this on the 10th August 2006.

When first launched the solar sail space craft "The River Of stars" was a luxury cruiser, touring the solar system, gracefully swooping down to the planets, tacking against the solar wind. Those days are gone now. The brute force of the Farnsworth fusion drive have replaced the elegance of sail, and the "The River Of Stars" is now merely a tramp steamer with its bolted on fusion engines, at the end of its slow decline from the old glory days.

Its crew is a ragtag assortment of characters, some left-overs from the days of sail, and some more modern oddments accumulated during planetary stops.

Now in the depths of space two of the four engines have failed. Whatever repairs they can make , clever routes they can conjure or sacrifices they can offer up won't be enough. The crew and the ship are doomed.

Well, I can't say I was happy at the ending, but after all this is a tragedy. Apart from that, it's a pretty astonishing novel, very different in style from his "Firestar" the other Stars novels. This is more elaborate, introspective and extremely moving.

This is not a novel I'll read often, but I think I'll treasure the occasional reading.

Loaded on the 28th February 2007.
Cover of The Wreck Of The River Of Stars
Cover art by Stephan Martiniere

Reviews of other works by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle and Michael Flynn:
Fallen Angels

Reviews of other works by Michael Flynn:
Rogue Star
Falling Stars
In The Country Of The Blind
The January Dancer
In the Lion's Mouth