The story is interesting. As usual in a hard science fiction book, there's a fair amount of discussion of technicalities, but it's very interesting. Bear's writing style is a bit mechanical, he is in no way a prose stylist and his characters are a bit on the stiff side, but both are used well to drive the story. My only complaint is the recording itself. It sounds like it's been compressed to within an inch of its life, it occasionally sounds like its being read by a computer. It's also muffled sounding like it was first recorded on cassette. It's not horrible but its annoying, particularly if you listen on headphones.
Tim Powers is neither sci-fi nor fantasy (at least no in any conventional sense), he writes very interesting stories where impossible things happen. In Last Call, he's mixing cold war spy stories with old school middle eastern mythology, and pulls it off brilliantly. Pinchot would not be my first choice for this book but he does a very good job.
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