While there exists better voice acting, the story is strong enough to pull one through most of the strange vocal affectations and pronunciations, some of which is normal to a single narrator effort. For myself, character development and plot support are required for engagement. Vinge has this, and while there is a lot of backstory, it is needed for character motivations. I enjoyed the whole ziphead thing and much more. But if you are not into hard scifi, then go to those writing the fast action versions that use more common phraseology and shorter sentence structures. Myself - I appreciate Vinge winding narrative, logical plot development and creativity.
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