Review of Energized by Edward M. Lerner

November 18, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Energized by Edward M. LernerEnergized
By Edward M. Lerner; Read by Grover Gardner
Length: 10.5 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Published: 2012
ISBN: 1470813033
Themes: / Science! / satellites / engineers / NASA / terrorists / oil / energy / space / thriller /

The SFFaudio crew pegged me to read this book because the description says that one of the main characters is a NASA engineer. I always think it’s funny when people specify “NASA” engineer. It’s like on TV shows when you see people working near the space shuttle, they’re all wearing NASA hats. Nobody does that. The description could just as easily said “aerospace engineer” and the meaning would be the same…but less sexy, somehow. I admit, I was weary of reading this one at first. My experience with people who write about “NASA engineers” is that they have no idea what they’re talking about excepting cursory research. I’m happy to report that Edward M. Lerner does know what he’s talking about with regards to the space and satellite stuff (looking at his bio, it’s no surprise). That said, I went into this thinking it was going to be a science fiction book. It’s much more a mystery/thriller with science fiction elements. It’s as much “science fiction” as Daemon is (which is to say, not much).

In the interest of full disclosure, it’s probably worth mentioning that I am currently employed by a company that (among other things) designs and builds satellites, both for the government and the commercial sector. I currently work on the commercial side of things and have never worked on a NASA contract. There are definite holes and inaccuracies with the science and engineering in this book. But most people won’t recognize them, and they don’t impact the overall enjoyment of the story.

That disclaimer done with, Energized was pretty entertaining. Set in the near-future United States, the world has gone through a “crude-tastrophe” and the price of oil has skyrocketed to the tune of $20+/gallon to fill up a car. There is a fixed market, controlled mostly by Russian interests, for oil, so naturally the US explores alternate energy sources. Unfortunately, Rome wasn’t built in a day and it’s virtually impossible to produce enough energy via alternate sources overnight. NASA has been working on a large-scale satellite that can beam solar energy to earth from space.

The first third of the book (maybe closer to the first half) deals with the public (and private sector) reactions to this kind of a satellite and introduces the reader (listener?) to the concept and its risks. Admittedly, this section could have been shorter without sacrificing much of the story; it did seem to drag on a bit.

The second section of the book introduces the “thriller” aspect. As anybody in the aerospace industry is aware, the stuff built “for the powers of good” in/for space can usually be used to do evil. Sure enough, terrorists find a way to take over the satellite and use its harnessed energy to destroy ground-based and air-based targets. As is typical for thrillers, there are some good guys in the area, capable of stopping the terrorists. In this case it’s Marcus Judson, NASA engineer, one of the lead consultants for the power satellite project, along with some of his colleagues. Yet again, this section seemed overly long and drawn out.

However, the length of the first two sections may only seem long in relation to the final section–the part where the final “battle” occurs and either good or evil triumphs. This part felt a bit rushed, comparatively. In retrospect, I think it was probably the right length and that the other two parts were just a bit too long. I won’t spoil it for you, but the final “battle” involves maneuvering (literally and metaphorically) on the ground and on the 2 mile-on-a-side power satellite. It stretches the belief but still left me interested and wanting to listen to see what happened next.

As I stated previously, the book was enjoyable. It was a bit far-fetched but not so far-fetched as to be completely unbelievable. The science fiction elements are there and create an atypical setting for most mystery/thriller type books, and I’d recommend this to anybody that enjoys the mystery/thriller genre.

Grover Gardner is one of my favorite narrators and he shines in this type of book. He also narrates the Andy Carpenter books, another mystery/thriller series, so it feels natural for him to read Energized. The only “weirdness” I had is that the Andy Carpenter books have a character named Marcus as well, so hearing of two very different “Marcus” characters read by the same narrator was a bit jarring at times.

All in all, this is a popcorn-type book, easily consumed and digested. It does have its flaws (with the technical side of things as well as story length), but they’re not so big as to ruin the fun. If you’re in the market for a hard science fiction book with far-reaching themes, this isn’t the book for you. But if you’re in the mood for a thriller with science fiction elements, you’ll probably enjoy Energized well enough.

Review by terpkristin.

The SFFaudio Podcast #177 – NEW RELEASES/RECENT ARRVIALS

September 10, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: New Releases, Podcasts, Recent Arrivals 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #177 – Jesse, Tamahome, Jenny, talk about the latest NEW RELEASES and RECENT ARRIVALS in audiobooks and paperbooks.

