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Sci-Fi: Contemporary

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David

David Member Since 2010

Indiscriminate Reader

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  • "Lit-fic + time travel? Sure!"

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    I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this book that I decided to listen to a whim. A mix of time travel and modern-day politics? Okay, let's see how the author handles it. To my surprise, he handled it very well indeed. Usually anyone who decides they're going to take on 9/11, gentrification, racial issues, and historical revisionism has an axe to grind, but Mullen's axe is hard to figure out. What politics there are in the novel are not overt, which means you can sit back and enjoy the story, and it's a very good story.

    Basically, there is an agent "Z" from a future society whose job is to prevent a group of would-be revisionists from Z's time from changing the past and thus destroying the society of the future. Initially Z is presented to us as a good guy defending an advanced, peaceful society from possibly devastating historical changes. As the story goes on, however, we learn that Z's society isn't as wonderful as we've been led to believe -- indeed, as Z has been led to believe. Increasingly, he questions his mission and the truth behind it, and through flashbacks we learn just how dark the future really is.

    Paralleling Z's story is that of a former CIA agent in our own time who, like Z, increasingly found the ideals he was supposedly working for in conflict with the work he was actually doing. There is also a young Washington, D.C. lawyer searching for the truth about her younger brother who died in Iraq, and a domestic worker trapped in Washington by her abusive employer who has diplomatic immunity.

    Weaving all these different threads together would be complicated enough in a plain old thriller, but as it is a science fiction novel as well, I feared it would either be a mess or something resolved with some kind of deux ex machina. In fact, everything ties together quite well, and the overall tone of the novel does not even feel that much like a science fiction novel, more like a literary thriller. This would be a good book to hand someone who likes mysteries and thrillers but not science fiction particularly. The time travel elements are so unobtrusive you don't even find yourself worrying about the sorts of things you usually do in time travel stories like the Grandfather Paradox, etc.

    There is some philosophizing by all the characters, each of whom is basically a good person who sometimes acts out of self-interest and has to weigh how much guilt and responsibility they can bear. Overall, a good and somewhat intellectual read with a fast-paced story. This one really surprised me. Recommended for a change of pace for anyone who likes science fiction, and worth trying even by those who don't.

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    The Revisionists

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Thomas Mullen
    • Narrated By Robert Fass
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (66)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (58)

    Zed is an agent from the future. A time when the world's problems have been solved. No hunger. No war. No despair. His mission is to keep it that way. Even if it means ensuring every cataclysm throughout history runs its course-especially The Great Conflagration, an imminent disaster in our own time that Zed has been ordered to protect at all costs.

    David says: "Lit-fic + time travel? Sure!"
  • "Big Idea SF, family drama story"

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    This is a fine mix of Big Idea SF with human drama on a much smaller scale. The Big Idea is a conqueror from the future named "Kuin" who is somehow able to send massive monuments to his victories back in time, where they stand invulnerable and ominous over the lands he is destined to conquer. The first ones are in Thailand, but over the next few years they appear all over Asia. Some materialize in relatively unpopulated areas, but some appear in the middle of cities, flattening them with shockwaves. Scientists determine (using hand-wavey physics) that these "chronoliths" are indeed from the future, which means Kuin really is going to conquer all of Asia in about twenty years. This sets off global turmoil. Some prepare to fight; others begin urging accommodation or outright capitulation. By the time Kuin's chronoliths are appearing outside of Asia, there are entire "Kuinist" militias and organizations, and of course innumerable warlords in the now-devastated Asian warring states claiming to be Kuin.

