Yes, the simplistic idea that the world collapsed because of capitalism, oil and evil industrialists and that open source genomes, bicycles, eco-terror and husbanding gazillions of pigs is where sustainable living answers exist.
I've purchased 5 other Scalzi novels and after finishing METAtropolis as the first, I'm strongly questioning the wisdom of my other purchases.
Absolutely, the narrations were well performed.
I would avoid it like a foreboding superstition.
There is a long buildup with back story and character development before the collision but for a science fiction novel first published in 1977 it still holds up quite well.
Rich in interesting character development, lots of intrigue, unpredictability throughout and professional narration. I'm hopeful that Book 2 is close in coming.
I completely enjoyed this novel as it is nothing less than I've come to expect both the writer and narrator. I only marked the Story slightly less since, while it was very good, it wasn't as superb as his earlier work, Mistborn.
This audiobook was classified as Sci-Fi: Contemporary but, except for the first chapter where an inexplicable phenomenon seemingly changes the laws physics as they relate to electricity and combustion, there is nothing in this novel that even approaches Science Fiction. This is the reason for such a low Overall rating.
The writer is actually quite good and in some instances, the story telling is actually engrossing. However, all too often the writer gets into a bunch of Wicca religiosity verbosity that add nothing of value to the story except increasingly tense frustration.
If not for Todd Mclaren's superb narration skills, I doubt I would have finished the audiobook, even though I was hanging on mostly to find out if aliens were involved. As it was, while there were subtle suggestions during the story that this event might have been due to an alien attack, even that remained a mystery to the end.
I was introduced to Brandon Sanderson with his recent StealHeart novel which I found extremely entertaining and well-written. So I decided to give a past work a chance and chose to listen to Book 1 of the Mistborn Saga. As it turned out, I was so amazed and entertained with his novel approach, not on space, laser or quantum theories but on the use of ingested metals to provide certain rare individuals with extraordinary abilities. The setting is medieval and follows the short but amazing life of a child street urchin named Vin who would become a god. There is a strong spiritual undercurrent throughout that I'm certain some could sense a Christian-like meaning behind it but, if so, it's not an obvious one. Each of these books are quite long and one must be prepared after each of the first two books to accept that there will be a number of unresolved questions remaining. However, if one is willing to finish Book 3, they will be rewarded by having most of the loose ends tied very nicely and fitted equally as logically. It even poses and answers the anxiously posited question, WWVD (What Would Vin Do?)
Warning! At times it is violent and brutal but not overly so and be prepared to have ones understandings of certain events twisted as one progresses through the unfolding events.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Star Force Series up through book 7. Regrettably, Book 8 was a huge letdown for me. First, it uses an inexplicable Deus Ex Machina battle station creation by the Blues (similar to that of John Ringo's Troy Rising except this one uses black hole projection instead of lasers.) Predictably, Star Force (with the ironic help of an equally inexplicable cyborg creations from Earth's imperial megalomaniac, Admiral Crow) to take over this death star and eventually use it to defeat Earth's imperial forces and ungratifyingly end the series.
If this was a SciFi TV series, I would put it on par with BSG season 4.5.
Mark Boyett's oral performance was as well done as I've come to expect.
A didactic mixture of ancient philosophies, ol' time religion, quantum conundrums with the added thrill of being housed and experienced mostly in a monastic setting and mindset.
Great for those who find naval gazing illuminating, not so much for the rest.
The plot was interesting but lacked the full wonder of his previous works in The Commonwealth Saga and the ending was a bit of a letdown. With that said, Peter still displayed his master craft literary skills that I've come to admire.
While knowing it wasn't Classic Heilein, what I had anticipated was that it would at least attempt to hold mostly true to the man's memory. What I got was L. Ron Hubbard-like story that essentially venerated Bhuddism/Zen instead of Scientology, all the while spewing nothing but vile contempt at mono-theism, mostly directed at Christian and Islamic religions.
There were some interesting thought-provoking theories explored like the possibility that the force behind the destruction of Sol and all its planets might not have been from aliens who wanted to destroy humankind at all but who were at such a higher sentience level than humans that they gave humankind as much thought as humans give the killing of millions of microbes when taking a shower; only then to use that to segue into why the remaining hundred or so humans left should not hate these aliens and ends up making Truther claims out of whole cloth that purport to show where nothing good would come of it.
As to the protagonist and the other characters, there was very little interesting in them; mostly banal and endless discussion of puppy love gone awry eventually leading to his decision to venture off-planet to escape and then the long, dreary droning of every day life on a constrained ship on its passengers 20 year journey to an uncharted planet.
The prose writing style and the author's jocular narration of it was truly an epic example of two blase skills combining to make suffering through the story as grating to my tolerance threshold as any narrated novel as I've ever experienced.
I'll not be purchasing the follow-on Beyond the Frontier series, the last 2 and a half books of this series killed it for me.
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