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Sci-Fi & Fantasy > Sci-Fi: Contemporary

Sci-Fi: Contemporary

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Michael G. Kurilla

Michael G. Kurilla ROCKVILLE, MD, United States Member Since 2005
HELPFUL VOTES
656
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441
147
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  • "Best yet of the Revelation Space se..."

    Overall

    Reynolds again demonstrates why he is among the top of contemporary sci-fi writers. Readers familiar with the Revelation Space series will recall Chasm City which was centered on the Yellowstone system. In that tale, surrounding the planet was a mass of space detritus known as the Rust Belt. Its state was the result of an undefined prior event known as the melding plague that destroyed nearly all nanotech. In Prefect, Reynolds sets the story prior to Chasm City when the Rust Belt was at its pinnacle and known as the Glitter Band. Encompassing 10,000 discreet and sovereign habitats, Reynolds explores the diversity and evolution of human societal organization (from voluntary tyranny to demoncratic anarchy). The conjoiners as well as Silveste remnants and the shrouders also play a small role.

    Holding the hodge-podge together is our hero, Tom Dreyfus, a prefect who enforces the minimal rules for orderly interaction among the habitats. From what begins as a routine investigation, Dreyfus gradually peels back the onion of an ever expanding conspiracy that threatens the entire Glitter Band. Along the way, he must face, the corrupt, the gullible, the naive, and the idiotic, but he always manages to remain focused on his ultimate objective: seeing that justice is served.

    As is typical of Reynolds, the sci-fi is first rate. He also has a knack for instinctively recognizing that unique interaction of science and society and the likely results. At the heart, the tale is an exploration of the human struggle to evolve beyond mere biology with all the potential pitfalls clearly displayed. Finally, as usual John Lee performs outstandlingly; his range of voices are superb and he sets the right tenor to allow the tension to develop.

    More

    The Prefect

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1165)
    Performance
    (924)
    Story
    (924)

    Tom Dreyfus is a Prefect, a law enforcement officer with the Panoply. His beat is the multifaceted utopian society of the Glitter Band, that vast swirl of space habitats orbiting the planet Yellowstone, the teeming hub of a human interstellar empire spanning many worlds. His current case: investigating a murderous attack against one of the habitats that left 900 people dead, a crime that appalls even a hardened cop like Dreyfus.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Best yet of the Revelation Space series"
  • "Portrait of a SciFi master as a novice"

    Overall
    Performance
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    Relative to Hamilton's more recent work (the Commonwealth Saga), Mindstar Rising is clearly not in the same league. That said, this 1st book of the Greg Mandel trilogy demonstrates the talent that has emerged as one of preeminent contemporary scifi authors. Mindstar is simply not as ambitious, nor as sweeping in scope as his later work, but the story is masterfully done and a thoroughly enjoyable listen.

    We are presented with the limits of a near future tale (still near future due to the identifiability with the characters' daily routines), set late in the 21st century. Both environmental (in the form of global warming) and political (in the form of economic upheaval leading to vicious UK socialism) changes have occurred. Greg Mandel is a former UK soldier, discharged by the new, anti-military government. The Mindstar unit was a special ops group that received early experimental bioimplants. Mandel has an "esp" sense to detect mental states in others close by. He does not "read" minds, but can sense emotional reactions.

    Greg is hired by a wealthy, elderly businessman and his granddaughter to track down what is thought to be sabotage within their manufacturing facilities (some of which are space based). What appears as straightforward corporate espionage and hardball takeover tactics gradually evolves into a life or death struggle with national political ramifications. For the major scifi elements, biology and cyber dominate along the lines of a William Gibson / Richard K Morgan love child.

    The characters are wonderfully developed with vile villains and endearing supporting characters. The narrator performs an admirable rendition for the range of characters.

    More

    Mindstar Rising: The Greg Mandel Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Peter F. Hamilton
    • Narrated By Toby Longworth
    Overall
    (795)
    Performance
    (716)
    Story
    (710)

    It's the 21st century, and global warming is here to stay, so forget the way your country used to look. And get used to the free market, too – the companies possess all the best hardware, and they're calling the shots now. In a world like this, a man open to any offers can make out just fine. A man like Greg Mandel for instance, who's psi-boosted, wired into the latest sensory equipment, carrying state-of-the-art weaponry – and late of the English Army's Mindstar Battalion.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Portrait of a SciFi master as a novice"
  • "Finally, an explanation for alien a..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Larson has crafted a novel twist on alien contact as well as solving the dilemma of advanced technology within a society temporally close to our own. In Swarm, alien vessels with alien advanced technology, but no aliens arrive on Earth and begin selecting, rather brutally, human candidates to pilot the ships in anticipation of future conflict with another alien enemy.

    Our hero is a college computer scientist who is the most successful at deciphering a functional interaction with the alien artificial intelligence powering the spacecraft. The bulk of the tale revolves around bootstrapping a military response to a malevolent alien invasion by what appears to be a machine intelligence, intent on wiping out humanity in order to use Earth as a source of raw materials.

    While some of the approaches to dealing with the alien invaders are contrived (and not well thought out), it's clear that Larson is setting up the opening salvo in what appears to a larger and longer story arch that will eventually introduce humanity to a more enlightened view of galactic politics (and lots of interstellar warfare as well).

    The writing is tight and the reading is well done making for an overall easy listening experience.

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    Swarm: Star Force, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By B. V. Larson
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3514)
    Performance
    (3215)
    Story
    (3221)

    Kyle Riggs is snatched by an alien spacecraft sometime after midnight. The ship is testing everyone it catches and murdering the weak. The good news is that Kyle keeps passing tests and staying alive. The bad news is the aliens who sent this ship are the nicest ones out there.

    Lamonica Johnson says: "If Micheal Bay Wrote a Sci-Fi Novel..."
  1. The Prefect
  2. Mindstar Rising: The Greg...
  3. Swarm: Star Force, Book 1
  4. .

A Peek at Tango's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
1053
 
Texas 124 REVIEWS / 415 ratings 230 Followers / Following 14
 
Tango's greatest hits:
  • The Diamond Age

    "The rock could use a bit more polishing"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Diamond Age is both amazing and frustrating. The first half of the book is truly brilliant; both science fiction and fantasy woven together with beautiful Victorian-toned prose. The second half of the book is rather irritating with dangling plot points, gratuitous sex (not needed and worse yet, not erotic) and torture scenes, and ultimately a rushed ending.

    There are so many interesting sociological themes woven into this book that an English teacher could have a real field day with it. Characters are likable, settings are wonderfully vivid, but the plot gets far more convoluted than necessary. In spite of some flaws, overall, I found the book immensely entertaining, terribly imaginative, and far more literary than many sci-fi novels.

    The narrator is superb - lovely voice with excellent character voices. One of the few narrators I have heard that could do a child's voice without making me gag. I wish Audible provided a separate rating category for "audio production" because I have to rate down the performance because the audio has flaws that just shouldn't be there. Jennifer Wiltsie is most definitely a FIVE STAR narrator, but there are several places in the recordings where the sound blurs and the cut at the end of part 1 is terrible. Hence my 4 stars on the performance.

    I would recommend The Diamond Age with some caveats - this is definitely an adult novel and you have to be a reader willing to push on through some confusion to enjoy this.

  • Shift Omnibus Edition: Shift 1-3, Silo Saga

    "Your ears are in for a real treat"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was disappointed that Wool Omnibus was not read by a narrator who was as good as the material so I found it a real pleasure to listen to Shift Omnibus, an even better book IMO, read by the wonderful narrator of one of my favorite series, Riyria Revelations, Tim Gerard Reynolds. This is what audio books are all about for me; take a great book, paired with an appropriate great voice and then revel in the synergy of listening to a good story made even better in the telling.

    If you liked Wool, you will almost undoubtedly enjoy Shift because it answers so many questions presented in Wool. Personally, I liked Wool a lot, but I really loved Shift. It is hard to decide how much of that is Howey's writing which has gotten ever more fluid as the story evolves and how much is the great narration by Reynolds. Probably some of both. Howey writes in a style that is very good for audio because he uses a lot of descriptive language; the man can truly paint a vivid picture. EX: Howey describing a character trying to shake off the effects of cold sleep; "Thoughts and memories reluctantly assembled like exhausted soldiers roused from their bunks in the middle of the night and told to form ranks in the freezing rain." And, Reynolds is one of those narrators whose voice pulls you in until you are not really conscious of the narrator at all so the story just flows and you get pictures in your mind almost like a movie.

    Although Shift is labeled a sequel to Wool, it is actually almost entirely a prequel (the time periods of the two books start to overlap toward the end of Shift) and provides much of the explanation for the evolution of the "Wooliverse". It would be a crime to give much of the plot away because Shift is just chock full of those "AHA moments" when you suddenly understand something that didn't make sense or was confusing in Wool. I love being witness to real craftsmanship from an author and I could feel it all the way through Shift - Howey mapping out how this crazy society that I saw in Wool could ever have happened - AND making me believe it!

    Great characters, suspenseful plot, wildly vivid settings, and a first-rate narrator - what is not to love about this? Can't wait for Dust (the next, last?, in the Wool series) scheduled to be released in August. Fingers crossed that the audio version is released at the same time with this same narrator!

  • Dust: Silo Saga, Book 3

    "Meanders, then races to a satisfying conclusion"

    Overall
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    Story

    I'd guess most folks who read Wool and Shift are going to want to read Dust whether or not it's great so I don't think it needs a big review. Short and sweet - Dust isn't as well written as Shift, but it did provide a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. My recommendation is a definite, "Go For It"; you'll get your Audible credit's worth with this one.

    A little longer and less sweet, I was somewhat disappointed in Dust partly because Shift was so good. Shift was a big step up from Wool in pacing, plotting, and great prose so I had expectations that Howey would continue that trend in Dust and the book would be at least as good as Shift or maybe better. Dust is better written than Wool, but it doesn't have the sustained narrative tension of Shift.

    Shift ends with Juliette threatening Silo 1 so I expected Dust to begin fast and furious with that conflict. Instead, Dust begins with Juliette totally focused on rescuing the Silo 17 survivors to the point of dereliction of her mayoral duties. Her people have lost faith in her (no real explanation for that) so much of the book is treading familiar ground; a visionary who doesn't communicate well trying to lead a bunch of stampeding sheep type people. In addition, we get some updates and further development of Solo and the Silo17 children, but I found much of that more irritating than interesting. The dialogue for those characters makes them sound naive and gullible, but I think they would be tougher and more "silo-smart" for having made it on their own for so long. There are also several sections given over to Elise's (the 7 year old Silo 17 survivor) pursuit of a puppy and a weird religious cult and their rituals. Both of these subplots really lead nowhere and slow the overall plot progression. (And, really, neither the girl nor any adults around her can figure out that they need to put a leash on that dog?)

    On the other hand, I loved the Silo 1 sections of the book and the further character development of Charlotte (Donald's sister) was great. After some stumbling about a bit through the first half of the book, the second half is tighter and more interesting and when the final resolution comes, it's over almost too fast. I had the sense that given more time and editing, Howey could have made this conclusion really great. As it is, there are some dangling plot points and Dust doesn't have the grace of Shift, but it is still a very good read and it definitely provides a satisfying end to the trilogy. It also leaves the door WIDE open for sequels...

    Audible listeners have the added benefit of narration by Tim Gerard Reynolds. The more I hear this guy, the more I like him. His voice keeps me plugged in even when a book gets a little slow. Overall, I recommend the whole Silo Saga Trilogy and I think Hugh Howey has great potential to keep us entertained for many years.

  • The Land Across

    "Give the man a (dead) hand"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In The Land Across, our hero, a travel writer named Grafton, is determined to become the first to publish a travel guide for an unnamed Eastern European country he refers to as "the land across the mountains". He takes a train across the border and is immediately arrested. His passport is confiscated and he is delivered to and becomes the prisoner of a suburban homeowner. We then follow Grafton as he first attempts to regain his passport and secondarily tries to understand the mores and culture of the country for his book, but Grafton quickly becomes embroiled in mysteries and dramas far beyond his expectations. The American travel writer stumbles across a lost treasure mystery, becomes dangerously entangled in a black cult and the JAKA (the country's secret police) efforts to stop them, as well as becoming the recipient of an animated dead hand all the while dealing with the amorous attentions of virtually every woman he meets including a ghost girl!

    The book begins in a quasi-travelogue style, but moves into more of a first person mystery tale fairly early in the narrative. There's a little bit of a lot of paranormal thrown in - allusions to Vlad the Impaler, voodoo, ghosts, angels, demons, second sight, etc. - although the paranormal side of the story never quite finds a real focus. There is a fairly good use of foreshadowing, some great settings that enhance the creepy feeling of foreboding, several clever plot twists, and some very fun characters that keep this story fast-moving and very entertaining. This is one of those books where you can see some big plots holes in the rear view mirror, that aren't too troublesome during the story. (I had the same feeling about Lexicon and 14 - too much fun during the story to worry about plot holes until AFTER I finished the book.)

    I wouldn't normally really like this protagonist because EVERY woman he encounters is so enamored of him which I usually find tiresome, but Grafton has some good qualities and Gene Wolfe's characterization of this "every-man" controlled by powers he doesn't understand and Jeff Woodman's great narration combine to make Grafton rather likable in spite of himself. Some of Wolfe's female characters are a little thin, but he does have a pretty great female JAKA agent that I really liked and Woodman does a terrific job with voices including the women.

    More of a mystery with paranormal facets than a true fantasy, The Land Across is fun and entertaining. Most of the book can be followed easily without using all of your attention, but the last two hours require more focus as all the loose ends are tied together.

Jim "The Impatient"

Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 11-22-12 Member Since 2010

I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath

HELPFUL VOTES
863
ratings
REVIEWS
525
500
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
109
26
  • "Do I hear Can't?"

    9 of 9 helpful votes

    So many books are written about aliens visiting us, but Cherryh turns the tables and writes about a human who is the alien or is he? This about Thorn who is raised in seclusion. He thinks he is some sort of mutant, but is he? He is taught to be a warrior. His teacher is furred, has long pointy ears with dog like hearing, and talons or claws for weapons. It is a paranoid world where you can not trust anyone, not even your teacher.

    Back in the 80's you could not walk into a used or new bookstore without finding several CC books on the shelves. The first book I read of hers was Rimrunner, which I liked, so I bought several more. I am a slow reader and in those days I only read about 10 to 15 books a year, but I loved buying books, so my shelves are full of CC books. The next three books of CC I did not like so well, so I quit reading her. Thanks to Audible I have been able to catch up on authors who are not exactly my favorites. I am glad I did, as this is a very good book.

    I got a little lost in some of the alien politics, but the rest was good to excellent. The relationship between Thorn and his teacher was good, but could have been better, this is where I have have a problem with CC, in that I have trouble getting strong feelings for her characters. The Alien world is perfect and I had no problem picturing what it looked like to live there. It is a little slow in places and the constant not knowing where Thorn came from became irritating. At the end when you do find out, it is an excellent explanation, which showed lots of creativity on CC's part and good science. If you get bored, then put on fast play and then slow back down for chapter 12 and the final chapter 15.

    I am now looking forward to listening to some more CC books and maybe listening again to some I did not get into years ago.

    More

    Cuckoo's Egg

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By C. J. Cherryh
    • Narrated By Peter Ganim
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (76)

    They named him Thorn. They told him he was of their people, although he was so different. He was ugly in their eyes, strange, sleek-skinned instead of furred, clawless, different. Yet he was of their power class: judge-warriors, the elite, the fighters, the defenders. Thorn knew that his difference was somehow very important - but not important enough to prevent murderous conspiracies against him, against his protector, against his caste, and perhaps against the peace of the world. But when Thorn finally learned what his true role in life was to be, that the future of two worlds might hinge on him, then he had to stand alone to justify his very existence

    Jim "The Impatient" says: "Do I hear Can't?"
  • 4.8 (13 ratings)
    As the World Dies: Untold Tales, Volume 3 (






UNABRIDGED) by Rhiannon Frater Narrated by Kathy Bell Denton

    As the World Dies: Untold Tales, Volume 3

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Rhiannon Frater
    • Narrated By Kathy Bell Denton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    In the third volume of the As the World Dies Untold Tales experience three terrifying tales of those who are forced to face the unrelenting and hungry walking dead. Returning to Texas after celebrating his divorce in Vegas, Rune, a biker cursed with the ability to see ghosts, discovers that the world is being taken over by the hungry undead. Soon he realizes he will have to depend on all his abilities to survive not only the ravenous zombies, but the dangerous men lurking on the back roads of Texas.

    Shea says: "Awesome"
  • 5.0 (11 ratings)
    Time Storm Shockwave (






UNABRIDGED) by Juliann Farnsworth Narrated by Alexander Edward Trefethen

    Time Storm Shockwave

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Juliann Farnsworth
    • Narrated By Alexander Edward Trefethen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    As the characters seek to unlock the secrets and mysteries under the sea in the Bermuda Triangle (aka Devil's Triangle), while being pursued by an unknown enemy, the world will be pummeled with unrelenting disasters, which will come from space and from deep within the core of the Earth. The dangers are real and even now, scientists are predicting their unprecedented consequences, some of which have already begun to happen.

