Red Thunder Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Red Thunder

Ace, April 2003, 23.95, 416 pp.
ISBN 0441010156

In the not too distant future, NASA has invented space technology used by Ares Seven to travel to Mars, but it will land two weeks after the Chinese make the first red planet landing with people aboard. Manny and Dak, two college students, want to become astronauts more than anything else and they get to meet former astronaut Travis Bussard when they almost run over him in their jeep. Travis was drummed out of NASA because he was an alcoholic and he doesn't intend to change that condition until four young men and women give him a reason to remain sober.
Click here to see the rest of this review...

Travis's cousin Jubal, an idiot savante, invents a new form of energy that when inserted onto a spaceship, can take the crew to Mars in under a week. Jubal wants America to be the first country to walk on Mars. Manny, his girlfriend Kelly, Dak and his girlfriend Alicia agree with him. Travis thinks they are all crazy but helps them build a ship that will take them to Mars when Jubal informs him that there is a fault in Ares Seven that destroy the ship before it lands. Travis doesn't want that to happen because his ex-wife, the custodial parent of his children, is on board the Ares Seven.

John Varley has written a first rate science fiction novel starring five unlikely heroes who end up doing the country proud. Jubal, the creator of the space drive, takes pleasure in simple things even though his patents are making him billions of dollars. RED THUNDER would make a great movie because it has plenty of action, romance and suspense. This work will appeal to fans of Robert Heinlein's more sophisticated works.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Red Thunder

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 40% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Explore/1st contact/ enviro story    -   Yes Explore:    -   primitive/present day space voyage Tech./$$$/Info hunt    -   Yes Stealing/recovering/destroying    -   method of transportation Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Inventing-of-item story?    -   Yes

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   fighter (air/space) pilot Age:    -   40's-50's


Which planet?    -   Mars Earth setting:    -   dinosaur times Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes Not Earth, in Solar System?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   a moderate amount of scientific explanation How much dialogue?    -   significantly more dialog than descript

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Red Thunder

John Varley Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian