I've just finished reading Rolling Thunder
, John Varley's wonderful sequel to Red Thunder
and Red Lightning
, his ongoing series of tributes to the golden age of Heinlein's juvenile sf novels.
The Thunder and Lightning books are fantastic, action-packed, science-packed homages to Heinlein's best work, and Rolling Thunder is no exception. In this volume -- set decades after the action concluded in Red Lightning -- a descendant of the story's original heroes named Podkayne (due to a vogue among Mars residents to name their kids after fictional Martians) finds herself embroiled in several kinds of adventures, including a musical encounter with vast, unstoppable, deadly crystalline lifeforms; a military hitch; musical stardom, and more. She is at the center of the saga of the ongoing collapse of poor old Planet Earth, laid to waste by security paranoia, religious fervor, greed, and environmental catastrophe.
Through Poddy's eyes, we watch the action unfold on an interplanetary scale, re-visiting the best characters from the previous books (the stasis fields from Rolling Thunder are an effective means of indefinite life-support, so practically everyone is still alive and chumming about, as in Heinlein's Cat Who Walked Through Walls), and the action skips seamlessly from the micro-scale (Poddy's familial and romantic entanglements) to the macro (interplanetary war!).
I can't recommend this stuff too highly. Varley is clearly bent on reviving everything that made the Heinlein juvies great, and he's doing a hell of a job with it. These books are fond without being nostalgic, reverent without being old-fashioned. Everything about them is utterly contemporary, but it's easy to believe that Heinlein would have written them (more or less!) today.
Varley's Red Thunder qualifies for preliminary Nebula ballot
The novel Heinlein would have written about GW Bush's America
When game critic Jim Sterling uses video clips of the games he reviews on YouTube, the game companies claim copyright ownership of the video and run ads on Sterling’s reviews. He doesn’t like that because his videos are funded by Patreon and he doesn’t think his audience should have to see ads. So what he […]
Dyson Logos’s G+ account is an endlessly scrolling inventory of hand-drawn D&D maps, each one cooler than the last.
Campaigners from Liberty, a civil liberties group, took to the streets of London (and the lobby of the Home Office!) and grabbed peoples’ phones, browsing them while explaining that they just wanted to build a detailed dossier of their lives by looking at their communications, browsing history and location data — mirroring the way that […]
You never know when new projects, ideas or opportunities can drop into your lap at a moment’s notice. That may require you to learn a new programming language like Python. Or maybe you need a primer on 3D game development. Or you might realize you could use a serious brush-up on iOS mobile creation.Point is, […]
Isn’t it about time to stretch what your Mac can do? I mean, you’ve got plenty of great programs now…but don’t you think you could use some new tools to get your creative, analytical and organizational juices really flowing? It’s spring, so we cleaned up a whole bunch of super-cool apps lying around and packaged […]
In the world of app development, there’s no greater arena to find success than with Android users. About 80% of the smartphones in use today worldwide operate on the Android operating system, so if you build a great app that Android users love, you’re an international rock star. You’ll be able to make sure your […]