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Sci-Fi: Contemporary

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Ryan

Ryan Somerville, MA, United States Member Since 2005

Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.

HELPFUL VOTES
1317
ratings
REVIEWS
324
259
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
379
14
  • "A complex exploration of hope chall..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    On the face of it, the Sparrow is a novel about humanity's first contact with an alien race, a disastrous expedition to Alpha Centauri that leaves only one survivor, a Jesuit priest named Father Emilio Sandoz. Underneath, though, Mary Doria Russell creates a nuanced, multi-layered novel that poses some serious questions about the nature of faith and morality.

    The story builds suspense by cutting back and forth between the Church’s interviews of the spiritually and physically broken priest, who initially refuses to talk, and the events of the past, proceeding from the time when the aliens are first discovered (and the Church recognizes an opportunity for itself). We know that things are destined to go wrong, but not exactly how, except for a few pieces of foreshadowing. Does the tragedy of the mission hinge on one mistake -- or many?

    Russell takes her time setting up the story, which might try the patience of some readers, but illuminates the minds of a small, tight-knit group of well-constructed characters. We see the initial sense of scientific and spiritual mission, the optimism of the interstellar travelers as they near their destination, the months of exploration of the edenic planet Rakhat and the first encounters with the childlike Runa. However, as the story unfolds, we begin to see the outlines of a significant difference between the humans and the aliens that neither side manages to perceive fully, each with its own innate view of how life is meant to function. I found the conception of an alien species’ alternate biology and culture reminiscent of Ursula Le Guin’s works.

    Religious themes often feature in First Contact novels, because, of course, the very presence of other intelligent beings would raise important questions about the “design” of the universe. Could we get a new glimpse of the Ultimate Creative Force by meeting fellow travelers? Or is there a hubris in hoping? What commonalities should be embraced? What differences accepted? In The Sparrow, these issues are central, though you don’t need to be Catholic or even religious at all to relate to them. The priests here may belong to an old tradition, but theirs is one that embraces science and rationality, seeking God somewhere in the DNA of the universe rather than in supernatural encounters. Indeed, conversations between Father Sandoz and a strong-willed agnostic character named Ann show that the boundaries between belief and lack of it aren’t easy to define.

    At the heart of the book, though, is the question of shattered faith. What happens when what we hope for fails us, and the universe cruelly turns on us, as it does for Father Sandoz? Do we let go of the piece of wreckage we’re clinging to and allow ourselves to silently sink below the cold waves? Or do we reach for the helping hand that others offer us, even though it forces us to face the pain and weakness we carry? Russell, admirably, doesn’t offer an easy out for either Father Sandoz or her readers.

    A few things hold me back from a five star review, however. First of all, there are a lot of plausibility issues, the main one being that a visit to another inhabited planet would never unfold with so little planning or caution (I mean, think about the bacteria). Secondly, though I liked the characters, their quirks and banter get a little too precious at times.

    Overall, though, I think The Sparrow is well worth a read for anyone who appreciates science fiction that isn’t about blazing guns or astrobabble, but tells a contemplative story focused on age-old human questions.

    More

    The Sparrow

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Mary Doria Russell
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    Overall
    (560)
    Performance
    (381)
    Story
    (384)

    Emilio Sandoz is a remarkable man, a living saint and Jesuit priest who undergoes an experience so harrowing and profound that it makes him question the existence of God. This experience - the first contact between human beings and intelligent extraterrestrial life - begins with a small mistake and ends in a horrible catastrophe.

    yvette hatfield says: "Far fetched book but good summer listen."
  • "Grown-up Hiyao Miyazaki"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed this book, though, as you can tell from other reviews online, it's not a novel for every taste. Let me put it this way: if you like the films of Hiyao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke), and relish a few dashes of metaphysics, literary/movie/music references, and existentialism, then Murakami's mix of fantasy, surreality, and realism might speak to you. If not, you'll probably be frustrated with the listening/reading experience. (If you don't know Hiyao Miyazaki, then get ye to Netflix first, then come back here.)

    On the surface, the book has two intertwining stories. One is about a 30-something loner guy with slacker tendencies and cyberpunkish skills who lives in Tokyo and takes a job with an eccentric scientist, a choice which soon sets off a cascade of strange consequences. This is interleaved with a second story, in which a man with no memory finds himself trapped in a fantastical, dreamlike town, trying to make sense of its fable-like inhabitants and his reasons for being there. As the novel progresses, the two stories begin to intersect. While "magic realism" is a genre that can really fly off the rails sometimes (see Mark Helprin's A Winter's Tale), Murakami keeps his story readable and grounded in a coherent flow of events.