    Joseph Houghton says: "Cool and unexpected twists--Loved it!"
  • 4.7 (10424 ratings)
    Ready Player One (






UNABRIDGED) by Ernest Cline Narrated by Wil Wheaton

    Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10424)
    Performance
    (9709)
    Story
    (9709)

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Travis says: "ADD TO CART, POWER UP +10000"
  • 4.5 (17675 ratings)
    11-22-63: A Novel (






UNABRIDGED) by Stephen King Narrated by Craig Wasson

    11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (17675)
    Performance
    (15715)
    Story
    (15668)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
  •  
  • 4.6 (22048 ratings)
    Ender's Game: Special 20th Anniversary Edition (






UNABRIDGED) by Orson Scott Card Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison, Gabrielle de Cuir

    Ender's Game: Special 20th Anniversary Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison, Gabrielle de Cuir
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22048)
    Performance
    (13473)
    Story
    (13613)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: It’s easy to say that when it comes to sci-fi you either love it or you hate it. But with Ender’s Game, it seems to be you either love it or you love it.... The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Enter Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, the result of decades of genetic experimentation.

    Kapila says: "6 titles in the series so far"
  • 4.3 (8023 ratings)
    Speaker for the Dead (






UNABRIDGED) by Orson Scott Card Narrated by David Birney, Stefan Rudnicki

    Speaker for the Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By David Birney, Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8023)
    Performance
    (4503)
    Story
    (4554)

    In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: the Speaker for the Dead, who told the true story of the Bugger War. Now, long years later, a second alien race has been discovered by Portuguese colonists on the planet Lusitania. But again the aliens' ways are strange and frightening...again, humans die. And it is only the Speaker for the Dead, who is also Ender Wiggin the Xenocide, who has the courage to confront the mystery...and the truth.

    Joe says: "The Enderverse"
  • 4.6 (7017 ratings)
    The Martian (






UNABRIDGED) by Andy Weir Narrated by R. C. Bray

    The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7017)
    Performance
    (6676)
    Story
    (6688)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
  • Lock In (






UNABRIDGED) by John Scalzi Narrated by Wil Wheaton

    Lock In

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (32)

    Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever, and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

    Tango says: "Superb Earthbound Sci-Fi"
  • The Road (






UNABRIDGED) by Cormac McCarthy Narrated by Tom Stechschulte

    The Road

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Cormac McCarthy
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5694)
    Performance
    (2312)
    Story
    (2342)

    America is a barren landscape of smoldering ashes, devoid of life except for those people still struggling to scratch out some type of existence. Amidst this destruction, a father and his young son walk, always toward the coast, but with no real understanding that circumstances will improve once they arrive. Still, they persevere, and their relationship comes to represent goodness in a world of utter devastation.

    Darwin8u says: "My wife says he's that Cold Desert Writer I love."
  • Lock In (






UNABRIDGED) by John Scalzi Narrated by Amber Benson

    Lock In

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Amber Benson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever, and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

    Amazon Customer says: "A sense of body disassociation"
  • The Android's Dream (






UNABRIDGED) by John Scalzi Narrated by Wil Wheaton

    The Android's Dream

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2582)
    Performance
    (2255)
    Story
    (2256)

    A human diplomat creates an interstellar incident when he kills an alien diplomat in a most unusual way. To avoid war, Earth's government must find an equally unusual object: A type of sheep ("The Android's Dream"), used in the alien race's coronation ceremony. To find the sheep, the government turns to Harry Creek, ex-cop, war hero and hacker extraordinaire.

    James says: "Philip K Dick meets Douglas Adams"
  •  
  • Hyperion (






UNABRIDGED) by Dan Simmons Narrated by Marc Vietor, Allyson Johnson, Kevin Pariseau, Jay Snyder, Victor Bevine

    Hyperion

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Dan Simmons
    • Narrated By Marc Vietor, Allyson Johnson, Kevin Pariseau, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3825)
    Performance
    (2354)
    Story
    (2381)

    On the world called Hyperion, beyond the law of the Hegemony of Man, there waits the creature called the Shrike. There are those who worship it. There are those who fear it. And there are those who have vowed to destroy it. In the Valley of the Time Tombs, where huge, brooding structures move backward through time, the Shrike waits for them all.

