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Columbus Day Audiobook

Columbus Day: Expeditionary Force, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

We were fighting on the wrong side of a war we couldn't win. And that was the good news.

The Ruhar hit us on Columbus Day. There we were, innocently drifting along the cosmos on our little blue marble, like the Native Americans in 1492. Over the horizon came ships of a technologically advanced, aggressive culture, and BAM! There went the good old days, when humans got killed only by each other. So, Columbus Day. It fits.

When the morning sky twinkled again, this time with Kristang starships jumping in to hammer the Ruhar, we thought we were saved. The UN Expeditionary Force hitched a ride on Kristang ships to fight the Ruhar wherever our new allies thought we could be useful. So, I went from fighting with the US Army in Nigeria to fighting in space. It was lies, all of it. We shouldn't even be fighting the Ruhar; they aren't our enemy. Our allies are.

I'd better start at the beginning.

©2016 Craig Alanson (P)2016 Podium Publishing

What Members Say

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  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" 01-04-17 Member Since 2016

    My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT"

    CHEESEBURGERS
    A few months ago I VOLUNTOLD you that BOB would have legions of fans. Now I am telling you this will be the next book to hit number one in Sci-Fi Contemporary. This book has science galore, comedy galore, aliens galore and space battles. To say I love it would be an IMPLIED DUH, but than OVERKILL IS UNDER RATED.

    YOU GOT SOME SPLAINING TO DO LUCY
    The book is over 16 hours long, and Jim The Impatient listened to all 16+ hours and was entertained all the way. Alanson has great timing and knows how to keep a story from going stale. For example, just when I thought the book was going to enter a shoot-em up phase and become boring, we are introduced to SKIPPY, an A-HOLE AI, who is witty and funny. There is something here for all Sci-Fi fans. Nothing is really new, but a lot of the good old stuff is used. For instance there are ELDERS, CLIENT RACES, PATRONS, ANCIENT ARIFACTS AND THE COLLECTIVE.

    EMBRACE THE SUCK
    I am not saying this is my favorite, just that it will hit number one. My favorites in the category and in order are, The Martian, Ready Player One, Bob and than this book. Some might roll their eyes at the serendipity of finding Skippy and all that he does to get them out of trouble, but if you can get past that you will love this.

    SCREW ONE SHEEP
    I have been listening to books since the cassette days. I have heard lots of great narrators. I don't believe I have ever heard one grow in their job as well as Bray. He started out good, with his great voice, but what he has put into the last couple of books, I have listened to has just blown my mind. Based on the last two books, he read for me, I would say he has to be my favorite.

    ALPHA MIKE FOXTROT

    342 of 385 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim San Diego, CA 06-29-17
    Tim San Diego, CA 06-29-17 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliant, Funny, Clever... a Sci Fi must have"

    It’s hard to know where to start when describing this instant modern classic. I’ve loved Sci Fi since I was yay high…I cut my teeth on space operas like the works of EE. Doc Smith. This is the next generation of space opera and it’s fabulous. It’s also quite funny in many places. It’s action packed but doesn’t feel silly like a lot of action fiction does. The plot includes dueling alien races of giant hamsters and lizards, faster than light travel and a snarky deus ex machina artificial Intelligence the size of a can of coke. Sounds ridiculous but is actually compelling, weirdly credible and wildly entertaining. I’m already most the way through book two which puts me close to a third of the way through a 50 hour epic. If you love hard Sci Fi, if you are a Trekki or a Star Wars fan you will lap this up.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary Glenn 06-27-17
    Gary Glenn 06-27-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sci Fi I didn't know I wanted"

    I usually over analyze anything I read or watch, not wanting to waste my time on dribble or uninteresting content. After spending too much time sorting through different audio books, I settled on the Expeditionary Forces series as it appeared interesting and is, well, a series. If I enjoyed it, that would postpone the excruciating task of finding another book.
    I am ecstatic that I made this choice. As much as the story is engaging, the narration is as good or better than any I've listened to. Even sound effects are not needed to add anything. Very well done.
    A little more science fiction detail wouldn't hurt but does not detract from the enjoyment of this writing.
    The humor throughout was unexpected but welcome and well done. Not found very often in well written Sci Fi.
    Off to start the second book!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Hartmann D.C. & St. Croix 12-17-16
    C. Hartmann D.C. & St. Croix 12-17-16

    Sci-fi, History, Police Procedurals and Science

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well...THAT was Certainly a Lot of Fun !!"

    At 16 hours, this is actually like reading two separate books -- the first is a pretty well done military "grunts in space" story. It is a notch above the usual because of the narration which is just great. But at about the halfway point, it transforms to a space opera-type of tongue-in-cheek story that is somewhere between Redshirts and Ready Player One -- inside jokes, clever asides and a much more self-aware story....and did I mention the narrator???? I'm not going to give away the story -- which is not really rocket science (sorry) -- but I think you will very much enjoy.