Talked about on today’s show:
Jenny’s beagle Bailey loves audiobooks, breed vs. brand, “Space Drama”, The Prankster by James Polster (from Brilliance Audio), stranded on Earth, novellas, Luke Daniels is everywhere, Space Cadet by Robert A. Heinlein, Between Planets by Robert A. Heinlein (Full Cast Audio), Ace Tachyon (aka Abner Senries), Methuselah’s Children by Robert A. Heinlein, immortality, Universe by Robert A. Heinlein, “Future History”, 1941, “the guy with the two heads”, Lazarus Long, The Notebooks Of Lazurus Long, kilted spacemen, Fate of Worlds: Return from the Ringworld by Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner (Blackstone Audio), Ringworld, “big dumb object” (and the blog of the same name), space elevator, Energized by Edward M. Lerner, a NASA engineer is the main character!, Grover Gardner, terpkristin, geopolitical intrigue, hard SF, Larry Niven and Gregory Benford “bowl-world?”, Dyson’s sphere, library of congress subject headings, Dewey Decimal Classification, Grover Cleveland, a librarian’s license, are librarians born or trained?, “on the square and on the level”, Trucker Ghost Stories edited by Annie Wilder (Macmillan Audio), Tavia Gilbert, Peter Ganim, 21st Century Dead: A Zombie Anthology edited by Christopher Golden (Blackstone Audio), Simon R. Green, Ken Bruen, Daniel H. Wilson, Brian Keene, zombies are taking over, The Walking Dead (comic), Locke & Key, Joe Hill, Stephen King, “gears and robots” or “steamy robots”, Clockwork Angels: The Novel by Kevin J. Anderson, Neil Peart (of Rush), steampunk, steampunk music?, The Steampunk Bible edited by Jeff Vandermeer, Mr Jupitus In The Age Of Steampunk, maker stuff with tophats, is there a good steampunk book to wow Tam?, Murdoch Mysteries, Tesla vs Edison, steampunky, 1950s kitchen appliances, golden age SF, Boneshaker by Cherie Priest, Sword & Laser, VN by Madeline Ashby, Von Neumann machine, “she stopped being able to not harm humans”, gynoid vs. android, a girlnoid, guynoid vs. gynoid, Angry Robot, Saturn’s Children by Charles Stross |READ OUR REVIEW|, Exhalation by Ted Chiang, non-human main characters, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, post-apocalyptic Hawaii, “a hard entry point”, The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime, fantastical, “fantasy noir”, “a noir cannot be series”, “investigative fantasy” or “hardboiled fantasy?”, darker than you think by Jack Williamson (Blackstone Audio), Jim Meskimen, embroiled in hardboiled?, The Humanoids, With Folded Hands, setee vs. seetee, Technomancer (Unspeakable Things: Book 1) by B.V. Larson (Brilliance Audio), space-kilt!, Red Planet by Robert A. Heinlein, naked on a frozen planet, Saint City Sinners by Lilith Saintcrow, Tanya Eby, Battle Royale by Koushun Takami, Morning Glories (comic), Midnight (Nightingale Trilogy: #2) by Stephen Leather, Ralph Lister, “supernatural noir”, hardboiled vs. noir, Philip Marlowe is hardboiled (perhaps with noir elements), Kiss Me Deadly by Mickey Spillane, noir as a visual vs. noir as a story, Hamlet, noir stories don’t need detectives (and usually don’t have them), femme fatale, James M. Cain, Body Heat, Chinatown, “it’s chinatown Jake” = things are so fucked up you should walk away, “kitty kat”, “fantasy adventure”, Wake of the Bloody Angel: An Eddie LaCrosse Novel by Alex Bledsoe, pirates!, Stefan Rudnicki, The Hammer And the Blade by Paul S. Kemp, Nick Podehl, Functional Nerds, Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, the trouble with fish-gods, a buddy movie (book), dragons, Sky Dragons (Dragonriders of Pern) by Anne McCaffrey and Todd McCaffrey, Emily Durante, Brilliance Audio, Blood of the Emperor (The Annals of Drakis: Book Three) by Tracy Hickman, Margaret Weis, PKD!, Counter Clock World by Philip K. Dick, Gather Yourselves Together by Philip K. Dick (mainstream PKD) <-published posthumously, Eye In The Sky by Philip K. Dick, Dan John Miller (Brilliance Audio), The Zap Gun by Philip K. Dick (Brilliance Audio) <-an expansion of The Gun Project Plowshare, Mel Foster, Anthony Boucher liked it, The Man Who Japed by Philip K. Dick (Brilliance Audio), Repent Harlequin Said The Ticktock-man by Harlan Ellison, Dick was a crazy autodidact, didacticism, A World Of Talent and Other Stories (Eloquent Voice), Total Recall (aka We Can Remember It For You Wholesale), public domain Philip K. Dick stories, a strange dedication, Geek’s Guide To The Galaxy, John Joseph Adams, The Reel Stuff edited by Brian Thomsen and Martin H. Greenberg, Mimic by Donald A. Wollheim, the Total Recall remake is terrible and stupid, Inception, are “sci-fi” movies are opera for Americans?, Air Raid by John Varley, Loopers, time travel, many new Stanisław Lem audiobooks are up on Audible.com!, Lem READALONG!, Tam is always “Lemming”, Lemistry: A Celebration of the Work of Stanisław Lem, Eric S. Rabkin, Cyberiad, Luke Burrage’s review of Solaris, Noise: A Novel by Darin Bradley, Chris Patton, dystopias are refreshing, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Spider Robinson, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Jesse is completely wrong, does a lack of engagement with the society in The Hunger Games make it not really SF?, science fictiony vs. Science Fiction, 1984, an ever evolving book of rules about idea fiction, Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens, George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman, The New York Review Of Books, arguing with books, Jenny’s favourite part of the NYRoB, the New York Review Of Books blog, academic writing vs. literary writing, Vanity Fair and Vanity Fair online, Simon Prebble has captured Chrisopher Hitchen’s voice, Jo Walton, the Booker Prize longlist, Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel (historical fiction), history, I, Claudius by Robert Graves, fictionalized history vs. historical fiction, Luke Burrage’s review of Wool by Hugh Howey, Jenny makes friends with all the authors.

