|Plot Summary of The Wreck of the River Stars|
Tor, Apr 2003, 27.95, 480 pp.
Today's technology is tomorrow's junk. For instance, The River of Stars was a luxurious passenger liner that used immense magnetic sails to catch the solar wind. However, the invention of the Farnsworth fusion drive turned the sailing ships obsolete. The River of Stars is the last one still operating as it hauls cargo between Jupiter and the asteroid belt. However, its sails are never used, as they are symbols of the past.
When Captain Hand dies from an illness, Gorgas becomes in charge when an emergency occurs. A small meteor hits the ship destroying two engines and crippling the deceleration process making a safe landing impossible. The only hope to walk away resides in the sails, but navigator Corrigan and sailmaster Satterwaithe know Gorgas and Engineer Bhatterji would never listen especially since the latter insists he can fix the malfunctioning engines. Turning to ancient philosophy of not putting all your eggs in one basket Corrigan and Satterwaithe serendipitously work with the crew of misfits to merge the old with the new in a desperate attempt to survive.
This is science fiction at its best as the audience sees the impact of a radical change in technology on people and industries as has happened throughout history especially the twentieth century (horse driven coaches to cars, etc.). The story line conveys a deep a powerful look at varying technological changes on a crew without slowing down the plot. On top of an action-packed yet cerebral thriller, the cast is fully developed so readers understand the crisis and how everyone will react to it. Flynn has written a winner.
This synopsis report prepared by Harriet Klausner
|Chapter Analysis of The Wreck of the River Stars|
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Composition of Book
Descript. of chases or violence - 10%
planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives - 40%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 30%
Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places - 20%
Tone of book
- suspenseful (sophisticated fear)
FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?
- science fiction story
Explore/1st contact/ enviro story
- lost in spaceship
Is this an adult or child's book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
- futuristic human freighter/transport
Takes place in spaceship?
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
scientific jargon? (SF only)
- an average amount of scientific explanation
How much dialogue?
- significantly more dialog than descript
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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