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Travelers Rest, SC, United States | Member Since 2005

  • 35 reviews
  • 123 ratings
  • 331 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • Beating Back the Devil

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Maryn McKenna
    • Narrated By Ellen Archer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The universal instinct is to run from an outbreak of disease. These doctors run toward it. They always keep a bag packed. They seldom have more than 24 hours before they are dispatched. They are told only their country of destination and the epidemic they will tackle when they get there.

    Tim says: "Interesting Stuff - Only criticism is pacing"
    "Good to Know Info"

    If you're researching with a coming pandemic in mind, this book is a must.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Starship Troopers

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Robert A. Heinlein
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Join the Army and See the Universe. That is the motto of The Third Space War, also known as The First Interstellar War, but most commonly as The Bug War. In one of Robert Heinlein's most controversial best sellers, a recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the universe - and into battle with the Terrain Mobile Infantry against mankind's most alarming enemy.

    Michael says: "Well Aged Heinlein"
    "The book is the way the movie should have been..."

    It doesn't matter if I read it from my old hard-back edition, or listen to it from Audible via my iPhone, "The book is the way the Movie should have been made".

    There's very few books I care to go through twice, but this is one of those few.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Rogue: Freehold, Book 6 (Unabridged)

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Michael Z. Williamson
    • Narrated By Stephen Bowlby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Kenneth Chinran commanded the elite unit assigned to take out an entire planet in a terrible war. Millions died; billions more perished in the aftermath. One doesn't send a sociopath on such a mission. A sociopath might not stop. Chinran did stop, but in the process nearly lost his sanity and his soul. But one of Chinran's men was a sociopath going in. Now he's a trained sociopath with the knowledge and firepower to take out entire tactical teams, evaporate through security cordons and change identity at will.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "The galaxy's greatest and deadliest dad ever"

    I was excited to find a new book by Michael Z. Williamson! I'm friends with a few hundred other Sci-Fi fans online and FTF, spread out completely around the world; many being deployed military at the moment... Many more of us are X-Military, and in the modern age of the internet we keep the deployed guys and gals company online; we also try to take care of little things here at home for them while they're away, keep them up to date on current events, which includes taunting them about a new Freehold book they haven't got yet!!! I mean, the Freehold stuff is considered "A Must Have Read" for any true Military Sci-Fi buff!!

    So I grabbed this latest, slapped it on the iPhone (It kinda rattled around in the 51.5 GIGS left on this phone... I know she loves me, but 64 GIGS in a phone? Seriously??) and then I prepared to listen and be ready to really rub it in hard on the deployed friends... "What? You had incoming half the night and broke your docking cable?? Awwwww! Too bad dude! You have NO idea what you're missing! Word of advice Bro, Shells or no shells, You'll quit breaking those docking cords if you'll take your headphones off BEFORE grabbing your gear and trying to rush off to your post... just thought I'd mention that!"...

    ...and I promptly got bogged down in visiting guests, and relatives, and grandchildren (OK, exception made for the Grandkids!) and other things, and couldn't listen to it!! But I am aggressive, motivated, and determined! I had some friends stop by unexpectedly last night, So I connected the Phone to the Bose and fired it up.. We have just now finished it in one 12 hour long listening spree! I LOVE books like that! They come along so rarely!

    Points of interest for me: It started out a bit weird, and I got some sideways glances, but thankfully that moved on briskly! Then much later I actually felt sorry for the Main Characters, far in the future, having to deal with Earth's insane "this will make us safer" laws.. except those insane, arbitrary, knee-jerk laws aren't the "Far in the Future Sci-Fi Part"!! Sadly, most of those are real right now! Highly succulent. One friend commented that his assistant kept pulling everything they needed out of thin air... we all stared at her a second before shouting "HELLO?? SCI-FI BOOK!?!?" (Geeze... There's one in every crowd!)

    The book seemed to drag a little with about 5.5 hours left to go, but I can't say that's Mr. Williamson's fault; as I said, we were listening to it all at once without a break, So it's probably just me in this case, no one else mentioned it. Either way, it seemed to pick up again almost right away, and I'd rather have more Williamson than less!

    The Narrator does a good job! He keeps the book moving along without it sounding "pushed", and he sounds good on larger speakers!

