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Phoenix, AZ, United States | Member Since 2006

  • 7 reviews
  • 44 ratings
  • 688 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • Favorite Science Fiction Stories, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Philip K. Dick, Robert Silverberg, Fritz Leiber, and others
    • Narrated By Jim Roberts, Ben Hurst, Cindy Hardin Killavey

    This first volume of Favorite Science Fiction Stories features "the best of the best" from the Golden Age of science fiction. It includes 21 stories by, among others, Andre Norton, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Robert Silverberg, Stanley G. Weinbaum, Philip K. Dick, Edmond Hamilton, Jack Williamson , Alan Edward Nourse, Fritz Leiber, Frederik Pohl, Fredric Brown, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., and others.

    Joe says: "Very nice collection"
    "Shabby prodution - so-so stories - otherwise awful"

    This collection sounds like it was recorded in my neighbor's garage and narrated by my neighbors. Or maybe what my high school's electronics club and drama club could put together. Who did the quality control on this project?

    Every so often, peddles this level of material. Hopefully, potential buyers would read the reviews. I did not because I built up such confidence in other, greater scifi collections offered here. My mistake.

    The audio is sub-par -- must be related to the acoustics in my neighbor's garage: sound reflecting off the lawn mower, sacks of fertilizer, and trash cans.

    The performances give me the creeps. All of the readers are obviously focused on trying to get it right or just get through it, rather than immersion into the story. Listen to readings by Stefan Rudnicki or Gabrielle de Cuir as contrast.

    I guess some of the stories are OK. Unfortunately, even if they were great works, the other distractions of sound and reading prevent a good analysis.

    0 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Komarr: A Miles Vorkosigan Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner

    Komarr could be a garden with 1,000 more years' work, or an uninhabitable wasteland if the terraforming fails. Now, the solar mirror vital to the terraforming of the conquered planet has been shattered by a ship hurtling off course. The emperor of Barrayar sends his newest imperial auditor, Lord Miles Vorkosigan, to find out why.

    Nathan says: "More of a set up book for the rest of the series"
    "Good place to start for a wonderful collection"

    Admonition: I finished this series months ago but I just slammed a new SciFi compenduim so hard in a review that I felt bad, hence this review. :)

    Some time ago I finished the last of the Vorkosigan series -- every reading was just outstanding. Lois McMaster Bujold is a strong writer with a good technical/science background. She is the perfect scientist, warrior, politician and all of the stories are woven like a cat's cradle of these elements.

    Very much recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The First Human: The Race to Discover Our Earliest Ancestors

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Ann Gibbons
    • Narrated By Renee Raudman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This dynamic chronicle of the race to find the "missing links" between humans and apes transports readers into the highly competitive world of fossil hunting and into the lives of the ambitious scientists intent on pinpointing the dawn of humankind. The quest to find where and when the earliest human ancestors first appeared is one of the most exciting and challenging of all scientific pursuits.

    Eric Berger says: "Interesting subject, poor execution"
    "OK but really skimpy on science"

    This is another case where the writer gets lost in her own ego, rather than delivering a science-based story. There are several other books in my library, such as "Why do Men Have Nipples" that discuss the politics of the scientists, nuances and discussion of who really holds the knowledge and not much about homo habilis or her friends.

    Compare this book to, say, "Before the Dawn" which is more or less the same topic but goes to exquisite detail to explain the genetics, linguistics, and other sciences behind a great narrative of human evolution.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Dark Worlds of H. P. Lovecraft, Volume One

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By H. P. Lovecraft
    • Narrated By Wayne June

    Hailed by literary critics as the inventor of modern-day horror, H. P. Lovecraft is the cultivating force behind such modern writers as Robert Bloch, Wes Craven and Stephen King. The Dark Worlds of H. P. Lovecraft, Volume One is a collection of his best-known tales narrated for the first time by Wayne June and includes both "The Dunwich Horror" (published in the summer of 1926) and "The Call of Cthulhu" (published in the summer of 1928).

    Edward says: "Excellent Series for those who love Lovecraft..."
    "Excellent Series for those who love Lovecraft..."

    This release and the whole series is new, well produced, and provides an excellent medium for those who enjoy H.P. Lovecreaft. There are a total of six albums in the series, although Audible has five on sale.

    If you are a follower of Lovecraft you know how difficult it is to get solid, well recorded audio books into the library. This is the path. Their principal reader, Wayne June is quite balanced: with clarity and no strong sense of being a goul, as some other readers are.

    The recordings are priced about right for non-Audible-credits payers. I doubt that one 3-hour download is worth a full credit (which can be worth a full 20 hour download for other recordings). My suggestion: Since there are an even number of books available, have a two-for one sale.

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Into the Looking Glass: Looking Glass Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By John Ringo
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser

    When asubatomic physics experiment causes a massive explosion, interdimensional gateways open in Florida - and aliens pour out. Some intend to bring Earth to its knees. Others seem willing to help, but will annihilate the planet if Navy SEAL Command Master Chief Robert Miller can't stop the menace from spreading.

    Mike From Mesa says: "Great space opera, but a warning ..."
    "Aldenata Lite with bad physics"

    I also found the writing of Into the Looking Glass to be mediocre: a pale shadow of the Aldenata series. John Ringo spent much more time in Aldenata working on the psyches of the characters, including the aliens. This was for me a great part of the Aldanata series. There is a passing effort to do the same in Looking Glass but the vigor is not there.

    The physics and especially the discussion of muons and quarks bothered me to the point where I had to break from the story. I'm sure not many readers have experienced muons first hand but I have, at a linear accelerator. I'm not sure who Ringo got as a science advisor but he missed it, totally. Muons (or electrons or pions) are leptons. They all are ionizing radiation and can deliver lethal exposures to living things. They all impart radiation dose with equal ferver. The only difference between muons and beta radiation is that muons are much more penetrating. Also, muons do not decay into quarks.

    Best to listen to Looking Glass and then review the physics on Wiki or elsewhere.

    5 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Why Do Men Have Nipples?

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Mark Leyner, Billy Goldberg
    • Narrated By Mark Leyner

    Finally, answers to all those strange questions you'd like to ask your own doctor but haven't had the guts (or more likely the time) to do so.

    Dr. Jim Rudd says: "Can't recommend"
    "Like a bad term paper.."

    Yes, I agree with most of the other reviewers. The authors think much more of themselves than I do.

    The main problem that I have is the lack of science. Like a bad term paper it is more filler than substance: at least the first hour. The speaker spent most of that time explaining how he and his physician friend fell in love and decided to write a book together.

    As a person trained in science, I must admit that only one fourth of the book was listen to. So shoot me - it was necessary to bail. As penance for downloading this mistake, I will go download a Scientific American book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pattern Recognition

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By William Gibson
    • Narrated By Shelly Frasier
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Cayce Pollard is an expensive, spookily intuitive market-research consultant. In London on a job, she is offered a secret assignment: to investigate some intriguing snippets of video that have been appearing on the Internet. An entire subculture of people is obsessed with these bits of footage, and anybody who can create that kind of brand loyalty would be a gold mine for Cayce's client. But when her borrowed apartment is burgled, she realizes there's more to this project than she had expected.

    Laura says: "Not Unabridged"
    "Self-absorbed little ditty"

    Pattern Recognition has made me take action, both by dumping it off my computer and writing this short review. "There's nothing more inconvenient than an old queen with a head cold", but this story blows right by that. It critiques its cars, food, television, its shoes, your shoes, and makes fodder of the characters. It does everything but contrive a story in the two miserable hours that I listened to it. Listener beware!!

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful

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