    This is the backdrop of the story, which is really about Scott Warden and his family. Scott is a kind of mediocre husband and father slacking off in Thailand when the first chronolith appears there. Being one of the first witnesses to the first appearance of the chronoliths inescapably binds him to the events that follow over the next few decades. As he is told by Sulasmith Chopra, the scientist who studies the chronoliths and believes that Kuin can be stopped, "there are no coincidences." Scott goes through a divorce, his ex-wife marries a Kuin accommodationist, his daughter, as a teenager, hooks up with a young Kuinist ideologue who turns out to be a psychopath, which brings Scott together with the psychopath's mother. His drug-dealing friend from his time in Thailand reappears, as do all the other characters we meet over the course of the book.

    It's Scott's interactions with his family and friends that are the heart and soul of this book. The characters are not all vivid or interesting, but they are distinct and they each have a purpose in the story, and Scott narrates a compelling story as he weathers a long, brutal economic downturn that turns even the U.S. into an impoverished country, works for Sulasmith Chopra trying to understand who Kuin is and what the chronoliths represent, travels to Mexico to save his daughter from Kuinists who have gone on a "haj" to see the manifestation of the first chronolith in North America, and finally, goes to meet his destiny in a climactic confrontation in Wyoming.

    "Kuin" is basically a MacGuffin; ultimately, it doesn't really matter who he is or if he even exists. It's what he represents that drives all the world events. With the rules of time travel Wilson establishes in this book, cause and effect are looped together, so we are finally able to understand why all the small human dramas Scott was involved in add up to something of greater significance at the end. Wilson's take on time travel is intelligent and subtle, and by keeping Kuin a mysterious off-screen presence whose very existence remains in doubt, he makes the whole thing plausible without having to deal with paradoxes, parallel universes, and the like. Wilson has thought through all the implications, and if the end of the story seems like a bit of an anti-climax, it's also one that makes perfect sense.

    Wilson's writing is straightforward but occasionally he waxes almost poetic. He's one of those writers who likes to show off his vocabulary, yet even the tech and time travel physics infodumps were brief and clear.

    Although this wasn't the most wonderful book in recent memory or a true masterpiece, it's definitely a hidden gem of high quality, and I came very close to giving it 5 stars. Given the eloquent but clear writing, it's a science fiction novel that a non-sci-fi fan might well enjoy, since the time travel and near-future history is only background for the characters and the plot which drive the story. I give it 4.5 stars; it's very good, I just didn't quite find it unique or mindblowing or the characters memorable enough to make it awesome.

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    The Chronoliths

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Robert Charles Wilson
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (204)
    Performance
    (132)
    Story
    (132)

    Scott Warden is a man haunted by the past-and soon to be haunted by the future. In early 21st-century Thailand, Scott is an expatriate slacker. Then, one day, he inadvertently witnesses an impossible event: the violent appearance of a 200-foot stone pillar in the forested interior. Its arrival collapses trees for a quarter mile around its base, freezing ice out of the air and emitting a burst of ionizing radiation. It appears to be composed of an exotic form of matter.

    M. Stephenson says: "A haunting, beautiful work..."
  • "A fine Part II of the Hyperion Cantos"

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    Although it takes place centuries after The Fall of Hyperion, Endymion seems to pick up right after the end of the last book. This is the third book in Dan Simmons's "Hyperion Cantos." Since it's the first book of a second duology, you could start reading with this book, since the entire universe is pretty much introduced anew, but there are so many references to events that took place in the first two books, now history in this one, that you will probably feel like you're missing a lot.

    At the end of The Fall of Hyperion, the Hegemony of Man was falling, due to the attack of the Ousters who weren't really Ousters but constructs of the TechnoCore. As Endymion begins, the Hegemony is history, and now human space is ruled by the Pax; a resurgent Holy Roman Catholic Church empowered by the cruciform parasites we encountered in Hyperion, which allow anyone to recover from any injury and be resurrected from nearly any fatality. The Pax has figured out how to control them so that people who receive the cruciform are not turned into mindless idiots, which means that the Church now literally offers eternal life.

