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Gary Denton

Liberal Anti-Authoritarian

Pasadena, Texas USA | Member Since 2009

ratings
9
REVIEWS
5
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
9

  • Existence

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By David Brin
    • Narrated By Kevin T. Collins, Robin Miles, L. J. Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (403)
    Performance
    (357)
    Story
    (356)

    Gerald Livingston is an orbital garbage collector. For a hundred years, people have been abandoning things in space, and someone has to clean it up. But there’s something spinning a little bit higher than he expects, something that isn’t on the decades’ old orbital maps. An hour after he grabs it and brings it in, rumors fill Earth’s infomesh about an "alien artifact".

    A. Massey says: "Big ideas, good science fiction, frustrating style"
    "Epic ideas, so-so-execution"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can only give David Brin's latest a 3.5 - It models itself on John Brunner's Stand On Zanzibar as a near future exploration of vital topics but the very long mixed together narratives with no character as a central focus for long ended up often putting me to sleep.

    Love the ideas, the near-future forecasts, the characters individually, but it doesn't quite become the epic it should be. Most of the threads are amazing, the ideas are amazing, the whole not so much. Disentangling this book might have helped, I would like to hear "Pandora's Cornucopia" and "Aliens, Choose Why You are Silent" and some of the characters stories all in one block. The last third of the book, once people go out into the belt, could also be a great stand alone.

    If you like your SF on the intellectual and hard side and are curious about Fermi's Paradox you should really get this book. Not for casual readers or listeners.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Back to the Bedroom

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Janet Evanovich
    • Narrated By C.J. Critt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (236)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (62)

    She was the mysterious woman in the long black cloak. He was the sexy guy next door. They shared a common wall between their Capitol Hill townhouses and not much else...until disaster scored a direct hit on the mystery woman's bedroom and the sexy guy's heart. He baked her a cake, she learned to throw a football, there were some misunderstandings in the living room, some mishaps in the yard, and some romantic moments everywhere.

    Blandina says: "SO SO"
    "Light and Fun Romp"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Possible spoiler - this is a screwball comedy romance with all that implies.

    In most romances the characters seem made for each other. Here the two leads have very different outlooks and goals in life which makes for a more interesting story and creates problems until the end. This is light weight funny fluff and you know it is going to be wrapped up at the end but there is some funny romance and banter along the way.

    Katherine Finn is a recently divorced, dedicated, serious and very time-stressed musician, and David Dodd is a handsome, fit and very easy-going hunk who loves cartoons and toys. He has won the lottery and doesn't have to work but draws cartoons. They live in adjoining townhouses. Something falls out of the sky and smashes through the roof and the third floor to land in Kate's bed on the second floor. Elsie Hawkins shows up from moving out of a nursing home to rent a room.

    The chapter about dinner with the parents needs to be on the big screen.

    C.J. Critt reads this book and it took me a couple chapters to get into her style. It improves.

    As a bonus for Stephanie Plum fans this is the first of four romances to feature Elsie Hawkins, the prototype for Grandma Mazur. The next is Smitten.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Soulless: An Alexia Tarabotti Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Gail Carriger
    • Narrated By Emily Gray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3005)
    Performance
    (2210)
    Story
    (2234)

    Victorian romance mixes seamlessly with elegant prose and biting wit—and werewolves—in Gail Carriger’s delightful debut novel. Soulless introduces Alexia Tarabotti, a parasol-wielding Londoner getting dangerously close to spinster status. But there are more important things than finding a husband. For Alexia was born without a soul, giving her the ability to render any vampire or werewolf completely powerless.

    Pamela I Greene says: "Amelia Peabody has competition"
    "Steampunk and Werewolves and Vampires, Oh my"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a paranormal steampunk set in London with a clever premise and much wit. A fun listen.

    Alexia has no soul, a rare condition which enables her to negate the powers of other supernaturals. She also has little prospects being a spinster with a dead Italian father which makes her nose a bit too big and her skin a bit too swarthy . She is also a bit too curvy and much too independent and smart. This is a romance, although this mixes in a lot of genres, that starts when a vampire oddly loses his manners and tries to make a meal of her in the drawing room at a party. She is soon drawn into the mystery of why vampires and werewolves have been disappearing around London and into contact with an annoying Alpha werewolf leader in charge of the investigation and Lord Akeldama, who as a vampire knows more than just the latest styles. The different societies, werewolf, vampire and upper crust Victorian human, are well depicted.

    Settle in for some comfortable fun listening and learn why a lady is never without her parasol.





    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Hunger for the Infinite: A Galactic Center Story

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 46 mins)
    • By Gregory Benford
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    Overall
    (467)
    Performance
    (407)
    Story
    (407)

    A Hunger for the Infinite, which first appeared in Robert Silverberg's Far Horizons anthology, is a novella that takes place in the universe of "The Galactic Center Saga", detailing a galactic war between mechanical and biological life. Here, the pilots had made it to True Center in order to destroy something, anything, important to the Mechs, but Paris had something else on his mind. A story of the Mantis, and the decline of humans beginning in 3600 AD.

    Michale says: "Haunting"
    "Intellectual Big Ideas"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Do you think A Hunger for the Infinite needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    This is a set-up for a long series, so yes.


    Any additional comments?

    With Benford's Galactic Center series you are getting big, really big, ideas and not much character development, particularly in a shorter story like this. This is more of a sample to see if you really want universe spanning ideas that can seem cold, bleak and distant. Ultimately the series gets down to the fate of the universe and there is nothing warm and fuzzy about that but some intellectual speculation and mind-blowing ideas.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Fuzzy Nation

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton, John Scalzi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3779)
    Performance
    (3314)
    Story
    (3312)

    In John Scalzi's re-imagining of H. Beam Piper's 1962 sci-fi classic Little Fuzzy, written with the full cooperation of the Piper Estate, Jack Holloway works alone for reasons he doesnt care to talk about. Hundreds of miles from ZaraCorps headquarters on planet, 178 light-years from the corporations headquarters on Earth, Jack is content as an independent contractor, prospecting and surveying at his own pace. As for his past, thats not up for discussion.

    Samuel Montgomery-Blinn says: "Short, sweet, and satisfying storytelling."
    "Twofer Where the original is better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Fuzzy Nation rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

    Fuzzy Nation and Little Fuzzy are one of my best audio experiences this year. I like both stories and the narration was excellent.


    What other book might you compare Fuzzy Nation to and why?

    In this audio book you get to compare Scalzi's telling of the story with Piper's original story. Although I like Scalzi his story is more light weight and almost a cliche compared to the original. Story is 4 for Scalzi and 5 for Piper. My ratings are reversed for the naration.


    What does Wil Wheaton and John Scalzi (Introduction) bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    Wil Wheaton is an excellent narrator but I think little was added to the story or intro by having excellent narration. Perhaps the emotional impact is improved by the narration, that is the one thing Scalzi heightened and improved upon the original and Wil really brought it out.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Toward the end of both stories ??? yes.


    Any additional comments?

    I like Scalzi but Piper's Little Fuzzy is better and a 5 star classic. Your mileage may vary.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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