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Publisher's Summary

The Visitor - hard, near-future science fiction for the listener who likes realism. 

Specialist astronaut Evelyn Slater encounters a small, badly damaged, ancient alien artifact on the first ever space junk elimination mission. 

Where was it from? Who sent it?

International governments impose a security clampdown. Evelyn leads a team of handpicked scientists who make amazing discoveries within the alien device. Secrecy becomes impossible to maintain. When the news is finally released, she becomes embroiled in international politics, worldwide xenophobic hatred, and violence.

This is the first book in the Tony Harmsworth’s First Contact series of novels. If you like realistic near-future stories which compel you to imagine yourself as the protagonist, The Visitor is the book for you. The Visitor is a science fiction for the "thinking" listener and with a wicked twist. Buy it now and be transported into orbit.

©2017 Tony Harmsworth (P)2019 Tony Harmsworth

What listeners say about The Visitor

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wow what a train wreck of a book.

this book reeks of poshness and takes pc culture to the extreme. main character screams that a reporter is racist for saying a gross alien is gross. it is also very cliche. the main character discovers the alien in space, runs the research facility when it is brought to earth. gets shot in a mass shooting where hey fiance dies. recovers, goes back to space, gets cancer, dies, and then falls on love with the Alien. the whole time the author is preaching values to the reader and shitting on all of mankind. the voice actress did an amazing job though.

6 people found this helpful

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The Visitor is all that!

I only have about 3 hours every morning to myself to drink my coffee and listen to a good book while I knit or crochet or do some other mostly brainless task. For me, the test of a great audiobook is whether or not I think about the story after I've stopped it for the day, if I look forward to starting it back up the next, and if I feel what the characters feel. This is a great story with fascinating characters as well as intriguing science. Very enjoyable.

6 people found this helpful

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huge disappointment

despite a decent narrator, I couldn't make it through chapter 22. The first part read like a junior high school adolescent girl's try at a short story. From there it was a constant diatribe of wokeness, leftwing radical environmentalism, anti-americanism, anti religion, and racism paranoia. read it or listen to it at your discretion. or don't.

3 people found this helpful

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Pathetic

Don't waste a minute of your life listening to this. It is so bad in so many ways that I can't begin to list them. Most of all, this IS NOT hard science fiction. It reads like it was written by a teenager for elementary school children, and fails at that level! The only thing worse than the writing was the narrator. How does a story like this get published?

3 people found this helpful

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Fantastic book with sci fi that is believable

it's rare to run across a science fiction book that is not of the space opera variety. This book is based on science, and the possibility of what we would think of an alien species and what an alien species would think about us. I really enjoyed the science of space and how the crew had to adjust to ever-channging circumstances. The book felt real, as though the author tapped into who we are as a species and what we are afraid of. I would recommend this book to those who love hard science fiction and those who love the science of space. You will not be disappointed.

3 people found this helpful

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Great plot but mediocre execution

Warning: Spoilers ahead. Up front, I want to say that the story overall is great. Performance by Marni Penning was adequate, but it takes a while to get past her nasally, british performance of all her characters beyond the main. Tony Harmsworth, the author makes a few things clear throughout the story; religions are stupid and for the uneducated, human nature sucks, alien life forms are good and he has a less than favorable attitude towards the US. This book is touted as "hard" scifi, but I would reclassify it as "soft" hard scifi - his descriptions of space flight and life aboard the ISS are good, and I'm sure somewhat accurate, but lack any real detail to be considered "hard". I liked and could relate to his protagonist, Dr. Evelyn Slater, young wide-eyed and adventurous in the beginning, but became distant when she soon became a somewhat pretentious, entitled bitch after her promotion to "Dame Evelyn". Most notable flaw was the her sudden focus on ensuring - demanding her minions were being politically correct with accepting the visage of an actual alien, after she had initially mocked its ugliness upon first seeing it. The story then devolves into nothing but the dark-side of humanity and the worst that the minority bring to the front. The story could have easily evolved past the faults of us as humans and proceeded towards developing a peace-loving, explorer race helped along by the discovery of an alien ambassador, but instead we get a perceived future humanity that is a deemed a threat to the rest of the galaxy's intelligent lifeforms. Thanks, Tony.

2 people found this helpful

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bashing

im not religious but the religion bashing was a bit much. yes there are poor in the world but you dont have to be religious to help them and if you dont believe anything spiritual then fine but it doesnt really make you superior. and no i dont believe the earth is 6000 years old

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Great read for those with an eye for outer space.

The storyline was smooth and easy to follow with no violence to speak of; which is rare and wonderful, while still being mature and entertaining. The reader does a marvelous job with making the characters believable.

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Exciting story, great characters and good reader

This was the fastest I've read a book since I've had my 16month old!... which is one day. The way the story was written made you crave to know what would happen next, what's under the hood, what are they going to say next? I loved it!

1 person found this helpful

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awful!

very drawn out! also did not appreciate the push on atheism and the the demeaning of religious beliefs! do not recommend!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Paul Thompson
  • 12-11-19

A well crafted classic - Deserves a movie deal.