    The child of Brawne Lamia and the cybrid Johnny Keats emerges from the Time Tombs, and the Pax views her as a threat to all of mankind, for reasons that are not clear until the end. So they send Father-Captain de Soya to "fetch" her. Meanwhile, that irascible dirty old man Martin Silenus is still kicking around, and he recruits Raul Endymion, a native of the planet Hyperion who fell into a little trouble with the Pax, to go save her. As he tell Raul, he doesn't just want Raul to save his god-daughter from the Pax. He also wants Raul to destroy the Pax, find out what the superhuman artificial intelligences known as the TechnoCore have been up to these past few centuries, oh, and take down that enigmatic, unstoppable alien killing machine known as the Shrike. No problem.

    Endymion alternates between the POV of Raul Endymion and Father-Captain de Soya, adversaries but both of them ultimately good guys if not always serving good ends. There's plenty of interplanetary space opera drama and action, but for me it didn't really get good until the final few chapters when conspiracies begin to be unveiled, and of course, we finally got the kick-ass battle with the Shrike we've been waiting for.

    Like Hyperion, Endymion ends very much on a "To be continued" note. Either of the two duologies can be read independently, but definitely read the first book of each first (and if you like it you will certainly have to read the second).

    I recommend reading the first two books first because frankly, they are better. Endymion isn't bad, but it's a solid 3.5 stars - great epic space opera if you like epic space operas, but whereas Simmons dropped a whole lot of finely-crafted worldbuilding with star-spanning conspiracies and multiple existential alien threats in Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion, in this third book, there's not so much new as building on what he introduced before. If you are a dedicated consumer of space opera, this is above average for the genre, but falls short of greatness, and really I think the series could have ended with Fall of Hyperion. But I will go on to read the fourth and final volume.

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    Endymion

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Dan Simmons
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1224)
    Performance
    (649)
    Story
    (657)

    Here, Simmons returns to this richly imagined world of technological achievement, excitement, wonder and fear. Endymion is a story about love and memory, triumph and terror - an instant candidate for the field's highest honors.

    David says: "A fine Part II of the Hyperion Cantos"
  1. The Revisionists
  2. The Chronoliths
  3. Endymion
  4. .

A Peek at ShySusan's Bookshelf

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69 REVIEWS / 220 ratings Member Since 2006 248 Followers / Following 10
 
ShySusan's greatest hits:
  • Reamde

    "Not perfect, but worth a listen."

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    I have read and liked several of Stephenson's books. A lot. On the other hand, I've started several of his books and couldn't get through them. I read some of the reviews on Amazon, and many of them were only giving this book 3 stars--apparently because this book wasn't similar enough to his other books. I guess I would agree to some extent. In many ways this was a simpler book than, say, The Diamond Age or Snow Crash. So if you can't be happy with a Neal Stephenson book that isn't a towering edifice of imagination, maybe you will be disappointed. I suspect, however, that if you like Clancy's or Ludlum's books, this will be exactly your cup of tea. This is a pretty straightforward, although llloooonnnngggg, thriller.

    In his description of the online game in this story, I kept wishing it was real so I could immediately start playing it, even though I'm not generally into bang-bang-shoot-'em-up games.

    There were many characters that I liked a lot and was cheering for. I am NOT, as it happens, a big Clancy or Ludlum fan (generally) because I can't seem to care very much about their characters. I DID care about these people.

    I don't think this was a perfect book, and I don't think this is Stephenson's best book. But I do think it is a good book and worth a listen.

    Oh, and about the narrator: I think he did a really good job. There were numerous characters from many different countries, and he handled the accents very well.

  • 1632: Ring of Fire, Book 1

    "A great book done well"

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    This is the first book in a series created by Eric Flint. I have read and reread the first three books in the series many times and have checked Audible from time to time to see if they were available. I am very pleased that 1632 is now available and sincerely hope that the other books in the series will be following on.

