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Rip-Off!

An Anthology by 13 of Today’s Best Speculative Fiction Writers

Thirteen of today’s best and most-honored writers of speculative fiction face a challenge even they would be hard-pressed to conceive: pick your favorite opening line from a classic piece of fiction (or even non-fiction) - then use it as the first sentence of an entirely original short story. Find out more on the stories that have been 'ripped off' here.

 
More Books by the Authors of Rip-Off!
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  • The Lost Fleet: Courageous

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Jack Campbell
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel, Jack Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2829)
    Performance
    (1810)
    Story
    (1833)

    The Alliance has been fight a losing battle against the Syndicate Worlds for over a century. Now, Captain John "Black Jack" Geary, who returned to the fleet after a hundred-year suspended animation, must keep the Alliance one step ahead of its merciless foe.

    Jesse says: "Great Scifi!"
  • The Lost Fleet: Valiant

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Jack Campbell
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2583)
    Performance
    (1663)
    Story
    (1675)

    Deep within Syndicate Worlds' space, the Alliance fleet continues its dangerous journey home under the command of Captain John "Black Jack" Geary, who was revived after a century spent in suspended animation. Geary's victories over the enemy have earned him both the respect and the envy of his fellow officers.

    Readalot says: "I like honorable heroes!"
  • The Lost Fleet: Relentless

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Jack Campbell
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2514)
    Performance
    (1594)
    Story
    (1610)

    After successfully freeing Alliance POWs, "Black Jack" Geary discovers that the Syndics plan to ambush the fleet with their powerful reserve flotilla in an attempt to annihilate it once and for all. And as Geary has the fleet jump from one star system to the next, hoping to avoid the inevitable confrontation, saboteurs contribute to the chaos.

    Chance says: "Listen to the complete series"
  • The Lost Fleet: Victorious

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Jack Campbell
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel, Jack Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2552)
    Performance
    (1583)
    Story
    (1597)

    As war continues to rage between the Alliance and Syndicate Worlds, Captain "Black Jack" Geary is promoted to admiral - even though the ruling council fears he may stage a military coup. His new rank gives him the authority to negotiate with the Syndics, who have suffered tremendous losses and may finally be willing to end the war. But an even greater alien threat lurks on the far side of the Syndic occupied space.

    matthew says: "A Great Book From a Great Series"
  • Look into The Sun

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By James Patrick Kelly
    • Narrated By Kevin T. Collins
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    James Patrick Kelly, the author of Planet of Whispers and the co-author, with John Kessel, of Freedom Beach has been nominated for both the Nebula and Hugo awards for his short fiction. This is a fable about a dissatisfied architect who travels "up-time" and changes shape to design a temple for a goddess.

  • METAtropolis

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jay Lake, Tobias Buckell, Elizabeth Bear, and others
    • Narrated By Michael Hogan, Scott Brick, Kandyse McClure, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1227)
    Performance
    (488)
    Story
    (493)

    Armed camps of eco-survivalists battle purveyors of technology in this exclusive, original production featuring five sci-fi masters and five all-star narrators.

    james says: "Not a wasted credit"
  • METAtropolis: Cascadia

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Jay Lake, Mary Robinette Kowal, Elizabeth Bear, and others
    • Narrated By Rene Auberjonois, Kate Mulgrew, Wil Wheaton, and others
    Overall
    (621)
    Performance
    (373)
    Story
    (370)

    This sequel to the Hugo and Audie Award nominated METAtropolis features interconnected stories by today’s top writers of speculative fiction – performed by a galaxy of Star Trek stars. As the mid-20th century approaches, the Pacific Northwest has been transformed - politically, economically, and ecologically - into the new reality of Cascadia. Conspiracies and secrets threaten the tenuous threads of society. And the End of Days seems nearer than ever.

    Stephen says: "Some good, some bad"
  • Beggars and Choosers

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Nancy Kress
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Cassandra Campbell, Mirron Willis, and others
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    In a future America strangely altered by genetic modifications, millions of ordinary people are supported by the efforts of handsome and intellectually-superior gene-modified humans. These, in turn, are running scared in the face of the near-superhuman powers of the Sleepless, radically altered humans who have their own agenda for humanity. The Sleepless have withdrawn from the rest of the race to an island retreat, from which they periodically release dazzling scientific advances.

    Ken says: "Begins to beg some of its own questions"
  • Beggars Ride

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Nancy Kress
    • Narrated By Judy Young
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    In this final installment of Nancy Kress's award-winning Beggars trilogy, it is now 200 years in the future. Regular human beings hate and fear the Sleepless and the SuperSleepless, genetically-modified humans who are immune to disease and hunger and who do not need to sleep. When the Sleepless plot to take over the world and leave regular humans powerless, civilization and the very meaning of the word "human" hang in the balance.

