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Rolling Thunder

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The Nebula and Hugo Award-winning author of "Red Lightning" and "Red Thunder" concludes his epic science-fiction trilogy. [Varley's] conclusion . . . demonstrates his skill as both a raconteur and a master of science-based fiction.--"Library Journal."

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The Nebula and Hugo Award-winning author of "Red Lightning" and "Red Thunder" concludes his epic science-fiction trilogy. [Varley's] conclusion . . . demonstrates his skill as both a raconteur and a master of science-based fiction.--"Library Journal." Lieutenant Patricia Kelly Elizabeth Strickland?otherwise known as Podkayne?has joined the Music, Arts, and Drama Division of the Martian Navy, passing the audition with a little help from some higher-ups. 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 can be plenty of danger to go around in the Martian Navy, even if you?ve just signed on to sing.


Series Title
A Thunder and Lightning Novel
Penguin Publishing Group
Book Format
Original Languages
Number of Pages
John Varley
Publication Date
September, 2009
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
6.77 x 4.18 x 1.00 Inches

Customer Reviews

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1-4 of 4 reviews

If John Scalzis Old M...

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.

Rolling Thunder is b...

"Rolling Thunder" is book 3 of a series, best read in order. "Red Thunder" first, "Red Lightning" next, and "Rolling Thunder" last. Varley writes truly fun books and Rolling Thunder is no exception. For me, the most touching aspect of his books is how his love for Robert Heinlein shines through. In this particular novel, we have a main character named Podkayne, from Heinlein's "Podkayne of Mars". Varley also drops Heinlein titles into the book, particularly the last chapter. I found "The Rolling Stones", "Red Planet", "Between Planets", "Time for the Stars" and "Citizen of the Galaxy". I'm sure there are more. Of course, another character's name is Jubal from "Stranger in a Strange Land" and the book itself starts with the line "Once upon a time there was a Martian named..." If you're a Heinlein fan yourself, I think you'll enjoy reading any of Varley's novels. As far as "Rolling Thunder's" merit as a novel in and of itself, it's just a darn good read. It has a somewhat slow start. Half way through the book, the pace really picks up and the story becomes very intriguing. I enjoyed the characters, but was left to wonder what those darn alien things were doing and never got an answer. The characters don't get any answers either, which is the point, I guess. Unfortunately, the ending of this book begs for a sequel. Unlike the first two, which I think would make nice-enough stand alone novels. Hopefully, Varley will write many more novels.

Decent enough continua...

Decent enough continuation of the Squeezer series. The Heinlein-esque bits alternated overt (the main character, a girl from Mars, is named "Podkayne" explicitly after Heinlein's character) and apparently unnoticed by the characters (Manny, Mike and Jubal, for instance). By the last chapter, it was almost like being hit with a sledgehammer, the Heinlein titles were coming so fast. (The ending also shares a very distinct structural similarity with a Heinlein novel, but to say more would be a spoiler.)

Didnt bother to finis...

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.

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Electrode, Comp-283025157, DC-prod-dfw7, ENV-prod-a, PROF-PROD, VER-30.0.3-ebf-2, SHA-8c8e8dc1c07e462c80c1b82096c2da2858100078, CID-ecec096c-a8a-16eebeaa3a228b, Generated: Mon, 09 Dec 2019 18:27:33 GMT