    This is an alternate history/time travel book. Basically, a chunk of Earth about 6 miles in diameter is lifted out of West Virginia in our time and is transferred intact to Germany 400 years ago. There is a small town on this chunk of land, and the book deals with the trials and troubles of that small band of Americans dealing with life during the 30 Years War.

    One of the problems they have to face is how to recreate the society they came from without being able to jump on the Internet to order replacement parts when things break. Another problem is how to get along with their Medieval neighbors who have different ideas about religion, caste, etc. And they are having to solve these problems in the middle of one of the more vicious wars that ever tore Europe apart.

    The author clearly did plenty of research on the way of life at that time, including the various political elements that were in play, the big political names of the day, and methods of warfare. I hope this doesn't sound dry, because this book is anything but dry. There is lots of action from the very beginning. The problems these people face are fierce, and they plow into them with enthusiasm and intelligence. They also kick a lot of butt along the way!!

    The book is narrated by George Guidall, and he does his usual excellent job.

    I highly recommend this book.

  • Midst Toil and Tribulation: Safehold Series, Book 6

    "I'm losing hope."

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    Story

    I see that nearly every reviewer has complained about the narrator. I too have complaints about him. It’s bad enough that he didn’t familiarize himself with the pronunciations of names and places in the previous books. But he also mispronounced English words. The most jarring one for me was “demesne”, which is used several times. He pronounced it dih-mez-nay. The correct pronunciation, which anyone can hear for free from Dictionary dot com, is dih-meyn.

    However, I don’t care to put all the blame on poor Kevin Collins. He should have had a team to help him. I put more blame on David Weber and Macmillan Audio. I recently read a blog post by Lois McMaster Bujold in which she mentioned that she had just gotten off the phone with Grover Gardner who narrates her Vorkosigan series books. They talk before each new book so that he knows how she wants things pronounced. Why didn’t Weber/Macmillan do that? It seems like it would be so simple and easy. The fact that they don’t bother to do it, and don’t bother to create some continuity in narrators, seems to indicate that they don’t care about us, the listeners.

    I have another gripe that seems to stem from the same disregard for those of us who purchase our books in either the Kindle or the Audible form: MAPS. In the front of each hard cover copy of the book, there are maps. If you can’t follow the action of the story on a map, much is lost in these books. Events are occurring in many places that are far apart from one another. That is why the maps are there for hard copy readers. But WE are left out in the cold. I have seen, on the main page for some Audible books, a notice telling the listener a web address they can access in order to see tables or photos that are in the print book. It seems like it would be so simple for Macmillan or Weber to post the maps for this book online, but they didn’t bother.

    It makes me angry and sad.

    Now to the story itself: I don’t know. I felt sort of depressed, angry, repulsed throughout the book. Some of it was because of the map thing and the narrator thing. But some of it was from all the torture and hatred. At least Weber didn’t go into the details of the torture in this book like he did in the last one, but it gets mentioned on practically every third page. All that hate just didn’t make for a fun read.

    And some of it was a sense of hopelessness that this story will ever go anywhere and accomplish anything. As I finished the first book, I naively expected the second book in the series to take place some hundreds of years in the future after the changes Merlin had set into motion had time to mature and change the society. But no, each book seems to give us the events of a single year, and still it seems that it will take hundreds of years for the necessary changes to take place. I won’t be around for hundreds of books in this series, and neither will Mr. Weber. Will his descendants hire ghost writers to finish the series for him? If so, I won’t be reading them.

    Well, I’ve got to stop. If you have read and liked the previous books in this series, you probably want to read this one too. Just don’t get your hopes up too much.

  • The Crucible of Empire

    "Great character development of the aliens"

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    I really enjoyed this story, and I was sorry to learn that K. D. Wentworth has died, so we probably can't look forward to any more entries in this series. However, I'm grateful for what we did get.

    I think Flint and Wentworth did a very good job of developing the alien species: Their appearance and physical characteristics, their thought processes, their motivations, and how they got that way. I thought their society was very interesting, and I would have loved to see how it developed in the future after their contact with humanity. (Hey! Could someone from the urban fantasy community step over here and bring Wentworth back from the dead to write another sequel?)

