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Publisher's Summary

If you were in awe of books like The Martian and 2001: A Space Odyssey or movies like Interstellar and Apollo 13, get ready for a story destined to become a sci-fi classic - one with the potential to leap from fiction into reality and become the greatest adventure on which humankind has ever embarked.

September 7 2030. Mission Day 1179. Late at night inside the two-person Dragon spacecraft resting on the frozen surface of Saturn’s moon Enceladus, Derya Terzi put on headphones and became the first Earthling to hear the sloshing of the enormous subsurface ocean beneath his feet. Intoxicated with the promise of discovery, he could have sworn it was whispers between inscrutable creatures of the deep. He was convinced they were days away from settling the most profound and existential mystery known to humanity: are we alone in the universe?

But that was 10 days ago, before disaster stroke. Now, marooned a billion miles from home, what the surviving crew is about to go through will shatter the limits of friendship, courage, and the human spirit. 

“In addition to telling a truly immersive story - and one so realistic that the stakes always feel sky high - J.P. Landau continues the tradition of sci-fi meant to spur not just the imagination, but action toward a better future as well. He asks readers not simply to seriously consider the utility of space exploration, but to also remember how dangerous the journey will be - and how essential it is to the human condition.” (Kirkus Reviews)

©2018 J. P. Landau (P)2019 J.P. Landau

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What listeners say about Oceanworlds

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

An excellent soup, with a fly or two in it

This is a hard sci-fi adventure novel which tells a big impressive story, and has a lot going for it. However there were a couple problems that really bothered me and dramatically lessened my enjoyment of it. As far as highlights go, I have to start with the narrators and the production quality. The readers had a tough job here as they had to give the cast distinctive voices and tackle multiple accents from all over the world. It was a huge task and they nailed it. The second highlight is Landau's prose. While there are some problems I'll mention later, by volume most of the writing is great, specifically the hard sci-fi writing. Descriptions of weather systems on different planets, the scale and scope of the universe, and other big ideas are all described beautifully and in a way that is easy and entertaining to follow. Somewhere between highlights and lowlights is that there is a section of the book that delves into my favorite type of hard SF story: Survival. Clarke mastered this type of story with "A Fall of Moondust". Weir's "The Martian" is probably the most famous example of this type of story. The key to telling this kind of story is managing believabiliy, and in my opinion this section was a fun adventure but the believability was just not there for me, the odds were just stacked too high. I did have some bigger problems with the novel though. First, the story takes the stance that funding it's mission to space can only be done through privatization and not government. That's fine, I don't think it's realistic but, what we get in the novel is just silly: a mission funded by Elon Musk and Kickstarter. Worse, Elon Musk shows up as a character in this, mercifully he's only in 2 or 3 scenes, but when he does it feels a bit like fan fiction and really got under my skin. These might sound like small complaints but they came up often enough to spoil my experience. I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for my unbiased review

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing and timely

(Spoiler Alert)This was an amazing and timely book; at least for myself. The hard science was on and the performamce and the actors were the best .The very ending was a disappointment. I was expecting a possible second book to maybe continue the story. Other than that I have passed along this book to many friends . To the actors and author...Thank You for the Vision!

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Inspirational and entertaining!

Impressive work both from the author and the narrators. This fascinating story is inspiration for all that dream in a better world and for those who know that progress and well-being depend mostly on our own actions. JP Landau did a wonderful job in putting this story in our hand (or ears). Highly entertaining plot about an expedition to the Saturn neighborhood, with characters that you fall in love in, and well researched from the scientific point of view. One of those books that is difficult to put down and that you wish you could hear (or read) more after the ‘The End’ part. In addition to the above, this book is about teaching that teamwork, long term vision, human values, and taking risks is part of what is needed to achieve breakthrough achievements. Narrators did a great work with different tones and accents making it easier to follow the story.

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Beyond 5 stars, epic and unforgettable

I received this book in exchange for my unbiased review. There have been few Sci-Fi books that I have liked as much as the Martian, this is one of them. This book is destined to become a Sci-Fi classic that may even shape our near future of space travel. The stunning research, simulations, and calculations that the author, J.P. Landau, has done in order to create this book are mind bending. A trip to the Saturn system for humans may seem a life time away but J.P. Landau considers a near future where a private organization funded by humanity as a whole seeks to do this very thing. Without several of the bureaucratic strings and regulations that tie down government agencies this organization is able utilize SpaceX's current or near future spacecrafts and plans a launch not many years from now. With a round trip of 6 years this story is not only exquisite in it's science and adventure but also describes what the 5 individuals of the crew will go through to maintain their own emotional well being while being faced with a possibility that they may never return to their world and loved ones that it contains. J.P. Landau does an incredible job in describing how the best among us may react or possibly even fall apart in the face of unimaginable hardships and trials. The adventure of Oceanworlds is unparalleled by even far future Sci-Fi books. With the search for extraterrestrial life (not the green aliens you may be picturing but even something as small or smaller than bacteria) being the main driving force for many of the crew and organization you will experience the moons of Saturn and Saturn itself in details that you have never considered before. Several times, you will find yourself picturing the beautiful clouds of Saturn swirling and churning like you were looking down on it with your own eyes. You will consider the rings of Saturn reflecting sunlight and saturnshine even while being in the shadow of Saturn. You will see the shear ice cliffs of Enceladus and walk in it's mere 1% of Earth gravity. You will experience so much more than I can articulate here. Andrew Dennis and Caitlin Campbell blow the narration out of this world. I struggle to think of any other narrators who could have done a better job than they do. J.P. Landau really went all out in making this a performance for the reader. The static of communicating over radios, and the accents for each of the multi national crew and organization members bring this book to life. Overall this will be a book that I will buy a hard copy of and undoubtedly will listen to again in the not too distant future. P.S. For those of you Sci-Fi fans who crave actual science in their science fiction, J.P. Landau has added a free PDF with the appendix for this book on his website www.jplandau.com, where he goes over several of the facts in this book. I haven't had much chance to read the appendix myself yet, but hope to do so soon. Apparently, in the hard copy of this book there are also footnotes so I'm looking forward to that as well. Get this book, you won't regret it.