    WELL worth the Credit, but more importantly it's well worth 11 and a half hours of your time to listen to! I'll get maxed out on Credits again at the end of the month, our "time" is something we don't get more of, so I try to keep that in mind while recommending books.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Thirteen

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Richard K. Morgan
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Marsalis is one of a new breed...literally. Genetically engineered by the U.S. government to embody the naked aggression and primal survival skills that centuries of civilization have erased from humankind, Thirteens were intended to be the ultimate military fighting force. The project was scuttled, however, when a fearful public branded the supersoldiers dangerous mutants, dooming the Thirteens to forced exile on Earth's distant, desolate Mars colony. But Marsalis found a way to slip back.

    L. says: "WOW, Morgan Does it again!"
    "WOW, Morgan Does it again!"

    When I read "Altered Carbon" I said it was the New book by which I would judge all others. Morgan just keeps writing excellent books in the "Used Future", and not just the same books with the same characters (which I actually wouldn't mind seeing with the Takeshi Kovacs series), but different people in different settings in different time periods... he constantly proves he's multi-talented and can write on any level. He writes the way I wish *I* could.

    I researched Morgan a bit and found out we are on opposite ends of the political spectrum, and I was probably misreading the social commentary written into his work, or maybe not, because as I have said before, "If the Left could accept guns, and the Right could accept drugs, we'd all be closer to the middle than most people think".

    "Thirteen", was another of those books that I couldn't put down. "MP3 player in the pocket until it was done", etc... and then I had to reflect on it a few days to let it soak in before writing a review.

    The Sex is hardcore, NOT for the Kiddies, but it's not just stuck in there "out of place". I didn't think it detracted from the story any.

    I don't know if Morgan actually shoots a lot or not (Probably not, being an academic in the U.K.), or if he just sticks in "people being blown backward by gun shots" because people expect it due to TV (I suspect this is the case)... "Stopping power" is a myth (do the math, F=MA) except with artillery shells and the like, and Morgan knows that a table won't stop bullets (on TV people can hide behind cardboard boxes safely), but then he talks about people being blown out doors and windows from being hit by a slug. Still, minor technicalities aside (for whatever reason they are in the book) it's an EXCELLENT book.

    I wish I could give it 4.5 stars, and the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars was because it wasn't quite "Altered Carbon", however it was better than Market Forces, IMHO.

    25 of 27 people found this review helpful
  • Starswarm

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By Jerry Pournelle
    • Narrated By Lloyd James

    Kip has a secret. A young boy who lives with his uncle at the Starswarm Station research outpost on planet Paradise, he has heard a voice in his head for as long as he can remember. The voice guides him in all his decisions, helping him through situations with useful information and helpful insight.

    L. says: "Genius"

    I think the Heinlein book others are referring to is actually, "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress"… and there ARE many similarities to that book (AND to "Citizen of the Galaxy" also, I guess).

    MANY of us grew up on Heinlein,. There's "young Heinlein" (directed mostly at kids, about kids).. and there's the "Older Heinlein" that is more adult oriented.

    However, the genius in Pournelle's work is that he knows "people".

    MANY of us that actually grew up to be Professional Engineers (and such) remember "Young Heinlein" and we went back to re-read those books as adults at some point, and then we are kind of disappointed at how "young an audience" those books were actually written for. Pournelle has taken a "Young Heinlein TYPE" of story, and written it for Adults. NO ONE likes thinking about their favorite TYPES of stories being "For kids"… Pournelle has bridged the gap.. many have tried to do it over the years (probably without knowing themselves what they were trying to do), but Pournelle has actually DONE IT (and probably KNOWS he did it).

    Kudos Pournelle!!!! I'd give it 5 stars, but it's not "the book I judge all others by"… however, I've already sold 8 more friends on buying it to read (or listen to)… It's that good.

    There's just no GOOD way to explain the essence of the story itself except to say, "it's the Heinlein-type book you THOUGHT you were going back to re-read as an adult"…

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Martian Time-Slip

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Philip K. Dick
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    On the arid Mars colony, the only thing more precious than water may be a 10-year-old schizophrenic boy named Manfred Steiner. Although the UN has slated "anomalous" children for deportation and destruction, some suspect that Manfred's disorder may be a window into the future. But what sort of future?

