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Saturn's Children | [Charles Stross]

Saturn's Children

In Saturn's Children, Freya is an obsolete android concubine in a society where humans haven't existed for hundreds of years. A rigid caste system keeps the Aristos, a vindictive group of humanoids, well in control of the lower, slave-chipped classes. So when Freya offends one particularly nasty Aristo, she's forced to take a dangerous courier job off-planet.
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Publisher's Summary

The Hugo Award-winning author of numerous best-sellers, Charles Stross crafts tales that push the limits of the genre.

In Saturn's Children, Freya is an obsolete android concubine in a society where humans haven't existed for hundreds of years. A rigid caste system keeps the Aristos, a vindictive group of humanoids, well in control of the lower, slave-chipped classes. So when Freya offends one particularly nasty Aristo, she's forced to take a dangerous courier job off-planet.

©2008 Charles Stross; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"Stross takes a plot device common to mystery novels and turns it into one of the most stylishly imaginative robot tales ever penned." (Booklist)
"Good fun... Heinlein himself would've liked this." (San Diego Union-Tribune)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (137 )
5 star
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3.9 (76 )
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4.4 (74 )
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Performance
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  •  
    G. House Sr. Sherborn, MA, United States 01-31-13
    G. House Sr. Sherborn, MA, United States 01-31-13 Member Since 2012

    I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pleasent, Complicated Space Opera - Very Enjoyable"

    During the reading of this self-proclaimed ‘space opera,’ I admit to swinging from wondering why I was still listening to being enthralled. This novel is about robots that we humans create. Unfortunately for homo-sapiens, we die out and leave the robots in charge with human objectives and a streak of subservience. What ensues is a bizarre culture of slavery. Written in the first person by a female robot bot named Freya; the story twists and turns with multiple personalities, a complex plot, much intrigue and misdirection. It is definitely hard to keep it all straight sometimes as event sometimes move too fast and the point of view switches among personalities, so you’ll find yourself skipping back 30 seconds on occasion.

    The narrator Bianca Amato did a very good job of handling all of the voice. Though she speaks with a bit of an English accent, she is pleasant and brisk with her narration.

    This novel will appeal to a listener who is interested in rooting for all sides. You root for one thing, then another and another. By the time you finish you reassess they story and reflect. From this point of view, the novel make you think, think about a world humans created but are not manifest. I recommend this book – it is different than I thought it would be; but I am still happy I listened.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SciFi Kindle Cheshire, CT USA 05-23-14
    SciFi Kindle Cheshire, CT USA 05-23-14 Member Since 2012

    I'm a Hard SF & Space Opera-loving, alien android from the future. I bring gifts of SciFi eBooks & accessories for your leader's Kindle. Take me to him/her/it.

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    "Androids picking up the pieces of extinct humanity"

    Thrust into a widening game of spycraft, our android protagonist Freya will grow from a gutter-survivor flotsam-of-society-type to someone in command of her own destiny for a change. The villains and trusted allies swap roles several times, and personalities are likewise interchangeable among robot characters who can swap ‘soul chips' at a moment’s notice. One interesting allowance of this personality exchange mechanism for the story, is that it allows blended flashback narratives from various character viewpoints. After a few iterations, however, it begins to become difficult in telling the various players and their motives apart, and I think this is a deliberate decision on Stross’s part to make the reader identify with Freya’s solitary plight. Freya, herself an obsolete sexbot designed to serve humans who have now been extinct for three hundred years, casually alters her appearance frequently and drastically redesigns herself on multiple occasions. Such android adaptability is a theme displayed across the varied locations of the story, and is contrasted against humanity’s own inflexible nature. They exist in the memory of android society as beloved creators, but mysterious and poorly understood. The pacing and action are both healthy, and frequent satirical observations of human foibles through the eyes of our creations are also entertaining. There’s (unsurprisingly) a lot of sex included, though it never feels gratuitous as it occurs as a routine matter for the character; transactional. While the conspiratorial threads come to a satisfying conclusion, I remain unsatisfied with the long-term direction these characters and society are headed, and look forward to some insight from the sequel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ciana Smithfield, RI, United States 05-21-14
    Ciana Smithfield, RI, United States 05-21-14 Member Since 2008
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    "Caution: do not listen to while driving"
    What disappointed you about Saturn's Children?

    This book had virtually no plot. It was so boring, that I would start to nod off while I was at red lights. Freya flew from planet to planet to deliver items to people. Towards the end there seemed to be a small reason for her trips but at that point, I didn't even care because I had listened for 10 hours already. For some reason I must not have realized when I bought the book this would be an attempt to make a robot sex novel, so when those scenes first started I was suprised. Stross is not even good at writing a sex scene, even some badly wrtitten romance novels are sometimes worth skimming, just for a few good pages of hot steamy sex. Not this book.
    The concept of the book was a good one, it was just done poorly. I felt no connection to Freya or any other character in the book. I did not care what happened to anyone in the book. Space travel may be sh*t, but so is this pathetic attempt of a space novel.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't waste your time

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meera Folsom, CA, United States 04-15-14
    Meera Folsom, CA, United States 04-15-14 Member Since 2006
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    "Good performance poor story"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I've enjoyed other books by this author but found this one to be tedious. I kept listening, waiting for the story to improve but it never did. There is also a lot of robot porn which does not seem to have any real purpose to the story line.


    Have you listened to any of Bianca Amato’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Overall the performance is good.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer NORTHLAKE, TX, United States 07-08-10
    Amazon Customer NORTHLAKE, TX, United States 07-08-10 Member Since 2008

    reader of books

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    "Not worthy of all the hype"

    I have read Stross before (Singularity Sky) and really enjoyed it. This book, while interesting did not seem worthy of all the hype and awards that have been lavished upon it. I was most interested in the back story of what happened and what the future is for humanity than the story of the robots that was presented. Even the adult content that has been talked about in other forums I found rather pointless. As for narration, that was very good. Just wish story was better. My recommendation is to save the credit.

    4 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Dallas, TX 11-10-11
    Amazon Customer Dallas, TX 11-10-11 Member Since 2008
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    "imaginative erotic sci fi, outstanding narration"

    A spy novel written in noir style from the perspective of the interior monologue of a grumpy female sexbot after the mysterious extinction of humanity. The narration is brilliantly performed, and quite sexy and hilarious in certain parts.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry Irving Bethesda, MD 05-29-12
    Terry Irving Bethesda, MD 05-29-12 Member Since 2011

    Terry

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    "What a voice"
    What made the experience of listening to Saturn's Children the most enjoyable?

    OK, this is a good to excellent novel but that's not really the point. Bianca Amato's performance is stellar (intentional joke). In a story about a robot geisha left without any humans to love, she gives everyone a separate and delicious English accent.

    She's FABULOUS

    I mean, the book is great and all but her read is incredible.


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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