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The sky is falling--again. Following up on 1998's excellent Aftermath, Starfire subjects planet Earth to yet another cosmic blast from the Alpha Centauri supernova. But while the blast that hit Earth in Aftermath simply cooked the Southern hemisphere and knocked out unshielded technology with a flash of gamma rays, this wave promises to do some real damage, with a sleet of trillion-nuclei bundles moving at one-tenth the speed of light.
Warned by the first catastrophe, Earth began building an electromagnetic shield out of the orbiting Sky City station to divert the incoming apocalypse. But not only will the storm come earlier than expected, the carnage may be worse than anyone imagined--preliminary data shows that the supernova was no accident, and that the wave of particles may in fact be a beam. Crackerjack hard-SF author Charles Sheffield brings back much of the cast of Aftermath for this suspenseful, well-paced follow-up, the two most satisfying returnees being sociopath-savant Oliver Guest and his former patient Seth Parsigian. In the book's subplot, the brilliant Guest and gruff Parsigian must team up to solve a string of grisly child murders on Sky City that threatens to push the shield project even further behind schedule. --Paul Hughes --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
High-tech hard SF and murder mystery converge in Sheffield's (Aftermath) latest, multi-voiced narrative, but the result does credit to neither genre. After escaping from the "judicial sleep" in which he was to have spent six centuries atoning for killing 18 adolescent girls in order to clone happier versions of them, infamous murderer Oliver Guest hid in an Irish castle. More than 11 years later, in 2053, Guest, still on the lam, is found by Seth Parsigian, who blackmails him into helping to identify a serial killer who has been slaying teenage girls on Sky City. The murders are upsetting the city's dedicated residents, who are building a shield to help Earth survive an oncoming wave of deadly particles from Alpha Centauri. While U.S. president Celine Tanaka handles the political fallout from physicist Wilmer Oldfield's disastrous predictions about the proximity of the approaching particles, Gordy Rolfe, the short, depraved genius who is in charge of building the protective shield, sabotages Earth's plans for survival so he can rule the depopulated planet that will be left in the wake of the disaster. Though there is plenty of actionAthe murders are solved, a love affair begins, evil characters are vanquishedAthe many switches in points of view produce a herky-jerky narrative, and there are long, dull expositions about particle waves and space stations. Sheffield creates powerful space-faring women, but his dark wit sparkles most in his depiction of Oliver Guest, who is rewarded for his crimes by having a houseful of loving little girls always at his beck and call. (Nov.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
This book was too much hard science for me. I like some of that in stories but this was just too much. Mr. Read morePublished 3 months ago by S. Griffith
I like his books for what they are - a scifi that I can pick up when I want. It has enough science to keep me interested and the characters are believable enough. Read morePublished on March 1, 2013 by Brett A. Fishwild
A sequel to the post-apocalypse novel Aftermath. They should be read in order. Combines Allen Drury (Advise and Consent) style political novel with technical SF and throwns in a... Read morePublished on September 14, 2012 by Watson McFestus
This book was one of the most frustrating books I have ever read and enjoyed. Since I did not read Aftermath, it took me a while to get into the story and understand the... Read morePublished on January 26, 2004 by C. Glover
Starfire is ostensibly a sequel to Aftermath, but you don't really need to read Aftermath first. Me, I read them in the wrong order and still enjoyed both. Read morePublished on January 24, 2004 by Aeirould
This was a good brain candy, beach read. The characters were SOOOOO written for a movie. The ending was out of left field, concepts that weren't explored at all (and not... Read morePublished on November 15, 2000 by Ronin
Charles Shefield, like a jungler, mixes with great talent two stories, two sets of characters. With even more talent, he mixes two different styles of writing, taking you... Read morePublished on July 28, 2000
I bought the book expecting a darn good read of the "hard sci-fi" type. I was delighted to find such creative and imaginative touches in the book. Read morePublished on June 26, 2000 by Patrick J. Callahan