After the Firefall, all eyes are locked heavenward as a team of specialists aboard the self-piloted spaceship Theseus hurtles outbound to intercept an unknown intelligence.
©2006 Peter Watts; (P)2008 Recorded Books LLC
The story is very disjointed and painfully slow. I have read books where jumping back and forth from the characters memories to the present has created a tether, this creates a noose that makes the listener want to place their head in it.
There are holes in the "science" so large that you may need the Hubble to get a grasp of their boundaries. While there are elements that grab the imagination, the very tedious character development is painful to say the least. There was so much useless information that the author could have easily cut half of the book and it would be far more bearable. There are parts that are just glossed over that could be interesting, while others are examined in such minute detail that I almost turned the book off a number of times.
To be fair, this reminded me of Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea. There is just no redemption. If you are looking for something slow and artsy, this may just do it for you. If you found yourself liking the main character in Stephen R Donadlson's Thomas Covenant series, then you may indeed like this. If you wanted to slap Thomas Covenant because he was so self pitying, then this is not the listen for you.
I have been happy with all of my purchases except this one. I really wish I could get my money back for this book.
Sometimes I think one could write the perfect 2015 sci-fi novel by having a bunch of asexual and gender-fluid characters debate the evolution of the human mind endlessly while deus-ex-machina events move the plot along somewhere else.
Ta-da! Blindsight is that, but now with more vampires!
I had to really grit my teeth to get past the first few chapters, then it got easier. I guess the value of having super-intelligent aliens and super-intelligent AI's in your story is that at the end, instead of having a bunch of plot holes and inconsistencies, you can say "the super-intelligences did it!" about everything.
There are previous reviews written by: James 04-04-09 and Old Hippy 11-17-08. Please read their submissions. I have been reading and listening to SciFi since I was perhaps 8 or 9 years old. Sincerely without bragging, I feel I do know SciFi. (I'm 61 now). This is not for a novice science fiction reader. In my opinion it helps greatly to have the history of many reads and perhaps many years of SciFi to cope. I'm going to look into more of his writings. In other words,,,,"Yeah, it was a good story" ;-)
One of my all time favorites. Highly recommended for people that have already read the book as well. You should have no trouble following if you haven't read it but the performance of the narrator is so good and the details are so rich that it just gets better with repeat listenings.
Please record the Rifters Series next!
Snotty, elitist lawyer who reads too much and is kind too little.
Philosophical musings, space.
None of them stand out, actually.
Differentiate the characters better, inflect more emotion.
I can handle weighty matters of philosophy. I can handle long stretches of dense dialogue. It just all grates a little thin when the plot between them is only exciting in may two or three scenes. Good writing, flawed execution.
I struggled to finish this one for months. It was very dense, and conjured some very realistic, possible future technologies. But its density has mostly to do with intelligence, consciousness, and its role among the stars.
I'm surprised how bored I was listening to the book. Normally I'm a huge fan of books about encounters with alien species.
Loved it. If you are a sci fi fan, this is a must. Great use of philosophy, action, intrigue, second guessing, and plot development. Would certainly recommend.
This book is not your typical first contact book. It has some innovative ideas, but it suffers from stream of consciousness writing, and half the time you don't know what's happening. I think to really get it you'd need to read it twice. But I personally wouldnt take the time to do it. Perhaps it's not suited for an audio book because you'd have to rewind too many times to follow. There is some fascinating discussion of intelligence and consciousness and how they are linked. Many worthy passages but overall the writing is too scattered to deserve more than 3 stars. Great performance, though.
I thought about stopping this book often. Even now I wonder why I stuck with it. The author plays with the same tropes of an alien encounter books and pretties it up with some new tech terms. The hard science in the book is just slammed into, no build up and little to no flow. One character spouts out a perfect formed concept and then the story moves along to the next espousal that is supposed to be mind altering. It is rife with handholding explanations for these theories but leaves you to try and parse out what us happening with the plot.
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