Dark Lightning (Thunder and Lightning)

Dark Lightning (Thunder and Lightning)

John Varley

Language: English

Pages: 352

ISBN: 042527408X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Known for “superior science fiction" (The Philadelphia Inquirer), author John Varley returns to his Thunder and Lightning series with a novel of how one man’s volatile genius could alter a starship’s epic plunge into a future where human survival is just a theory…

On a voyage to New Earth, the starship Rolling Thunder is powered by an energy no one understands except for its eccentric inventor, Jubal Broussard. But now, on his emergence from a state of suspended animation, Jubal makes a shocking announcement: The ship must stop, or everyone will die.

These words from the mission’s founder, the man responsible for the very existence of Rolling Thunder, will send shock waves throughout the starship—and divide its passengers into those who believe and those who doubt. And it will be up to his twin daughters to stop a mutiny, discover the truth, and usher the ship into a new age of exploration…

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around to see if they had brought their son, Patrick. They had. He was standing by the band with a few others, clapping his hands and doing a little dance step. My heart did a somersault, as usual. If Cassie and I were ever to kill each other, it would probably be over Patrick. When we were younger we used to share our toys. We share all our clothes, we share flycycles, we share homework—she does my math, I do her literature—but we’ve never shared boyfriends. Oh, once I pretended to be her and

Two octillion tons (2 times 1027) times one hundred sextillion stars (1023) equals two hundred quindecillion tons (2 times 1050), the mass of all the stars in the observable universe. You can throw in all the planets, asteroids, comets, and such and not affect the final total much; it’s like tossing a few pennies in a bucket of hundred-dollar coins. (There’s also a hell of a lot of neutrinos, but let’s not even go there. I don’t like neutrinos; their very existence offends me.) I like to write

Polly wanted to know. Papa frowned and bit his lip. “It was back when your mama was in the bubble her ownself. You know about that, don’t you?” Oh, yes, we knew. — Mama was under the Europan ice, in a black bubble, when the giant crystal beings began their migration to Earth. No one knows why they did it, but it seems they had been doing it almost since the beginning of the solar system, causing huge numbers of extinctions. Every sixty million years or so, they erupted from Europa and went

‘rule.’ Where did you get this rulebook?” “It’s issued in the school of survival, where I was valedictorian. Compiled by Uncle Travis during a hard, scary life.” “Travis, huh?” Did I detect a hint of disdain? I wasn’t sure. “Okay, here’s what I figure our options are. Back behind us we know there are a lot of people. If we go spinwise or antispinwise, we’re just going in a circle that takes us back here. So unless you know of a place to hide in Grover’s Mill or Lake Wobegon, that leaves

initiated.” “Just spit it out, will you?” “I infer that an attempt is being made to take over the ship.” Take over the ship. You don’t take over a ship. It’s just not done. That would be . . . Mutiny. The nastiest word you can use on a ship of the seas of water or the seas of stars. “Ohmigod, Sheila, my house . . . the meeting, my family . . .” “Yes. I thought you should be notified.” “Can you . . . can you tell me anything else?” “Very little at the moment. I myself am not involved in

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