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Publisher's Summary

When the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, it's up to six college students and their experimental physics project to prevent the end of civilization.

When an experiment to study quantum uncertainty goes spectacularly wrong, physics student Bill Rustad and his friends find that they have accidentally created an inter-dimensional portal. They connect to Outland - an alternate Earth with identical geology, but where humans never evolved. The group races to establish control of the portal before the government, the military, or evildoers can take it away.  

Then everything changes when the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts in an explosion large enough to destroy civilization and kill half the planet. The team has just hours to get as many people as possible across to Outland before a lethal cloud of ash overwhelms them. 

Nothing has prepared the refugees for what they find - a world of few resources and unprecedented dangers. Somehow, they must learn to survive, because Outland may not just be a safe haven - it could be their new home.

©2019 Dennis E. Taylor (P)2019 Audible Originals, LLC.

Editor's Pick

We're (not) canceling the Apocalypse!
"When I was a child, my dad dispassionately told me that a shield volcano beneath Yellowstone National Park could erupt in our lifetime, spreading ash that would destroy life in the Midwest as we know it—and that this very shield volcano already caused geysers to spew boiling water hundreds of feet into the air! I was immediately enthralled. So much so, in fact, that we visited Yellowstone National Park the following year. Alas, upon arrival, I was heartbroken (and very confused) to learn that Old Faithful was "under construction." I mean... what?? How could the face of an apocalyptic force be subject to the same repair verbiage as a broken escalator? In my mind, the apocalypse had been canceled. Thankfully, Dennis E. Taylor is here to heal the geyser-sized hole in my inner child’s heart, for this same shield volcano serves as the cataclysmic basis for Outland’s riveting story. Throw in some inter-dimensional portals, hard sci-fi elements, and a new world—then add in Ray Porter’s effortless charisma as narrator—and you’ve got the perfect sci-fi listen for anyone who's ever had their childlike wonderment ruined by everyday pragmatism." —Sean T., Audible Editor

What listeners say about Outland

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fun read

I have enjoyed this book a couple of times now. Excellent character building, fascinating premise. Narration is outstanding. Wish there was a sequel, so much more there to build on. Definitely worth the $ and time.

26 people found this helpful

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I made myself finish. Glad I did.

I love love love DETs other 4 titles and was too excited for this one to come out. I knew that this was his first (self published) book that Audible "bought" for their Originals library. I was tempted to quit listening after about an hour. Ray Porter is fantastic as usual but DET has come a long way since these early days. I really do not understand all the 5 star reviews. Are we so afraid to be critical - not nasty - but point out that not every output from an author is perfect?

This is a practice novel with very limited character development and coincidences that pushed me way past my belief that the operative word in the term "science fiction" is fiction - that you suspend belief or accept unproven ideas for the sake of the story. Undergraduates who seem to have knowledge well beyond even four years of college, a group of undergraduates (or maybe grad students) who discover this portal while working with an apparently uninterested and unimaginative professor, etc.

The one thing I got from this story is that DET has honed his craft . It's too bad that he didn't rewrite this update to make the story somewhat believable.

175 people found this helpful

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Feels very "Young Adult"

The book started off promising, but once the clataclysm happened and the characters migrated to the new dimension every problem they faced was solved by transporting back to earth and looting x resource or recruiting y person, often within a few pages of the problem occuring. This plot simplicity made it feel like a YA novel. I found myself far more interested with what was happening to the people on the dying earth.

55 people found this helpful

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Just plain fun and never dull.

Take a dash of Stargate, Sliders and a hint of Terra Nova mix well and sever over ice. It’s not a new cocktail but boy is it tasty. I don’t write many reviews. But this was just a fun listen and a start of a wonderful new series. I really look forward to many more books to come. You can’t go wrong if you like lite sci-fi just for the enjoyment of getting lost for a few hours. I like heavy sci-fi with deep character development and believable science as much as the next guy. But darn it sometimes I just want some fun.

159 people found this helpful

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meh its ok

If like me you've gone through every other book audible has to offer that you want to read then this isn't the worst way to go. It's kind of amazing to me that the author didn't have anyone to look over his work and tell him maybe don't have the characters obsess over coffee like a badd pun constantly or not add the words "he glared at her, or she glared at him" every other paragraph but the story over all was amusing enough

20 people found this helpful

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Bit of a drop off. OK, silly almost YA feel

I loved Bob. clever deep thought on endless possibilities. this felt almost YA. Felt like two separate stories quickly written together. Some students very casually create inter dimension travel and casually just have fun with it while by coincidence the world ends the same week. every challenge just solves itself. and survival is just let's hang out and use these handy building kits we threw up. Felt super light on content and everything just falls into place. I think it's the opposite of world building, just world's with no real effort.

