We Are Legion (We Are Bob)
Written by Dennis E. Taylor.
Performed by Ray Porter.
Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it’s a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street.
Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling AI in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets. The stakes are high: no less than the first claim to entire worlds. If he declines the honor, he’ll be switched off, and they’ll try again with someone else. If he accepts, he becomes a prime target. There are at least three other countries trying to get their own probes launched first, and they play dirty.
The safest place for Bob is in space, heading away from Earth at top speed. Or so he thinks. Because the universe is full of nasties, and trespassers make them mad – very mad.
Bob is a likeable guy who made money instead of doing what he really wanted to do…theoretical and practical physics. Well now his head has been thawed, his brain scanned and he is the software property of the Theocracy America turned into. Apparently not all of the Theocracy agrees that these von Neumann probes should be sent out into the Universe to procreate (or replicate) but all the kids are doing it so it’s GO TIME!
There are lots of places this story goes and most of the time it is snarky and humorous in it’s telling of horrendous things. I love this kind of story and the presenter is on the top of his game. Four out of five enjoyment points for both story and presentation.
A Night Without Stars
Written by Peter F. Hamilton.
Narrated by John Lee
Bienvenido was a world that the Brandt Colony ships had crash landed on after they entered the Void and all their tech had stopped working. 3,000 years of dictatorship by the Captains led to a revolution after Nigel set off a Quantum Buster in the Faller Forest and got them expelled from the Void to…a deeper Void. At least their tech started working again in time for them to fight with the Prime and Faller invasions. Krysandra, the warrior Angel, can’t keep up with the idiocy of the planetary government.
Now Nigel’s backup plan of a cloned Paula Maio has engaged to rescue Bienvenido and the Fallers have accelerated their Apocalyptic time table. Maybe they’ll find some unexpected allies? As usual I thorough enjoy works by Peter Hamilton. The character voice ranges in this work may have stretched the ability of John Lee but I still enjoyed its telling. Overall five out of five entertainment units.
The Reality Dysfunction.
Written by Peter F. Hamilton. Narrated by John Lee.
Absolutely immersing literature never mind that the deadtree version is thick as a Washington DC phone book. The characters are developed and you feel what they feel. The first breaking into the Beyond occurs because an Involuntary Transport (IVET) named Quinn Dexter conducts a Satanic ritual on a stage 1 colony planet called Lalonde. The ritual doesn’t cause it so much as something else, something curious, something alien with enough energy to hold the door open to the insane souls scrambling through to possess living humans.
Read this then listened to it on audible. Out standing. Five by Five for storytelling, and delivery.
Other Versions https://www.amazon.com/Reality-Dysfunction-Nights-Dawn-Book-ebook/dp/B004VO4J0I/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1485108071&sr=1-1&keywords=the+reality+dysfunction
Written by Ben L. Hughes
Humans, in our current state are frail, prone to diseases and for the most part free-thinking. Dr. Stone and his ego planned to improve on all that with the blessing of DARPA and the Joint Chiefs. Excellent setup for the down fall.
The story is a tale of survival in an environment where an active biological agent is seeking to enslave the human race. It is well told as characters develop, some get killed off, and the internal workings of clan leadership are explored. Every bit of this story is scientifically feasible.
I’m very happy with the quality of this book. Four out of five enjoyment units are thus awarded.
The Rolling Stones
Written by Robert A. Heinlein.
Narrated by Tom Weiner.
This is a relatively delightful piece from the author of Stranger in a Strange Land, Girl Friday and Starship Troopers. The Rolling Stones, sans Mick and Keith, is a story about the family Stone living in the Lunar Colony. Sporting a family of six plus Grandma they purchase a small cargo cruiser to tour the solar system and have adventures while discovering things.
Comes across like Father Knows Best meets Lost in Space with real science fiction-fact. The rockets are all NERVAs using Hydrogen as the propellant of choice. They use Hohmann Transfer Orbits to maximize fuel efficiency and experience real zero gravity issues.
A fun work and though dated still reads true. Three out of five entertainment units.
Written by Daniel Suarez.
Narrated by Jeff Gurner.
Jon Grady has some issues that cause him to think differently than the herd. A Professor Alcott from Columbia University recognized this and took him under his wing to build a gravity mirror. Everyone thought by now we would have Mr. Fusion and Hover-boards well maybe we do and some douche bags in the BTC, Bureau of Technology Control, have them locked away for a day when we can be considered mature enough to have them. They sure didn’t like what Jon Grady made being loose.
The BTC snatches Grady and Alcott up and offer each of them a choice. Work willingly with the BTC or go to a civilized prison they have called Hibernity. This prison is where Influx really breaks some new ground using a concept I first read in a short story ‘I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream’. I don’t want to drop any more spoilers.
Influx is a ground breaking, well written and narrated work of art. This one gets a five out of five. Great job Mr. Suarez.
Proxima: Book 1
Written by Stephen Baxter.
Narrated by Kyle McCarley.
Uri Eden, the name he choose to go by to retain some defense against abuse, wakes up for the second time in his short twenty years from Cryo Sleep. His existence has spanned nearly a hundred and sixty years from what the Solar System has dubbed the Heroic Era, derisively. He wakes up on a kernel driven starship during the first half of the ship’s trek to Proxima Centauri, Nearest star to Sol. He is one of near two hundred undesirables swept up by Peace Keepers to form the first Sydney like colony on a world in another star system.
This is so little of what is contained in this work you can be assured you have not had it spoiled. Some other ingredients range from AI’s, tri-pod alien life, Earth as a two power entity and much more. Baxter is an excellent world builder who hits all the important details including how people handle change. Narration was outstanding in vocal range appropriate to each of the characters giving you more than just the words to form a mind picture of each. Great job.
I’m hooked. Already listening to the sequel, Ultima. Awarding the rare five out of five entertainment units some call stars. Enjoy!