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The Year's Top Short SF Novels 2 | [Carolyn Ives Gilman, Kij Johnson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Ken Liu, Robert Reed, Alllen M. Steele]

The Year's Top Short SF Novels 2

Short novels are movie length novels that may well be the perfect length for science fiction stories. This unabridged audio collection presents the best-of-the-best short science fiction novels published in 2011, by current and emerging masters of this form. In "The Ice Owl", by Carolyn Ives Gilman, an adolescent, female, Waster, in the iron city of Glory to God finds an enigmatic tutor who provides her with much more than academic instruction while a fundamentalist revolt is underway.
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Publisher's Summary

Short novels are movie length novels that may well be the perfect length for science fiction stories. This unabridged audio collection presents the best-of-the-best short science fiction novels published in 2011, by current and emerging masters of this form.

In "The Ice Owl", by Carolyn Ives Gilman, an adolescent, female, Waster, in the iron city of Glory to God finds an enigmatic tutor who provides her with much more than academic instruction while a fundamentalist revolt is underway.

In the Hugo Award winner, "The Man Who Bridged the Mist", by Kij Johnson, an architect from the capital builds a bridge over a dangerous mist that will change more than just the Empire.

In "Kiss Me Twice", by Mary Robinette Kowal, a detective, with the assistance of the police department's AI - who takes on Mae West's persona - solves a murder with all the flair of an Asimov robot story.

"The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary", by Ken Liu, is a moving chronicle of attempts to witness the history of Japanese atrocities against the Chinese in a World War II prison camp by traveling back in time using Bohm-Kirino particles.

In "The Ants of Flanders", by Robert Reed, a teenage boy, incapable of fear, takes center stage in an alien invasion of Earth that pits alien foes against each other in a war that has no regard for mankind's existence.

Finally, in "Angel of Europa", by Allen M. Steele, an arbiter aboard a space ship, exploring the moons of Jupiter, is resuscitated from a hibernation tank to investigate the deaths of two scientists that took place in a bathyscaphe underneath the global ocean of Europa.

©2011 Authors (P)2012 AudioText

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  •  
    Peter SPRINGFIELD, VA, United States 12-20-13
    Peter SPRINGFIELD, VA, United States 12-20-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Some Decent Sci-Fi but with Poor Audio Quality"

    1. "The Ice Owl" by Carolyn Ives Gilman. Narrated by Vanessa Hart

    Story: 2.5 out of 5.

    Echo of well-known human historical trends playing out in other world contexts. Character development was good, but story arc could have been much more imaginative.

    Narration: 2 of 5.

    The talent of the narrator (which seemed well above average) was trampled by the lack of audio quality: sounded like someone whispering through a long pvc pipe, with every "s" sound the loudest. Had to stop when using cheap earphones as it was unlistenable; better earphones shortened the length of the pvc pipe but fundamental shortcoming remained.

    2. "Angel of Europa" by Alllen M Steele. Narrated by Tom Dheere.

    Story: 3 of 5
    Decent realistic and plausible"near future" story of Europa exploration. Basic mystery story reasonably done with space backdrop.

    Narration: 3 of 5
    The narrator's English was unadorned American midwestern--but almost devoid of emotion or inflection. The parts of the story that had snatches of German sounded more authentic and natural, leading me to think German is his native language--and wishing the whole story could have been in German to get the better voice performance. Recording quality below average

    3. "The Ants of Flanders" by Robert Reed. Narrated by Adam Epstein

    Story: 4 of 5

    Entertaining and imaginative story of how Earth fits into a larger tapestry when a spaceship lands on earth, told from perspective of a totally believable teenager of the millennial or maybe Gen-X variety. The story rewards the reader by taking several large leaps in development that are both unexpected yet plausible. The end is particularly satisfying and succeeds where so many stories fail: ending in a new and fascinating place that is far from where it started, and leaving the reader with excitement, questions, and a hunger for more.

    Narration: 3 of 5

    It's not clear at the beginning, but the somewhat bland and disinterested tones of the narrator actually help put the reader inside the head of the ambivalent teenage protagonist. Maybe that was not the intent, but it was a welcome effect. Recording quality below average.

    4. "The Man Who Ended History" by Ken Liu. Narrated by Nancy Linari

    Story: 4 of 5

    Fascinating take on the effect technology to allow individuals to virtually witness past events, focusing on the biological experiment atrocities of Japanese Imperial Army's Unit 731 in WWII China While overly long, story does a good job of capturing the the political unintended consequences of the technology and its application.

    Narration: 3 of 5

    Decent narration, but recording quality below average.

    5. "Kiss Me Twice" by Mary Robinnette Koval
    Narrated by Tom Dheere

    Story: 3 of 5

    Cop buddy murder story in very near future where one partner is Artificial Intelligence. Well done, but not a fan of the genre.

    Narration: 3 of 5

    Decent narration, but recording quality below average.

    6. "The Man Who Bridged the Mist" by Kij Johnson
    Narrated by Scott Peterson

    Story: 3.5 of 5

    Slower tempo storytelling than most sci-fi, but satisfying presentation of one episode of industrialization on a planet where its inhabitants don't yet fully understand the bio-diversity of their own environment. Decent examination of the societal impacts of early industry.

    Narration: 3 if 5

    Decent narration, but recording quality below average.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Escanaba, MI, USA 01-17-13
    Stephen Escanaba, MI, USA 01-17-13 Member Since 2006
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    141
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Don't waste your money"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Poor audio stories maybe good but you will not get pat the audio.


    What could the authors have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Hired better audio engineers.


    What didn’t you like about the narrators’s performance?

    Poor


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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