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Shawn

Barrie, Ontario, Canada
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  • Spooky Action at a Distance

  • The Phenomenon That Reimagines Space and Time-and What It Means for Black Holes, the Big Bang, and Theories of Everything
  • By: George Musser
  • Narrated by: William Hughes
  • Length: 8 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 532
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 476
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 474

What is space? It isn't a question that most of us normally stop to ask. Space is the venue of physics; it's where things exist, where they move and take shape. Yet over the past few decades, physicists have discovered a phenomenon that operates outside the confines of space and time. The phenomenon - the ability of one particle to affect another instantly across the vastness of space - appears to be almost magical.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Rambling but Asks Good Questions

  • By Michael on 12-19-15

Inside look at a modern physics debate

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-08-16

When I bought this book I was not sure if it was a crank book. It seemed legit. But I've seen too many crackpot theories and online debates that use unproven physics. I wasn't interested in that.

This book did not let me down. It goes right to the fringes of science (what we know). It takes a hard look at the debate within in physics. It builds the case for non-locality and hologram theories, including quantum loop gravity. But the last chapter makes it clear that these issues are not solved.

The obligatory history of science section was refreshing! We saw familiar characters. But the book showed different parts of their work and conflict with other scientists. Not the same old well known stories. I really learned more about the history of science. At least, as it related to the locality debate. But it filled in a lot of detail around the same people we have heard of before.

Musser worked hard to describe different models of the universe, and did it well. Despite the fact that some ideas are so big it's hard to grasp them. But he repeated the important details. He discussed quantum field theory, but only barely touching on it. He didn't seem to think it was important for the reader to understand it. But I am glad I previously listened to "The Particle and the End of the Universe" which discusses QFT.

This book shows how messy science is. Most people think science is well organized lists, charts and facts. But that's not science. That's established outcomes of science. Real science is about what we haven't established things. When we don't fully understand what is happening. This book looks at the changes that may be coming out of physics over the next few decades.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Three-Body Problem

  • By: Cixin Liu
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 13 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,389
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,501
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,510

Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • They create a computer using a 30 million man Army

  • By Josh P on 12-07-14

Thoughtful, slow moving sci-fi

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-13-16

This is a fantastic, slow-moving, near future, sci-fi novel. Is a worldwide conspiracy killing leading scientists? This novel is just the start of a first contact story. Yet, it was interesting on its own. I now know there are other books in this series and I look forward to reading them.

On the Soft-To-Hard Science scale this book leans to hard. But it's so well written and translated that it's easy to understand.

Bonus: After this I began reading a book named 'Reality Dysfunction.' I thought that name would have been great for this novel. It describes the crisis being faced by the leading scientists perfectly.

  • Transcendence

  • Aurora Rising, Book 3
  • By: G. S. Jennsen
  • Narrated by: Pyper Down
  • Length: 15 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 99
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 88
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 88

What does it mean to be human? What if the price of saving humanity is giving up your own?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it!

  • By Karen Kinnard on 03-20-18

A great conclusion to the Aurora rising trilogy

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-23-15

G.S. Jennsen is fast becoming my favourite guilty pleasure. Her books are just so much fun to read.

One criticism I have is that with the exception of one single planet, almost everything seems to be named after the Greco-Roman culture. It seems very unlikely that our future should draw so heavily on simply one cultural tradition.

On the other hand, the reason I've enjoying these books is because they have a balance of action to thought, technobabble or emotions, plot to character development. It's a fun light read and so that criticism, while valid, doesn't really effect my enjoyment of the books that much.

  • Spell or High Water

  • Magic 2.0
  • By: Scott Meyer
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 12 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,944
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 15,798
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,783

A month has passed since Martin helped to defeat the evil programmer Jimmy, and things couldn't be going better. Except for his love life, that is. Feeling distant and lost, Gwen has journeyed to Atlantis, a tolerant and benevolent kingdom governed by the Sorceresses, and a place known to be a safe haven to all female time-travelers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Narrator!

  • By D. Murdock on 03-13-17

A fun continuation of an amusing adventure

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-12-15

This book, like the last one was a fun romp through time. It dealt a lot more with time-travel paradoxes, which was fun. It showed different cultural depictions of magic-users, and had a lot more women. The first novel was light on story, and was more character driven. This story has more plot to it, which can be good or bad, depending on what you wanted from the story.

  • Vertigo

  • Aurora Rising, Book Two
  • By: G. S. Jennsen
  • Narrated by: Pyper Down
  • Length: 14 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 129
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 119
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 118

The year is 2322 and humanity is under attack. An engineered war between rival superpowers escalates even as the shadowy Metigen armada begins attacking colonies on the frontiers of settled space.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • EXCELLENT. WELL WRITTEN AND PERFORMED.

  • By Bunty on 04-02-17

A good sequel to a fun, balanced sf adveture

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-08-15

A good fun soft-sf romp. A good sequel to the previous book, continuing the story of the Aurora Rising trilogy.