    aaron says: "A LESSON in How to Write Smart, Dark, ADULT SciFi"
  • Brilliance (






UNABRIDGED) by Marcus Sakey Narrated by Luke Daniels

    Brilliance

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Marcus Sakey
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1313)
    Performance
    (1165)
    Story
    (1167)

    In Wyoming, a little girl reads people’s darkest secrets. In New York, a man sensing patterns in the stock market racks up $300 billion. In Chicago, a woman can go invisible. They’re called "brilliants," and since 1980, one percent of people have been born this way. Nick Cooper is among them; a federal agent, Cooper has gifts rendering him exceptional at hunting terrorists. His latest target may be the most dangerous man alive, a brilliant drenched in blood and intent on provoking civil war. But to catch him, Cooper will have to violate everything he believes in.

    Benjamin says: "Predictable Thriller"
  • The Martian (






UNABRIDGED) by Andy Weir Narrated by R. C. Bray

    The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7017)
    Performance
    (6676)
    Story
    (6688)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
  • Calculating God (






UNABRIDGED) by Robert J. Sawyer Narrated by Jonathan Davis, Robert J. Sawyer

    Calculating God

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Robert J. Sawyer
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Robert J. Sawyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1885)
    Performance
    (1285)
    Story
    (1297)

    In this Hugo-nominated novel, an alien walks into a museum and asks if he can see a paleontologist. But the arachnid ET hasn't come aboard a rowboat with the Pope and Stephen Hawking (although His Holiness does request an audience later). Landing at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, the spacefarer, Hollus, asks to compare notes on mass extinctions with resident dino-scientist Thomas Jericho.

    Ione says: "Interesting book, very enjoyable narration"
  •  
  • All Our Yesterdays (






UNABRIDGED) by Cristin Terrill Narrated by Meredith Mitchell

    All Our Yesterdays

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Cristin Terrill
    • Narrated By Meredith Mitchell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (159)
    Performance
    (146)
    Story
    (146)

    "You have to kill him." Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain. Only Em can complete the final instruction. She's tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present - imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called "the doctor" while war rages outside.

    Lauren says: "Great adventure - couldn't put it down!"
  • The Junkie Quatrain (






UNABRIDGED) by Peter Clines Narrated by Christian Rummel, Therese Plummer

    The Junkie Quatrain

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel, Therese Plummer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (837)
    Performance
    (767)
    Story
    (779)

    Six months ago, the world ended. The Baugh Contagion swept across the planet. Its victims were left twitching, adrenalized cannibals that quickly became know as Junkies. Civilization crumbled as people created isolated safe havens to hide from the infected... and the possibly infected. Now, as society nears a tipping point, lives will intersect and intertwine across two days in a desolate city.

    Tango says: "An awesome set of vignettes"
  • Foreigner: Foreigner Sequence 1, Book 1 (






UNABRIDGED) by C. J. Cherryh Narrated by Daniel Thomas May

    Foreigner: Foreigner Sequence 1, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By C. J. Cherryh
    • Narrated By Daniel Thomas May
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (378)
    Performance
    (342)
    Story
    (350)

    The first book in C.J.Cherryh's eponymous series, Foreigner begins an epic tale of the survivors of a lost spacecraft who crash-land on a planet inhabited by a hostile, sentient alien race. From its beginnings as a human-alien story of first contact, the Foreigner series has become a true science fiction odyssey, following a civilization from the age of steam through early space flight to confrontations with other alien species in distant sectors of space. It is the masterwork of a truly remarkable author.

    Tango says: "A Sci-Fi Neville Chamberlain"
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (






UNABRIDGED) by Douglas Adams Narrated by Stephen Fry

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Douglas Adams
    • Narrated By Stephen Fry
    Overall
    (5565)
    Performance
    (3172)
    Story
    (3195)

    Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last 15 years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

    John says: "HHTGH - Lightly Fried"
  • Z-End: Z-Boat, Book 3 (






UNABRIDGED) by Suzanne Robb Narrated by Kevin Stillwell

    Z-End: Z-Boat, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Suzanne Robb
    • Narrated By Kevin Stillwell
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Ally Lane survived the sinking of the Betty Loo, escaped imprisonment, and averted an all-out war between the nations that would have destroyed the world. Now she is faced with her greatest challenge: She must cross the country, avoiding hordes of the undead and groups of people willing to do anything to survive. While she travels with a ragtag group of survivors and new additions, the reality of their situation hits home.