Narrator great as always, book fun enough but felt like super light 8th grade adventure stories.

74 people found this helpful

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More! Take my money!

Fabulous story, very original premise as fast as the apocalyptic books I've read. I couldn't stop listening. I literally spent the whole day listening. Well done. ...more please.

122 people found this helpful

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Want to buy the movie rights!!!

Engaging characters, fascinating sci fi/Armageddon/New World plot. Very cohesive, entertaining storyline, and Porter gives a terrific performance giving voice to multiple characters. Would love a sequel...?

7 people found this helpful

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Survival light

story was ok, but I had issues with some of the technical information. I enjoyed his other books. I really like postapocalyptic genres, and I felt like the survival aspects were very underdeveloped. some of the pop references got in the way of logic -- buffalo burgers, without buns.... ok, what would they grind the meat with? why when steaks or roasts would be way easier? the portal seems to use a nebulous amount of electricity, which kind of irked me as well. water? shelter?
That all said, I expect to give it another listen. Since I listen while commuting, it's possible I just zoned through some of the description I feel was lacking. I enjoyed the setting and theme, and felt myself sucked in, only to be smacked by some discordant bit of logic.

47 people found this helpful

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Interesting concept but amateur execution

First the good: It was a fun, light story, with some imagination, and fast-paced action.


The bad: This story reads like a promising first draft of a story that could have been great. But it needed a LOT of editing that didn't happen.

What I can say WITHOUT SPOILERS beyond what's written in the audible synopsis:

The entire novel suffered from a rookie sci-fi writer's mistake: it had TWO obscenely improbable premises acting simultaneously. First you had the explosion of Yellowstone, and then independently you had the invention of an inter-dimensional portal. Right there, you've made suspension of disbelief pretty much impossible.

The only cure for this would have been to have one improbable event CAUSE the other. But that wasn't the case here... instead we're left with the laughable COINCIDENCE that an extremely improbable disaster happens at the exact same time that the perfect remedy for that disaster is invented. It's a too-rosey, childlike plot.

Further rookie mistakes: All the characters are flat, and most of them speak with essentially the same voice. Also, there is WAAAAAY too much exposition (don't TELL me. SHOW me.)

NOW SOME DISCUSSION WITH SPOILERS:

The key point that ruins this book is the neverending coincidences of all shapes and sizes: Yellowstone erupts at EXACTLY the moment that humanity develops a way to escape the earth? A Yellowstone-obsessed geology student is VISITING yellowstone as her boyfriend is BUILDING the world-portal. Come. On.

And then our heroes of COINCIDENTALLY prepared for EVERY contingency, and everything they imagine might go wrong DOES go wrong IMMEDIATELY after they plan for it.

None of our heroes ever comes CLOSE to having a real problem because they are protected by the world's thickest plot armer.

Next up: The flattest characters in the world.

We have an entire cast of the most boring people on Earth. We have the nerds. We have the geeks. We have the militant chicks. None of them have any personality, desires, interests, or anything beyond the generic labels they've been given.

Also, all of them speak in movie references, or at the very least understand movie references, or nerdy references... even our kick-but non-nerd National Guard girl casually references LARPing, as if that's not an incredibly niche interest.

The author has failed TWICE here. He's made everyone kind of a nerd, and simultaneously hasn't found a way to realistically portray a nerd as anything other than the crudest stereotype.

There is no ambiguity in any character anywhere. We have good guys and bad guys. There's no middle ground. No nuance. Just a child's view of how the world works.

What's worse is that the author is trapped in his own head. When HE has an idea, all of his characters have that idea, or understand that idea and agree with it instantly. For a prime example, look at how this author discusses coffee. In fact, this whole book reads like a long coffee ad. SOOO many characters are obsessed with it... it's brought up over and over again... it's weird considering that this is the apocalypse, and people have other things to think about.

Another MAJOR PROBLEM with this novel is the absolutely psychopathic lack of interest that the author has in the fact that all of humanity is dying; that all the main characters' families are dying. It's BARELY mentioned in this book. It doesn't weight on the characters. They don't discuss it. It doesn't dampen their mood. It doesn't stop them from having entirely lighthearted conversations throughout the entire world-ending, family killing disaster. It's utterly bizarre.

The narration didn't help matters... it had an oddly flippant, light tone. Not that he had a lot to work with... but... it just felt completely mismatched with the weight of the story.

