The Free Lunch

The Free Lunch

by Spider Robinson

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The Free Lunch by Spider Robinson

On the run from a terrible past, twelve-year-old Mike seeks refuge in America's most beloved theme park, Dreamworld.� On yet another attempt to "disappear" into Dreamworld, Mike is helped by Annie, a woman has successfully hidden in Dreamworld for years.�

Mike faces many challenges: he must help stop hired killers who seek to destroy his new home, and also help uncover the nature and purpose of some very strange creatures who are infiltrating Dreamworld.

Praised by The New York Times as "an homage to the lighter side of Robert A. Heinlein", this is a clever and compassionate novel for Robinson and Heinlein lovers alike.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940012631022
Publisher: Spectrum Literary Agency, Inc.
Publication date: 02/04/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 256,101
File size: 561 KB

About the Author

Spider Robinson has published over thirty-five books since 1973, won three Hugos, a Nebula, the John W. Campbell Award, and numerous other international honours. In 2006 he became the first Writer In Residence at Vancouver�s H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, and in 2010 he was named sixth Writer In Residence at the Vancouver Public Library. He has written songs with David Crosby and Todd Butler, and recorded original music with Amos Garrett and Michael Creber. His award-winning podcast Spider On The Web has appeared regularly since 2007, and he has been Toastmaster at two World Science Fiction Conventions. He was married for 35 glorious years to Jeanne Robinson, a dancer, writer and Buddhist priest with whom he co-authored the Hugo- and Nebula-winning THE STARDANCE TRILOGY. For further information visit

�The Free Lunch is a fast-moving homage to the lighter side of Robert A. Heinlein�
- The New York Times

[Spider Robinson] "embodies the best of Sturgeon, Heinlein, and Asimov."
- David Gerrold

Customer Reviews

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The Free Lunch 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An excellent story about a boy who runs away to a theme park and meets another park stowaway, a woman who knows more about the park than just about anybody. Together they have to save the world from aliens or is it the aliens from the rival park owner or is it themselves from each other. The writing is good, funny but not overdone. The characters are believable and likable, they're given depth, but the villains were a little stereotypical. The thing that makes the book though is the relationship the develops between the boy, Mike, and the woman, Annie. The pacing of their growing closeness was perfect. The only thing that stopped this from getting an A+ was a 'wow' factor. Nothing here is going to blow you away. Over all I give it an A.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've liked the Callahan series, and works like Telempath, but this was a dissapointment. The story line of living in a Disney-World-like park with a cynical dwarf and preventing the present takeover by a hostile while assisting time travelers has all the ear-marks of a Spider story, but it never really gels. The story pace limps along without guidance or style. At best it is a late-elementary school introduction to Spider and future readings of Callahan.
MyriadBooks on LibraryThing 4 days ago
Book signed by Robinson at the 2006 National Book Festival, where Robinson was promoting his Stardance novel compilation that he cowrote with his wife, Jeanne Robinson, and also his treatment of the Robert Heinlein outline, Variable Star. The Robinsons were awesome and goofy.I first encountered Robinson¿s books via his Callahan¿s series, but The Free Lunch is by far and away my favorite novel of his. I was better prepared for this NBF, and I ordered a hardback copy of this book two months in advance so I could have it signed. I also purchased a copy of Variable Star in advance with the intention of getting it signed with a friend¿s name, and giving the book as a birthday gift. Which she loved, although I had to break the surprise and send the gift early in order to keep her from purchasing her own copy.The Robinsons gave a fascination talk on how they wrote the first novel Stardance and how they handled cowriting in general and the book¿s publishing and award history. Jeanne read an excerpt, and I really want to get a copy of the book now. I loved how the Robinsons alternated speaking. They were having the grandest time, and one would start a sentence, and the other would finish it, and then one would run off in a tangent and the other would continue it and then haul the conservation back on track. They seem like they have a wonderful marriage.Robinson gave a very passionate talk about how he wrote Variable Star and what it meant to him. He¿s been very public about how much he loves and admires Heinlein¿s work (I would nominate him for biggest Heinlein fan), and he was both honored and intimidated by creating a novel from Heinlein¿s story outline. My favorite part of his talk was when he told about the very first time he discovered Heinlein¿s books, when he was a small child and a librarian handed him one as a recommendation. No, my very favorite part was when the Robinsons were being called to wrap up their talk (which had already run over, but only the NBF workers cared), and did a quick shout out for questions. A gentleman in the back jumped up, flung his arms in the air, and shouted, ¿What was the title of that first Heinlein book you read?¿ Robinson got the biggest grin on his face and shouted back ¿The Rocket Ship Galileo!¿ before leaving the stage.My least favorite part was when he and Jeanne sung a folk song. Of their own creation. Eee.I was my usual babbling self when I meet them to get my books signed. Robinson picked up The Free Lunch and said something about how lots of people love this book, and I was like, ¿Yeah, I love this book.¿ Inane! But I got Variable Star signed for my friend, and the Robinson¿s were so struck by my friend¿s name that they asked me to spell it for them and jotted it down to file away for a potential character name. AWESOME!The book: Imagine Disneyland as you envisioned when you were a child. Now go there. That¿s Dreamland, the setting for the novel and the place that young Mike decides to run away too. As Mike finds out he¿s not only the one who had this idea, the evil rival amusement park works to find a way to destroy Dreamland and the time-travelers arriving from a future Earth to give humanity free lunch might just have given it to them. (Wiki TANSTAAFL if free lunch is new to you. And read Heinlein¿s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.)There were some scenes in the book I didn¿t like (namely the peeing scene and the naked scene), but those were minor and the ending couldn¿t have been more perfect.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Grabbed me and kept me until the end
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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J3v0n More than 1 year ago
I'm not even go to write how lame this book was. You'll have to read it to find out. Or better yet, don't read it. Seriously, your not missing anything.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why is this book called the free lunch when there is aliens in this book this thing does not make sense this is a weird book but i do like the cver of the book it looks really cool also i am not saying that the book looks dumb i am just saying the book is weird beacuse i read someones sentence so it does not look like the book has aliens know daw read the book again stupid