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.
Written by Peter F. Hamilton.
Narrated by John Lee.
In the distant future, corporations have become sustainable communities with their own militaries, and corporate goals have essentially replaced political ideology. On a youthful, rebellious impulse, Lawrence joined the military of a corporation that he now recognizes to be ruthless and exploitative. His only hope for escape is to earn enough money to buy his place in a better corporation. When his platoon is sent to a distant colony to quell a local resistance effort, it seems like a stroke of amazing fortune, and Lawrence plans to rob the colony of their fabled gemstone, the Fallen Dragon, to get the money he needs. However, he soon discovers that the Fallen Dragon is not a gemstone at all but an alien life form that the local colonists have been protecting since it crashed in their area. Now Lawrence has to decide if he will steal the alien to exploit the use of its inherent biotechnical processes – which far exceed anything humans are capable of – or if he will help the Resistance get the alien home
Lawrence Newton was antsy as a child on the colony world of Amethi where his womanizing board member father, Doug Newton, rode him mercilessly with humiliation and sarcasm to become a carbon copy of himself. All Lawrence wanted for himself was to explore the stars. Lawrence thought he was coming around to his Dad’s image in his teens after meeting Rosalyn at a resort and falling madly in love and bed with her. Discovering two years later that Dad had set that up, with money, set him off on an impulsive rage to go to Earth and work for the competition-Zantiu-Braun.
ZB dangled star flight academy in front of Lawrence to coax him into Security for twenty years. Twenty years of ground pounding, interstellar piracy and never getting the break he wanted to become a starship pilot. That is until he pulled off a mission for the Resistance on Thallspring during an “Asset Realization Operation” for ZB.
I think is may be one of my favorite works thus far from this author. The story was never dull and the delivery was really awesome. Five stars for the story and four for the delivery. Four and a half overall. Well done.
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.
Landfall and Revolution are books 1 and 2 in the Ships Series by Jerry Aubrin. The two main protagonists, Zax and Kalare, are growing up in an Enders Game type culture where credits and demerits determine their future. They will either climb the ranks of the military crew of the giant asteroidal ship they live on or they will be frozen to be pooped out on a maybe human compatible world as colonists.
No one in this culture wants to be poop. I found the storyline to be very entertaining. This would make for a good tween to teen series as there is some violence and mature decision making. The editing could use another pass. Three out of five stars awarded.