    I did get a little irritated by the whole "secrets" thing: we must keep this a secret, now we must lie about the secret, now we must not lie about the secret. However, that was a very trifling quibble about an otherwise excellent first contact story. I recommend it.

Jean

Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 09-19-12 Member Since 2010

I am an avid eclectic reader.

HELPFUL VOTES
2244
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549
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  • "Oh boy, I found a new series"

    7 of 7 helpful votes

    This is my first time read a Elizabeth Moon book. I had never heard of her before I listen to the interview with her and David Weber. After listening to the interview I was interested enought to give her a try. I enjoyed the story of a young girl from a shipping family that was asked to resign from the military academy because she helped an underclassman find a priest outside of the school who then went on media campaign against the school. Her father makes her a cargo ship Captain (she had her master's license) and sent her off in a old ship to make some trades on way to wrecking yard. The story is interesting and their is lots of adventure, suspense and battles. She is attracted to the military life and the story sets up and leaves you with the question will she stay as a cargo captain or join a mercenary company. This is the first book in a series and set up the character and story line for the series. Cynthia Holloway did okay narrating the book. Can not wait to start book two.

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    Trading in Danger: Vatta's War, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Moon
    • Narrated By Cynthia Holloway
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (637)
    Performance
    (327)
    Story
    (333)

    The first of the acclaimed Vatta's War books, the exciting military science fiction series that features a swashbuckling spaceship-captain heroine who mixes commerce with combat.

    L'Aura says: "Highly Recommend"

What's Trending in Sci-Fi: Contemporary:

  • 4.8 (43 ratings)

    Long Live the Queen: Immortal Empires series, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Kate Locke
    • Narrated By Moira Quirk
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (42)

    Xandra Vardan thought life would be simpler when she accepted the goblin crown and became their queen, but life has only become more complicated. Everyone - vampires, werewolves and humans - wants the goblins on their side, because whoever has the goblins - wins.

    Robin says: "Loved it"
  • 4.8 (13 ratings)

    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"
  • 4.5 (16104 ratings)

    11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (16104)
    Performance
    (14258)
    Story
    (14209)

    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 (19979 ratings)

    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
    (19979)
    Performance
    (11576)
    Story
    (11693)

    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"
  •  
  • 4.7 (8906 ratings)

    Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8906)
    Performance
    (8285)
    Story
    (8284)

    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"
  • 4.3 (7180 ratings)

    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
    (7180)
    Performance
    (3735)
    Story
    (3782)

    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"
  • 4.4 (5450 ratings)

    The Stand

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5450)
    Performance
    (4779)
    Story
    (4813)

    This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death. And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides - or are chosen.

    Meaghan says: "My First Completed Stephen King Novel"
  • Skin Game: A Novel of the Dresden Files

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, is about to have a very bad day.… Because as Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it’s something awful. He doesn’t know the half of it… Mab has just traded Harry’s skills to pay off one of her debts. And now he must help a group of supernatural villains - led by one of Harry’s most dreaded and despised enemies, Nicodemus Archleone - to break into the highest-security vault in town, so that they can then access the highest-security vault in the Nevernever.

  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3005)
    Performance
    (2851)
    Story
    (2855)

    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 plainold ""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"
  • The Atlantis Gene: The Origin Mystery, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By A. G. Riddle
    • Narrated By Stephen Bel Davies
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (438)
    Performance
    (404)
    Story
    (401)

    Seventy thousand years ago, the human race almost went extinct. We survived, but no one knows how.

