The Foundation Trilogy is one of the great, classic sci-fi series from one of my all time favorite authors, but this was a terrible production. I can see why I paid less than $2.00.
The performances may have been great & the adaptation to the form of a radio drama might have been excellent, but I had a hard time hearing it due to the sound quality. The "sci-fi" sounds were extremely loud while the spoken words were very soft. I'm relieved that I was listening to this over speakers instead of on headphones or my eardrums would have blown when I turned it up to hear what was being said.
I would not consider recommending this version.
It's a good follow-up to Koban.
My favorite parts were with the people who were marooned on Koban in the 1st book. Learning about the 1st generation born on that world was interesting.
Captain Mirikami & the kids were my favorites.
However, Summerer was not as Freeman (the 1st book) at making the voices distinctive enough. With Freeman, I never had trouble telling which character was speaking. I got confused a few times with Summerer. Summerer was good at making it interesting, but most of his characters sound the same.
Watching the kids grow was occasionally funny. Bennett has obviously spent time around smart, hyperactive children.
My only complaint is that Audible doesn't have more books in this series yet. I want to know what happens next, & I want to know now!
Though this is classified as military science fiction (& I love a good military sci-fi story), I think that this 1st book is more of a survival story. Several of the characters are geniuses, but they are not perfect.
The world building. Three centuries prior, humanity was almost wiped out when a plague killed off most of the men, so society has undergone a shift in gender roles. Men are only just beginning to regain some of their equality with women. I like the way that Bennett thought through how a society would change under such circumstances.
It is too hard to pick just one character. Captain Mirikami gets the most air time, but there are several engaging characters including the aliens.
One of the things that I loved about Freeman's narration is that you RARELY have any trouble telling the characters apart, and this book does have a fairly large cast. Not having to wonder who is speaking at any given moment is a relief when you are in traffic!
Adapt or go extinct.
I usually listen to books in my car. This is one of those rare books that I bring into the house &/or sit out in a hot car listening to until I reach the end of a chapter.Koban is cinematic in scope. If a network wants a good sci-fi action series, it could do a lot worse than Koban.
First of all, I have been a fan of Larry Niven since the mid-80s. I don't know how I managed to go so long without reading this book. I knew the basic story from mentions in other Known Space stories.
The basic story idea is awesome. The time frozen last survivor of an ancient, extinct species that used its powerful mind control abilities to control much of the galaxy is released upon the Solar System, & a mad race is on to stop him before he can reclaim a tool that could enable him to enslave all of humanity. It's a fun little romp that feels like a short story. (I mean that as a complement because it just seems to fly by.)
In my opinion, what dates this story the most is the almost constant smoking. I'm convinced that, if all references to smoking were removed from this book, you would loose about 45 minutes. I found myself wondering if this book was originally sold with packs of smokes.
Read this if you like a light sci-fi adventure with a heavy dose of tobacco. :-)
I'd known the basic story for years, but hearing Xenophon's personal account really brought it to life in a special way. I listened to this in my car on my long drive to & from work, so I often found myself rushing to my computer when I got home to look up what is known about the various peoples encountered along the army's march. Xenophon seems to have been a careful chronicler even if he did write about these events several years after their conclusion.
If I had a complaint it would be that, in listening to this story, I found myself wanting a cheat sheet & a map for all of the places visited.
Charlton Griffin is a good, scholarly sounding performer. He made me feel like it really was Xenophon doing the speaking.
Listen to this if you are even remotely interested in Ancient Greek culture.
No spoilers here other than I think that Bujold decided to dedicate an entire book to torturing Miles' cousin/best friend/frequent victim, Ivan Vorpatril.
This may not be the best of the Vorkosigan books, but it was a lot of fun. Many parts had me laughing aloud. It is fun seeing many of the usual characters from a different perspective. Heck, the capitol city's most infamous landmark is good for a laugh.
Grover Gardiner does his usual great job.
Listen to this book if you like Bujold in snarky mode.
This isn't the 1st Vorkosigan book, but it works as the beginning of its own series. It's a smart, fun action series. You will laugh & cheer for Miles.
Miles isn't always the smartest guy in the room, but he's so good at faking it on those rare occasions when he encounters someone more intelligent, that you'd never know. Bujold has created a character that keeps you coming back for more.
Listening to this I find myself thinking that they need to find a younger clone of Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones) to play Miles. Both are characters that live in societies that disparage them for their appearances that become massively important people due to their wits.
