Books by Michael Flynn

MICHAEL FLYNN lives in Easton, Pennsylvania.

ON THE RAZOR'S EDGE by Michael Flynn
Released: July 2, 2013

"Often deeply impressive but elusive and self-indulgent. Odd that the majorly talented Flynn cannot grasp that when readers never understand what's going on, sooner or later they stop caring."
Final entry—maybe—in Flynn's far-future space opera (In the Lion's Mouth, 2012, etc.), featuring a power struggle between and among the agents (Shadows, Hounds) of two rather decadent empires (the Confederation, the League) and their rulers, the Names. Read full book review >
IN THE LION'S MOUTH by Michael Flynn
Released: Jan. 17, 2012

"Fascinating and intelligent—at times a bit too clever for its own good—if elusive, the sort of yarn you can appreciate and enjoy if not fully apprehend."
Third entry in Flynn's far-future space opera, following Up Jim River (2010, etc.), wherein two human empires, the Confederation of Central Worlds and the United League of the Periphery, struggle for dominance—although, thanks to Flynn's veering, elliptical narrative, it's difficult to deduce even this much without knowledge of the previous books. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2008

"Flynn ably tracks the intersecting orbits of his assassins, pirates and would-be kings, constructing a plot with the human density of a Brazilian favela, but his scattershot epic lacks the enveloping seamlessness of Peter F. Hamilton's superlative work."
Labyrinthine space opera from venturesome science-fiction author Flynn (Eifelheim, 2006, etc.) tracks an artifact of unknown origin. Read full book review >
EIFELHEIM by Michael Flynn
Released: Oct. 17, 2006

"Another meticulously researched, intense, mesmerizing novel (based in some part on a 1986 short story) for readers seeking thoughtful science fiction of the highest order."
Contemporary/historical alien-contact tale, from the author of the magnificent The Wreck of the River of Stars (2003). Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 2003

"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."
New science fiction, set in the same medium-future as Flynn's previous (Falling Stars, 2001, etc.). Once a luxury passenger liner, its huge superconducting magnetic sails spread to catch the solar wind, The River of Stars became obsolete following the invention of the fusion thruster. Stripped down, equipped with four fusion thrusters, the ship thereafter hauled cargo between Jupiter and the asteroids. Its latest captain, the kindly visionary Evan Hand, assembled a crew of misfits and has-beens, intending—though this does not emerge until much later—to weld them into a team and thereby offer redemption. Two circumstances, both improbable, neither foreseen, conspire to shatter Hand's dream: his own death from an undiagnosed ailment, and the destruction of two engines from a pebble-sized meteor strike. On two engines, the ship cannot decelerate rapidly enough to make landfall. Engineer Bhatterji might possibly manufacture spare parts for the engines, from stores depleted by years of cost-cutting. And the magsails might be deployed, helping to brake the ship. But navigator Corrigan and sailmaster Satterwaithe consider Gorgas, the acting captain, unapproachable, and Bhatterji unsympathetic. So, in secret, they enlist the cargo wranglers and start to refurbish the sails. But how will the diverse, unpredictable crew, young and old, cope? What of the friction between old and new technologies? And what if, amid all this, the ship's artificial intelligence develops sentience? Read full book review >
FALLING STARS by Michael Flynn
Released: March 1, 2001

"As before, Flynn's very strong on politicking, power struggles, and the nuts and bolts of space exploration. What's lacking is originality."
Final installment of Flynn's near-future space-exploration trilogy (Rogue Star, 1998, etc.). Following plenty of dubious and perhaps deliberate finagling, the global economy has crashed, leaving the space program on its uppers. Problem is, a huge asteroid called the Bean is on a collision course for Earth. Mariesa van Huyten and her allies attempt to jumpstart the economy with bond issues, but reactionary politico Terry McRobb blindly blocks their efforts despite the danger. Only when violence takes out the contenders do matters improve and, finally, an expedition to rendezvous with the Bean gets under way. The Bean contains alien mechanisms, these apparently activated by a previous visit, including massive engines: a collision with Earth clearly is intentional. Why, though, would a bunch of long-vanished aliens want to bombard Earth? Flynn's cast of astronauts, scientists, space operations personnel, and movers and shakers, many familiar from previous installments, attempts to find answers and solutions. Then worse news arrives: another asteroid is heading for Earth. Still to come: heroics, discoveries, and the dawn of a new era.Read full book review >
ROGUE STAR by Michael Flynn
Released: April 1, 1998

Second installment in Flynn's massive, ambitious near-future saga (Firestar, 1996), with rich heiress Mariesa van Huyten continuing her Prometheus project to save humanity by forcing its expansion into space. Among the complications this time: weasely US President Donaldson tries to finagle Mariesa into allowing her LEO space station to be used as a weapons' launch site; the People's Crusade, set up to combat pollution, racism, etc., suffers an internal schism; young ex-drug dealer Flaco Mercado faces some tough tests as he becomes an apprentice space rigger; and an experimental spaceship investigates an asteroid far out in space, discovering possible signs of alien activity. A yarn that depends more on politicking, ideology, and wish fulfillment than real plot; nonetheless, fans of volume one should be pleased. Read full book review >
THE FOREST OF TIME by Michael Flynn
Released: April 1, 1997

Ten tales, including the author's afterwords, from Flynn (Firestar, 1996), seven of which first appeared in Analog magazine- -though the publisher doesn't tell us when or upon what basis they were selected. In the title piece, an experimenter is marooned with no hope of returning home in an alternate world where the US doesn't exist. Elsewhere, a genetics whiz accidentally transforms himself into a water-breather with gills and webbed feet; a space cowboy yarn amuses, as does a satire on New Yorkers—for a while; a scientific investigation of a ghost proves equally illuminating of its investigator; a neural net computer writes a bestseller (sound familiar?); and, in WW I, some—aliens? fallen angels?—feed on emotions. Best of the bunch: A powerful, reactionary soldier- turned-businessman arranges for aliens to remove the ``useless'' elements from society, with unforeseen consequences; a time- traveler hopes to moderate Pizarro's destruction of the Incas; and a misanthropic doctor, whose young daughter is dying of progeria (accelerated aging), discovers that a patient of his is 200 years old. Wonderfully diverse themes, but Flynn belabors matters long after his point is made; his plodding prose style doesn't help, neither do the afterwords wherein he explains how smart he's been. Read full book review >