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Publisher's Summary

A Locus Award Finalist for Best Novella

Fix the past. Save the present. Stop the future. Master of science fiction Alastair Reynolds unfolds a time-traveling climate fiction adventure in Permafrost.

2080: At a remote site on the edge of the Arctic Circle, a group of scientists, engineers, and physicians gather to gamble humanity’s future on one last-ditch experiment. Their goal: to make a tiny alteration to the past, averting a global catastrophe while at the same time leaving recorded history intact. To make the experiment work, they just need one last recruit: an ageing schoolteacher whose late mother was the foremost expert on the mathematics of paradox.

2028: A young woman goes into surgery for routine brain surgery. In the days following her operation, she begins to hear another voice in her head...an unwanted presence which seems to have a will, and a purpose, all of its own - one that will disrupt her life entirely. The only choice left to her is a simple one.

Does she resist...or become a collaborator?

©2019 Alastair Reynolds (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about Permafrost

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Not your father's SciFi!

SciFi with a huge human element an atypical hero and a heart rending finale. This tightly packed novella is MORE than worth your time.

8 people found this helpful

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Time travel escapades

Alastair Reynolds' Permafrost is a time travel novella that takes place in 2080 at which point environmental collapse is imminent. In an attempt to save humanity, a project is undertaken to send "pilots" back to 2028 to secure seed stocks to feed the starving remnants of the human race. Technically, a person cannot go back in time, but can connect and take over some from that time and direct actions. The goal is to secure those stocks in a location recoverable in 2080. Humanity is assisted by sophisticated AIs that appear to have their own agenda. Reynolds employs a unique twist on time travel paradox by not actually sending anyone through time. Special preparations are needed and the pilot must go to great lengths to remain in control. At the same time, signals appear to be coming from her future suggesting that all is not well even with success. The narration is well done with heavy Russian accents that are nevertheless quite understandable. Pacing is quick for this short offering.

6 people found this helpful

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Too short, but done well.

I really hate time stories. I only got this because I really like Alastair Reynolds. It was done well, had a fresh approach, got me invested right when it ends.

4 people found this helpful

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Great shorter, thought provoking listen!

Sometimes it's nice to listen to something that is shorter but exactly as long as it needs to be. If you like apocalypse and/or time travel and /or AI based science fiction... well, yeah, get a short, sweet, fresh angle on it here. No regrets and I doubt you will have any either. Easy to recommend.

4 people found this helpful

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good but short

another good story but very short comes together well at the end. Not sure it be worth a credit but the 8 bucks sure.

3 people found this helpful

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Allastair Reynolds back with another good one

Enjoyed the tight tale with the hazards of time paradox. Thought provoking so I listened twice.

5 people found this helpful

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Wow

Most believable time travel scenario ever! Narrator was terrific. Perhaps I missed it somewhere in there, but what did the note say in the altimeter? Really great, highly recommended.

5 people found this helpful

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BEST ONE YET. EXTRAORDINARY.

I am a huge fan of Mr. Reynold’s work and have listened to all his audiobooks. This is, hands down, the best one yet.... not only because the story is genius (as usual, with him)... but the narrator is brilliant. She nailed the characters and voices, and brought an intelligence and intimacy into the listening experience that absolutely blew me away. I didn’t know it was possible to be so moved by a science fiction narration, and I was. I also appreciated that they used a native Russian speaker/actress to narrate it, because it’s obvious when they don’t, and she was amazing. This is the best Alastair Reynolds audiobook yet!!!!

4 people found this helpful

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Great mind-bendy time warpiness

Tight plot, good characters, mind-bendy time warpiness all hitting my scifi sweet spot. Novella length is just right for this action-packed tale. Just what I'd expect from an accomplished writer in top form. Enjoyed the Russian-inflected narration by Natasha Soudek.

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Great short sci-fi from a master storyteller

A time travel story that actually seems logical and makes the science realistic. Beautifully performed. The only negative is that is it relatively short.

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  • Steve
  • 08-23-19

Usual high calibre material from this author

Alastair Reynolds has become one of my favourite authors and it was not until I went away to try material from other writers and came back that I was reminded of his quality.. I usually avoid shorter stories but I was intrigued by the summary of Permafrost. I was not disappointed. Natasha Soudek was an inspired choice of narrator to convey the bleak Russian backdrop and characters. Reynolds applied a moving and measured ending to the story, which could so easily have been spoiled with an up-beat one, which it certainly was not. Good stuff.

1 person found this helpful

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  • DENNIS
  • 11-09-19

SOMETHING DIFFERENT TO USUAL SPACE OPERA

ENJOYABLE TIME TRAVEL STORY WITH A TWIST,NOT QUITE AT HIS USUAL FIVE STAR LEVEL BUT A DEFINITE FOUR STAR PLUS.

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  • Drew
  • 07-11-19

At last a descent time travel book.

A really interesting take. Not your run of the mill time travel book. Just the right length.

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  • MR K.
  • 07-04-19

Not good

Dreary fake Russian accent narration married with worse Alastair Reynolds’ plot ever - not my best Audible purchase - will make effort to listen to previews in future or play safe and just buy RC Bray stuff!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-29-19

Interesting but did not enjoy

It was well read but the story did not grab me. The mother's character was developed a little and left out to dry. The recording was in one four hour chunk so was difficult to manage when I inadvertently left it running.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-08-19

Abysmal narration...

I love reynolds but this narration is awful. I bought the ebook instead and the story is excellent, but please listen to the sample first to see if you can put up with the narrator.

2 people found this helpful