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In 1955, Robert A. Heinlein wrote a detailed outline and notes for a novel. Then he closed the file, put it in a drawer and never got around to writing the book. It lay forgotten for decades, until its rediscovery almost half a century later in 2003. Now Hugo- and Nebula Award-winning author Spider Robinson has expanded the outline into a full-length novel, and the result is vintage Heinlein, faithful in style and spirit to the Grand Master's original vision.
Joel Johnston and Jinny Hamilton are very much in love and want to get married. What's stopping Joel, though, is money. A poor music student in the economy of 2286, he doesn't have much to offer. But Jinny has been keeping a secret: she isn't the orphan she told him she was, but a daughter of one of the most wealthy and powerful families in the solar system—the imperious Conrads.
A 150-year-old dynasty, the Conrads rule an industrial/information empire that ranges from a scientific outpost on Mercury to interstellar exploration 65 light-years away. And now the Patriarch, Conrad of Conrad, has made it clear to Joel that he will be groomed extensively for the top executive position in the vast Conrad conglomerate—a scheme that takes no account of his own plans and wishes. Joel, a simple guy from Ganymede, wants no part of it. Alternately heart-broken and angry, he books passage on the relativistic colony ship, Sheffield, thinking he's fled the family once and for all.
But not even time dilation can put Joel out of reach of the Conrads…. Jacket art by Stephan Martiniere. (318 pp.) 2006.
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