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The Stars Blue Yonder Mass Market Paperback – September 28, 2010

11 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Outback Stars Series

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About the Author

SANDRA MCDONALD has been a Hollywood assistant, a software instructor, a bureaucrat, and an officer in the US Navy. Her short fiction has appeared in Realms of Fantasy, Strange Horizons, and elsewhere. Her previous novels were The Outback Stars and The Stars Down Under. She lives in Jacksonville, Florida.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Science Fiction; First Edition edition (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765360209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765360205
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,859,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lieutenant Sandra McDonald spent 8 years as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy, stationed on Guam, Newfoundland, and Key West, Florida. She worked in the IUSS anti-submarine warfare system and also family services, security, and addiction counseling. As a veterans advocate, she has helped connect them with services for disability and medical services. Her website is and she is @sandramcdonald.

Now a civilian, she writes military science fiction, horror, romance, science fiction romance, speculative fiction, young adult, and other genres for adults and younger readers. Her first book of short fiction, Diana Comet and Other Improbable Stories, won the Lambda Literary award for transgender fiction. It is a Booklist Editor's Choice and American Library Association Over the Rainbow book.

Her short stories have appeared in science fiction magazines such as Asimov's, Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, Nightmare, Clarkesword, and the Magazine of F & SF. She has been reprinted in several year's best anthologies and in foreign languages. Four of her stories have been noted by the James A. Tiptree Jr. Award honor list for excellence in gender and identity.

Her novels include The Outback Stars (Science Fiction Book of the Month Club pick) series, Mystery of the Tempest (Silver Moonbeam Award) and its sequels (as author Sam Cameron), the gay-asexual thriller City of Soldiers (as author Sam Burke), and the science fiction romance Boomerang World.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Pandababy on July 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The Stars Blue Yonder by Sandra McDonald is third in a series that begins with The Outback Stars and is continued in The Stars Down Under. Tor Books schedules its release for a month from now - July 21, 2009. I enjoyed the first two books and have just finished an ARC of The Stars Blue Yonder.

Time travel is a well established theme in science fiction. H. G. Wells, sometimes called 'The father of Science Fiction', wrote his famous classic, The Time Machine, over a hundred years ago. He would probably appreciate the sophisticated twists in McDonald's premise on time travel, which dominates this book in the trilogy.

My preferences in science fiction are action and adventure, discovery and military, and alien culture. Personally, I do not enjoy encountering time travel in any literature, so I am not the best person to provide an unbiased review of a novel full of time travel. With that caveat, I will stipulate that McDonald's time travel premise is well done, and if I didn't have this personal quirk I'm certain I would have liked it more. Time travel was a minor consequence in the first two books, so I didn't see this coming.

In book three, McDonald develops relationships from the first two books, and I found the ending to be very satisfying from that perspective. I frequently had a sense of the kind of magical realism found in writing by Charles de Lint, for instance. But isn't that the case, when life suddenly goes sideways or upside-down (whether it is magical or science) that everything and everybody seems perfectly ordinary - until the unexpected bursts into the scene. In fact, I find real life to be just like that.

I greatly enjoy the fact that McDonald doesn't permit her characters to be stereo-typical heroes.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Minsma on August 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is the third book in the trilogy begun with The Outback Stars. I loved this trilogy from start to finish and this final book didn't disappoint. Impossible to summarize without spoiling things, but everyone I loved in the first and second books are here to finish things off. And there are new characters to love, ones I hope will find books of their own. I recommend this trilogy highly. It's ironic, since I resisted reading The Outback Stars for some time. I thought it was military sf, which I don't particularly care for. It is set in the military, but it's so much more than that: a touching love story, a mystical journey through Aboriginal myth, a mystery, and a confrontation with alien technology. Just a great read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Doss on March 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really liked the first in the trilogy, THE OUTBACK STARS, and would give it 5 stars. The second book, THE STARS DOWN UNDER, was not quite as good, and I would give it 4 stars. Unfortunately, the trend continues in the third installment. The whole book was about the characters jumping around in time, sometimes repeating destinations. I was tired of it all before the end. Also, the ending was not quite an ending, perhaps stretching the trilogy into a fourth book.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Synopsis: The hero had died. But he's not dead. The hero is being forced to visit his wife by a mysterious time machine that takes him to her childhood, her present, her future, her death, and many days in between. He pops in for a few hours or possibly a day, convinces her (or not) of who he is and gets kicked emotionally in the gut every time when she rejects him, or is killed, or bad things happen. It's a great adventure, about how he and his wife and his mysterious descendent from the future work together to break out of the time loop and save all of humanity from an alien invasion.

What I liked: The story was original and clever! I liked the strong female character, and the obvious love the hero and heroine have for each other. I like the different scenarios where good people break bad, and vice versa.

What I didn't like: I thought it was a stand alone - I did not realize it was part of a series till the very end when it got confusing, and the story had to be part of another book that was not adequately explained. I still don't know what a Painted Child or an Egg is, but I understand the context ok.

IMO. Good clever sci fi and good writing. It was engrossing, and what more can you ask of a book?
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Outstanding!!! The trilogy just kept getting better & better!! Easily a new favourite series!

I'm not quite sure how things actually ended up working in the end, nor do I understand the epilogue or why it was included. An opportunity for future endeavours? A spin-off?

You'd think that not quite understanding why the ending worked would be a major hang up, but somehow... I guess I was in deep enough that I could suspend belief for that moment? Or maybe it made sense in a way that I haven't quite fathomed yet. All I know is that this book was quite the ride!!

Only once did I think I knew what was going to happen, & I was still wrong. Extremely impressed for a debut trilogy. Sandra McDonald is a new favourite author!

I sucked these books down in no time flat!! I must read more of her work!! Alas, my library has nothing more by her. However, I did find a Kindle called Fir Na Tine, which I've heard great things about! Can't wait!!
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