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First Stringers

First Stringers

5.0 1
by Gerald Weinberg
What happens if the physicists' String Theory is correct, and the "real" universe is nothing more than a human mental construct?
And what happens to the half-dozen young adults who, through an accident on their common day of conception, can mentally pull the strings of the universe?
And what if each of their rule-shattering powers is accompanied by a


What happens if the physicists' String Theory is correct, and the "real" universe is nothing more than a human mental construct?
And what happens to the half-dozen young adults who, through an accident on their common day of conception, can mentally pull the strings of the universe?
And what if each of their rule-shattering powers is accompanied by a deformity shunned by society?
In California, Ember, a determined blind girl tries to control her angry heat that mutilated the man who attempted to molest her.
In New Mexico, Bolton, an ingenious, angry, crippled youth mentally reprograms casino computers to finance his toy robot cars and rockets.
Ember runs away to Las Vegas to escape her overprotective father. She meets Bolton, but they rub each other the wrong way.
When Ember is set upon by unknown attackers, they must fake a marriage and use their powers to escape. When they learn of all they have in common, they become friends, but not lovers because of Ember's fear she cannot control her power when sexually aroused.
Meanwhile, in a small city in Iowa, Gina Red-Bear, a beautiful but alienated half-Sioux, half-Swedish girl, mentally controls the emotions of all the people around her. She dominates her wheel-chair-bound twin brother, George, forcing him to use his own cerebral power to synthesize illegal drugs.
Bolton locates George through an ingenious internet search. He leaves Ember for Iowa, where he encounters Gina. She forces him to fall in love.
Ember, intensely jealous, heads for Iowa and meets George, saving him from his sister. In spite of her feelings, she risks exposing her powers to rescue Gina, first from greedy drug lords and then from her own attempted suicide.
The Quartet decides to try to set aside their differences and band together for mutual protection, though that's easy to say but hard to do. All four return to New Mexico, seeking to find others of their kind.
In Colorado, they discover an innocent Down Syndrome girl. Alandra's aging parents have devoted their lives to hiding her psychic ability. They fear they will no longer be able to protect her from those who would exploit her ability to extract pure precious metals from abandoned gold mines.
The mysterious attacks on Ember continue. To protect themselves, the five begin to overcome their conflicts and jealousies and create The Quintet—in which each complements the others abilities and deformities.
Through Gina's bizarre dreams, harnessed in a Bolton-designed dream cage, the Quintet discovers that somewhere in the Utah wilderness, someone is teleporting bombs into government offices. This person can only be someone who shares their power to manipulate the strings of the universe, but seems to be supporting a survivalist's plans for world domination.
Gina, seeking to create the family she never knew, impetuously decides that only she has the power to find their mate and confront him. She discovers that the head of the survivalists, The General, has chained his deaf son, Lee, by threatening his mother, but Gina's power alone is insufficient to rescue them. When Lee's mother dies from abuse, Gina is trapped with Lee in The General's underground redoubt.
Uncertain that Bolton, George, and Alandra can quickly recruit military help from the government, Ember enters the Utah compound alone to rescue Gina. Instead, she is caught in The General's trap. When the rest of the Quintet arrives, they, too, are trapped. Ember has a plan to free them, but she must choose between two evils: helping The General or risking the lives of her loved ones by using her power.
The Quintet wants to rescue their deaf mate, but must wrestle with their fears of using their vast powers, which can have devastating unintentional consequences.
Ember risks her own life because she refuses to sacrifice the weakest member of their team. In doing so, she destroys The General's threat to enslave humanity.
United after all their adventures, The Sextet members have discovered one another and revealed their deepest values. They have grown in skill and sophistication, becoming, in the end, more fully human, ready to find the rest of their mates and pursue further adventures.

Editorial Reviews

LibraryThing - NoFirstName Releanna
I really liked this book! The concept of people with disabilities and special powers, all born almost at the same time, was very interesting. I especially liked the character of George. The book is rather well written and it never got boring.

But I'm looking forward to reading the second book about the Stringers.
LibraryThing - NoFirstName aseeofgreen
Ember is a young blind woman trying to escape her over-protective father. She meets up with several other "handicapped" people who also have various super powers. The group quickly learns that their powers are not as secret as they had thought. And someone is out to use them for their own purposes. The actions of the group are very believable for both their ages and their lack of socialization up to this point. I would definitely read a followup book to see what happens to First Stringers.
LibraryThing - NoFirstName kethdurazh
The concept of a group of individuals with the power to manipulate reality is interesting and delicate. It has been handled with care here particularly by juxtaposing these great abilities with normally crippling disabilities. Also important in the success of this story are the characters. They are a collection of misfits who are compelling because they have no desire to be all powerful and/or take over the world. The reader quickly empathizes with the characters in their struggles.
LibraryThing - T.L. Calderone
Weinberg has produced a delightful book that kept building both in story and in character development as you progressed. The processes of ferreting out the puzzle pieces with the characters as the adventure took them out of their comfort zones is exhilarating, and just when you think you see the outline of the picture the author brings in new characters and information to make you start all over again. Adventure. Mystery. And something … unusual.
LibraryThing - NoFirstName boppie
This Scooby Gang has special powers, granted to them by a toxic cloud which gave in one way, and took in some others. The lame, the blind, and the developmentally challenged can play the strings of 'string theory' to bend the universe to their will. I liked the restraints placed on the individuals - unlimited powers can actually be quite boring - and I'm curious to see what other members of the group are uncovered next.

Product Details

Gerald Weinberg
Publication date:
Fully Human , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Sales rank:
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

I've always been interested in helping smart people be happy and productive. To that end, I've published books on human behavior, including Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method, The Psychology of Computer Programming, Perfect Software and Other Fallacies, and an Introduction to General Systems Thinking. I've also written books on leadership including Becoming a Technical Leader, The Secrets of Consulting (Foreword by Virginia Satir), More Secrets of Consulting, and the four-volume Quality Software Management series.

I try to incorporate my knowledge of science, engineering, and human behavior into all of my writing and consulting work (with writers, hi-tech researchers, software engineers, and people whose life-situation could require the use of a service dog). I write novels about such people, including The Aremac Project, Aremac Power, Jigglers, First Stringers, Second Stringers, The Hands of God, Freshman Murders, Earth's Endless Effort, and Mistress of Molecules—all about how my brilliant protagonists produce quality work and learn to be happy. My books may be found as eBooks at <>; on Amazon at and at Barnes and Noble.

Early in my career, I was the architect for the Project Mercury's space tracking network and designer of the world's first multiprogrammed operating system. I won the Warnier Prize, the Stevens Award, and the first Software Testing Professionals' Luminary Award, all for mu writing on software quality. I was also elected a charter member of the Computing Hall of Fame in San Diego and chosen for the University of Nebraska Hall of Fame.

But the "award" I'm most proud of is The book, The Gift of Time (Fiona Charles, ed.) written by my student and readers for my 75th birthday. Their stories make me feel that I've been at least partially successful at helping smart people be happy.

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