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Specific Impulse Paperback – May 3, 2010

51 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Here's a book that grabs you from the beginning and never lets up from start to finish - and - the science is refreshingly plausible.   --Eric Berger, Houston Chronicle Science Writer

Engaging for both its use of science and suspense, "Specific Impulse" blends the macro- and micro-worlds with intrigue and adventure. A unique combination that kept me engrossed throughout!   --Robert Pearlman, Editor collectSPACE

This is the best first novel in science fiction I think I have ever read and I've been reading every sci-fi thing I can get my hands on since I was 10 years old!   --David Crosby, Crosby Stills & Nash

From the Inside Flap

Jake untucked the back of his shirt and raised it slightly. His back had dozens of little red welts, one to match each hole in his jacket. Carin pulled back a sleeve and noticed that she had the same welts. One was still bleeding slightly and, while she watched, it healed over, turned an angry red and then settled down to a dull pink.   Jake had been watching too. "That should have taken a week at least." At this point, the rescue group came within shouting range. Carin slowly turned to face them. Her sabbatical had just taken a curious turn.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (May 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1450223710
  • ISBN-13: 978-1450223713
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,944,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Charles Justiz is a pilot, professor, PhD and the author of Specific Impulse. A graduate of the Air Force Academy and a former officer of the United States Air Force, Justiz spent tours of duty as an instructor pilot at Webb Air Force Base as well as doing flight test at Eglin Air Force Base. Retired from NASA as of June 1, 2010, he was rated as both an instructor pilot and an examiner pilot in the Astronaut T-38, the Shuttle Training Aircraft (with more than 25 years of experience and 15,000+ Shuttle approaches), the C-9 and in the 747 Shuttle Carrier.

Overall, Justiz has logged in excess of 15,000 flight hours in more than 100 different types of aircraft, including NASA's weightless training aircraft affectionately known as the "Vomit Comet" and the Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. Dr. Justiz developed the Crew Resource Management program for NASA aviators and pushed to get it adopted, was the program manager for developing an on-board landing simulation system for Space Shuttle pilots to use while on orbit and has been the Chief of Aviation Safety for NASA.

This highly experienced aviator is the author of 20 technical papers on in-flight simulation, as well as 30 technical papers on ionized plasma flows around charged spacecraft. Justiz is also a former instructor for the University of Colorado, where he taught several graduate courses in astrodynamics and spacecraft mission design. Currently, he holds an adjunct associate professorship at the University of Houston in aerospace engineering.

A first generation Cuban-American, Justiz holds a doctorate degree from the University of Houston for his research in Thermo Physics and Plasma Dynamics and is a NASA Doctoral Fellow. He lives in Seabrook, Texas, with his wife, Dayna Steele, author of Rock to the Top: What I Learned about Success from the World's Greatest Rock Stars, three sons and a faithful Labrador.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By L. M. Heimendinger on August 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Arthur Dent unexpectedly found himself on an adventure when his cottage was about to be razed to make way for a new highway, but that wasn't the worst part. Earth was also being destroyed to make way for a supergalatic highway at the same time. When he dejectedly went to the local pub and ran into Ford, fortunately for them, and us as readers of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the improbable tale began with the Improbability Drive leading the way.

In Specific Impulse, Carin and Jake do not take time for tea, romp through the universe bumping into preposterous nouns and tidbits of explanation on them, nor make us chortle, but they do take us on as hitchhiker's on their great adventure. Like Arthur, they are unexpected pilgrims through events they could never have imagined and we get to tag along. But while Mr. Dent is a lovable dolt and parity of things British, Carin and Jake have excelled at their professions of scientist and submarine commander respectively. Time and again, they must rely on all they know and have done to not get by, but to survive.

Carin's science is key to how the characters race through the novel, but she is docent to Jake and us as readers to help explain what is going on. Tenacious, tough, and determined, she is a decided loner, which is coincidentally the same words we can use to describe Jake. These are unlikely traits for characters you come to love, and who discover they are incomplete without the other, but there it is. You grow wildly enamored with them. As it should be when you are a hitchhiker to their great adventure.

Specific Impulse is great fun, a captivating read, and extremely well written. But the most important thing in this wonderful first novel by Charles Justiz is the last sentence.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Triple Nickel on August 20, 2010
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What a fantastic book. Of course the movie will be a box office hit...DUH! It was so easy to read and actually very hard to put down. I would read until my lips hurt. I expecially enjoyed how each chapter brought you up to date on the characters through some detailed comment from another character so that you were always familiar with them and knew exactly what you needed to know to get the full impcact of the story line. I could hear Dr. J's expressions in so many chapters and know that the next books will only get better...if that is humanly possible. This book is so full of scientific facts and details that only someone of CJ's background could put to pen. He is not just another pretty face, he is brilliant!!! I'm about to start reading this book again...I can't wait for the next one.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By T. Shelton on August 26, 2010
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Justiz has written a first novel with the verve and nerve worthy of a long-time storyteller. Carin and Jake, the main characters, probably are like nobody you've ever met and yet they are people you quickly grow to care about. The fully drawn characters in the book, villains included, are as warm-blooded -- and cold-blooded -- as anybody you know. Justiz never uses his extensive knowledge of technology and science to show off but always and only to propel the story upward. The cleverness in the ways he uses that knowledge will keep your heart racing and may even make you smile.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Megginson on July 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
I just finished reading "Specific Impulse" over the course of a week. My schedule has only allowed me a few stolen moments of reading a night... and each night I have felt like I'm curling up to visit old friends. Each evening, I have literally felt as if I had to rush back to the book to make sure Carin and Jake were okay! I somehow knew they would be... I had that much confidence in them... but Crurabi is just THAT scary! Justiz crafted characters with whom I was immediately both endeared and fascinated. I was intrigued from the go with not only the characters, but the story line, smart wit, and captivating and plausible science. And who doesn't love Fred?? (In my imagination, he sounds a lot like KITT from Knight Rider. HA!) This book had _so_many_ great elements going for it that I was beyond frustrated that I didn't have time to read it through in one sitting. Check it out for yourself, you won't be disappointed... until it ends and you don't have the sequel in your hands! *ahem* Sequel!? Please!!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By AmaDJ on July 12, 2010
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I was made aware of Charles Justiz's book through Peter Shankman's HARO notification. His short intro immediately peaked my curiosity about the book. From there I visited CJ's website and was intrigued... I had to get the book! It is great fun for the sic-fi fan, offers great, real science (and military) details and best of all, it hooks you a few pages in! A page turner from start to finish, a really good first novel... With character and style growth as you progress through the story. I truly look forward to CJ's next book... Which BETTER be a sequel! I'm sure that is what Fred would do!

PS Charles and Danya have done some great promotions to build excitement for the release and to encourage reviews. I was one of the winners of their release contest, but I must say, that did not influence my interest in the book... I would have ordered it regardless! And so glad I did!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cathy Arroyo on June 30, 2010
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Read Specific Impulse and decide for yourself! Charles Justiz developed strong characters in Carin and Jake. But while Jake can be the stereotypical manly protagonist, Carin is a woman that meets that manly stereotype and teaches it a lesson. Add to these two the character development of the lovable machine intelligence (FRED) and the above mentioned nano creatures.... and by the end of the book (which is reached quickly as one doesn't want to put it down) you find the antagonists just never had a chance..... unless the nano creatures are antagonists. I am waiting impatiently for the next book to find out the answer to that question! And thanks to the author for making this first novel available on Kindle at the same time it was available in any format!
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