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RE: starship-design: Is this fiction?

   -----Original Message-----
   From:       KellySt [SMTP:KellySt@aol.com]
   Sent:       Tuesday, June 15, 1999 9:10 PM
   To:         erps-list; starship-design; starship-design
   Cc:         bfranchuk
   Subject:    starship-design: Is this fiction?
   I picked up a paperback novel today cause it had nice SSTO craft
   on the cover. The is the development of such a craft and the support
   structures in the very near future ( Ie. 1999-2000) from Brazil
   without the
   support of the US-Goverment. Firestar  by Micheal Flynn, is the
   books title - isbn 0-812-53006-3. This is good reading, and a good
   reminder of
   the dream of Real space travel.

Hum, sounds interesting.  I searched for it on the Amazon.com site.


General reviews on it there were good (Reviews below) thou some of the
elements might be a bit over the top.

As for the private SSTO angle, its a big interest of a lot of folks,
including US interest.  Thou NASA, and to a lessor degree DOD, are
against making space that open - corporate interests are chewing around
the edges to get past those roadblocks.   

check out  

For a us Company quietly working toward a ship like the FireStar cover.


                 by Michael F. Flynn  
                           List Price: $6.99
                           Our Price: $5.59
                           You Save: $1.40 (20%)

                           Availability: Usually ships within 24 hours.

                 Mass Market Paperback - 960 pages Reprint edition
(March 1997)  
                 Tor Books; ISBN: 0812530063 ; Dimensions (in inches):
1.51 x 6.83 x 4.22  
                 Amazon.com Sales Rank: 42,613  
                 Avg. Customer Review:   
                 Number of Reviews: 9

                 Write an online review and share your thoughts with
other readers!

                 Customers who bought this book also bought:  

                     Rogue Star; Michael F. Flynn
                     Moonfall; Jack McDevitt
                     Moonwar; Ben Bova
                     Moonrise; Ben Bova  

                                                         Click here for
more suggestions...

                 From Kirkus Reviews , March 1, 1996
                 Part one of an ambitious near-future multivolume saga
from the author of
                 Country of the Blind (not reviewed). Rich heiress
Mariesa van Huyten has
                 developed plans to save the human race. She sets up
Mentor Academies, an
                 educational foundation, and contracts to take over part
of the crumbling New
                 Jersey public school system, hoping to find among its
hopelessly drug-ridden or
                 sociopathic or cynical populations some sparks of
creativity--talents that will be
                 vital in the near future if humanity is to transcend
its self-imposed limits. She also
                 prepares the Prometheus project, using political,
industrial, and economic
                 pressure to develop a sustainable space program. Once
established in
                 space--where raw materials need only be gathered and
processed; where
                 there's nothing to pollute; where power from the sun is
free and
                 inexhaustible--humanity can expand and prosper without
constraint. There is,
                 however, a cloud on the horizon: one Cyrus Attwood, a
reactionary who will use
                 religion and violence to stop Mariesa and her
progressive notions. Not quite a
                 Libertarian party tract, but call this a textbook,
retitle it How to Save the World, in
                 Umpteen Very Large Installments, and you'd be close. A
dense, vastly overstated
                 yawner. -- Copyright 1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All
rights reserved. --This
                 text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition
of this title.  

                 Book Description  
                 It is the beginning of the twenty-first century and one
woman is determined to
                 bring America and the world back on track in the
technological future. She has
                 the strength, the intelligence, the money. It will be
done. This is the story of the
                 rebirth of innovative technological expansion on Earth
and in space.  

                 Firestar is a chronicle of private enterprise and
individual initiative, the story of
                 one woman's quest that becomes the focus for a whole
new world of the future.
                 This is a saga of hard-won optimism, about a
technological future where things
                 are better for everyone.  

                 A popular Analog short story writer, several times a
Hugo nominee, Michael
                 Flynn launches a bold, multi-volume epic of the future
in the tradition of Robert A.
                 Heinlein's Future History seres. In this first volume,
a young heiress with a vision
                 begins a private educational system for America's
public schools. The story of
                 one woman's quest becomes the focus for a whole new
world of the future.
                 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable
edition of this title.  

                                                              Click here
for all reviews...

                 Customer Comments  
                 Average Customer Review:  Number of Reviews: 9

                 Randi (randi_pattersen@hotmail.com) from Tucson,
Arizona , June 1,
                 Distressingly dull How-to-save-the-world manifesto.  
                 Flynn's exposition of a Rand-esque privatization of the
US education system and
                 space program reads like a Libertarian Party position
paper -- it is interesting
                 only to other Libertarians. The characterizations would
be laughable if they
                 weren't so trite. Rich young idealistic heiress finds
love and destiny with old,
                 poor, burned-out teacher, incidentally solving the
crisis in the American
                 educational system and putting the American space
program back on track. Feh.
                 A disappointing rehash of themes Rand and Heinlein have
already championed
                 with far more style.  

                 dragonsmithent@bigfoot.com from Grand Junction,
Colorado , April 23,
                 Excellent book for anyone fed-up with the current
                 This book has some excellent ideas for changing the way
people are educated.
                 It may be science fiction now but in five years it will
be science. With the
                 increase in competition in the education industry look
to see some changes that
                 closely resemble the ideas in this book. And once
people are properly educated
                 we will see a resurgence in the space programs. Pretty
soon more and more
                 people will see the need to get off this rock! And with
the help of this book and
                 some other ideas from pioneering authors such as
Michael Flynn we will get off
                 this rock.  