    83 of 102 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shonte 06-29-17
    shonte 06-29-17 Member Since 2016
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    "funniest series I've heard so far"

    anxiously waiting for 4th book to be released, 1st 2 chapters are boring, but the gut busting laughter is non-stop and worth the wait from then on

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Little Rock, AR, United States 02-22-17
    Matthew Little Rock, AR, United States 02-22-17 Member Since 2013

    1 Star -- Terrible 2 Stars -- Bad 3 Stars -- Mediocre 4 Stars -- Great to the right person. 5 Stars -- Superb, you must pick this up.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Book to Lighten Up the Mood"
    Any additional comments?

    This is one of those shallow, entertaining on-the-rails rollercoaster books I love. The whole point is escapism and laughs. Sorry, but there isn't any real character development, giant allegories, or any of that silly "literature" stuff here.<br/><br/>What we do have is one poor combat grunt that keeps ending up in the worst possible place at the worst possible times. Each time he ends up there good ol' Lady Luck comes around and beats him with a baseball bat filled with love and barbwire. Plucky plans against different enemy alien shenanigans and a fateful meeting with a uproarious lonely male (weird right?) AI ensues. The AI even admits that he's a jerk.<br/><br/>So if you want a hilarious adventure romp on easy mode, pick this book up, I mean it is like Old Man's War or Willful Child. If not, go pick up I dunno, 2001 or something.

    27 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Boysmom Alberta, Canada 12-31-16
    Boysmom Alberta, Canada 12-31-16 Member Since 2011
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    "This book is SO MUCH FUN!!i"
    Where does Columbus Day rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I've listened to a lot of really excellent books and this book is excellent in it's category. I was totally enjoying a well written piece of entertainment, narrated by the perfect narrator for the book and bam! It got even so much better!!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Columbus Day?

    I don't like this question because it's asking for spoilers, but I think I can say when Skippy and Joe got together, without giving too much away.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, yes, yes! And I want the next book. NOW!!!


    Any additional comments?

    This is a 100% entertaining book. Not believable, but that was no way a goal of the writers. Entertaining, fun, exciting. If you like sci-if fun, go for it. You will not be disappointed.

    42 of 52 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Maui, Hawaii, United States 06-30-17
    Eric Maui, Hawaii, United States 06-30-17 Member Since 2011

    Audiobooks Make Weed Wacking a Pleasure

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Surprise. Loved it!"

    This is perhaps the best science fiction audiobook I've ever had the pleasure to listen to. It was intelligently written, poignant at times, very funny (as funny as Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon was lame), and well performed. I plan on listening to the entire series.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W. Keith Withey Old Bridge, NJ United States 06-27-17
    W. Keith Withey Old Bridge, NJ United States 06-27-17 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fun SciFi best since "Hitchhikers Guide....""

    Serious but fun and Joe's encounter with "Skippy" the AI made me laugh out loud! Clever writing by Craig Alanson, and Joes character is brilliant and funny yet dead serious. Brings me back to the tough, wisecracking characters in WWII movies. Joe is smarter than he gives himself credit for, and is masterfully narrated by R.C. Bray. What a hoot!!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicole Portland, OR USA 06-22-17
    Nicole Portland, OR USA 06-22-17 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Started a little slow...then I was hooked"

    There's a lot of background information and explaining in the beginning for the storyline to make sense. It started a little slow for me, but then I couldn't stop.

    If you like plausible sci-fi mixed with adventure this is a great choice.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • ZX80
    UK
    2/26/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Clearly I'm in a minority but..."

    Don't get this review wrong, I did generally enjoy this book but I don't think it is the 5 star gem other reviewers seem to agree on. The idea is great and the mix of humour is fairly unique given that this is not the focus of the book, this is a really difficult balance to achieve, so the author deserves kudos for the attempt. However the characters are shallow and the plot is simplistic; motivation for uber-intelligent species to be conducting a galaxy encompassing war is never explored and the aforementioned humour is school-boy at best. Coupled with a overly large dollop of American jingoism and you're left with a basic if enjoyable yarn to waste a few hours on but not a 5 star listen. I doubt I'll continue with the series.

    30 of 35 people found this review helpful
  • GiffRock
    1/2/17
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    Performance
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    "Fantastic start to what I hope is a great series"

    This was an impulse buy and I was a little worried at first. I needn't be though as it was gripping from the start. It's well written and easy to listen to, R.C Bray was as usual, a spot on choice for the narrator. The book has a great change part way through that really sent the story in another direction that was very well delivered. Overall it's a great easy listen. There's some obvious ideas liberated from other sci-fi greats, both written and televised but it works really well.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Joseph Hill
    12/30/16
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    Performance
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    "Excellent, original and narrated by a master"

    RC Bray is reason enough to buy an audiobook. Brilliant performance of an original and entertaining book. Need the next book now!