    G. says: "a classic"

    OBVIOUSLY written in the 60's... "canals on Mars bringing water to the settlements" etc.. the "Theories a la carte".. Not Too bad if you don't mind things "in the future" not having actually happened, Like "the colonists landing on mars in the 70's", and the "Far distant 1990's when Mars' human civilization is at it's peak"... when in reality it's now 2007 and we're still just DISCUSSING a moon base to mine Helium 3 for Fusion power.

    That kinda stuff...

    Grover Gardner does his usual EXCELLENT job of narration, which makes this book tolerable... but to be honest, not something I'd have chosen if I didn't think it had been revamped and updated from the tag line in the Book review Blurb "Renewed in 1992"... the COPYRIGHT was renewed in 1992, not the story.. My Duh.

    I admit I am to the point of downloading ANYTHING that catches my eye as "new" since I've read everything of interest by now, and have credits piling up.

    1 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • March to the Sea: Prince Roger Series, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By David Weber, John Ringo
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Prince Roger MacClintock, Tertiary Heir to the Throne of Man, was a spoiled rotten, arrogant, whiny, thoroughly useless young pain in the butt. But that was before an assassination attempt marooned the Royal Brat and his bodyguards on the planet Marduk, and before they had to march half way around the entire planet, through 120-degree heat and five-hour rainstorms in jungles full of damnbeasts, capetoads, killerpillars, and atul-grak, not to mention hostile peoples, to make their way back to port.

    Mark says: "Good Ole Sci Fi"
    "Yes, they were out of order"

    We all know by now that the books were here out of order, but that's been corrected and all four books are now here at Audible.. Audible picked up the other books VERY fast.

    "March to the Sea" chronicles Prince Roger and the Bronze Barbarian's (and some real barbarian's) march to the point where they will cross the sea to reach the "Empire of Man's space port".

    More "Out of the Box thinking" from Weber and Ringo (I had the pleasure of talking to Ringo again at the 2006 Dragon*Con), and we get to see Prince Roger transform a bit more from the "Clothes Horse" that he was, into the "Respected Leader" that he will become.

    Weber and Ringo consistently give us great Military Sci-fi.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Citizen of the Galaxy

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Robert A. Heinlein
    • Narrated By Lloyd James

    Citizen of the Galaxy takes place far in the future, when the human race has spread out to colonize other planets. In a slave market in the capital of Jubbul and the Nine Worlds, an auctioneer announces, "Lot 97. A boy." Slavery is commonplace in Jubbul, and the sight of the ragged, starving boy, Thorby, on the auction block is not unusual. What does puzzle bystanders and Thorby himself is his purchase by crippled Baslim, the beggar who sits every day in a corner of the marketplace.

    L. says: "One of Heinlein's best"
    "One of Heinlein's best"

    I consider this "one" of Heinlein's Better works... written during his shift from adolescent Sci-fi to more adult Sci-fi. I admit I have a soft spot for Heinlein, having grown up reading his books (and owning ALL of his book, several of which are autographed Hardbacks).

    "Citizen Of The Galaxy" is a "Rags to Riches" theme. Heinlein had the gift of being able to take themes and write a book around them, while also instilling "values" to the reader.

    Most modern Sci-fi readers have "Outgrown" Heinlein, but we have to remember that he was writing (accurately) about the future of computers and space flight back when such things were considered impossible.

    This book also touches on the VERY real subject of the modern day slave trade, and as the book says "Even now people don't believe there's really a slave trade in this day and age"... But yes, there is, and Heinlein explains why the fight against slavery may never totally be won.

    Heinlein picked up many of the concerns he wrote about while traveling.. and it seems the things he felt were wrong with society then, are STILL things that are wrong with society today.

    A "must have" for any Heinlein Fan's collection.

    21 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • March to the Stars: Prince Roger Series, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By David Weber, John Ringo
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This third edition to the Prince Roger Series takes the Bronze Barbarians across the Eastern Ocean of Marduk, facing giant sea monsters, pirates, and the barbarian nations that dwell on the other side. Their destination is a spaceport held by humans of questionable loyalties. As Roger comes nearer to making his way home, he learns that his attempted assassination was part of a larger plot. Not all is as it seems on Earth or on Marduk.