Ace Double - The Man Who Japed by Philip K. Dick

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #163 – NEW RELEASES/RECENT ARRIVALS

June 4, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: New Releases, Podcasts, Recent Arrivals 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #163 – Jesse, Tamahome, and Jenny (from Reading Envy) talk about newly released and recently arrived audiobooks.

Talked about on today’s show:
please send Jenny audiobooks for review, a lack of a listing of the short stories on audiobooks, kudos to Welcome To Bordertown, George R.R. Martin’s Warriors II and Down These Strange Streets (urban fantasy), Jenny is reading around the world in 52 books, Tigana is sort of Italian, future releases, Happy Audiobook Month, audiobook sale at Tantor, Nick wants Redshirts by John Scalzi, coming soon on Audible, Audible Modern Vanguard, Colin Firth narrated the Graham Greene novel The End Of The Affair, Redshirts has three codas (short stories), Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter’s The Long Earth, Flood, Discworld has giant turtles, Good Omens is great in audio, Stephen Baxter is doing a Doctor Who (The Wheel Of Ice), Gregory Benford’s free audio novelette The Hunger For The Infinite is part of the Galactic Center series, sort of like I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream, sheer amount of David Brin audiobooks, Jenny might read Kiln People, how do Scott and Jesse truly feel about David Brin? (Jesse’s review of Startide Rising), the value of awards, The Greatest Science Fiction Stories Of The 20th Century has a good Brin and others, (Ben Bova was in the news not David Brin), The Postman book and movie, “if you build it they will come”, Heinlein’s Glory Road narrated by Pinchot, it’s one of Jo Walton’s least favorites, How To Build An Android also narrated by Pinchot, Alastair Reynolds’s Blue Remembered Earth, reviewed by Luke, Heinlein’s The Number Of The Beast (666?), Moonwar by Ben Bova, 21st Century Dead (zombies), Jenny’s collecting subgenres, Daniel Wilson’s Amped (1st three chapters on io9), someone stole that title, Energized by Edward M. Lerner sounds like Paolo Bacigalupi, Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2312, separate chapters like the Nova tv show, Red Mars, super science!, Jonathan Maberry, Robert Bloch’s Psycho series, “did he escape?”, H.G. Wells stuff added, Etsy 101: Sell Your Crafts On Etsy, Jenny wants N.K. Jemisin’s The Killing Moon in audio, Liz Williams’s Worldsoul has librarian heroes, “X-men meets The Breakfast Club”, Sfsignal’s book cover gallery for June, is body horror the same as splatterpunk?, Postmodern Science Fiction and Temporal Imagination looks like a Jenny book, The Islanders by Christopher Priest (author of The Prestige), waiting for international books, Paul McCauley’s In The Mouth Of The Whale is not in America, “I would buy the ebook”, small fonts, William Gibson is only in mass market paperback, many Philip K. Dick novels with plain covers, the value of book covers, “it’s like a good looking person”, “that screams I am a literary miracle”, Edwin A. Abbott’s Flatland, get the annotated one, Die, Snow White! Die, Damn You! A Very Grimm Tale by Yuri Rasovsky (audiodrama), so many fairy tales, a superficial interest in Further: Beyond The Threshold by Chris Roberson, a law that a bookcover should be honest, “that’s enough on that”, C.S. Friedman?, Adam-Troy Castro is not always super creepy, Paul Krugman’s End This Depression!, he was just on Geek’s Guide, “oh that kind of depression”, Justinian’s Flea, The Most Powerful Idea In The World, The Swerve: How The World Became Modern, author on The Bookworm podcast, Chuck Wendig’s Blackbirds, “I’m sensing a pattern with your reading, Tam”, Delany interview, Delany’s Nova, Tigana is the Sword and Laser pick for June