Thanks to other readers for the rest of the series in order:
- The Warrior's Apprentice
- The Vor Game
- Ethan of Ethos (No Miles, but important for later stories)
- Brothers in Arms
- Mirror Dance (1994)
- Memory (1996)
- Komarr (1998)
- A Civil Campaign
- Winterfair Gifts
- Diplomatic Immunity
This is Heinlein's only fantasy, & it's been on my list of books to read for over 20 years. I can't say why I never got around to reading it before downloading this. It's a fun, light story. It's fun, but you can see that Heinlein wanted there to be a scientific explanation for everything. This did not take away from the story, rather, it only added to the charm.
You can tell that it was published in the early 60s both because of Heinlein's disdain for the post-WWII generation & his writing style. Heinlein changed over time, & this feels like the author from that period. He was fun throughout his career.
I didn't even look at who the narrator was, & I was shocked when I heard the name Bronson Pinchot. BALKI FROM PERFECT STRANGERS?!?! I'm pleased to say that my initial reaction could not have been more wrong. Pinchot's performance is perfect. The man is a great voice actor. This book is told in the 1st person, & Pinchot gives Oscar a low, confident drawl that makes you think that this guy could be both your best friend & someone who would take on a small army if there was no other choice. I look forward to hearing more by Mr. Pinchot.
I read this back in the early 90s, & I had fond memories. However, I've since read the Barsoom books (John Carter of Mars for those of you who don't know), & I realize that Norman stole liberally from Burroughs.
1. An intelligent, athletic man finds himself upon another world in our solar system where wars are fought with swords in the skies despite advanced technology.
2. He meets & falls for the most beautiful woman in the world who happens to be the princess of a mighty city-state.
3. Medical technology allows people to live much longer than on Earth.
4. Mysterious gods pull the strings in the background. (Barsoom calls them Therns, & Gor calls them Priest Kings.)
I could go on, but...
A major difference is that the characters in this book spend a lot more time boasting of their exploits than in Burroughs' book. The major role of slavery on Gor is the defining trait in later books. I remember that they almost read like sci-fi version of "Fifty Shades of Gray."
The performance wasn't 1/2 bad. You're only as good as your material. I wouldn't mind hearing him read something better. I might be great.
Go back & read the original Burroughs.
I recommend you read the old Barsoom books instead. Burroughs style may be old & a bit cliche at times by today's standards, but they hold up better than these books that were written after Burroughs' death.
I've heard that Norman is still writing Gor books, & that the series has over 20 books. If memory serves, they get steadily worse more repetitive the further that you read.
This is not a series for anyone who is easily embarased. You don't see it in this book, but it will come later. Women are treated worse on Gor than in just about any sci-fi/fantasy book that I've ever read, & I've been a fan of the genre since I was a kid in the early 80s. I'm embarased that I ever read these books. I won't be going any further.
1. I enjoyed seeing what life could be like for the "disposable" characters on a show like Star Trek. It makes you wonder why there was never a real mutiny on the Enterprise.
2. Few people can write as funny a nervous breakdown as John Scalzi. These characters are thrown into a situation that would drive any rational person completely nuts, and they still manage to function. There were parts that made me glad that I wasn't in heavy traffic because they were so funny.
3. Wil Wheaton. The only casting that could have been as appropriate as Wil would have been Sam Rockwell because Rockwell played an actor who had played a "redshirt" in Galaxy Quest. There was one twitchy ensign that bought it that I imagined looking like Rockwell. However, as good an actor as Rockwell is, I think that Wheaton might have a better feel for this medium because he is himself an author & John Scalzi is his friend.
Too many to list, & it already looks like I'm gushing here.
He was believable. When the characters were angry, scared, frustrated, &/or confused, you believed. I especially loved when a character went on a rant.There was a long section that was basically a long rant, and Weaton was in rare form.Again: Perfect casting.
Scalzy played it smart and did not write this just for laughs. Is it a comedy? Yes! What makes this book so good is that the comedy comes from these people who might be normal to you (or as normal as people on a space ship could be) react to a truly insane situation.
As much as I love Galaxy Quest, this is a better loving parody of Star Trek & other sci-fi TV shows. I'd love to see this made into a movie. It would be hard to fit the wonderful Codas could fit into a motion picture, but I'd love to see a good screenwriter & director try.
Cast Wil Wheaton in one of the lead roles!
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