Falling Stars

Michael Flynn, Author
Michael Flynn, Author Tor Books $25.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-312-87443-8
Mass Market Paperbound - 512 pages - 978-0-8125-6184-5
Ebook - 448 pages - 978-0-312-70082-9
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The world is menaced in true cataclysmic fashion in this epic of the near future, the conclusion to Flynn's previous books, Firestar, Rogue Star and Lodestar. The premise of the novel is exciting enough, and Flynn handles a vast number of characters reasonably well (there's a four-page list of names at the beginning), but the overall effect is exhausting. In the year 2017 certain asteroids have changed their orbit and are on a collision course with Earth. There's a global financial crash, and politics--including the quasi-fascistic machinations of a Huey Long-like politico--force the principals from Flynn's other novels to band together and voyage to an asteroid in a desperate, if not suicidal, attempt to save the world. Some of the characters are jaw-droppingly yclept (Chase Coughlin, Choo-choo Honnycott, Alexandra Feathershaft, Meat Tucker), and some of the techno-babble is irritatingly obtuse. And if Bill Pronzini ever does an SF version of Gun in Cheek, he need look no further for absurd, ""alternative"" dialogue. (A sample: ""No, carry on, Rosario. I just realized. Some herbie dust bunny with his thumb up his toot stepped up on that flange and crunched the fibrops against the edge with his goddam boot!"") Still, for readers hungry for a politically astute, crisis-laden SF novel in a well-imagined future, this is adequate fare. (Feb. 26)
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