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Adrian N.
    6/25/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mildly amusing but not really my kind of si-fi ."

    I prefer a little less conversation....a little more action. I probably won't go onto book 2

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Robert Wheatley
    4/23/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Give it time..."
    Any additional comments?

    I almost gave up on this book. I found the first part to be very linear and rather dull. But along came 'Skippy' and everything changed for me. Not only do I love the character, but the narrator does a super-fine job bringing him to life.<br/>

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • EmmCeeSq
    7/12/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Heinlein or Adams? Maybe pick one and run with it"
    What disappointed you about Columbus Day?

    The book is written from the perspective of a Sergeant in the US Army. So far, so Heinlein (Starship Troopers). Indeed, the book contains all the gung-ho Americana you want, if that's your thing (it's not my thing). There's very little hard sci-fi here - by limiting us to our Sergeant's perspective we're never allowed/invited to grasp any of the mind-blowing changes that alien contact might have initiated, and I was left dissapointed by the limiting of perspective. <br/><br/>However, the abrupt shift in tone halfway through the book (the character 'Skippy' is introduced) is jarring. Suddenly we're in Douglas Adams territory - being invited to laugh at ourselves as a species. Humour is really difficult to pull off (Adams was a master) and Alanson frankly isn't all that funny - obvious gags about Facebook and Cat videos don't really cut it. However, it's not really either element of the book that really bothered me, it was the rather crude splicing of what felt like two different ideas together. Write a serious book about a soliders' experience of cutting edge war in space, or a lighthearted satire of humanity when shown to be idiotic in the face of greater intelligence. I think it takes more skill than Alanson has to splice the two, if it were even possible.


    Has Columbus Day put you off other books in this genre?

    There are usually compromises to be made when reading sci-fi, which is frustrating but it wouldn't put me off entirely.


    What about R.C. Bray’s performance did you like?

    The narration is really good. I totally bought R.C Bray's characterisation of Col. Joe. Bray really brought our narrator to life. In fact, I think he rescued what is a pretty poor book.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Columbus Day?

    Honestly, I would have suggested to Alanson that he decided what sort of book he wanted to write and stick with it. There are two interesting ideas for books here - one hard-boiled military tale in the tradition of Heinlein et al, and another in the tradition of Adams etc. This book is a great illustration of why a consistent tone is so vital.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm genuinely baffled by the glowing reviews of this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • stig1875
    2/1/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I Highly Recommend this book and Author"
    What made the experience of listening to Columbus Day the most enjoyable?

    The story line, the narrator and contents of the book, Skippy and the Sergeant/ Colonel's banter backward and forward and the down to earth language between them and the rest of the high-racy in all of the armed services and government. being ex military I can relate to his moans and groans.


    What other book might you compare Columbus Day to, and why?

    Quite a few books that have the same M O the earth gets invaded, governments topple and the hero of the book once again saves the day, but this book is a fresh look at the subject.


    What about R.C. Bray’s performance did you like?

    Mr Bray's contribution to making this book a great Listen, is paramount to this Authors book storytelling, he match's the character perfectly and I hope when the next book is released he is the one telling the story.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    first was when the rag tag band of merry troops bring down the two Elephant transport planes while they were under the plasma tube/tunnel and when they sent the Lizards battle group into the sun, I could feel through Mr Brays telling up to these points that the satisfaction the Colonel was feeling for the loss of his men and women and the whole of humanity up to that point, then again when he slammed his fist down onto the Red Button on the counsel, as they approached the earth which put and end to the occupation of the Lizards.


    Any additional comments?

    I was looking for a New Author to listen to, because I am running out of good books by my favourit authors and the waiting for them to be added to Audible is agonizingley slow to say the least, then I saw this book and all of the Five Star ratings so I took the plunge and now I cannot wait for the next installment, come on Audible get your finger out

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Atticman
    UK
    12/30/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sci-Fi with a sense of humour"

    Wonderfully humorous dialogue combined with a great story. Brought to life wonderfully by RC Bray.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • justin ford
    1/1/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic Blend of humor and satire !"
    Where does Columbus Day rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The A.I Skippy<br/>


    What about R.C. Bray’s performance did you like?

    One of the best narations i have heard for an audio book.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Cant wait for the second book !!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    7/23/17
    Overall
    "Totally awesome"

    This has to be by far the best audio book I have listened to.
    So far I'm on my 3rd time listening to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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