“The heart-pounding space race is on . . . in this riveting SF thriller” from the Hugo and Nebula Award–winning author of Red Lightning and Rolling Thunder (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
As Chinese and US spacecraft compete to be the first to land on Mars, a former astronaut, his cousin, and four teens from Florida decide to take matters into their own hands. If they can quickly build their own space-worthy ship using scrap metal, appliances, and power tools, they have a chance to come from behind—thanks to an inventive new power source that can propel them to the Red Planet within three days. No guts, no glory . . .
“Varley’s great strength is in his characterizations, but in Red Thunder he also shows a strong sense of place. . . . If you are willing to simply fantasize about fleeing your office cubicle and becoming a heroic space explorer, this novel will fulfill your wishes.” —The Washington Post
“Fast paced . . . Engaging characters.” —Rocky Mountain News
“Full of little gems of wit and intelligence.” —Booklist
“[A] fun-filled adventure. Varley matches a serious literary style with an outrageous plot, and he’s one of the few writers in the field who could make it work.” —Chronicle