                 A reader from Salt Lake City, Utah , March 25, 1999   
                 Gripping, great story line  
                 I really liked this book, and found it difficult to put
it down. The characters are
                 good, the writing is good, the plot is good. Can't wait
to read Rogue Star.  

                 atomicbohr@aol.com from Hamilton, OH , November 9, 1998

                 Top notch near future novel that makes one wish it were
                 FIRESTAR is a very near future novel about an extremely
wealthy business
                 woman who believes that we need to be in space. She
launches a very
                 complicated, expensive, and VERY BELIEVABLE plan to get
us there.

                 There are good guys, bad guys, flawed heroes and
heroines, action, "police
                 action," intrigue, great science, and extremely
believable characters and

                 If you want a book that will make you think as well as
challenge your
                 assumptions in a lot of different areas you will love
it. If however, you are a
                 doctrinaire Liberal, Libertarian, or Conservative you
will hate this book.  

                 Flynn has a deep respect for Robert Heinlein. A number
of writers over the years
                 have been acclaimed as the next Heinlein only to
falter. Flynn is the first I have
                 seen that has a real chance of truly deserving that
type of honorific. This novel
                 fares very favorably with Heinlein at his best and is
head and shoulders above
                 90% of what passes for SF.


                 lphillip@redrose.net from Lancaster, PA USA , September
7, 1998  

                 inspiring hard science in the near future  
                 If only we had a Mariesa van Huyten to lead us back to
space. The characters
                 are complex. The politics nerve racking. The hard
science exciting. All together a
                 great read that makes me wish for more from this

                 tmiho@pcinternet.com from So Cal , March 2, 1998   
                 Great near future novel...only hope we can get there.  
                 I just finished reading Ben Bova's "Moonrise" and both
novels make a GREAT
                 case for privatization of global space programs. Flynn
really knows how to
                 develop characters, both protagonists and antagonists,
that contain positive as
                 well negative attributes. Great reading and hard to put
down, although the last
                 100 pages seemed a bit ambiguous and crunched for an
ending. It definitely left
                 me with a desire for more. SSTO is now one of my
favorite subjects.  

                 from Austin, TX , January 22, 1998   
                 Dominique Francon in space  
                 A model for how corporate invasiveness in the
educational system might prove
                 Ayn Rand right. This book demonstrates in
can't-put-it-down fiction how rational
                 billionaires might choose to finally ditch NASA and
really get mankind into space.
                 Any objectivist would love this book (but I liked it

                 drewthacker@earthlink.net from Dallas, Texas , December
19, 1997  
                 New hope for the Apollo Generation!  
                 One of the best reads I've had in years! Good story
line development with
                 reasonable extrapolation of technology rather than the
fantasy tales of many
                 other authors. Liked especially the detailed character
development and the
                 interaction between them and our central visionary,
Mariesa. She was at times a
                 bit vague and removed on feelings toward others
(somewhat unrealistic) but
                 "Dreaming the Vision" of what our future in space could
be is what makes this
                 book so real. For those of us who lived through the
excitement of the early lunar
                 landings and the ultimate rise and fall of high
technology in aerospace during the
                 mid sixties to the early eighties it provides a renewed
enthusiam for sustained
                 development of the high frontier. I also felt that the
approaches for education are
                 refreshing. As any parent with college age children can
attest, our high schools
                 need encouragement to develop a more challenging
approach to nuture stronger
                 values and problem solving. Would definitely recommend
this book for
                 highschool through adult ages. I am sure you will find
yourself, as am I, waiting
                 with high expectations for the sequel. Give this book
to your children to stimulate
                 them about the future that is there if they reach for
it! A great gift. --This text
                 refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of
this title.  

                 arc@inetport.com from Lago Vista (Awestin), TX ,
November 30, 1997  
                 True "science" fiction, classical in construction. Want
                 This story offers a traditionally-constructed approach
consisting of 3-dimensional
                 people with human motivations and relationships and
built upon a
                 solid-appearing foundation of scientific principles. I
delight in extrapolations
                 based on current societal conditions and trends. This
author has such a "John
                 Brunner"-like ability, without sinking into the dark
dead-end gloominess of the
                 nihilistic. The only negative I care to mention is that
I hate finding a series like
                 this at the git-go, because I then have to wait
impatiently on the rest of the
                 author's work. I recall such impatience with Juanita
Coulson, for one. :) I'd say
                 this book is worth the price paid and requires little
effort to read because it is so
                 engrossing. I'm also keeping it on the shelf to read
again just prior to reading the
                 next installment. --This text refers to an out of print
or unavailable edition of this