Despite having a nominal publishing date of 2002, the examples in the book were never updated from the late 1980's. This makes the book incredibly old fashioned and quaint to listen to. Although the ideas contained are timeless, the examples (such as PBX phones and floppy disks) are so out of date they obscure the arguments of the book.
The examples. They are out of date and truly irrelevant in this age.
strident, monotonous, and nasal
I would update the examples to ones that are relevant today. There are adults out there now who have never seen the kind of phone systems he describes, the typewriters, or the floppy disk. Every single example from this book is from the late 1980's, and was not updated during the 2002 publication. MAJOR editing mistake.
The stories are downright turgid. They dwell on unimportant information and don't advance plot or characterization. I trudged through the first two stories, hoping they would get better. The Elizabeth Bear second story was marginally better than the first. The premise was somewhat interesting, but was waaay too political and leftist for my taste. If they're going to write anti-capitalist polemics, at least they could make them interesting. I bought this book because of the editor, John Scalzi, and hoped it was at least somewhat like his books. No where near them.
I won't be looking at these authors to read first, for sure.
The narrators were competent with the bad material they were given.
My reaction was of being dropped in a vat of cold molasses and trying to get out.
The whole set of five short stories is a setup for a longer piece. And that's -all- they do - set up. It's very slow at first, and wandering. The piece could have used better editing.
Jules, I guess. She's the main character from book three on, and seems to be the main character for the rest of the series.
squeaky, high pitched, rarely changes between characters
Yes and no. It did get better with time, but all this set up could have -definitely- been done in half the words without losing any story.
An interesting plot and characters? It's told from one character's point of view, and that character is BORING.
No. I found the book condescending to Africans in the same way that Disney's "Songs of the South" was condescending to African Americans.
No. His very, very white male authorial voice counterpointed by a black female protagonist makes the book jarring and painful.
Urbane, Flat, Slooooow.
All of them. They're very, very flat and stereotypical.
Truthfully, the protagonist reminds me of no one other than Brer Rabbit, with all the trickster stuff and class problems and the rest. The book is obviously written by a white male who thinks he has a clue about women and being black, but what comes out is how little he does know below the surface. Very disappointing book.
More action, less law?
Currently listening to Inheritance.
A lot! She brings each character to life, especially Nellie the computer. Reading the book would be less enjoyable.
Yes, and no. This book is merely a bridge between, I assume, two more active books. It resolves some things and sets up others, but doesn't have as much action as usual.
The whole stridency of the extra long prologue that made it impossible to get to the book. I probably agree with most of his points, but couldn't stand that he was so very, very one sided and polemic. There was no meat for the half hour long introduction .... so I tuned out.
Way too polemic, far too little meat.
Not that I could see, in that I couldn't make it through the intro.
If you're going to write a book, don't turn off the reader with a highly polemic and unnecessary introduction. Just get on with it.
I got this book thinking it was science fiction. It's one that was recommended by Audible, and was in their science fiction sale. So, I bought it. BIG mistake. This book is Christian schlock from beginning to end. The characters are one dimensional and the plot is so straightforward it makes a straight line look crooked. No surprises, once you catch on it's all about converting or confirming Christian beliefs. Never will I trust an Audible recommendation again. Even if you are a committed Christian, you have to check your mind at the door to enjoy this.
Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the narrator for this book is not the same one as the narrator for the first two in the series. The change is very jarring, and this narrator is not up to the task. The first narrator changed his voice and accent for various characters. This new narrator didn't really, nor did he even attempt any kind of voice continuation from earlier in the series. Good book ruined by bad narration. Read it, don't listen to it.
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