I wish I could have sat down with the author and given him some notes before he published this:

1. Find a way to make the world-portal dependent on the eruption of yellowstone, or make it the CAUSE of the yellowstone eruption. Then you only have ONE obscenely unlikely event driving the plot, instead of the most improbably coincidence in all of history.

2. Spend some time fleshing out your characters. What do they want. How do they speak. What references will they get? Which will they miss? Will they have any tolerance for joking during a the end of the world? Make them REAL.

3. Make your characters suffer. Put them in danger. Make us worry about them. Make us CARE. Make us sympathize. DON'T MAKE THEM PREPARED FOR EVERY DANGER. You've made them omnipotent as well as invincible. That's no fun.

4. It's the end of the world. Make us care about that. Make it color the entire tone of the novel. Make it affect the mood of all the characters. Grief is NOT optional. You can't choose not to include that. Also... you know... have them try to save their families like any normal, feeling person would.

I really hope the author reads this review and takes it to heart. Because I believe that with real effort he could become a very good writer. There was some witty dialog in there. There was some very imaginative scenarios... he has the potential to write something great someday. Most of all he needs to find an editor who will tell him what ISN'T working.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Adam
  • 05-22-19

Bright young things

How far you go along with and enjoy 'Outland' will depend on your ability to swallow the central premise; that a handful of young US University students crack the secret of hopping between dimensions and are able to build a collection of interdimensional portals as and when needed.
Given the breadth of talent it takes to launch a shuttle into space, or build a particle accelerator, to put it mildly, this is a bit of a stretch. One engineering graduate (Bill, the wisecracking one with a penchant for movie references) is able to build the portals. One mathematical whizz cracks the maths. And an alpha male jock called Richard pulls it all together. Matt is pulled in because he is also good at science and has a trust fund. His girlfriend gets suspicious and joins him. And her bff, Monica, incredibly 'hot' and with a penchant for guns, and access to same (second amendment) later, handily, joins them.
They discover alternative Earth's, a grim future where humanity has been wiped out be greenhouse gases, and a world where humans haven't evolved, full of prehistoric mammals and hungry apex predators they christen 'Outland.'
Meanwhile, in the background, the Yellowstone Park super-volcano rumbles ominously. People read the danger signs but others do the mayor in Jaws thing and deny there is any danger. Said super-volcano erupts (the blurb tells you this, so this isn't a spoiler) and the kids evacuate, along with other students, to Outland. They also have to deal with some irate local thugs, an insurrection amongst the students, and the National Guard (who are ok really). The baddies telegraph their badness by calling the women 'bitch.' A lot.
So this isn't Issac Asimov. It is purely pulp science fiction, and it is no worse for that. It is a lot of fun. The writing is brisk, the volcano stuff is done well, with tension building slowly, and the young leads are on the whole quite likeable.
Kudos to Ray Porter, the narrator of the audiobook, who swings from character to character with effortless voice acting ease, and never flags or tires.

84 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. Paul J. Reid
  • 06-01-19

Missed the target

I liked the concept and listened all teh way to the end but the book lacked substance. The two major themes - inter-dimensional travel and end of the world event - are not explored and developed sufficiently to do either justice.
The characters lack depth, and much of the narrative and dialogue is weak and predicatble. The best I can compare it with is a movie which promises much but lacks the depth or excitement and goes straight to DVD.

21 people found this helpful

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  • Asbjørn
  • 03-07-20

Not recommended

Taylor is not able to follow up on his Bobiverse success. His writing style is to directly transcribe his imaginings and publish. This works well on a space odyssey with mainly one character. It falls flat here in a universe with more characters and ironically more closely related to our world. All characters are caricatures. The plot is poorly expressed, and both politics and science are embarrassingly naïve.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Béa
  • 06-15-19

On the edge at every end of chapter

When is someone going to make a movie out of this amazing book?!? I loved it so much I devoared it much quicker than expected. Dennis E. Taylor I can't wait to read your other books. As for Ray Porter I can't express how much I am grateful that you narrate books. YOU. ARE. SO. GOOD! Thank you! ❤️ On to the next book!

11 people found this helpful

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  • Jonathan
  • 12-06-20

Too american for this listener

Which sounds like a stupid criticism, american author writing for an American readership, no big surprise. This is Taylor's first novel and its interesting enough in terms of plot but has little of the moral complexities of his later work. The protagonists are University students but behave and sound like adults - spoiler - a world changing volcanic eruption threatens every living person and it seems to mean so little to them, they worry about coffee, they get guns, lots of guns, and millions die, including friends and relatives and in seems to mean so little.... And more guns, Americans and their love of firepower. Six hours into this I stopped, gave it a good chance, but I didn't care about any of them because they didn't seem real or worthy of my interest... Actually disliked the characters, so vapid... And did I mention the guns. The narrator is professional but can't bring across the age of the characters, they sound like thirty year olds.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Paul Coomber
  • 07-17-19

Dennis e Taylor saves humanity again

cant wait for book two. love the style of this book. geek scifi at its finest.