  • My First Planet: Series 2: The BBC Radio 4 Sci-Fi Sitcom  by Phil Whelans Narrated by Nicholas Lyndhurst, Vicki Pepperdine, Full Cast

    My First Planet: Series 2: The BBC Radio 4 Sci-Fi Sitcom

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Phil Whelans
    • Narrated By Nicholas Lyndhurst, Vicki Pepperdine, Full Cast
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Nicholas Lyndhurst and Vicki Pepperdine lead the cast of the BBC Radio 4 sci-fi sitcom set on a shiny new planet, as it returns for a second series. With the leader of the interplanetary colony expedition dead, his Number 2 - Brian - is now in charge. He's a nice enough chap, but his desire to sort things out with a nice friendly meeting infuriates the colony's Chief Physician Lillian, who'd rather everyone was walking round in tight colour-coded tunics saluting each other.

  • Slow Burn: Dead Fire: Slow Burn, Book 4 (






UNABRIDGED) by Bobby Adair Narrated by Jason Damron

    Slow Burn: Dead Fire: Slow Burn, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Bobby Adair
    • Narrated By Jason Damron
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Dead Fire picks up following an infected attack on Sarah Mansfield's fortified house, during which three people seek shelter with Zed Zane and his fellow survivors. In the confusion, however, Murphy is gunned down, and an unthinking, emotional Zed strikes out to enact revenge. Unfortunately, the shooting and commotion have only attracted more Whites. A diversion plan emerges to rid the horde of the Smart One trying to figure a way through the gates, and lead the other infected away from the compound.

  • Ranks of Bronze: Ranks of Bronze, Book 1 (






UNABRIDGED) by David Drake Narrated by Mark Boyett

    Ranks of Bronze: Ranks of Bronze, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By David Drake
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    They were Roman soldiers - and they were still alive because there were no better killers in the galaxy. The Galactics need fighters who could win battles without the aid of technology. That's why, when Rome's legions suffered disaster at Carrhae, secretive alien traders were waiting to buy them on the Persian slave market. Now, virtually immortal, the Romans fight strange enemies on stranger worlds; and though they win every battle, the spoils of victory never include freedom.

  •  
  • WebMage: Ravirn, Book 1 (






UNABRIDGED) by Kelly McCullough Narrated by Vikas Adam

    WebMage: Ravirn, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Kelly McCullough
    • Narrated By Vikas Adam
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Ravirn is not your average computer geek. A child of the Fates - literally - he’s a hacker extraordinaire who can zero in on the fatal flaw in any program. Now that 21st-century magic has gone digital that makes him a very talented sorcerer. But a world of problems is about to be downloaded on Ravirn - who’s just trying to pass his college midterms. Great Aunt Atropos, one of the three Fates, decides that humans having free will is really overrated and plans to rid herself of the annoyance....

  • Lady Hellgate (






UNABRIDGED) by Greg Dragon Narrated by Anisha Dadia

    Lady Hellgate

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Greg Dragon
    • Narrated By Anisha Dadia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    When Helga Ate joined the Alliance Military, it was just an excuse to get away from the tragedy of her dead parents. She didn't aspire to become the greatest night hawk pilot in the galaxy, or the harbinger of hope for humanity. After she and a group of men are sent to defend a settlement of refugees on a distant moon, she discovers a terrible secret that leads to her questioning the very military that she swore her life to. From this confusion and anger comes a career that is nothing short of legendary.

  • Lock In (






UNABRIDGED) by John Scalzi Narrated by Wil Wheaton

    Lock In

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (32)

    Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever, and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

    Tango says: "Superb Earthbound Sci-Fi"
  • The Complete Short Stories (






UNABRIDGED) by J. G. Ballard Narrated by Ric Jerrrom, William Gaminara, Sean Barrett, William Hope, Jeff Harding

    The Complete Short Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (63 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By J. G. Ballard
    • Narrated By Ric Jerrrom, William Gaminara, Sean Barrett, and others
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A collection of 98 enthralling and pulse-quickening stories, spanning five decades, venerates the remarkable imagination of J. G. Ballard. With a body of work unparalleled in twentieth-century literature, J. G. Ballard is recognized as one of the greatest and most prophetic writers in the world. With the much-hailed release of The Complete Stories of J. G. Ballard, readers now have a means to celebrate the unmatched range and mesmerizing cadences of a literary genius.