    This is one of those books where (in my opinion), you'll enjoy it more if you don't expect the author’s stew of ideas and imagery to make perfect sense or try to analyze his science and philosophy too much. Yes, there are a few logic holes and not everything in the surface-level plot gets resolved in an obvious way. Rather, this is a novel to read for its oddball characters, the vision of the writing, the strange-but-fitting twists and turns of the story, the humorous juxtaposition of the surreal and the everyday, and the existential questions under its fanciful trappings. If you had only 36 hours to live, what would you do with the time? I found the way Murakami chose to answer this question unexpectedly moving. Even with the end of the world coming, you might still have to do laundry...

    I enjoyed the narration and voice-acting in the audiobook. The main character's voice reminded me of Spike from Cowboy Bebop, which (in my world) was a bonus.

    More

    Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Haruki Murakami
    • Narrated By Adam Sims, Ian Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (501)
    Performance
    (389)
    Story
    (394)

    Information is everything in Hard-boiled Wonderland. A specialist encrypter is attacked by thugs with orders from an unknown source, is chased by invisible predators, and dates an insatiably hungry librarian who never puts on weight. In the End of the World a new arrival is learning his role as dream-reader. But there is something eerily disquieting about the changeless nature of the town and its fable-like inhabitants.

    Ryan says: "Grown-up Hiyao Miyazaki"
  • "21st century castaway adventure... ..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is a lot of fun. Weir seems to have done a ridiculous amount of research into how a manned NASA Mars mission would probably work, and turns this knowledge into a suspenseful adventure with a likable protagonist and a healthy dose of humor. The story begins, in classic castaway fashion, from the journal entries of an astronaut named Mark Watney, who’s stranded on Mars after an emergency forces the rest of his fellow astronauts, who think him dead, to abort the mission and depart.

    Now alone with his expedition’s equipment, including rovers, space suits, a habitat, and some botany experiments (but no radio), Watney must improvise ways to stay alive and contact Earth. A lot of science and engineering geekery soon follows, but Weir does such a good job of explaining it, using Watney’s informal voice and snarky, quip-ready “engineer” humor (the opening f-bomb sets the tone), that I don’t think it will be too hard for the average reader to understand. Being an engineer myself, I could easily relate to how this guy’s mind worked, as he took apart different systems and put them to use in ways they weren’t quite meant to be used, yet did so in a careful, controlled manner. I had one of many smiles at the part where he contemplates international law and decides that one of his actions makes him a pirate. A SPACE PIRATE! Yep, engineer.

    I don’t think it’s much a reveal to say that the narrative eventually expands to include people back on Earth. If you recall the movie Apollo 13, a lot of similar action follows, as NASA and other organizations put their best minds to work on the problem of how to save Watney. I won't spoil the series of mishaps, setbacks, and narrow escapes that follow as he hangs on for a rescue attempt, but suffice to say that Weir makes good use of his setting and contrives some creative but plausible solutions. The supporting characters could have been developed a little more, but their banter is entertaining. Weir is clearly a fan of NASA, but isn't above poking fun at bureaucracy, PR machines, and the various personalities that inhabit the organization.

    I hope someone sees fit to make a movie, because all the right ingredients are here. There’s a crowd-pleasing survival story and a likable hero. There’s a long-shot plan and a big-screen-ready nail-biter of a climax. And it's a heckuva a lot more believable than other Mars-themed stuff that Hollywood has given us (I'm looking at you, Red Planet). But, if there’s never a film, audiobook narrator RC Bray is the next best thing, with a boyish voice that's a perfect fit for Watney, and different affectations for his various quips.

    More

    The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5963)
    Performance
    (5668)
    Story
    (5678)

    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"
  1. The Sparrow
  2. Hard-boiled Wonderland an...
  3. The Martian
  4. .

A Peek at colleen's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
1447
 
ANCHORAGE, AK, United States 101 REVIEWS / 151 ratings Member Since 2005 664 Followers / Following 11
 
colleen's greatest hits:
  • Agent to the Stars

    "Excellent"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Imagine that you are an Alien race trying to make first contact with earth but are a little worried about the bad wrap you’ve been getting in the movies. What do you do? You get yourself a Hollywood agent. John Scalzi does a wonderful job in this absurdly funny caper. Original, well narrated and a lot of fun.

  • Love Minus Eighty

    "Original"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Futuristic tale done well. The author does a good job drawing a picture of an advanced society and it's inhabitants. Believable characters, unique story line. It could have moved a little faster but it worked for me.

  • Emperor Mollusk Versus the Sinister Brain

    "Sci-fi/fantasy Comedy"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a delightfully funny tale about a former super villain and super genius, Emperor Mollusk, who is so incredibly brilliant, he becomes bored and creates dooms day inventions that he then must save the earth from. Very entertaining. Great narration. The story wandered a little but still delivered a great listen.

  • After Earth

    "This is a movie script not a book."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I saw the movie then listened to this audiobook. Apart from the flashbacks this is the dialogue from the movie verbatim. It wasn't that good. I was disappointed both in the movie and the audiobook. Good idea, poor story.

