Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Birth of Fire Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1987


See all 11 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Mass Market Paperback, June 1, 1987
$37.99 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$2.55

Best Books of the Year
See the Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 229 pages
  • Publisher: Baen; Reissue edition (June 1, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067165649X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671656492
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,432,338 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I write science fact and fiction. Themes range from trivial amusements to how to save the world. In 1980 I predicted that by the year 2000 anyone in Western Civilization would be able to get the answer to any question that can be answered; that happened a bit faster than I thought it would. My column in BYTE is the longest running column in the computer industry.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By optimusprimerib on November 7, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I had not read any of Jerry Pournelle's other books, when I picked this up years ago. It is an amazingly good yarn dealing with the now cliched notion of the colonization of Mars. The lead protagonist Garrett is given the option to stay in jail in overcrowded earth or get shipped out to Mars on a work detail.
He opts for the latter and gets involved in a revolution to free Mars from the oppressive multinational corporations back on earth. I read this book at least thrice! Great writing. The author moves the action at a good pace. The book felt very believable.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Leo Champion on October 17, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jerry Pournelle is one of the more qualified people writing science fiction nowadays - he's done a lot of things, knows a lot, and seems to have a network of contacts rivalling what Winston Churchill had in the `30s.

Like most of the near-greats, he's written a couple of brilliant books that made his name, and a lot more that aren't *quite* at that level. Birth of Fire is one of the latter - it's better than what most SF authors do, but it's not up to Pournelle's best. Which still places it above 90% of published SF.

Other reviews have summed the plot up well enough: intelligent but no-direction teenager is sent to Mars as a convict and gets involved in a revolution. Simple enough plot, but the skill is in the execution. Pournelle draws economic and political relationships well, but doesn't waste words on unnecessary detail. There are authors who like extensive description, to "stop and smell the roses"; Pournelle isn't one of them.

The plot moves fast and the action scenes are as good as anything Pournelle has done in his better-known military fiction - which is to say, very good indeed. There's an ingenious and nicely-executed scene involving the immobilization of a solar-powered transport; the combat in general, both strategic and tactical, is well-handled. Pournelle seems to have really done his research, which is common enough, and *thought* about how these details apply to tactical and political situations, which is less common.

Not quite up to the standard of Lucifer's Hammer or the Falkenberg's Legion books, but as good as anything else written by one of today's best living SF authors.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Leonard Matz on May 24, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Birth of Fire is an entertaining read with all of the Pournelle elements you would expect. The character of the young protagonist is developed nicely. The plot is solid and moves along well; helped by some interesting military tactics. The Martian setting is very well developed.
However, the book doesn't have the same spark as most other Pournelle novels. The biggest disappointment is that only the main character is developed enough to make the reader care about his fate. We never really learn enough about the thoughts and motivations of the girl who is one of the two supporting characters to become caught up in her story. The Martian colonial society also has a few small but nagging inconsistancies.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 16, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read this story 5 times. It is an excellent book as most of his books are. Solid storyline. I highly recommend this for beginning sci-fi readers. Almost as good as Heinlien, and that is high praise indeed. I also recommend Footfall, Lucifer's Hammer, Mote in God's Eye series, King David's Spaceship, the Falkenberg series and the Janissaries series
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Decoene on August 3, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After I read 'Janissaries' I had a 'Pournelle reading frenzy' and this is one of the novels I bought as well.
I like it, it's quite classic. Boy gets to mars 'cause he doesn't have much of a future back home. When arriving on Mars it seems he won't have much of a future there either. But the locals help him out and suddenly he finds himself caught up in a revolution...
classic, not the most complex plot ever, but a good read never the less.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 17, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book, which incidently was originally released by the now long defunct Laser Books, is definitely classic Pournelle. Young Garrett Pittson teams up with the "Sarge",who is going to teach Pittson how to farm on Mars. All Garrett wants to do is learn how to farm and mind his own business, however the bureaucrats have some other ideas. This book is not quite as good as Jerry's John Christian Falkenberg stories but it is a good read and worth buying
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again