Hardcover, 320 pages

English language

Published April 22, 2006 by Tor Books.

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5 stars (1 review)

Variable Star is a 2006 science fiction novel by American author Spider Robinson, based on the surviving seven pages of an eight-page 1955 novel outline by the late Robert A. Heinlein († 1988). The book is set in a divergent offshoot of Heinlein's Future History and contains many references to works by Heinlein and other authors. It describes the coming of age of a young musician who signs on to the crew of a starship as a way of escaping from a failed romance. Robinson posted a note on his website in 2009 noting that his agent had sold a trilogy of sequels based on the novel and its characters.

1 edition

A worthy effort from two good writers

5 stars

You don't know what to expect when one writer finishes a work started by another writer, particularly when that other writer is considered one of the greats in the field. Happily, Spider Robinson is a pretty darned good writer himself, as the Callahan's series demonstrates, and is a big Heinlein fan as well. So I was delighted to find that this book read to me like a Heinlein I had somehow missed reading that came from his prime period. It is rather like a typical YA novel that Heinlein wrote, and indeed that was its intended use, but somehow it got put aside in the form of detailed notes. So the characters and plot are all Heinlein, and like most of his YA novels it is about a young fellow (named Joel Johnston) who nearly finds himself married to the richest heiress in the solar system, but then decides he …


  • Heinlein, Robert A. - Prose & Criticism
  • Science Fiction And Fantasy
  • Fiction
  • Fiction - Science Fiction
  • Science Fiction - General
  • Fiction / Science Fiction / General
  • Science Fiction