    Ken says: "Wheels come off the cart"
  • Starship: Pirate

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Mike Resnick
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Mike Resnick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (353)
    Performance
    (114)
    Story
    (117)

    Seeking to find a new life for themselves, Cole and comrades remake the Teddy R. as a pirate ship and set sail for the lawless Inner Frontier. There, powerful warlords, cut-throat pirates, and struggling colonies compete for survival in a game where you rarely get a second chance to learn the rules. But military discipline is poor preparation for a life of pillaging and plundering.

    James says: "It Gets Better"
  • Starship: Mercenary

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Mike Resnick
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Mike Resnick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (322)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (108)

    The life of a mercenary is not always predictable. Circumstance now pits Captain Wilson Cole and the Teddy R. against the former Pirate Queen, Valkyrie. Soon the fragile trust that has grown between these two legends is put to the test as they find themselves on opposite sides of a job.

    Dennis says: "Another Great Story!"
  • Starship: Rebel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Mike Resnick
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Mike Resnick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (402)
    Performance
    (127)
    Story
    (128)

    The date is 1968 of the Galactic Era, almost three thousand years from now. The Republic, dominated by the human race, is in the midst of an all-out war with the Teroni Federation.

    Almost a year has passed since the events of Starship: Mercenary. Captain Wilson Cole now commands a fleet of almost 50 ships, and he has become the single greatest military force on the Inner Frontier.

    Rancher5 says: "Whats to say the book was great."
  • Starship: Flagship

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Mike Resnick
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (247)
    Performance
    (97)
    Story
    (98)

    The date is 1970 of the Galactic Era, almost 3,000 from now, and the Republic, created by the human race but not yet dominated by it, finds itself in an all-out war against the Teroni Federation, an alliance of races that resent Man's growing military and economic power. The rebel starship, the Theodore Roosevelt, under the command of Wilson Cole, is preparing to lead Cole's ragtag armada into the Republic, even though he is outnumbered thousands to one.

    Dennis says: "Sorry to see it End!!"
  • Old Man's War

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3237)
    Performance
    (2235)
    Story
    (2259)

    John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First, he visited his wife's grave. Then he joined the army. The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce - and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So, we fight, to defend Earth and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.

    Michael says: "As good as Heinlein"
  • The Ghost Brigades

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1747)
    Performance
    (1201)
    Story
    (1210)

    The Ghost Brigades are the Special Forces of the Colonial Defense Forces, elite troops created from the DNA of the dead and turned into the perfect soldiers for the CDF's toughest operations. They're young, they're fast and strong, and they're totally without normal human qualms.

    wendy says: "Great story"
  • The Last Colony

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1196)
    Performance
    (866)
    Story
    (877)

    Retired from his fighting days, John Perry is now village ombudsman for a human colony on distant Huckleberry. With his wife, former Special Forces warrior Jane Sagan, he farms several acres, adjudicates local disputes, and enjoys watching his adopted daughter grow up. That is, until his and Jane's past reaches out to bring them back into the game.

    Katherine says: "3.5 stars"
  • Zoe's Tale

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (682)
    Performance
    (466)
    Story
    (471)

    "I'm Zoe Boutin Perry: A colonist stranded on a deadly pioneer world. Holy icon to a race of aliens. A player in a interstellar chess match to save humanity. Seventeen years old. Everyone on Earth knows the tale I am part of. But you don't know my tale: I'm going to tell it to you now, the only way I know how: not straight but true, the whole thing, to try make you feel what I felt: the joy and terror and uncertainty, panic and wonder, despair and hope."

    David says: "A fun listen, and some new information, but..."
  • The Tel Aviv Dossier

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Lavie Tidhar, Nir Yaniv
    • Narrated By Eric Meyers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Through a city torn apart by violence they cannot comprehend, three disparate people: a documentary film-maker, a yeshiva student, and a psychotic fireman must try to survive, and try to find meaning--even if it means being lost themselves. As Tel Aviv is consumed, a strange mountain rises at the heart of the city, and shows the outline of what may be another, alien world beyond.

  • Shadowmarch: Shadowmarch, Volume I

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Tad Williams
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (379)
    Performance
    (242)
    Story
    (248)

    For generations the misty Shadowline has marked the boundary between the lands of men and the lost northern lands that are the lair of their inhuman enemies, the ageless Qar. But now that boundary line is moving outward, threatening to engulf the northernmost land in which humans still live - the kingdom of Southmarch.

    Marty says: "It's the characters that matter..."
  • Shadowplay: Shadowmarch: Volume II

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Tad Williams
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (234)
    Performance
    (145)
    Story
    (145)

    A year ago, the March Kingdoms were at peace, and the Eddon family held the throne. Now the family has been shattered. King Olin Eddon is a prisoner in a faraway land, and Olin’s heir Kendrick is dead – slain by treachery and dark, bloody magic. With their father and brother taken from them, the royal twins Barrick and Briony have done their best to hold the kingdom together, but now Barrick has been captured in a failed war against the immortal Twilight People and Briony has been forced to flee.

    Coral says: "Stuff is happening but it's rather dull"
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