    L. says: "FINALLY, The Whole Series"
    "FINALLY, The Whole Series"

    This book completes the entire "Prince Roger series" here at Audible. I requested this book about 3 weeks ago, and Audible picked it right up.. Audible listens to it's customer's recommendations (Unlike some other audio book sites)

    "March to the Stars" is actually book 3 of the complete series, but it was the last one that Audible needed to complete the series here.

    Ok, Ok, Ok, about the book itself... some have said "You can only fight so many barbarian hordes and have so much frustrated love", and I agree with that, however, Ringo and Weber pull it off so it doesn't seem like a constant repetition of the same stuff book after book, and book 3 really sets the stage for the final book (We Few).

    I talked to John Ringo at this year's Dragon*Con and he told me they were trying to get away from the "March to the Everything" titles, which is why the last book is named "We Few" (Ringo has put out SIX books so far in 2006.. and for us Ringo Fans, I asked him to "Write Faster" ;).

    I actually read the reviewer's copy some time back, and then snagged the Audio Book here when it came in, and listened to it... it's good enough to "read" twice.

    Some parts can be a bit confusing if you aren't paying attention, especially when many different "Tribes" get involved, but it's Military Sci-fi and "Out of the box thinking" at it's best (Which is what we expect from both Ringo AND Weber)... the fact that the authors can keep all this complicated storyline untangled and understandable speaks to their writing ability.

    WELL worth the credit!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Grays

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Whitley Strieber
    • Narrated By Stephen Lang
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Millions of people are confronting aliens that authorities say do not exist. Now Whitley Strieber, author of the #1 best seller Communion, which detailed his own close encounters, returns with The Grays, a mind-bending journey behind the curtain of secrecy that surrounds the subject of aliens. This audiobook will make you think deeply, not only about the mystery of who the Grays are, but who exactly we are.

    L. says: "EXCELLENT listen"
    "EXCELLENT listen"

    I got this book because I have listened to MOST of the Sci-fi books here since I have been a member for a long time.. Basically, I thought I was out of "good" Sci-fi to listen to for a while, but stumbled across the reviews on this one and decided to give it a try.

    At first It seemed VERY slow, and I thought "Here's one I won't finish", but a friend said, "Make it through the first hour, it gets a LOT better!"

    It got a LOT better!!! So much better that I spent 8 straight hours (all night, until 7 this morning) listening to the rest of it.

    It's like the X-files meets every UFO Conspiracy theory ever produced, but the author pulls it off so well that you can give a nod to a "Conspiracy theory" as it passes by, without it damaging the story, in fact it adds more to it.

    The Science and philosophy is More than excellent in some areas, but a bit weak in a few spots (Not enough to damage the story though).

    I'm sure there will be a second book, now I just have to wait for it (I HATE that part ;).

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Voyagers

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Ben Bova
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Ben Bova
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Stoner knew. The fiery object hurtling toward the Earth was an alien spacecraft. But the world might never know. He was trapped in an iron cordon of secrecy, for the discovery had shattered the world power balance, setting off a brutal struggle for supremacy that raged from the sacred halls of the Vatican to the corridors of the Kremlin and the Pentagon. The forces of fear and treachery would use any weapon at their command, from mind war to sabotage, to keep the world in darkness.

    Noe says: "Not Quite "Rendezvous With Rama""
    "Shows it's age"

    The book shows it's age.. written in the cold war era, computers take MANY hours to crunch out numbers, Soviet relations are hostile at best, etc.

    All of the action seems to happen in the last hour of the book, and the "Threats" build up to an anti-climax. As I said, Things move very slowly, then BAM, everything happens in the last hour or so.

    I just kept thinking that if this was supposed to take place even in the "near future" of that time when it was written, Bova would have extrapolated that computers wouldn't be slow and cumbersome and fill whole rooms, and would see the coming Demise of the Soviet union, Which was apparent even back then.

    Enjoyable, but not his best effort... certainly not on a par with the Rock Rat series. I give it 3 stars because It's Bova.. written by anyone else and I'd have probably rated it as 2.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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