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Rolling Thunder by John Varley
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SF,ARC

Reread - Heinlein homage everywhere. Daughter had picked it up over Christmas and I grabbed an ebook of it. ( )
  romsfuulynn | Apr 28, 2013 |
The plot picks us slowly in this third of the series, but I thought it was worth it for character development and world-building. The threat to Earth in this installment seemed more Niven than Heinlein. The conclusion, which acknowledges the unresolved arcs, points to a fourth novel, and indeed, Varley is apparently busy writing Dark Lightning. Varley's extra-story fun here is to weave in the titles of a number of Heinlein's juvenile and transitional novels, as well as something of the tone and character style. The character "Jubal" is joined by protagonist "Podkayne."

Varley's recent writing has the feel of a movie treatment, so it's not a surprise to read on his website that he is indeed working on a couple of novel-based screenplays. ( )
  OshoOsho | Mar 30, 2013 |
It took me a bit to get into the story line. I found the diary portion boring, but then I'm not a diary kinda person. I think the book could have been a bit shorter and more enjoyable to read. ( )
  AdorableArlene | Nov 16, 2010 |
If John Scalzi's Old Man's War is Heinlein's Starship Troopers rewritten for a more modern age, then Rolling Thunder is Heinlein's Mars books (Podkayne of Mars, Farmer in the Sky, The Rolling Stones). It even features another Podkayne of a much more politically powerful and technologically advanced Mars. But she is still a perky, outgoing, talkative teenager who finds adventure wherever she travels.

We first see Podkayne as a military/cultural attache on Earth ravished by global warming and terrorists attacks. She is serving in Pismo Beach to fulfill all Martian's Martian year (1.88 Earth years) tour of military duty until she is called back to Mars by her grandmother's illness. But this is not a world were all illness is quickly fixed. Instead her grandmother is about to be put in a black bubble, the equivalent of a stasis box where all time and motion stops. Then, taking advantage her grandfather's military pull, Podkayne gets her real dream job, singing for the troops in the moons of Jupiter, especially Europa. She works hard and becomes more accomplished until she visits the strange crystal mountains there. There is some sort of long scale musical conversations between mountains, which Podkayne uses as the basis for a jazz piece. Unfortunately she is too close to them when they erupt from Europa and head towards Earth. She grabs her black bubble to save herself and wakes up ten years later.

Like later Heinlein there is a far amount of sex and a fair amount of inappropriate conclusions about how all women love sex, babies, and shopping. Still this is a fast paced novel with several interesting ethical and scientific questions that has less to dislike than the actual ramblings of Heinlein himself. I would suggest that you read the first two books in the series, but if you don't, this one will still be quite comprehensible. ( )
1 vote kd9 | Apr 7, 2008 |
Didn't bother to finish the book. I greatly enjoyed the first of the series, and still remember the juvenile Heinlein fondly, but this book failed for me. It took forever to get started, and never really developed any narrative drive. The main character was uninteresting. The first contact story looked good, but I finally decided that it wasn't worth wading through more of Podkayne's encounter with the universe. Varley failed to create the sense of wonder that characterized the first book.

I loved arguing politics with Heinlein's works; the politics in this book just left me weary. ( )
  MarkCWallace | Mar 25, 2008 |
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To Joan Litel,
Francine Glenn,
and Kerry Varley
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Once upon a time there was a Martian named Patricia Kelly Elizabeth Podkayne Strickland-Garcia-Redmond.
ONCE UPON A time there was a Martian named Patricia Kelly Elizabeth Podkayne Strickland-Garcia-Redmond.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0441015638, Hardcover)

Lieutenant Patricia Kelly Elizabeth Strickland-otherwise known as Podkayne-is a third-generation Martian. Her grandfather, Manny, was one of the first men to set foot on Mars. So Poddy has some planet-sized shoes to fill. That's why she's joined the Music, Arts, and Drama Division of the Martian Navy. Though some may say her voice is a weapon in itself, Poddy passed the audition. And now she's going to Europa, one of Jupiter's many moons, to be an entertainer. But she's about to learn that there's plenty of danger to go around in the Martian Navy, even if you've just signed on to sing.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:48 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Lieutenant Patricia Kelly Elizabeth Strickland--otherwise known as Podkayne--is a third-generation Martian. Her grandfather, Manny, was one of the first men to set foot on Mars. So Poddy has some planet-sized shoes to fill. That's why she's joined the Music, Arts, and Drama Division of the Martian Navy. Though some may say her voice is a weapon in itself, Poddy passed the audition. And now she's going to Europa, one of Jupiter's many moons, to be an entertainer. But she's about to learn that there's plenty of danger to go around in the Martian Navy, even if you've just signed on to sing.

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