What happens when a man and a computer is put on Saturn's Titan for a year to mine methane? The relationship doesn't always work out the way everyone plans. The relationship should be based on trust, but what if one member of the team isn't doing what the other expects?
©2015 Raymond J. Perreault (P)2016 Raymond J. Perreault
If it weren't for physics, law enforcement, and my medication, I'd be unstoppable!
This is a good listen for those who like sci-fi and want a good short story, but aren't looking to get into any complex techno-talk.
The story focuses on a mining maintenance worker who is beginning a 1 year assignment to a gas mine on Titan (One of Saturn’s Moons). Having been given a bottom-of-the-barrel assignment for complaining at a previous assignment, he is less than thrilled to be stuck alone at a mining facility with no one but an AI to keep him company.
While trying to keep his facility in as good a condition as possible, the output and efficiency is plagued by the degradation of parts and materials. Constant requests for repair parts to company headquarters go unanswered and he is blamed for the resulting drops in production and quality. Despite his hard work and the progress he is making, he is increasingly annoyed by his AI friend who does too much to try and help. Or at least he THINKS that the AI is his friend…
Narration was well done. Sound effects with some of the narration did a good job at adding to the realism. I would definitely suggest this one for anyone looking for a short listen.
Ray Jay Perreault has some very good full-length novels, and some other shorts. If you like this one you should look into some of his other books as well.
I received a free copy of this audiobook from the author, publisher, or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review. I was NOT required to write a positive review and this reflects my honest opinion of the work.
Robert has been assigned to Titan, one of Saturn’s moons, to mine methane. Much of the operation is done by robots and a human is needed to fix minor break downs and such. The resident built-in AI is TCI12, or Tessy. Things start off well enough but then little by little they fall apart.
This was a fun piece of scifi. While it’s a bit of a classic plot set up, I still enjoyed seeing how the author played with it. There’s some miscommunication with Earth about shipments, supplies, and the state of the miningbots on Titan. As Robert sees mangled messages congratulating other mining colonies, he both redoubles his efforts and becomes more and more pessimistic.
Meanwhile, Tessy does it’s ‘best’ to keep Robert on schedule, prodding him with daily reminders of the shipping quota and how many bots are down. On the surface, Tessy seems quite helpful and organized. Can an AI have ulterior motives? Or a (twisted) sense of humor?
I liked that Robert comments a few times about how it’s a tough assignment, being the only human on Titan for so many weeks/months at a time, how important it is to stay busy in order to stay mentally balanced. This is a good question for the story, not just for humans, but for any sentient being stuck on Titan with minimal socializing for any significant length of time.
I liked the ending because it speaks of further mischievousness. I hope when us humans start using AI for stuff in general, folks go back to the ‘Perreault classics’ and build in safety features that prevent and/or recognize questionable behavior in AIs at an early stage. This tale is a worthy read, and would make a good lunchbreak story.
I received a copy of this audiobook from the author at no cost in exchange for an honest review.
Narration: Christopher M. Allport gave a good performance. He made transmissions sound like transmissions with radio noises and such. I liked his helpful, calm voice for Tessy. He also did a great job with Robert’s voice, showing how Robert was somewhat enthusiastic about his assignment at the beginning and how little by little, that changed over the course of the story.
Sci-Fi, Fantasy, historical fiction, mystery, thrillers with sarcasm are my favorites with some Romance thrown in for fun.
Poor Robert is in the dog house with work and is sent off to distant Titan to spend a year of gas collection and maintenance with only an AI computer for company.
Ray Jay Perreault takes a familiar premise and turns it on its head, stirs and shakes and then shreds it into something new. Nicely done.
Christopher M. Allport shows us his wonderful range of characterizations and voices and even a few sound effects.
This audiobook was provided in exchange for an unbiased review.
I love almost anything post-apocalyptic, zombie, scifi, ect. Always looking for some new earhole entertainment!
I received a review copy of this book from the author. I am a fan of some of his other books. Not sure if it was the narrator or just the story itself but for me TCI was a bit annoying lol. Very cool story about AI though.
This short story reminded me so much of some of my time spent in Corporate America. The emotions were real and I felt appropriately expressed by the dialogue. I genuinely felt bad for Robert as the hits just kept on coming.
