If you’re wondering who’s publishing the biggest names in Science Fiction and Fantasy, this week’s arrivals from Blackstone should leave no doubt.
At his death in 1988, Robert A. Heinlein left a legacy of novels and short stories that almost single-handedly defined modern science fiction. But one of Heinlein’s masterpieces was never finished. In 1955, he began work on Variable Star, a powerful and passionate tale of two young lovers driven apart by pride, power, and the vastness of interstellar time and space. Then he set it aside to focus on other novellas.
The detailed outline and notes he created for this project lay forgotten for decades, only to be rediscovered almost a half century later. Now the Heinlein estate has authorized award-winning author Spider Robinson to expand that outline into a full-length novel. The result is vintage Heinlein, faithful in style and spirit to the Grand Master’s original vision.
Alvin is a Maker, the first to be born in a century. Now a grown man and a journeyman smith, Alvin has returned to his family in the town of Vigor Church. He will share in their isolation, work as a blacksmith, and try to teach anyone who wishes to learn the knack of being a Maker. For Alvin has had a vision of the Crystal City he will build, and he knows that he cannot build it alone. But he has left behind in Hatrack River enemies as well as true friends. His ancient foe, the Unmaker, whose cruel whispers and deadly plots have threatened Alvin’s life at every turn, has found new hands to do his work of destruction.
Voyagers III: Star Brothers
By Ben Bova; Read by Stephan Rudnicki
10 CD, 11.5 hrs – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Keith Stoner lay frozen in an alien spacecraft for fifteen long years. During that time he came to be something more than just an astronaut, just a man. Stoner became partly alien himself, merged with an alien intelligence embodied in the nanotechnology that lived inside his body.
The alien whose tomb that spacecraft was brought humanity both a blessing and a deadly peril. The technology that lives in Stoner’s bloodstream will change mankind forever. There are powerful leaders, both corporate and political, who are becoming aware of Keith Stoner and the power he seems to control. They want that power for themselves and will do anything to gain it. Nothing Stoner can say or do will convince these ruthless men and women that the power they seek may destroy them utterly.
By Lois McMaster Bujold; Read by Grover Gardner
15 CD, 18 hrs – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Winner of the Hugo Award for Science Fiction
The dwarfish, fetally-damaged yet brilliant Miles Vorkosigan has more than his share of troubles. Having recently escaped an assassination plot whose tool was a brainwashed clone of himself, Miles has set the clone, Mark, free for a new chance at life. But when he decides to let his clone brother assume his secret identity and lead the Dendarii Free Mercenary on an unauthorized mission to liberate other clones from the outlaw planet of Jackson’s Whole, things start to get really messy. The mission goes awry, Miles’s rescue attempt goes even more wrong, and Miles ends up killed and placed in cryogenic suspension for future resuscitation. Then, as if that weren’t bad enough, the cryo-container is lost! Now it is up to the confused, disturbed Mark to either take Miles’s place as heir of the Vorkosigan line or redeem himself by finding and saving Miles.