Just finished listening to this on Audible. Americans, Christian's and Republicans are going to hate this book. Well, maybe half of all Americans. I loved it. Great plot progression and escalation. A strong female lead. Plausible and clever technology. Reasonably accurate orbital physics. Totally brutal towards right wing politics and religion. Good narration. A loud and clear definition of the stupidity of man. Well done Tony. I loved it to bits. My only complaint is that you've left no wiggle room for a sequel. It's a book just crying out for a movie deal.

3 people found this helpful

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  • James Burkill
  • 07-22-20

Finally someone gets hard sci fi

Most hard sci fi novels go down the road of pausing the story for long periods of time to deliver science lessons full of technical detail. Harmsworth doesn't make that mistake here. He has done his research, but rather than relaying it all back to the reader literally, he uses it to describe a realistic environment, giving the reader a taste of what it is like to be there. That's what I want from my sci fi. I want to experience what it would really be like to travel in outer space, explore nearby star systems or be alive when first contact is made with extraterrestrial beings. Most sci fi is either pure fantasy or pure science lesson. This book is one of the few that gets the balance right.

1 person found this helpful

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  • kevin
  • 01-13-20

Loved this!!

Great book, great concept, great narrator. Needless to say, i liked the book a bit too much

1 person found this helpful

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  • Barry
  • 09-21-20

Aristocratic Astronaut meets Richard Dawkins

This book is fine. It’s average. It’s not that bad but it’s not great either. The protagonist is deeply unlikeable - due in no small part to the preposterous voice given to her by the narrator (that of royalty or aristocracy). When the protagonist climbs the career ladder (inexplicably and with no relevant experience) - she becomes obsessed with status. She is rude to staff and never says please or thank you when barking orders. For a so-called smart person and astronaut, she sure doesn’t know a huge amount about 20th century space exploration. Anyway - humans find Richard Dawkins’ brain in a miniature space ship. Space Richard Dawkins is as rude as the protagonist - so they fall in love I guess. Oh - and I wouldn’t call this “hard sci-fi”.

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  • Jon Miren Hernandez Aresti
  • 09-18-20

Poor story telling meets unimaginative sci fi

You know how one of the foundations of story telling is to "show don't tell", well the protagonist tells, painfully, then once she is done telling, she tells the same thing to another character, then to another, then to another completely drowning the few engaging bits of the story in what seems to be a novel about the bureaucracy of international scientific cooperation.

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  • robotband
  • 08-31-20

Relevant, thought-provoking and moving

Before buying this, I read a review that said "Americans and Christians won't like this" which intrigued me! I haven't read a huge number of First Contact sci-fi, but I feel confident in saying that Harmsworth has managed to examine the idea from a new angle. There is, of course, some detail about the discovery of the alien device however most of the attention is focussed on how this discovery should be disseminated to the world's population. The autor touches on politics, in what I felt was a very pointed way! The religious impact of First Contact is also addressed fairly briefly. I think I would've enjoyed some more on that. I think having "Hard Sci Fi" in the title may have made me listen more critically than usual. I can understand why the publishers may have required it but I found I was often questioning some of the writing. I think, at times, the author forgets their narrator is narrating to someone in the future, feeling the need to explain technologies of 2035 to an audience in 2020; that kind of broke the spell for me. There are some slightly clumsy moments too, where the cast of scientific characters explain some simple chemistry to each other that, surely, would be basic knowledge. I did really enjoy the book - I just wish the editing had been just a little tighter.

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  • Philip
  • 08-30-20

Good start, mediocre 2nd half, mediocre narration

The story starts off quite compelling and I was interested to see how it developed. The first third of the story gave a few glimpses of barely believable plot twists, but as the story progresses it veers into the realm of laughable (and not in a good way). For example (spoiler alert) the protagonist seems to magically bypass any and all government, corporate and military hierarchy and somehow becomes the sole decider of what happens to and with the most significant discovery in human history, simply because she was there when it was accidentally discovered. However, if you can suspend reality and logic for a while, it is actually quite enjoyable. The narration, however, is a real annoyance. Someone needs to tell this American narrator that there are more than two English accents. She only has 'extremely posh' aristocratic for the scientists, and 'artful dodger' cockney for everyone else (like receptionists). Someone needs to explain to her that the vast majority of English people speak with a neutral accent, not these idiotic stereotypes. It begs the question as to why a story about an English protagonist, and set largely in England would need an American narrator? Bonkers!

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  • Jason
  • 08-27-20

Worth a listen and thought provoking if not a little biased.

Enjoyed the story and it was entertaining allbeit a little predictable and preachy in favour of science rather than belief. Tended to put forward a limited point of view as correct whilst at the same time being a tad condescending of alternatives points of view. Personally I wasn’t a massive fan of the narrators voice as rather posh and I didn’t like the leaning towards elitism, meritocracy and numerous references to certain brands and customs that elevate some above others. But that’s just my view and you had better judge it for yourself by having a listen

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  • kayliegh88
  • 08-13-20

proper sci fi

dont get why people are attacking this author is good story really enjoyed this book better than listening too idiots writing story's on pandemics and covid related stories so dont put it down u til listen to it

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-05-20

bit of a slow burn

book took a while to get going, but the story did just enough to keep the listener engaged.