10 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • grace
  • 07-28-20

Insufferable characters

The overall story is fairly interesting but what ruins it is the absolutely insufferable characters. All very stereotypical 'geeks' and incredibly annoying, and not what actual nerds actually speak like . I find the dialogue completely cringe worthy, noone speaks like that. I physically rolled my eyes at the dialogue many times.

I loved the Bob tribology however it must be said this author seems to only be able to write one type of woman, the sassy snappy, incredibly intelligent. They all seem the same. But to be honest his male characters don't vary much either.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-18-19

I find that I like everything by this Author

Loved it. Finished it too fast, and not because it's a small book. Try Bobiverse as well.

24 people found this helpful

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  • Steve
  • 08-09-19

Chewing gum for the ears

After the excellent Bobiverse and enjoyable Singularity I was looking forward to this book.
Sadly, it was a disappointment. The book doesn't live up to or really follow the preface and is a generic 'Magic Door' to another universe book. Extremely simple story with obvious plot 'twists' resulting in a shallow two-dimensional listen that ignores any of the scientific challenges to such a gateway in divergent universe.
Well narrated which made it listenable but overall it's more a book to pass that time that to stir the imagination hence chewing gum for the ears.
I doubt I'll buy any more in this series though will consider other Dennis Taylor books in the future.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Paul Hamer
  • 10-04-19

Interesting premise, well executed

I found the concept very similar to The Long Earth series by Sir Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. It takes its time getting to the action, but there is a steady build up of tension. You can guess (as the listener/reader) what is coming, but the protagonists do not. The narrator provides a good dynamic for each character hence I found it well executed too as he keeps the narrative tension going.
I assume that there will be a second book in the series. I will be buying it.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Patris
  • 05-23-19

Outstanding

Another brilliant novel by Dennis E. Taylor. The story is unique and engaging. The characters are likable, smart and funny. I loved every second of it.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Adam
  • 11-28-20

mediocore

like the Bobiverse books, the story is to self aware and trying too hard with the nerd pop culture. basic storyline is fine but fairly standard

2 people found this helpful

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  • Michael Harrison
  • 08-11-19

Worth a shot

Had me coming back to it when I could, was a good story although some of the characters made me fee like I was watching a B grade sci-fi film, feels like it's aimed at an under 20's audience. That being said would still buy the next in the series

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-28-19

Addictive.

I wasnt sure I could get into a science fiction novel, but after two chapters I couldn't put it down.

2 people found this helpful

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  • David M.
  • 05-26-20

The optional required headline

A very enjoyable dystopian novel. Even when read by a John Wayne impersonator.
David M

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-09-20

polarizing

once again Dennis delivers a trademark feast of geek shiek with colour and intensity. A journey into the human condition shaped by the mirical of the natural world. loved it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mr M J Tack
  • 12-06-19

A great sci-fi take on Armageddon

Dennis E Taylor has smashed it again. I loved the Bobiverse series and when I started listening to Outland I was thrown for a loop as it was so different. But after a short time I realised Dennis had taken his gift for excellent pacing and structure and applied it to a whole new idea that is no less ambitious in scope than the Bobiverse.

The sci-fi concepts feel real, and the focus is more on well-paced action and inter-personal character development than most science fiction writing, where too often it feels like a revel in tech for tech's sake.

My only gripe is that I think Dennis shouldn't put out one book in a series without releasing the next two immediately. ;)

1 person found this helpful

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  • julie ann
  • 10-12-19

A fun book with a marvelous narrator

Ray Porter is an amazing narator and I found this book as I worked my way through most everything Ray has done but it was a great find. An interesting twist on tbe disaster genre with fun characters and engaging dialogue. Bring on book 2!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Evette Clayton
  • 05-10-21

Dennis E Taylor and Ray Porter; what more could you want?

So far I love everything I’ve ever read by Dennis E Taylor, and everything that Ray Porter has done the voice acting for. The two are both excellent at their jobs.

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  • Craig
  • 04-24-21

Well paced, entertaining, typical Taylor fare!

Recommended. Found this book whilst seeking a fix for the Bobiverse (neeed moooore bawwwb) and was pleasantly surprised to find Taylor has written numerous other titles. Bought this one without hesitation and it delivered - will continue with this story too (though it stands alone very neatly even if it wasn't part of a book series).