Joe Colsco boarded a flight from San Francisco to Chicago to attend a national chemistry meeting. He would never set foot on Earth again....
To join one of the 22 Affinities is to change one's life. It's like family, and more than family. Your fellow members aren't just like you, and they aren't just people who are likely to like you....
In the near future of Robert Charles Wilson's Last Year, the technology exists to open doorways into the past - but not our past, not exactly. Each "past" is effectively an alternate world....
The story of the tumultuous years that set the stage for the fall of the Roman Republic....
Mycroft Canner is a convict. For his crimes he is required, as is the custom of the 25th century, to wander the world being as useful as he can to all he meets....
Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure....
From best-selling author Neal Stephenson and critically acclaimed historical and contemporary commercial novelist Nicole Galland comes a captivating and complex near-future thriller....
The waters rose, submerging New York City. But the residents adapted, and it remained the bustling, vibrant metropolis it had always been. Though changed forever....
Cassie Klyne, 19 years old, lives in the United States in the year 2015 - but it's not our United States, and it's not our 2015....
Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens....
Our universe is ruled by physics, and faster-than-light travel is not possible - until the discovery of The Flow, an extradimensional field we can access at certain points in space-time....
The possibilities are endless. Just be careful what you wish for....
Adrian Tchaikovksy's critically acclaimed stand-alone novel Children of Time is the epic story of humanity's battle for survival on a terraformed planet....
Cryptonomicon leaps forward and back between World War II and the World Wide Web, hinting all the while at a dark day-after-tomorrow....
Daniel Suarez delivers an exhilarating sci-fi thriller exploring a potential future where CRISPR genetic editing allows the human species to control evolution itself....
In 1940 Charles A. Lindbergh, heroic aviator and rabid isolationist, is elected president. Shortly thereafter, he negotiates a cordial "understanding" with Adolf Hitler....
In Colorado Springs, the Dominion sees to the nation's spiritual needs. In Labrador, the Army wages war on the Dutch. America, unified, is rising once again.
Then, out of Labrador come tales of a new Ajax - Captain Commongold, the Youthful Hero of the Saguenay. The ordinary people follow his adventures in the popular press. The Army adores him. The President is...troubled. Especially when the dashing Captain turns out to be his nephew Julian, son of the falsely accused and executed Bryce.
Treachery and intrigue dog Julian's footsteps. Hair's-breadth escapes and daring rescues fill his days. Stern resolve and tender sentiment dice for Julian's soul, while his admiration for the works of the Secular Ancients, and his adherence to the evolutionary doctrines of the heretical Darwin, set him at fatal odds with the hierarchy of the Dominion. Plague and fire swirl around the Presidential palace when at last he arrives with the acclamation of the mob.
If Jules Verne had read Karl Marx, then sat down to write The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, he still wouldn't have matched the invention and exuberance of Robert Charles Wilson's Julian Comstock. As told by Julian's best friend and faithful companion, a rustic yet observant lad from the west, this tale of the 22nd Century asks - and answers - the age-old question: "Do you want to tell the truth, or do you want to tell a story?"
Julian Comstock is an unusual story for science fiction, a 16th century tragedy, presented in a 19th century style, set in the 22nd century. It's also a first person account written by a friend of the title character, which has the consequence of leaving much about Julian, and about the world in which the story is set, unexplained. If you're looking for an uplifting adventure story, or a geeky exposition on post-collapse technology, you might look elsewhere. But if you like a good story, beautifully told, check this one out. Although the stories and characters are quite different, the tone reminded me a bit of The Great Gatsby, particularly Fitzgerald's last line: "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past." The narration is very well done, though a bit melancholic, but it fits the nature of the tale. Like a previous reviewer, I really didn't want this one to end.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
This was my first Robert Charles Wilson novel, and I can tell that his strength is in characterization and dialogue. The setting reminded me of Orson Scott Card's THE TALES OF ALVIN MAKER series in that it is a 19th century setting but a post apocolyptic idea without the doom and gloom of THE ROAD. Wilson's characters are well drawn with desires and motivations that are universal. Julian Comstock would have been my pick for the HUGO award.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
The book jumps forward two hundred years to a world transformed by catastrophe into a 17th century-like landscape. An interesting idea, but the story is decidedly weak and the ending (most of the book) is both predictable and very disappointing. Scott Brick is usually a good narator, but here he slows down and introduces so much dramatic voice that it interferes and extends a story (maybe he was trying to save an otherwise mediocre book). Not as good as the author's "Spin" by a long stretch.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful
I love reading and listening to the classics of the 19th century because I love the english of that era.
This story feels like a classic. Its hard to shut off and I love the characters.
Scott Brick could read a shopping list and make it sound good
7 of 10 people found this review helpful
This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?
I love speculative fiction, and the premise intrigued me. I tried reading it some time ago but was put off by the narration. At loose ends for a book, I decided to give it another try. I tried to ignore the narrator and focus on the story, but that didn't help much. The main character was fatuous and so lacking in the ability to make inferences that I was frequently frustrated by the author's depiction of him. The characters all lacked depth.
Has Julian Comstock turned you off from other books in this genre?
No, but I'll do more research on unfamiliar authors and narrators before making selections, based on this experience.
Would you be willing to try another one of Scott Brick’s performances?
Absolutely not. His performance was the most melodramatic attempt at pomposity I have ever experienced.
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
I was disappointed, but felt I should read to the end so my review would be based on a complete reading.
Any additional comments?
This is the first book of dozens I've downloaded from Audible that has been disappointing to this degree. Nothing has come anywhere near this close.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
The concept of the story is very interesting, but the prose is tedious and distracting.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful
Robert Charles Wilson is one of the best writers. I love the way he writes and this is wonderfully written. It just is not my cup of tea.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful
The timeline of the book was to short. The book started too close to the current time for such a drastic change in society. The author tried to make some justifications but it felt more like a fictional built story from the American Revolution.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful
I really liked what I had read about this book, and although I love long, detailed books, and have enjoyed many varied futuristic envisionings, this is one of only 1 or 2 audiobooks I've ever had that I couldn't force myself to listen to til the end--I almost made it, but found I couldn't care less what happened--that boring. And the narrator absolutely drove me crazy with his weird, melancholoy style--usually I can get past the narrator if I am interested in the book, but I just couldn't tune this guy out.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Five hours eleven minutes. That's how long it took me to conclude I could take no more.
The disconnect between this late 22nd century world and all that had preceded it was not explained well and left much confusion as to why they were so painfully and selectively ignorant. Character development is slow in coming and weak when it arrives. At nearly a third the way through the book, I really don't know much about the main character and worse, I don't care about him.
The overly verbose flourishes of language seems pretentious and contrary to the characters and world described, as if the author is trying desperately to impress someone.
The narrator is, frankly, horrible with a constant lilting and descending of tone and tempo that evokes a cheesy (think Saturday Night Live) characterization of a letter being read from the Ken Burns Civil War documentary. The narration simply grated on me.
I've only not finished one other audio book out of close to 200, so I'm used to toughing out the occasional weak book. This one was unbearable.
6 of 18 people found this review helpful