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We Can Get There!

A thrilling realistic journey to Saturn. This book spoke to both the Engineer and Adventurer in me. Both of them are ready to be a part of that next mission to the outer planets! The characters were well developed and their humanity showed through. The narrators were spot on with their voice performances and helped to bring clarity to the authors views of our humble solar system.

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Classic sci-fi blended with a purpose.

I loved this book, relatable characters, and plausible science make this one of the books I recommend to anyone. A purpose filled call to the stars for anyone who looks at the sky and wonders. This book just took over my top spot for near-sci-fi, previously occupied by Seveneves. I did request this book from the publisher, but don't let that detour you as this book is really good.

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Expansive Hard Science Fiction

Trips to the ends of the universe can go from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows in very little time, ad that's how this one is. A crew of two has landed on a frozen moon of Saturn to investigate if there's life there and if it's intelligent life meaning we're not alone in the universe. Well then stuff starts to hit the fan in epic fashion as the two crewmates go from the high of making discoveries to a fight for their lives billions of miles from home where there's no one else to help. It's tense and exciting with a lot of scientific facts interspersed throughout but still not interrupting the story. And it has the same feel you get from watching the videos we have of people going to space, all those moments where the world is watching for the triumph of the human spirit over our terrestrial home. It's those feelings of up and down with the crewmates that make this more than a thought experiment, and brings it into a story of humanity among the stars. I received the review code for this audiobook at my request and have voluntarliy left this honest review.

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A vast adventure lacking some depth

Quoting the new audiobook Oceanworlds, “Things are easy when you have no choice”. When in space, choices can equate to disaster or worse. The story consists of an expansive and expressive contemporary science fiction space experience in the likes of the hit movie Interstellar (more on this later) with some rather unique and interesting events while our cast travels to and from the mysterious planet we call Saturn. The book is the premiere work of author J.P. Landau (pseudonym) which took him over four years to complete. The audiobook edition is narrated by both Andrew Dennis and Caitlin Campbell; each is a relatively new narrator on the Audible platform. Yet, I found the narration to be overall professionally performed. If you are a person who enjoys large scale adventures along with the many complications involved in space travel, I think you will enjoy this story for the most part. I found it important that much of the technology discussed in this book are either in the works or existing, so this adventure is not too far into the future. You will see in this book just how complicated space travel is to achieve. Such feats are really a miracle when you examine all the variables. This risk includes not only the failure of the equipment, but the psychological effects upon the travelers as well. It is not a perfect audiobook, but if you can put up with some of its flaws, it is quite enjoyable. I found the research in the book to be detailed and important to the story. IN many of the places you feel you are there with the crew. The author shows the listener just how difficult space flight and long distance travel is when he refers to the legacy work done by NASA with both the Gemini and Apollo programs. He also called our the importance of the recent rise in commercial space flight by companies such as SpaceX, Blue Origin, etc. Things we take for granted today such as radio communication requires alteration to provide not only the amount of data but reduced latency; the time it takes for the signal to travel between the Earth and the spaceship in such a vast amount of space. We are presented with the pros and cons of both radio and laser communications. Not only was it important to have the correct technology, people themselves need to be conditioned and trained for the long journey to Saturn. Again, I found that the author did a decent job of revealing just how difficult and vast space travel is. We see the importance of timing, orbits, schedules, and so much more. One little miscalculation and the life of the crew could be lost. The author even included a cameo of Bill Nye, yes the “science guy” as he makes an appearance in this book. I liked the different perspective of those traveling to Saturn and the many Earth-based crew needed to support the team. The author also included some aspects around crew relationships along with many periods of emotional crisis each faced. But, even with all of this, I never felt that the characters were fully developed and dimensional like in the works of other well established science fiction works. For me, there were a few areas where the book was lacking. I wanted more character depth, background, and development than what we were given. I wanted more of the pre-mission details. Both around the technology and personnel development of the crew. What personal issues they have going on in their lives, what did they struggle with? As the initial chapters of the book set the scene, I felt many key components were passed over which could have helped me to be more involved in the lives and actions of the characters themselves. I desired to know and better understand the many psychological and physiological struggles with the crew. I wanted more details on the technology and how it was developed. The book lacked many of the elements that make a story into something bigger that feels alive. I often felt that the author was more telling the story more like a data dump then as a storyteller would. Here is where I felt the story diverged from the many titles listed in the audiobook publisher’s summary. The book had body, but there were times I felt it lacked soul and substance. There were a few places where the story meandered or felt disjointed from the other parts of the main storyline. This is not to say the story was bad or not worth your listening, but I wanted and expected more. Let me turn to the audiobook’s narration. Both narrators are relatively new based on the number of audiobooks listed under their names on Audible. Yet, I found the narration to be professionally done with no noticeable artifacts such as swallows, page turns, etc. I did feel the audiobook was read at a slightly faster pace than average making it sound faster than other audiobooks. The narration of the various characters was well performed, however I did not enjoy the voice of the younger boy in the early parts of the book. I will also say that it too me some time to get used to the back and forth between the two narrators and the way the author intended them to be used. The use of accents for the characters was performed decently. I did have some difficulty with the pronunciation of the planet Uranus, but for the length and scope of the book it was a minor issue. The book also contained a few pauses that were longer than normal or in odd places. For parents and younger readers, be aware that the book does contain a few uses of vulgar language and adult subject matter. The use of profanity seems to escalate in the second half. There were also some elements of graphic violence which may not be appropriate for younger readers. The author includes some anti-religious components during character communications. If you are offended by any of the above, I would recommend you not give this book a listen. In summary, the book was a good work for someone’s premiere release. I enjoyed the many elements of technology used, but I wanted more of how and why such was selected. The characters at times felt a bit flat, but I think with some backstory and or other bits and pieces shared with the listener, it would have felt more alive. One gets a great idea of the complexity and vastness of space travel not only upon the ship but the characters as well. If you go into the book with knowing some of its flaws, it is a great premise and first start. Disclaimer: This audiobook was provided at no charge by the author, narrators, and/or publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

