By Michael Flynn
(Tor Books, Hardcover, 9780765300966, 320pp.)
Publication Date: October 17, 2006
Categories: Science Fiction - General
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In 1349, one small town in Germany disappeared and has never been resettled. Tom, a contemporary historian, and his theoretical physicist girlfriend Sharon, become interested. Tom indeed becomes obsessed. By all logic, the town should have survived, but it didn't and that violates everything Tom knows about history. What's was special about Eifelheim that it utterly disappeared more than 600 years ago?
Father Deitrich is the village priest of Oberhochwald, the village that will soon gain the name of Teufelheim, in later years corrupted to Eifelheim, in the year 1348, when the Black Death is gathering strength across Europe but is still not nearby. Deitrich is an educated man, knows science and philosophy, and to his astonishment becomes the first contact between humanity and an alien race from a distant star when their interstellar ship crashes in the nearby forest. It is a time of wonders, in the shadow of the plague.
Tom and Sharon, and Father Deitrich, have a strange and intertwined destiny of tragedy and triumph in this brilliant SF novel by the winner of the Robert A. Heinlein Award.
MICHAEL FLYNN lives in Easton, Pennsylvania.
Praise for The Wreck of The River of Stars
"In his big and ambitious new novel, The Wreck of The River of Stars, Michael Flynn displays a boundless faith in the heritage and protocols of the genre. . . .The perfect ingredients are in place for a claustrophobic, character-driven nautical tale . . . Such a tale Flynn delivers with a vengeance, full of intrigue, poetry, and thunder . . . an opulent tapestry of human observation. . . . go and read this large, insinuating, emotionally labyrinthine book."--Locus
"The Wreck of the River of Stars is a tour de force of character development. We watch, riveted, as these motley misfits squabble, beef and try to cope, in the hermetic isolation of a ship becalmed in space . . . . Flynn's writing is masterful. His pacing is grave, controlled, ironic. His characters will break your heart as they work, love, fight, grow, grieve and die. This is a wonderful book, easily Flynn's best. . . . This is the best hard SF tragic novel of character yet written . . . Highly recommended."--Sfsite.com
"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."--Midwest Book Review
"The accomplished Flynn (In the Country of the Blind) offers more character analysis than action and adventure in this stand-alone novel, which fans of more cerebral SF will find thoroughly absorbing. . . . Flynn layers the personalities and disasters in this complicated story with his usual attention to detail. . . . This is a sad but compelling study of (literally) explosive group dynamics in an arena where technology is critical to human life."--Publishers Weekly
"Flynn's Firestar series proved that he could develop a far-future, spacefaring universe packed with action, and this novel proves it some more. Planting a foot in two other fictional universes, that of Patrick O'Brian's historical novels of the British navy and that of Robert A. Heinlein (an Annapolis graduate, let us recall) in his astronautical fiction, this is good, challenging reading."--Booklist
"Flynn's fully realized characters, easy mastery of technical detail, and meticulous, consequential style perfectly matches the theme of this long, dense, spellbinding, brilliant work."--Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
"Flynn's narrative style combines space opera and high-tech SF to create a memorable tale of people trapped by circumstances and destiny."--Library Journal
"An enjoyable, well-crafted work of hard speculative fiction, The Wreck of The River Of Stars captures both the reality and the romance of spaceflight. Here is hardship, danger, the vast emptiness of space, the comedy and tragedy and strangeness of the merely human beings who challenge it. Mike Flynn's characters have the virtues, vices, flaws and fine qualities an insightful author can see in the human soul. The science is either real or it is realistic. His writing is simply among the finest available today. . . . It lives up to the forgotten standard of what hard-SF is supposed to be: authentic yet unforgettably odd characters in a realistic near-future extrapolation, the fantastic made to seem possible." - John C. Wright