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The Wreck of the River of Stars by Michael…
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The Wreck of the River of Stars (original 2003; edition 2004)

by Michael Flynn

Series: Firestar (5)

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297937,787 (3.66)1 / 30
Member:IdeasWIN
Title:The Wreck of the River of Stars
Authors:Michael Flynn
Info:Tor Books (2004), Mass Market Paperback, 544 pages
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The Wreck of the River of Stars by Michael Flynn (2003)

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
I've got mixed emotions about the rating (4) I gave it ... maybe 3-1/2 might be closer to how I feel about it.
The prose is a lyrical thing of beauty, that's for sure (give it 5 for that). The plot is, well, a bit wandering. It seems to be more about the journey than the destination, and tends to be a bit slow-paced.
Don't read this when you're in the mood for fast-paced action! This is something to be savoured when you've got the time to sit and read. ( )
  briangreiner | Sep 16, 2017 |
I really did not like this book. I expected to like it -- could not stand it. I gave up halfway through and skimmed through to the end to see what happened; I felt like the book just kind of meandered its way without any real impetus to the story.

You know, upon reflection, I disliked Gone Girl for the same reasons I disliked this book. Entirely too much navel gazing and too little story. ( )
  lyrrael | Oct 18, 2015 |
Torn between 2.5 and 3 stars on this. 3 because it's an interesting experiment -- at least I'm assuming the numerous writing choices are deliberate and not unconscious. On the other hand, this was a real slog for me to finish. The title says it all: this is the (long) story of the eventual wrecking of the hybrid solar sail / powered spaceship "The River of Stars." The River plies the solar system. This final cruise is towards Jupiter. The River was once a solar sailing cruise ship, but those days are long gone, and the sails now sit unused while engines carry cargo (and one passenger). One of Flynn's experiment is to try and map the history of sails versus powered sea vessels to intra-stellar flight. This works in some places but I was unconvinced when he got to old-timers hanging out in the rigging. But Flynn's major experiment is his choice of the omniscient narrator and digressive style of Thackeray and others from the eighteenth century, perhaps to match the narrative style when sailing ships ruled the seas. Viewpoint changes frequently, as the author feels so inclined. Lectures and newly minted aphorisms abound. I found this precious, affected, and annoying after the first few pages. I'm OK with it for light comedy, but it didn't work for me with this nearly 500 page narrative of entropic decline and tragedy. Sample before buying. ( )
  ChrisRiesbeck | Jan 14, 2015 |
ereader ebook
  romsfuulynn | Apr 28, 2013 |
Exceptional Science Fiction. I could not put it down.

Every character feels like a living, breathing human being, warts and all.

Often you a read a book and feel that you come away with mere sketches of who people are.

Michael Flynn has produced beautiful portraits in oils of all his characters, their interactions between each other (and their own Psyche)

'The Wreck of the River of Stars' left me with a sense of loss, for the ship, and because there were no more pages left to read. ( )
2 vote cosmicdolphin | Jul 14, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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Charles Sheffield
A gentleman, scholar
and good friend.
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They called her The River of Stars and she spread her superconducting sails to the solar wind in 2051.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 076534033X, Mass Market Paperback)

In his excellent novel The Wreck of The River of Stars, Michael Flynn looks back on the romantic Age of Sail: the second, high-tech Age of Sail, when spaceships with vast magnetic sails rode the solar winds across the immense ocean of space, and the greatest of the luxury spaceliners was The River of Stars. But the second Age of Sail is dead: the magnetic sails all were struck, and the spaceships all were retrofitted with the new Farnsworth fusion drive. Once a legend, The River of Stars is now a tramp cargo freighter, plying the outer planets with a scanty crew of men and women with questionable pasts, private agendas, and more than a little interpersonal friction.

When a bizarre failure disables the Farnsworth engines driving The River of Stars, the crew has a problem no Earthly sailor ever faced: their ports don't stay put. If The River of Stars doesn't arrive on schedule, Jupiter will be somewhere else in its enormous orbit. That means the damaged ship will speed out of the solar system and drift forever among the stars. The crew's only hope appears to be the magnetic sail. But recreating a long-gone high-tech sail isn't the worst problem this motley crew faces. To survive, they must achieve something even more herculean: they must overcome their own intricately entangled fears, hatreds, power struggles, and romantic disasters. --Cynthia Ward

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:10 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"This is a compelling tale of the glory that was. In the days of the great sailing ships, in the mid-twenty-first century, when magnetic sails drew cargo and passengers alike to every corner of the solar system, sailors had the highest status of all spacemen, and the crew of the luxury liner The River of Stars, the highest among all sailors." "But development of the Farnsworth fusion drive doomed the sailing ships, and now The River of Stars is the last of its kind, retrofitted with engines, her mast vestigial, her sails unraised for years. An ungainly hybrid, she operates in the late years of the century as a mere tramp freighter among the outer planets, and her crew is a motley group of misfits. Stepan Gorgas is the escapist executive officer who becomes captain. Ramakrishnan Bhatterji is the chief engineer who disdains him. Eugenie Satterwaithe, once a captain herself, is third officer and, for form's sake, sailing master.". "When an unlikely and catastrophic engine failure strikes the River, Bhatterji is confident he can effect repairs with heroic engineering, but Satterwaithe and the other sailors among the crew plot to save her with a glorious last gasp for the old ways, mesmerized by a vision of arriving at Jupiter proudly under sail. The story of their doom has the power, the poetry, and the inevitability of Greek tragedy."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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