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Niels J. Rasmussen

Dr. Nils Rasmussen

Member Since 2015

214
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 91 reviews
  • 138 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 47 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
7

  • The Podfather Trilogy - Season Four of The Ricky Gervais Show

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 57 mins)
    • By Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, Karl Pilkington
    Overall
    (348)
    Performance
    (155)
    Story
    (155)

    Here are three special episodes of The Ricky Gervais Show, featuring those doyens of the medium, the eponymous multi-award winning Ricky Gervais; Steve Merchant (The Office, Extras); and the round-headed idiot savant, Karl Pilkington.

    Niels J. Rasmussen says: "Simply Amazing"
    "Simply Amazing"
    Overall
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    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Although this season of Ricky Gervais' podcast doesn't QUITE meet the incredibly high standards previously set in previous editions, it's still solid gold.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Star

    • UNABRIDGED (16 mins)
    • By Arthur C. Clarke
    • Narrated By Mike Vendetti
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Arthur C. Clarke, it has often been pointed out, possess the best attributes of poet and scientist. Clarke is also a profound philosopher. This story is a rare example of sympathetic insight mingled with the best science-fiction traditions. It may shock or disturb you, but it will not leave you unmoved. One thing, however, is certain: it could have been written by no one else.

    Niels J. Rasmussen says: "The Single Greatest Short Story I Have Ever Heard"
    "The Single Greatest Short Story I Have Ever Heard"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Although only just under 17 minutes, this story has had a much more lasting effect on me than any novel I have ever read.
    Almost like poetry, if any single sentence was cut out from this story, it wouldn't be the same. Its perfection in simplicity is astonishing.

    I will never forget this story. I think that says enough.

    10.00 / 10.00

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Stainless Steel Rat

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Harry Harrison
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1169)
    Performance
    (927)
    Story
    (931)

    DiGriz is caught during one of his crimes and recruited into the Special Corps. Boring, routine desk work during his probationary period results in his discovering that someone is building a battleship, thinly disguised as an industrial vessel. In the peaceful League no one has battleships anymore, so the builder of this one would be unstoppable. DiGriz' hunt for the guilty becomes a personal battle between himself and the beautiful but deadly Angelina, who his planning a coup on one of the feudal worlds.

    SFF11C says: "Awesome"
    "Very Modern Sounding Sci/Fi For 1961"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I've heard this book raved about by a few people before I had the chance to listen to it. Honestly, it was pretty damn good, but I don't really see what all the fuss is about.

    I think most readers fall in love with the protagonist. He is a lovable rascal. Everyone loves a rascal.

    Narration performance was very good to top it all off.

    I would highly recommend the book, but I wouldn't put it on any "Must-Read" lists.


    8.62 / 10.00

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Double Star

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Robert A. Heinlein
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    One minute, down-and-out actor Lorenzo Smythe is, as usual, in a bar, drinking away his troubles while watching his career circle the drain. Then a space pilot buys him a drink, and the next thing Smythe knows, he's shanghaied to Mars. Smythe suddenly finds himself agreeing to the most difficult role of his career: impersonating an important politician who has been kidnapped. Peace with the Martians is at stake, and failure to pull off the act could result in interplanetary war.

    Will says: "Great story and Weiner's best narration"
    "Excellent in Small Chunks at a Time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
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    The performer of this book did his job SO well that it nearly makes the book tough to listen to for periods longer than about a chapter at a time. That is because the story is told by a character who is supposed to be smarmy and unlikable and the book's reader pulled this stunt off to a tee. Bravo.

    Aside from that complaint, this book was excellent. I have a special space in my heart for sci-fi that allows for a bit of humor from time to time.

    If you are unfamiliar with Heinlein, may I suggest you check out "The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag" first. It will give you a better idea of the writer's style and range.


    8.38 / 10.00

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • One Man's Poison

    • UNABRIDGED (31 mins)
    • By Robert Sheckley
    • Narrated By Al Kessel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Someone had made a mistake when the space ship was loaded for this prospecting trip. Someone had made a BIG mistake. On their way back, Casker and Hellman realize the only food left is a single radish that they must share. Then, when things look darkest, they find an oddly shaped abandoned planet with…a huge warehouse! As they search the alien storehouse for anything edible to humans, they encounter many strange and dangerous obstacles.

    Niels J. Rasmussen says: "Disappointing For Sheckley"
    "Disappointing For Sheckley"
    Overall
    Performance
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    I'm probably one of Robert Sheckley's biggest fans, but this story was easily one of the weakest of his works.

    The idea itself isn't too bad, but the writing just seemed rushed. Definitely not on par with the author's other short stories.

    It's almost as if Sheckley was writing this under a strict deadline where he had to finish before he was entirely happy with it. That is, of course, complete conjecture on my part but that's how it comes across.

    Skip this one.

    5.6 / 10.0

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bright New Universe

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Jack Williamson
    • Narrated By Michael Sutherland
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    "Think what it would mean! To prove we aren't alone! To find other races - older and wiser than we are! Out on the moon, I hope to find an answer. If we do pick up a signal from space, it will be the great turing point in human history. It will give our lives a meaning." — Yet to make his words good, Adam Cave had to break with his family and society, and put himself against his own world. But once out there on the far side of the moon, where an isolated band kept pushing Earth's call letters into the void, the picture changed startlingly, shockingly.

    Niels J. Rasmussen says: "Very Interesting Take On Human First Contact"
    "Very Interesting Take On Human First Contact"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I got into Williamson through his "Humanoids" trilogy of books, and expanded from there. If you have never read his work before, I suggest starting with "With Folded Hands", which is available on Audible in a pair combined with the book's follow-up, "The Humanoids".

