Titan is the first part of the classic Gaea Trilogy which in my humble opinion is the Lord of the Rings of Sci-fi. Consider an insane goddess obsessed with Earth religions and Hollywood cinema who creates new kinds of creatures for her amusement and alleviates her boredom by dropping humans from bottomless elevators, offering miracles to pilgrims in return for heroics, and inciting thermonuclear wars. It has amorous blimps and submarines, holy zombies, smiling cattle, a giant Marilyn Monroe, and a story thread that would honor Joseph Campbell with the rise of the hero, the hero's fall, and the hero's redemption. I've long been convinced that Cirocco Jones must have been the inspiration for Alien's Ellen Ripley (although both appeared about the same time), and her partner Gaby the inspiration of Xena's Gabrielle. They're just too darn close. Of course I was thrilled when I spotted the series on Audible and I snatched it right up. I took a little time getting used to the narrator whose clean and even voice at first reminded me of an advanced text-to-speech program, but (except for giving Dulcimer an Irish accent... in the story I think it was supposed to be limited to the miracles line!) she has a comfortable voice and does fine work with the voices of Gaby, Cirrocco, and the others. Although the books can stand on their own, they work best taken sequentially with Titan giving the introductions, Wizard the tragedies, and Demon the triumphs. Titan starts the series a bit slowly, but Wizard and Demon are worth repeated reads. I recommend them.
An entertaining attempt to add Creationism into the Kansas school system. It would be tougher to stomach without the knowledge that the school board members were later replaced by rational adults and the decisions eventually overturned.
The hearings were overseen by Connie ("I feel bad for them when they face God on Judgment Day") Morris, Kathy ("It is a serious offense to mock God") Martin, and Steve (I can't find a decent quote for this guy, but I'll keep looking) Abrams.
John ("Just because I don't hold a Kansas bar license does not mean that I can't come into Kansas and practice law") Calvert led the fight for Intelligent Design, and the unpronounceable Pedro Irigonegaray acted as the lone voice of reason in this kangaroo court.
Most spent their time trying to discredit the Theory of Evolution (which was consistently referred to as Neo-Satanism--no waitasec--Neo-Darwinism) and its supporters. For instance, we don't have a fossil record for pre-Cambrian complex life. Oh no! The entire Theory of Evolution is thrown into doubt! And what the heck was up with the squirrel thing? Two groups of squirrels on opposite side of a canyon may or may not be different species. Well, the question was asked, why didn't the scientists just try breeding them to find out? BAM! Evolutionists, and by extension, Evolutionary Theory have been discredited. (if they had bothered asking, a scientist might have told them that different species can be capable of breeding, but separated into different reproductive groups by different mating seasons, or geography; like, I dunno, a big canyon!)
What this hearing comes down to is an example of human ideology superseding evidence based research. It's worth noting that with all of their praising of empirical science, not one shred of real evidence was presented for Intelligent Design during the four days of hearings. Not very intelligent in my opinion.
"World War Z" is the polar opposite of its predecessor, the tongue-in-cheek "Zombie Survival Guide." You don't have to be a horror or sci-fi fan to enjoy what may be one of the best dramas on Audible. "World War Z" isn't really about zombies; it's about people--not Hollywood action heroes--facing incredible threats. It's about a military rethinking combat strategies after a disastrous battle against an enemy that doesn't tire or feel pain, refugees who escape the undead and find the wilderness just as dangerous, and the frightening lengths nations go through to contain the threat. Voice actors include Alan Alda, Rob Reiner, and a great performance from Mark Hamill as a veteran of the Battle of Yonkers.
The only disappointment is the length of this engaging program--it's an abridged version of the book. If an unabridged version is made, I will gladly add it to my cart.
It's probably helpful if you've first read "Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story" for the story's background, but unfortunately it's not available here on Audible.
And if you're looking for a profound, and deeply spiritual or intellectually stimulating novel, this isn't it. In fact, if you're looking for a book with a plot, well... this ain't got much of one. If you're looking for something light and funny, this is a great choice.
Jody and Tommy are a pair of newly made vampires struggling with being bloodsucking fiends without compromising their ethics or getting staked by their friends. There's a nice crossover with the more intense "A Dirty Job," and The Emperor of San Fransisco (and his Royal Guard) have a prominent presence. Add to that a blue hooker who sees vampirism as a way out of her own dirty job, and a goth girl's infatuation with anything dead that keeps walking. The narrator's performance of Abby Normal's journals is alone worth the price of the book!
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