    Until now. The countdown to the next stage of human evolution is about to begin, and humanity might not survive this time. The Immari are good at keeping secrets. For 2,000 years, they've hidden the truth about human evolution. They've also searched for an ancient enemy - a threat that could wipe out the human race. Now the search is over.

    january says: "Pretty bad, but not the worst I've ever read"
  • Regarding Ducks and Universes

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Neve Maslakovic
    • Narrated By Alexander Cendese
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    At 11:46:01, California time, on a foggy Monday in January 1986, the universe - suddenly, inexplicably, without warning - bifurcated. Fast-forward to 35 years later: Felix Sayers is a culinary writer living in San Francisco of Universe A who spends his days lunching at Coconut Café and dreaming of a successful career penning Agatha Christie-style mysteries. But everything changes when his Aunt Henrietta dies, leaving Felix a photograph of his father and himself - dated 10 days before Felix was born. It can only mean one thing: Felix has an "alter" in Universe B.

  •  
  • Indian Hill 4: From The Ashes

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Mark Tufo
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    It has been three years since the Progerians left their mark of devastation upon Earth. The remaining humans are in a desperate race against time as they do their best to reverse engineer the alien technology they captured, in an effort to bolster their beleaguered defenses against the oncoming onslaught of Progerians hell-bent on revenge.

  • Influx

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    Overall
    (1011)
    Performance
    (949)
    Story
    (944)

    Particle physicist Jon Grady is ecstatic when his team achieves what they've been working toward for years: A device that can reflect gravity. Their research will revolutionize the field of physics - the crowning achievement of a career. Grady expects widespread acclaim for his entire team. The Nobel Prize. Instead, his lab is locked down by a shadowy organization whose mission is to prevent at all costs the social upheaval sudden technological advances bring.

    Sterling Okura says: "Entertaining Physics SciFi"
  • 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
    (19979)
    Performance
    (11576)
    Story
    (11693)

    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"
  • The Atlantis Plague: The Origin Mystery, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By A. G. Riddle
    • Narrated By Stephen Bel Davies
    Overall
    (154)
    Performance
    (141)
    Story
    (140)

    In Marbella, Spain, Dr. Kate Warner awakens to a horrifying reality: the human race stands on the brink of extinction. A pandemic unlike any before it has swept the globe. Nearly a billion people are dead--and those the Atlantis Plague doesn't kill, it transforms at the genetic level. A few rapidly evolve. The remainder devolve. As the world slips into chaos, radical solutions emerge. Industrialized nations offer a miracle drug, Orchid, which they mass produce and distribute to refugee camps around the world. But Orchid is merely a way to buy time. It treats the symptoms of the plague but never actually cures the disease.

    John S says: "I'm so confused. This is a mashup"
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  • Afterparty

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Daryl Gregory
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    It begins in Toronto, in the years after the smart drug revolution. Any high school student with a chemjet and internet connection can download recipes and print drugs, or invent them. A seventeen-year-old street girl finds God through a new brain-altering drug called Numinous, used as a sacrament by a new Church that preys on the underclass. But she is arrested and put into detention, and without the drug, commits suicide. Lyda Rose, another patient in that detention facility, has a dark secret: She was one of the original scientists who developed the drug.

  • Calculating God

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Robert J. Sawyer
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Robert J. Sawyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1152)
    Performance
    (611)
    Story
    (620)

    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"
  • The Stand

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5450)
    Performance
    (4779)
    Story
    (4813)

    This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death. And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides - or are chosen.

    Meaghan says: "My First Completed Stephen King Novel"
  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8906)
    Performance
    (8285)
    Story
    (8284)

    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"
  • Under the Eye of God: Trackers, Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By David Gerrold
    • Narrated By Basil Sands
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    David Gerrold’s classic space opera Under the Eye of God tells the story of a group of unlikely rebels on a mission to reclaim the galaxy from ruthless vampire overlords known as the Phaestor. The dark, burnt world of Thoska-Roole, infamous for its harsh climate and equally callous inhabitants, might be the last place in the galaxy anyone would turn for aid in times of crisis. But the small, orange planet is home to the band of rebels who hold the fate of the entire galaxy in their hands.