    This book was a really pleasant surprise to me.
    The plot sheds light on both the possible advantages, as well as drawbacks from potential human-alien first contact. How it should be done, where it should be done, why it should be done, and of course, whether it should be done at all.

    Williamson's vision of the trans-intergalactic community of species is far different from most writers in the genre. Unlike being set up like an empire, it is more of just a club of sorts. Refreshing take on an old, hashed out premise.

    Narration was top quality as well.
    Very nice surprise from a book that I had low expectations going into it.


    8.48 / 10.00

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Let's Get Together

    • UNABRIDGED (41 mins)
    • By Isaac Asimov
    • Narrated By Mark F. Smith
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    It's bad enough to learn that your historical enemy has developed robots so human-like that it takes an X-ray to detect them. But to learn that a group of the robots is already in the US and planning to detonate a bomb that can annihilate a major piece of a state - that's real motivation! For the man charged with neutralizing them - it's crunch time!

    Niels J. Rasmussen says: "The Cold War + ROBOTS!"
    "The Cold War + ROBOTS!"
    Overall
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    This story is set up in a Cold War type scenario about one hundred years in the future.
    The two sides have been at a stalemate for the entire century because of the looming threat of mutually assured destruction via thermo-nuclear bombs.
    But things take a change when robotics is finally at the point where it can produce a humanoid robot that could pass undetected across the borders. A robot so realistic that it could fool even the experts upon close examination. And what if these robots were programmed to carry out an attack on enemy soil?

    8.39 / 10.00

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Time Stops Today

    • UNABRIDGED (51 mins)
    • By John Wyndham
    • Narrated By Mike Vendetti
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    It wasn't war. It wasn't cosmic catastrophe. But two couples woke up one morning to find that their houses and a part of the grounds had suddenly been cut off, isolated and beyond the invisible barrier that closed them in.

    Niels J. Rasmussen says: "So THIS Is Where Stephen King Gets His Ideas"
    "So THIS Is Where Stephen King Gets His Ideas"
    Overall
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    Any additional comments?

    After listening to this audiobook, I was shocked at how blatantly Stephen King stole the basic idea of this short story for his novel "Under The Dome". There are of course, differences between the works, but the initial premise is almost identical. Shame on you Mr. King.

    ANYHOW... This was a fantastic little short story by John Wyndham. I was never a fan of his most famous story, "The Day of the Triffids", but his short stories are amazing. They can't be found in audiobook format, but if you can get your hands on either of Wyndham's short story collections, "The Seeds of Time" or "Consider Her Ways", BUY THEM. You will not be disappointed.

    8.65 / 10.00

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ask a Foolish Question

    • UNABRIDGED (22 mins)
    • By Robert Sheckley
    • Narrated By Mike Vendetti
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    It's out there, and it's name is the Answerer. It knows the answer to everything, if you know how to ask the question.

    Niels J. Rasmussen says: "A Thought Provoking Short Story"
    "A Thought Provoking Short Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This story is a perfect example of how Robert Sheckley often hides a deep message within the confusing riddle of his stylistic stories.
    Sheckley forces us to redefine words, question reality, and all in all examine what it means to be human.

    One aspect of this story involves an entire race of alien beings whose job it is to collect purple and put it onto a giant mound of other purple. See what I mean?

    On first listen, parts of this story might come across as utter nonsense, but if you listen again carefully, you will see the true genius of this author.

    8.45 / 10.00

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Status Civilization

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Robert Sheckley
    • Narrated By Mark Douglas Nelson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    Will Barrent has no memory of the murder for which he was convicted. He will now have to live his life sentence on the prison planet Omega. The few that survive there do it by committing crimes. And the more adept the planet inmates are at higher crime, the more they climb their bizzare anti-social ladder. They all must live in a society where drug addiction is mandatory, as is the worship of the Dark One.

    Niels J. Rasmussen says: "Sheckley's Finest Work"
    "Sheckley's Finest Work"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I absolutely love this novel.
    Although written decades ago, it's still as fresh as anything today.

    The Status Civilization is, in my opinion, Robert Sheckley's masterpiece. "Dimension of Miracles" and "The Journey of Joenes" are both amazing works, but this novel tops anything in all of Sheckley's catalogue. I had actually read this in text format before buying the audiobook and let me tell you, from the first page, I was hooked. After that, I couldn't put it down to save my life.

    Do yourself a huge favor and buy this book.

    9.9 / 10

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Humanoid Touch

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Jack Williamson
    • Narrated By Jeremy Johnson
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    The humanoid - man's ultimate mechanical triumph and perfect servant - so flawlessly effective and self-regenerative as to stifle mankind into impotence and eventual enslavement - was the invention of Jack Williamson in one of the finest science fiction novels of all time, The Humanoids.

    Niels J. Rasmussen says: "Great Listen - But - The Weakest of the Trilogy"
    "Great Listen - But - The Weakest of the Trilogy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The Humanoid Touch is the third and final installment of Jack Williamson's Humanoid trilogy of stories.
    The first story in the series, "With Folded Hands", is easily the author's best work. This was followed up by "The Humanoids", which was great, but got a little too far-fetched by the end of the novel for my tastes.

    The Humanoid Touch focuses less on the actual robots known as The Humanoids and more on characters and character development. To my surprise, the robots don't even make an appearance until about halfway into the novel. Although this book was much less far-fetched than the second installment of the series, I would still consider it to be its weakest link.
    I won't give anything away, but you really DO need to read the previous books in the trilogy to properly follow what is happening in the story, which I consider to be a drawback.

    Also, although the narrator in this book IS very good, he isn't QUITE as good with the material as the reader from both of the previous two audiobooks (Which can be found as a set of two, together on Audible).
    Still a very enjoyable conclusion to The Humanoid saga though.

    8.32 / 10.00

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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