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Excelent hard sci-fi!

Excellent story! This is hard science fiction, based on current technology. It almost reads like a novelization of a mission that has already occurred. My only disappointment was to realize upon completion of the book is this was fiction, and we have not had a manned mission to Saturn's moons. The characters were believable, and their challenges were done well. This book brought pulled me completely into the story, and brought tears of both sadness and joy to my eyes. Disclaimer: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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Top shelf Science Fiction

I'm an avid freeway audiobook listener. this story made me not want to take my exit !! the science is solid. it's a very far reach but I would expect not too far from the realistic expectations it produces.

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  • eire
  • 10-28-19

The ensemble narration style was very well done.

I have to admit that I actually struggled a bit with this and it took me longer than normal to finish it. As an avid audible consumer my listening style has recently been fast-and-many, which is kind of predicated on fast moving plots. This story was not fast, and it was all the better for it. Through this lens I would simply describe this as a 'thorough' listen. The story was just short of an epic concept-to-completion journey. Whilst it didn't lend itself to listening to while falling asleep because I was constantly losing my place, when I switched to a more active listening style I got a lot more enjoyment value out of the story. The ensemble cast production of the book was very well done, credit to the team behind this. It was refreshing to have a wider range of voices and personalities instead of a single narrator (without going down the route of full-on hammy radio-show sound effects). Being thorough the story was engaging in a thought-experiment way, providing a wealth of background to the root cause of the journey, and the decisions made from start to finish. The characters are well developed as we follow them through both some of the monotony and crucial defining moments of their lives. Ultimately it was definitely engaging and entertaining, and was well worth changing-up my listening routine/rut.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-18-19

Highly recommended

Great story, and strong narration from two very skilled voice actors. Worth a listen for all SF fans.

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  • Norma Miles
  • 09-27-19

Was it worth it?

The cover of this Audiobook is stunning and perfectly conveys the sense of the novel inside - beautiful, timeless, adventure. No further synopsis of the plot is here required. Oceanside is, perhaps, slow paced but action, when it strikes, is swift and terrifying. The book's prose is both simple and majestic as it captures the visions of the planetary experiences and very human in it's characterisations. And it is hard science fiction, so all could be possible. The narration for this substantial Audiobook is shared by the main narrator, Andrew Dennis, and Caitlin Campbell, who fills the female voices. Both perform well, reading with clarity, understanding and good pacing. Although initially the sudden introduction of a female voice was disconcerting, this quickly grew to feel natural as the story progressed. A splendid book I will doubtless return to read again and one that I can highly recommended to anyone excited by the possibilities inherent in science fiction. My deep thanks to the rights holder of Oceanworlds, who, at my request, freely gifted me with a complimentary copy via Audiobook Boom. This is a book to remember

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  • Jonathan
  • 09-22-19

An amazing what if

I was lucky enough to recieve a review copy of this book. It presents an amazing "what if" scenario of a mission to Saturn. It is relatively unique in that nothing is actually science fiction in the technologies used, demonstrating what we could be doing now if there was the political will. This is supported by a gripping story line with plenty of twists and turns, leaving you rooting for the crew in the completion of the mission. The narration is also excellent, having the two different narrator's really helped to differentiate the characters.