  • Birth of an Age: The Christ Clone Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By James BeauSeigneur
    • Narrated By Pete Bradbury
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    As the new millennium began, a child named Christopher was cloned from cells harvested from the Shroud of Turin. Now, two decades later, he is an adult. After spending 40 days in the desert, fasting and praying, he understands his mission clearly. His Father has spoken to him. The world is in chaos. As nuclear war ravages the globe, prophets tell of impending asteroid collisions. Widespread devastation is circling the earth. But Christopher knows that in the midst of these horrors, he must help humankind reach its final evolutionary step.

  • Afterparty

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Daryl Gregory
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    It begins in Toronto, in the years after the smart drug revolution. Any high school student with a chemjet and internet connection can download recipes and print drugs, or invent them. A seventeen-year-old street girl finds God through a new brain-altering drug called Numinous, used as a sacrament by a new Church that preys on the underclass. But she is arrested and put into detention, and without the drug, commits suicide. Lyda Rose, another patient in that detention facility, has a dark secret: She was one of the original scientists who developed the drug.

  • The Forever Watch

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By David Ramirez
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    All that is left of humanity is on a thousand-year journey to a new planet aboard one ship, The Noah, which is also carrying a dangerous serial killer.... As a city planner on the Noah, Hana Dempsey is a gifted psychic, economist, hacker, and bureaucrat and is considered "mission critical". She is non-replaceable, important, essential, but after serving her mandatory Breeding Duty, the impregnation and birthing that all women are obligated to undergo, her life loses purpose as she privately mourns the child she will never be permitted to know.

  •  
  • Planet Strike: Extinction Wars, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Vaughn Heppner
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Imagine a ship the size of a planet. It has an atmosphere of methane, but there is no water. Mysterious and dark, it sails through a gateway, leaving a path open to the most implacable enemies that mankind and the aliens of the Milky Way Galaxy have ever face. Genetically tailored, symbiotic body armor protects the human commandos that are to be dropped on the metallic surface. A trooper in his armor, with surgically enhanced, neuro-fiber speed, is the deadliest grunt in the universe.

    rich says: "Creed Is Locked on Vengeance Mode"
  • The Deaths of Tao: Tao, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Wesley Chu
    • Narrated By Michael Naramore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The sequel to The Lives of Tao. The Prophus and the Gengix are at war. For centuries they have sought a way off-planet, guiding humanity's social and technological development to the stage where space travel is possible. The end is now in sight, and both factions have plans to leave the Earth, but the Gengix method will mean the destruction of the human race. That's a price they're willing to pay. It's up to Roen and Tao to save the world. Oh, dear...

  • Bishop's Isle: The Complete Collection

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs)
    • By Luke Shephard
    • Narrated By Alan Pelz-Sharpe
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Life as a lighthouse keeper on a remote Scottish island isn't always the most exciting. Especially since she split with her husband, Mark. Yet, Holly loves her job, her friends, and her life on Bishop's Isle.

  • I'll Cry Alone

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jacqueline Druga
    • Narrated By Bryan L. Anderson
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Ignorance breeds confidence. What you don't know won't hurt you. What you don't fear…will kill you. The unthinkable has happened. We are at war. Across a crippled America struggling to rebuild in the after effects of what has happened, one woman faces a different battle. Separated from her family in the midst of a violent war upon American soil, she returns home to find her husband has died, her mother has been murdered, and her children are gone. Through the chaotic torn country, with limited means of resources and communication, she begins a search.

  •  
  • The Rift

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Robert Stetson
    • Narrated By Dan Bailey
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    The galaxy has evolved into a technocracy resulting in a utopian society. Quantum entanglement disturbs dark matter and aliens come through the rift to annihilate humankind. We create a military regime to battle the aliens. Will the aliens be defeated? Will the military regime surrender their rule when it's over as promised? Will we have to fight to get our government back?