If you are going to narrate a story set in a very specific locale, is it too much to ask that you learn how to pronounce the names of its rivers, mountains and valleys? Even the pronunciation of the state is slightly off. If the story was captivating, innovative or engaging these persistent annoyances might be overlook, but, alas, the story is none of these. I do not know if I have the stamina to attempt the second.
I'm not a big short story reader, but this collection -- with its common themes -- was an exception. I liked the fact that there were different voices and styles (including one I would classify as a comedy). My favorite was definitely the last one. I wished that story was a full-blown novel. I hated to leave its concepts explored only at a surface level. The anthology's editor conceded that the final story's author was the most prolific in the idea dept and you can definitely see that in his story.
This is for you if you like sci fi -- not the stories set in space, but the ones that really get you thinking about the sociology and the human condition. Plus it's got some good geek stuff in it too.
Very good group of short stories. I do not think that civilization will go that way but I love the argument. I liked the use of the stereo types of the people in each region, NW, S. Cal and the Mid West.
A lost of good ideas that give you things to think about. I recommend it.
A longtime fan of science fiction, I was wary about a collaborative piece that brought together very different authors. I bought it because I liked the readers -- and they didn't disappoint.
I came to admire the authors for their incredible continuity throughout the stories, for the depth of these short stories, and for writing stories that have stayed with me long after I first listened (and I will listen again). I will definitely listen to more from each of these authors.
It is understandable why it was nominated for the Hugo.
The story line was passible but the execution of the story was poor. The introduction of the supposed extension of today's left wing vs right wing politics killed it for me. The ignorance of the writer regarding the long-term effects of bad economic "philosophy" and related policies precluded writing a story that would appeal to very intelligent beings.
To clasify this collection as sci-fi is a travesty since it has far more in common with Pravda than actual literature.
Do your blood pressure a favor and skip the tedious 9 hour agony of preachy political moralizing dumbed down to the amoeba level (yet wrapped in a candy coating of smooth naration).
I would give 4.5 stars for the voice acting (as they did what they could), but the content rates a solid -1 at best.
Definitely not! The authors apparently imagine a future filled with violence; where there is not enough anything to go around. That is such a "I bought into the nonsense" point of view! There is enough in this world to go around for thousands of years to come!
Make it more up-beat; more optimistic.
It just made me angry.
This may be for people that like a gloom & doom book. The first story was way too far out there and just didn't grab your attention. The second was funny and I like the narrator but I just couldn't finish the book.
Kill Shot by Vince Flynn
They were OK
I've been an Audie Awards judge since 2008. I have enjoyed audiobooks since the days when they were called "Books on Tape".
This was introduced as a new idea of tied in short stories set in a world where the United States is on the verge of economic collapse caused by Republican/Conservative political policies and environmental collapse as the earth is ravaged by global warming (once again due to Republican policies).
The idea of a themed set of short stories has been done in Sci Fi before. Such sci-fi classics like Assimov's "I Robot" and Bradbury's "Martian Chronicles", which are now monumental classics in the sci fi world and are often required reading in many schools.
Though these books are now dated an the timelines when these stories were to come to reality have long passed, they are still classics and are still treasured by sci fi enthusiasts. What Scalzi needs to learn from these two classic writers is a lesson of arrogance.
Bradbury and Assimov were not so arrogant as to suggest that their vision was how it was actually going to be, as Scalzi does in his interstory narratives.
Scalzi's world is a utopian vision based on Joseph Baratz model of Kibbutz aggrarian communes, hippy communes, collectivism and outright Marxism disguised as anarchism, with tiny cameras and satellites watching your every move - and we're supposed to think this is an intelligent answer to a new and more ideal world.
You have government counselors assigning you to a pig tending job from a goverment accepted job bank of job openings based on your aptitude... and if you don't accept your social duty and agree to your pig tending job, there was always life outside the walls of your community. Sound familiar? The Soviet Union had such walls - and they assigned their citizens to jobs and one room apartments.
In this book, the Soviet Union is like a capitalist wet dream as in some of the communes in this book, you can't even own personal property! In this world, you can't drive an electric car without people tearing up your car and calling you a "footprinter"... It is such a screwed up place that people are wearing reality augmenting glasses. You have walk or ride a bicycle everywhere. And we're supposed to think "Wow... This is cool!"
Saying that. Based on the setup, the stories were well done. Ignoring the politics, I loved the stories. They were performed by the best narrators and the plots were great. The same stories could have been told with a little less political finger pointing and a little less environazi arrogance. All the same, I look forward to the next book.
So the stories get 3 stars for sheer arrogance and political fingerpointing. Everything else about the stories was 5 star.
The world building in this collective work was both extensive and creative. However, the world is suppose to be the backdrop. Too often the world itself was center stage instead of the plot or the characters.
I am a big fan of speculative fiction, and where authors think society will be in the not to distant future. I feel the authors went too far with the whole "Evils of the Eco footprint" bit. After a while it was really preachy and worn out.
I gave this audio a four largely based on the works by Buckell and Scalzi. They created great characters and put them in situations I could relate to, regardless of the world around them. Brick and Rudnicki did their usual brilliant job with the narration of their stories. All in all this was a well presented project, but I was left wanting more from this great world the authors built.