As a major fan of the post-apocalyptic novel, I must say that "Earth Abides" stands among the best of its era (1950s), alongside "On the Beach," and "Alas, Babylon." The story focuses not on what happens to society in general, but rather on the experiences of one man, Isherwood Williams, and his immediate circle of family and friends. Isherwood's thoughts and musings about life and death form the greater part of the narrative. The audiobook features an excellent narration of a novel that, I'm certain, presented a lot of challenges due to its downbeat tone and general lack of "action." No doubt fans of movie magic and dramatic end-of-the world fireworks will find this book dull. The impact is subtle and filtered through the eyes of the philosophies and observations of the protagonist. Nonetheless, this book is a treasure for those who are patient and who do not require intense action scenes in every chapter.
Stirling has been criticized for using a theme that has been overdone in speculative fiction - survival after the apocalypse. But if you like his writing style, which I do, and Todd McLaren's beautiful voice work, this novel is a "can't miss." Although I disagree with a basic premise of the book - that members of the Wiccan religion would be among the most prepared to adapt to a brutal post-apocalyptic society - I nevertheless enjoyed Stirling's narrative. Yes, there's a bit too much idealizing of the Wiccans, their beliefs, and ceremonies; but the story is intriguing despite all that. I listened to this shortly after thoroughly enjoying Stirling's "Island in the Sea of Time," also narrated by McLaren. Definitely a recommended listen.
I started listening to it several times but had a mental block about the 25-hour length. Once I made it past the first couple of hours, I was hooked. A bizarre time displacement has landed all of Earth back in the Bronze Age, except for the tiny island of Nantucket and its one ocean-going vessel of any note - the Coast Guard ship Eagle. The way a small community of modern humans attempts to interface with people who lived centuries before makes for a highly entertaining tale. This was my first exposure to author S.M. Stirling but won't be my last. The narration by Todd McLaren is outstanding.
A fan of Richard Matheson's work, I bought this audio immediately when it became available on Audible, but did not actually listen to it for 3 years. My hesitation was due to my initial impression that the story was kind of "hokey" -- almost everybody on Earth has turned into a vampire?!? Really? When I finally gave it a chance, I discovered a wonderful, exciting story about science struggling to dispel myth and superstition. The bad guys in this story are not vampires in the traditional sense. Matheson provides us with new concepts for defining vampirism. Ultimately, this is a tale of one man's attempt to survive after a worldwide bacteriological infestation. Released in 1954, this is the father of all the end-of-the-world zombie killer flicks of our era.
I had just finished reading the print edition when I saw the audio version available, featuring one of my favorite narrators, Eric Summerer. I immediately bought it, and I listened to it straight through. WOW - it is immensely enjoyable and definitely the best book ever written about the world's most famous UFO case - the reported crash of a UFO near Roswell, New Mexico, in July 1947. It contains the eyewitness testimony of hundreds of persons living in the Roswell area at the time, and the tale they tell is amazing. I cannot envision anyone reading or listening to this book with an open mind - and still thinking the Roswell case is untrue.
I was so glad to see this wonderful story finally available in audio. An intelligent, frightening, and engaging tale of the discovery of an E.T. frozen in the arctic. And, of course, the "thing" is neither completely dead nor very friendly ... A pioneering early SF story that has been imitated many times but is a refreshing listen in its original form, especially with a wonderful narration by Steve Cooper. Bravo, Audible, for bringing this to audio!!!
As a fan of post-apocalyptic stories and films, especially those created in the 1950s and 60s, this wonderful novel has long been one of my favorites. Although the story is set in the late 50s, one may view it as alternate history. What if on an alternate timeline, a silly mistake triggered a nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia at the height of the Cold War? God knows we actually came very close to it a couple of times in the 60s. This excellent novel tells the tale of a small group of survivors trying to survive in rural Central Florida after the bombs fall. It is exciting, uplifting, and highly recommended. Actor Will Patton, who did a superb job on Kerouac's "The Road," is equally brilliant in this reading. He reads the story with warmth and conviction. An all-around marvelous audiobook, and I commend Audible for producing it.
One of the best SF novels I've ever read - full of the wonder and awe of a small child looking up at the star-filled sky at night and dreaming of beings on other worlds. This novel certainly takes its place as one of the most imaginative and powerful works in the genre. Simak's concept of an extraterrestrial "way station" being set up in an isolated Wisconsin farmhouse is both simple and profound. What goes on there will amaze and inspire you. Not full of action and suspense, but quietly inspiring and thought-provoking.
I love this classic novel of an insidious invasion of Earth by the least expected of organisms. Wyndham's original narrative, read beautifully by Alex Jennings, is much more enjoyable than either the movie or the BBC radio production based upon the book. A truly enjoyable listen and a fabulous narrator.
More fantasy than sci-fi, this well-written story hearkens back to the 1980 movie "The Final Countdown." In both tales, a U.S. naval vessel is suddenly transported back into time and/or a parallel dimension. I had a little trouble at first getting into this book but ended up finding it surprisingly engaging. It was reminiscent of Burroughs' John Carter series with a bit of J.R.R. Tolkien thrown in.
This is one of my favorite sci-fi stories and was the basis for noted episodes of "Dimension X" and "X Minus One." Unfortunately, the narrator did not prepare adequately or was not sufficiently skilled to do justice to Piper's awe-inspiring narrative. At some points, it sounds like the narrator had never previously read the piece prior to recording the narration.
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