Michael

Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 11-14-11 Member Since 2002

I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.

HELPFUL VOTES
2800
ratings
REVIEWS
1376
386
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
848
9
  • "As good as Heinlein"

    30 of 30 helpful votes

    This book reminds me of Heinlein ??? which is about the greatest compliment I can give a Sci Fi author. This book has multiple levels. It blends humor with social commentary, politics with action. The Sci Fi is merely a framework for the story and characters (which is as it should be). The characters are multifaceted and change substantially as the story evolves. The story has a lot of funny bits, but the story includes nice emotional and intellectual content. This book made me want to read everything by this author.

    More

    Old Man's War

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3613)
    Performance
    (2578)
    Story
    (2605)

    John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First, he visited his wife's grave. Then he joined the army. The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce - and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So, we fight, to defend Earth and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.

    Michael says: "As good as Heinlein"
  • 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"
  • 4.5 (17248 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
    (17248)
    Performance
    (15321)
    Story
    (15274)

    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 (21523 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
    Overall
    (21523)
    Performance
    (12994)
    Story
    (13124)

    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 (9988 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
    (9988)
    Performance
    (9293)
    Story
    (9293)

    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 (7815 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
    (7815)
    Performance
    (4312)
    Story
    (4366)

    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 (6121 ratings)
    The Stand (






UNABRIDGED) by Stephen King Narrated by Grover Gardner

    The Stand

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6121)
    Performance
    (5393)
    Story
    (5440)

    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"
  • 4.6 (5963 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
    (5963)
    Performance
    (5668)
    Story
    (5678)

    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"
  • Outcast: Star Force, Book 10 (






UNABRIDGED) by B. V. Larson, David VanDyke Narrated by Mark Boyett

    Outcast: Star Force, Book 10

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By B. V. Larson, David VanDyke
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (32)

    Star Force is called to arms again! Outcast is a new beginning, the first book in a new spin-off series. Many peaceful years have passed since the Macro Wars ended. Most of those who fought against the heartless machines have aged - but not the ingenious artificial construct known as Marvin. His insatiable curiosity is as strong as ever, and he’s brought home fresh perils to humanity’s doorstep.

    rich says: "Captain Marvin Takes Command"
  • 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
    (5963)
    Performance
    (5668)
    Story
    (5678)

    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"
  • 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
    (17248)
    Performance
    (15321)
    Story
    (15274)

    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"
  • Ark Royal (






UNABRIDGED) by Christopher G. Nuttall Narrated by Ralph Lister

    Ark Royal

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Christopher G. Nuttall
    • Narrated By Ralph Lister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (70)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (69)

    Seventy years ago, the interstellar supercarrier Ark Royal was the pride of the Royal Navy. But now, her weapons are outdated and her solid-state armour nothing more than a burden on her colossal hull. She floats in permanent orbit near Earth, a dumping ground for the officers and crew the Royal Navy wishes to keep out of the public eye. But when a deadly alien threat appears, the modern starships built by humanity are no match for the powerful alien weapons.

    C. Hartmann says: "TWO (!!) audiobooks this year get SIX stars"
  •  
  • The Stand (






UNABRIDGED) by Stephen King Narrated by Grover Gardner

    The Stand

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6121)
    Performance
    (5393)
    Story
    (5440)

    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"
  • 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
    Overall
    (21523)
    Performance
    (12994)
    Story
    (13124)

    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 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
    (5354)
    Performance
    (2972)
    Story
    (2994)

    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"
  • 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
    (9988)
    Performance
    (9293)
    Story
    (9293)

    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"
  •  
  • A Beautiful Friendship: Star Kingdom, Book 1 (






UNABRIDGED) by David Weber Narrated by Khristine Hvam

    A Beautiful Friendship: Star Kingdom, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By David Weber
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1068)
    Performance
    (944)
    Story
    (945)

    Stephanie Harrington had always expected to be a forest ranger on her homeworld of Meyerdahl until her parents relocated to the frontier planet of Sphinx in the far distant Star Kingdom of Manticore. It should have been the perfect new home - a virgin wilderness full of new species of every sort, just waiting to be discovered. But Sphinx is a far more dangerous place than ultra-civilized Meyerdahl, and Stephanie's explorations come to a sudden halt when her parents lay down the law: no trips into the bush without adult supervision!

    brendanstallard says: "Wow, Weber hits the target."
  • Earth Awakens: The First Formic War, Book 3 (






UNABRIDGED) by Orson Scott Card, Aaron Johnston Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki, Stephen Hoye, Arthur Morey, Vikas Adam, Roxanne Hernandez, Emily Rankin

    Earth Awakens: The First Formic War, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card, Aaron Johnston
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Stephen Hoye, Arthur Morey, and others
    Overall
    (306)
    Performance
    (285)
    Story
    (281)

    Nearly 100 years before the events of Orson Scott Card’s best-selling novel Ender’s Game, humans were just beginning to step off Earth and out into the Solar System. A thin web of ships in both asteroid belts; a few stations; a corporate settlement on Luna. No one had seen any sign of other space-faring races; everyone expected that First Contact, if it came, would happen in the future, in the empty reaches between the stars. Then a young navigator on a distant mining ship saw something moving too fast, heading directly for our sun.

