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Publisher's Summary

A science fiction epic from "the best writer in America" (Tom Clancy) - Hugo and Nebula award-winning author John Varley.

Fleeing Earth after an alien invasion, the human race stands on the threshold of evolution. Their new home is Luna, a moon colony blessed with creature comforts, prolonged lifespans, digital memories, and instant sex changes.

But the people of Luna are bored, restless, suicidal - and so is the computer that monitors their existence....

©1992 John Varley (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about Steel Beach

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Top notch writing; Voice actor needs some work

John Varley is one of the best storytellers out there; and here his talents are on full display. The plot is a wandering jumble, full of dead ends, weird twists, and inconsistent pacing. BUT, that's all because the main character/narrator is that kind of person, and there's a ton of personality infused into the narrative. This character would never tell a story without asides, and off-topic background.

The plot itself is a complicated interwoven mix of at least 2 separate stories that need each other I order to resolve. This is not an audiobook to put on in the background--it depends your attention.

If I have one complaint it's with the audio performance. Like most audiobook performers, the narrator tries to give each character a certain voice--or sound. This book has many female characters, and they're critical characters. But this actor--when he voices a female--affects a high-pitched, breathy voice. Every female character sounds like a voice like someone imitating an airheaded-teenager in a comedy skit. It makes it hard to take the characters seriously--and you NEED to take these characters seriously.

1 person found this helpful

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an old favorite

It has been many years since I read it for the first time. I mostly had only remembered that I liked it a lot. But now, having reread it, it is really exceptional, especially for us die-hard Heinlein fans. I would particularly recommend that people should re-read Moon is a Harsh Mistress right before this. And maybe also The Rolling Stones. Varley makes a lot of references to Heinlein, especially those two. ;-)

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent Story!

I could find no faults in either the writing or the narration in this fantastic sci-fi tale.

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Could not get thru this book

I don’t think I could care less for a character. Awful job of world building. The first Varley book i did not like at all.
Disjointed and uninteresting story, I slogged through over 8 hours of this book until finally giving up

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Great story

This book definitely tests your imagination. Definitely not your everyday SciFi. I looked forward to riding with it every day.

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definitely worth it

it seems to meander from time to time, but always picks up the very interesting central plot before boring me

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Philosophical science fiction at its best

An engaging story, even if I didn't know where it was going for a while. Excellent ideas and an exploration of AI and its consequences. Nice nods to The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and other classics. Recommended.

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Steel Beach

I did pretty good at the beginning but I was totally lost by the end.This saga is set on Luna where you can change out your body parst like you do car parts.You can change sex also.You live 100 or more years even if you don't want to. Earth was destroyed long ago but the devastation is still felt. Everyone is bored.David Stifel was a very good narrator. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.