  • Aurora

  • By: Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Narrated by: Ali Ahn
  • Length: 16 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,477
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,295
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,292

A major new novel from one of science fiction's most powerful voices, Aurora tells the incredible story of our first voyage beyond the solar system. Brilliantly imagined and beautifully told, it is the work of a writer at the height of his powers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautiful

  • By ewreirct on 07-14-15

Slow, hard sci-fi essay against space travel

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-08-15

Kim Stanley Robinson is a brilliant writer. Each of the shifting narrative perspectives he used to tell this story was expertly done... But most were not engaging. There is a little something for everyone in this book. Everyone will find a part they will enjoy. But most parts they won't.

This book is based on good research and is filled with fascinating ideas. The author's intent was carried out perfectly. But his intent simply wasn't a good idea. This is a long essay about why space travel may be impossible, filled with great ideas that made me thing. Most of this book simply wasn't an engaging read, despite being filled with awesome ideas.

30 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Off to Be the Wizard

  • By: Scott Meyer
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 10 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25,912
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24,280
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24,279

It's a simple story. Boy finds proof that reality is a computer program. Boy uses program to manipulate time and space. Boy gets in trouble. Boy flees back in time to Medieval England to live as a wizard while he tries to think of a way to fix things. Boy gets in more trouble. Oh, and boy meets girl at some point.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hang in there

  • By Kelly on 03-04-17

A fun read in a VR setting

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-08-15

This is a funny book about a computer tinkerer who discovers that the world is a computer simulation and he can hack into the main data file. So he heads to medieval England to be a wizard. However, he finds that he is not the only one!

This book is funny and well thought out. There are some minor technical and physical problems but Scott Meyer clearly thought through how this would work and came up with an easy talking point for every issues. It's fast past, really fun and very funny.

My favourite quote from the book is one I will have to use with my friend in the future when we play board games where people get wood: "don't make the obvious joke." I can see myself rereading this in the future when I want an easy, fun read.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Proxima: Book 1

  • By: Stephen Baxter
  • Narrated by: Kyle McCarley
  • Length: 17 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 433
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 397
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 395

The very far future: The galaxy is a drifting wreck of black holes, neutron stars, and chill white dwarfs. The age of star formation is long past. Yet there is life here, feeding off the energies of the stellar remnants, and there is mind, a tremendous galaxy-spanning intelligence each of whose thoughts lasts a hundred thousand years. And this mind cradles memories of a long-gone age when a more compact universe was full of light... The 27th century: Proxima Centauri, an undistinguished red dwarf star, is the nearest star to our sun. How would it be to live on such a world?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • No Sense of Conclusion

  • By Lisa Davidson on 04-24-16

Breezy alien artifact story

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-08-15

A light and fun alien artifact story. I would have loved to read this novel back in the 90s when I was a new SF reader. While I found it well written it was uninteresting for the 21st Century. It was a light, entertaining read, but it wasn't the best use of my time.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Armada

  • A Novel
  • By: Ernest Cline
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 11 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35,415
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33,244
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 33,180

It's just another day of high school for Zack Lightman. He's daydreaming through another boring math class, with just one more month to go until graduation and freedom - if he can make it that long without getting suspended again. Then he glances out his classroom window and spots the flying saucer.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Lacked the freshness of Ready Player One

  • By Chad on 01-08-16

Aliens in video games: a conspiracy theory

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-04-15

This book is the second nostalgia for the 80s filled video game book by Ernest Cline. It asks the question: what if invading aliens acted in real life the way they do in video games? They send weak attackers first, and then gradually send more difficult attacks, giving you time to learn their weaknesses, power up, and get the skills needed to defeat them?

This books comes up with a serious answer to this question and covers it in layers of amusing conspiracy theories. It's a fun romp through old video games and taking silly questions to logical extremes. Like Ready Player One this is not a great work of fiction, but it's an addictive read if you like the classic videogames. The 80s references make sense, technology comes out of no where for good reason and there is one amusing conspiracy theory after another, involving the entire videogame industry!

Good for a light read for the videogame / geek enthusiast, even if you just missed growing up in the 80s like I did.

  • Starshine

  • Aurora Rising, Book One
  • By: G. S. Jennsen
  • Narrated by: Pyper Down
  • Length: 17 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 231
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 212
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 211

The year is 2322. Humanity has expanded into the stars, inhabiting over 100 worlds across a third of the galaxy. Though thriving as never before, they have discovered neither alien life nor the key to utopia. Earth struggles to retain authority over far-flung planets and free-wheeling corporations while an uneasy armistice with a breakaway federation hangs by a thread as the former rebels rise in wealth and power.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A double standard in reviews

  • By W. Morgan Rockhill on 07-15-14

An excellently balanced epic-space-opera

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-31-15

Like a giant starship, Starshine starts slow and accelerates slow. I thought this was a refreshing space opera that balanced politics, characters, a galaxy spanning crisis, technology and emotions. It wasn't 'too much' of anything, and it wasn't missing anything.

The story is a great balance. And G.S. Jensen is a very balanced writer. This is her first novel and it reminds me of the first novels by some of my favourite authors. Not perfect, but uniformly good. I look forward to reading her other novels and see her grow as an author.

This is not a fast paced action packed romp with aliens. It also isn't an extremely slow moving, intellectual treatises. If you are looking for extremes this is not the book for you, and will disappoint.