I loved the idea of a single man spending a complete year in isolation with his only companion being a seemingly straight forward artificial intelligence. Great twist at the end. Kind of makes me worry about real future AI and the myriad of ways which it could choose to act without the ability of man to change it.
Again, Mr. Allport did a great job with the narration.
Great idea, great short story. Really enjoyed it!
I received a free copy of this audio book for an honest review.
2nd book by this author I've listened to. Knowing what his style was like I was prepared for it and thoroughly enjoyed it. Don't expect action adventure and detailed descriptions of far off worlds. Expect to use your mind. Listen to the dialogue of the two characters and the transcriptions of the corporate messages and use your imagination to envision the scene. Wonderfully done. I received this audiobook from the author narrator or publisher for free via audiobookblast in exchange for an unbiased review
My rating: 4.5 stars
Audiobook narrator Christopher M. Allport rating: 4 stars
Wow, Robert does not have it good! I mean, the book mentions how working on the moon of Titan is not really anyone’s first choice but things go south quick for poor Robert and I really felt bad for him.
I really loved the idea of this book and thought it was a cool concept (again, I feel like Ray Jay is channeling his inner Isaac Asimov – which is fantastic!). I understand that not giving the Titan computer a sense of humor made for many humorous moments but I would think that at this point in the future, that the A.I. type computers would be able to adapt to human-way of thinking! However, I would not change that for this book since the computer’s dry sense of efficiency made this book very enjoyable. Especially with saying things like “I don’t understand why you threw that pillow at my visual sensor. You will just have to come pick it up now which will waste more time.”
This is a great short story about where we might be heading with mining the moons of the outer planets! The narrator did a great job of reading this book and he has a good computer voice.
I received a free copy of this audio book for an honest review.
Ah – irony strikes again in sci fi. Robert felt shorted at his last posting and it seems the company officials have punished him by sending him to a remote station to work in solitary, except for a computer companion. He is transferred to Saturn’s Titan production station to work with the AI in producing methane for shipment to the corporate overseers. The advanced AI computer has been developed to work with the single human operative and improve production in any way possible. As management, the computer applies different methods to motivate the human operative. The computer is still testing what is the best approach for humans – praise, fear, nagging, comparisons?
The story is told through the dialogue between the two characters. It progresses through the monthly changes and challenges addressed by Robert and "Tessi", the AI. Robert has to deal with typical factory type struggles that include shorted supply requisitions, failed deliveries, and overheard conversations that are shared by Tessi. How successful will the year of work be?
This was a quick, interesting vignette of large company issues. I liked the incorporation of the computer as a character and management tool. Anyone having to deal with quota production might find this humorous .... or at least appreciate the irony. I recommend this to readers who would enjoy a quick, ironic view of a computer in management position.
Audio Notes: It took me a bit to get used to the voices portrayed by Christopher M. Allport. Initially I thought the computer voice could be more distinctly robotic but then I realized that, like HAL in 2001 Space Odyssey, it was intended to have more of a personality. Then the narration made sense and I appreciated how Mr. Allport succeeded in conveying the escalating tension and frustration between the two characters.
I received this title from the author through Audiobook Blast for an honest review.
I have received a copy of this book in audio format from the author in exchange for an honest review.
This is the story about the year Robert spends at a methane mine on Saturn's Titan. His only company is TC, a computer which assists him in his job and manages communications with other mining sites and the company headquarters. This was not a desirable assignment for Robert to start with, but things start to go even worse when Robert is receiving shipments with missing parts and hearing that other stations are getting his. During the reviews, Robert's bosses are unhappy about his performance, asking him to be efficient in using the available resources.
Those of us who have worked in big corporations know how frustrating the company procedures can be. Usually communication is not straightforward and most of the time those mentioned procedures are the only thing that keep us from doing our job. Robert's story is the story of many people but translated to space. I think this makes it very close to us and we can identify ourselves with Robert and how frustrated he becomes.
Christopher M. Allport does a good job at narrating this story, but I would have appreciated a little bit more variation between Robert's and the computer's voices.
Ray Jay Perreault is able to tell great short stories, and this is one of those. I would like it to become a longer book, as some of his other stories.
I liked this book and thought it was entertaining most of the time. However the robotic voice was rather annoying and took some getting used to. This book is about the action between a miner and a AI who's soul job is to ensure productivity. Without giving away the story they clash often over the way that they should finish the tasks they are assigned to do. I got this book in exchange for a review.
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