Phil's Rambling Rants
Book review: Variable Star|
I just read the novel during my hospital stay; hence, this very late comment.
A fair chunk of my entertainment here was watching Spider pull in pieces from Heinlein's other works. (It's not clear from the notes how much of these were in the original outline and got strip mined by Heinlein for Farmer In the Sky and Time For the Stars.) I noticed with interest that Joel had been invested in the New Frontiers, which -- as you may recall from Methuselah's Children -- was the starship that Lazarus Long and the Howard Families stole to make their escape. But when the starship turned up -- and the sun blew up later! -- it was clear that we weren't in that universe any more. :)
And then the FTL ship showed up. And the inventor of the hyperdrive, which bore an incredible resemblance to the one eventually fitted onto the New Frontiers, was Andrew J. Conrad.
nee Libby. Bet on it. Slipstick Libby invented the FTL drive and saved the human race. I just started laughing.
Somebody was having way too much fun with this.
Unfortunately, I read Heinlein when I was in high school and haven't re-read much of any of it, so most of the details you mention here went right by me. I did recognize some things -- Nehemiah Scudder, Leslie LeCroix as the first man on the moon much later than Neil Armstrong, the details of telepathic communication -- but the only thing I remembered laughing at was a pun (which perhaps mercifully I don't actually remember) on Hazel Meade Stone. (The Rolling Stones was one of like my top three favorite books back then, and one of the few SF books I've read multiple times.)
It would be interesting to ask Spider at a con how many of those shared details were stuff in Heinlein's notes and how much Spider (who may be more familiar with Heinlein's writing than Heinlein himself was) borrowed on his own.