    Charles Rohrig says: "Sets the Stage for Ender's Game"
  • Lock In

    • UNABRIDGED
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    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.

  • Influx (






UNABRIDGED) by Daniel Suarez Narrated by Jeff Gurner

    Influx

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2091)
    Performance
    (1925)
    Story
    (1927)

    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"
  • Starliner (






UNABRIDGED) by David Drake Narrated by Aaron Abano

    Starliner

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By David Drake
    • Narrated By Aaron Abano
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Six thousand lives in a single hull, trembling through multiple universes to land on raw, often violent worlds, each with its own history and wonder. The Empress of Earth - neutral pawn in an interstellar war! When hostile necessity knows no law, Ran Colville and the rest of the complement of the Empress of Earth must bring home their ship and the passengers entrusted to them.

  • Free Souls: Mindjack Trilogy, Book 3 (






UNABRIDGED) by Susan Kaye Quinn Narrated by Kelli Shane

    Free Souls: Mindjack Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Susan Kaye Quinn
    • Narrated By Kelli Shane
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    When your mind is a weapon, freedom comes at a price. Four months have passed since Kira left home to join Julian's Jacker Freedom Alliance, but the hole in her heart still whistles empty where her boyfriend Raf used to be. She fills it with weapons training, JFA patrols, and an obsessive hunt for FBI agent Kestrel, ignoring Julian's worries about her safety and repeated attempts to recruit her for his revolutionary chat-casts.

  • Golden Fool: The Tawny Man Trilogy, Book 2 (






UNABRIDGED) by Robin Hobb Narrated by James Langton

    Golden Fool: The Tawny Man Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Robin Hobb
    • Narrated By James Langton
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Prince Dutiful has been rescued from his Piebald kidnappers and the court has resumed its normal rhythms. There FitzChivalry Farseer, gutted by the loss of his wolf bondmate, must take up residence at Buckkeep as a journeyman assassin. Posing as a bodyguard, Fitz becomes the eyes and ears behind the walls, guiding a kingdom straying closer to civil strife each day. Amid a multitude of problems, Fitz must ensure that no one betrays the Prince’s secret - one that could topple the throne.

  • Koban Universe 1 (






UNABRIDGED) by Stephen W. Bennett Narrated by Eric Michael Summerer

    Koban Universe 1

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Stephen W. Bennett
    • Narrated By Eric Michael Summerer
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Here are four stories derived from the same universe as the Koban series. Listening to the series is not required to understand and enjoy these stand-alone tales.Australian Krall: A fully gene-enhanced Kobani woman finds herself trapped in total darkness and underground, pursued by hundreds of slavering, semi-sentient, maniacally aggressive, and hungry aliens. Walk with her on the dark side!

  •  
  • Tornado Mountain (






UNABRIDGED) by Matthew A. Ellis Narrated by John Szura

    Tornado Mountain

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Matthew A. Ellis
    • Narrated By John Szura
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A fiction thriller where George Ayala's life is altered when he leaves Wyoming for Kansas. His new home is devastated, along with most of the country, by horrible tornadoes. He decides to alter his reality by altering the landscape. Mountains stop tornadoes, so he decides to bring a mountain to Kansas.

  • Broken Chains (






UNABRIDGED) by M.C.A. Hogarth Narrated by Daniel Dorse

    Broken Chains

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs)
    • By M.C.A. Hogarth
    • Narrated By Daniel Dorse
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    "Ethical Perspectives on History" seemed like an innocuous enough elective...until the teens taking it discovered that the genetic engineering that created the Alliance's alien races wasn't as sanitized and perfect as they were told as children. And that their new teacher, Kellen Grove, might have his own reasons for his passions. This is a senior year they'll never forget, especially one girl in particular.

  • On a Sphere's Edge (






UNABRIDGED) by Keith Mosher Narrated by Keith Mosher

    On a Sphere's Edge

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Keith Mosher
    • Narrated By Keith Mosher
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Lieutenant Commander Alexandria Novastra is set the task of determining if the legends about a powerful device that is supposed to guide humanity and civilization are merely myth or based on some reality. Much to her surprise, she learns that the legends are based in truth. It is only then she learns that the device is addictive. She realizes that she cannot turn this device over to her commanders. Military minds and all-consuming, potentially-destructive powers do not make a good match.