Three hundred years from now, Earth has been rendered uninhabitable due to the technological catastrophe known as the Nanocaust. Archaeologist Verity Auger specializes in the exploration of its surviving landscape. Now, her expertise is required for a far greater purpose. Something astonishing has been discovered at the far end of a wormhole: mid-20th-century Earth, preserved like a fly in amber.
Somewhere on this alternate planet is a device capable of destroying both worlds at either end of the wormhole. And Verity must find the device, and the man who plans to activate it, before it's too late - for the past and the future of two worlds.
©2008 Alastair Reynolds (P)2010 Tantor
“Century Rain fuses time travel, hard SF, alternate history, interstellar adventure, and noir romance to create a novel of blistering powers and style.” (SFRevu)
I'm an Alistair Reynolds fan, got this the same day it became available. The story is good, but not one of his best. I realy liked the steampunky 'Terminal World' much more. If Mr. Reynolds is going to veer from his standard hard SciFi space operas, he should continue in that direction, in my humble opinion. However, John Lee really nailed this one!. His voice for the American private eye was spot on. The only other review so far was negative due to the "1920 detective noir" style. The main character is a detective from 1959...go figure. I thought it was perfect for the character and story. Bravo Mr. Lee!
Yes, as long as they like the genre.
There's a great twist in the story when you realize what is going on for the first time. Reynolds didn't come out and say it, he just gave lots of little clues. Then all of a sudden it just tipped, and I had a great ah ha moment. Wonderfully done.
I could listen to John Lee read a book about dirt and would probably be captivated. He is one of my top two favorite readers. His voice was soothing and stayed out of the way of the action in the text, and he voiced the characters so that you knew who was talking without having to think about it.
There was maybe two times when I teared up, but hey, I'm an emotional guy.
I've listened to many of Reynolds' novels. This is the winner. Reynolds had me believing in his new and exciting SF inventions, but beyond that the novel is a fine mixture of mystery and terror.
The big reveal to Floyd
One of his best
Loved it! Another great story from Alastair Reynolds
the Narrator. John Lee has a wonderful voice, I could (and have) Listen to him all day.
I see it as a cross between Casablanca and Starwars.
Landing the spaceships on the Eiffel Tower and it's eventual collapse
yes, but I cannot sit that long. it took a couple of days, but I enjoyed it
Alastair Reynolds is a wonderful writer. not all of his works take place in the same universe, but the are all quite imaginative
Overall good audio book, but needed more depth
The ending was ordinary and to some degree predictable.
John Lee's delivery of the Century Rain and seamless charter transition was excellent as always. John lee can make listening to any Sci-fi worthwhile your time.
Listening to the story over and over and sharing it with my son, who listened to it over and over etc. A great story.
So many to choose from. Perhaps the final scene of Floyd dropping the universal restorative. Interesting though self centered move.
Yes but I kept falling asleep and having to go back and start over!
Readers voice was great.
It has interesting concepts, and delivery of these concepts was pretty good. John Lee is a great narrator, and he does a pretty good job here. The reason i am giving three stars is due to the fact that approximately one quarter of the book deals with murder mystery investigation. I was hoping for more scifi and less of how Paris looked like in 1950 or so. Though last part of the book is pretty exciting, and has good nano technology based concepts.
I have never heard a book narrated so badly. John Lee reads science fiction as if it were 1920s detective noir. Which wouldnt be so bad if all of his character voices didnt sound almost exactly the same.
I do have to give Mr. Lee some credit, he's not working with a masterpiece of literary gold here.
I just finished the first part (6:32:10) and Im sitting here wondering if listening to the rest is a good idea. Having read or listened to all of Alastair Reynolds books this is by far the last on my list.
It starts in 1959 Paris, with no explanation of preceding events to put things in context. It almost feels like youve actually started with part 2. I actually had to stop and check.
The story jumps between characters so much you'll need Dramamine to keep from getting seasick, and when the characters change you don't realize it until a name is spoken BECAUSE THEY ALL SOUND THE SAME. (ARRRGGGGHHHH!!! )
Ok Im going to stop before my blood pressure go's up any more. Lol. Needless to say I wish I had purchased the e-book or actual paper version, maybe then it would be enjoyable, but I can not recommend the audible version.
Do yourself a favor and listen to the sample before you buy this book.
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.
In this standalone story, Alastair Reynolds manages to squeeze multiple SF sub-genres together harmoniously, ensuring something entertaining for all readers. The premise is that a dormant snapshot 'backup' copy of the earth, accurately duplicating the 1936 moment when it was mysteriously created by aliens down to the last atom, has been discovered in deep space and it has been activated by one of the warring factions from the 24th century. Now, history progresses there under the subtle influence of hostile agents who prevent WW2 as a means of stifling the technological developments that might allow the inhabitants to resist the greater holocaust they have planned for them, in the pursuit of pristine real estate. The unlikely heroes are a 24th-century archeologist who specializes in pre-apocalypse excavations, and a down-on-his-luck private investigator who begins to see that something isn't quite right in his 1959.
Sound confusing yet? It actually settles in fairly gradually, and the two Earth timelines are well delineated. The primary three or four characters are also very rounded, and a lot more believable and flawed than commonly seen in such busy plots; The private investigator Wendell Floyd, for example, sees himself primarily as a struggling musician who takes on PI work between gigs, and sees the world in a very musical way. Verity Auger, the archeologist intervening in his world, consistently and stubbornly acts in a much braver manner than she herself asserts. I was surprised to read so little about the children she left behind for her mission, but which she claims are central to her motivations.
The miracle and threat of nanotechnology are central themes explored, and in nearly every scene in which it is employed, we see unique applications that I've not seen elsewhere, and I appreciated the expanding implications of its use. Notably absent are the expected frictions and misunderstandings of characters from such disparate cultures interacting, but a technological 'hand wave' introduced early on may explain this. The pacing picked up considerably in the final third of the story, when the setting shifts dramatically, but this corresponded nicely to the rising stakes in the conflict. All in all, an exciting and thought provoking novel that lives up to expectations from this excellent author.
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