cover for Chris Roberson's Further: Beyond The Threshhold

Posted by Tamahome

Recent Arrivals: Eloquent Voice, Blackstone Audio, Macmillan Audio, Penguin Audio

November 1, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Recent Arrivals 

SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

Hey folks! Here’s a new batch of audiobooks, fresh from the publishers. It’s amazing really, wonderous! These missives were written, transcribed, recorded, digitized, burned, stamped, mailed, opened, scanned, emailed and then posted. All for one “recent arrivals” post!

Here’s the first in Andre Norton’s redoubtable “Forerunner” series…

ELOQUENT VOICE - The Time Traders by Andre NortonThe Time Traders
By Andre Norton; Read by William Coon
OverDrive Download – Approx. 6 Hours 50 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Eloquent Voice
Published: November 1, 2010
ISBN: 9780983089803
‘To anyone who glanced casually inside the detention room the young man sitting there did not seem very formidable…unless one was observant enough to note those light-gray eyes and catch a chilling, measuring expression showing now and then for an instant in their depths.’ The young man in question, Ross Murdock, is about to embark upon the adventure of his life. In order to avoid prosecution, he reluctantly joins Operation Retrograde, whose members are exploring various time periods. Their goal? To find out where – and when – the ‘Reds’ are obtaining certain scientific breakthroughs, in order to maintain the balance of global power. An outsider in his own time, Ross becomes an outsider in other times as well, and faces one challenge after another. Will he succeed? Or will he inadvertently alter time forever?

The Disney movie, John Carter of Mars, is supposed to be based on the first three novels in this series. We best better buckle-in for audiobooks now, lest we be overwhelmed by the giant four-armed green ads for the video version!

A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice BurroughsA Princess of Mars (Book One Of The Martian Series)
By Edgar Rice Burroughs; Read by William Dufris
6 CDs – Approx. 7.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: July 15, 2010
ISBN: 9781441718662
Ex–Confederate Army captain John Carter finds himself suddenly and unwittingly transported to Mars while fleeing Apache Indians. This new world is populated by a race of monstrous Martians whose culture is based on the ability to fight for their race. Captured by the savage green men of Thark, John discovers that the gravitational difference between Mars and Earth has endowed him with the strength that he will need for survival on this hostile planet. He battles ferocious Martian creatures and gains the respect and friendship of the Barsoomians. Along the way he encounters the beautiful Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, and earns her everlasting devotion.

I reviewed the first book in the Larry Niven/Edward M. Lerner series, Fleet Of Worlds |READ OUR REVIEW|, back in 2008…

Betrayer of Worlds by Larry Niven and Edward M. LernerBetrayer Of Worlds (Fleet of Worlds Series, Book 4)
By Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner; Read by Tom Weiner
8 CDs – Approx. 9.3 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: October 2010
ISBN: 9781441761408
Since fleeing the supernova chain reaction at the galactic core, the cowardly Puppeteers of the Fleet of Worlds have—just barely—survived one crisis after another: the rebellion of their human slaves, the relentless questing of the species of Known Space, the spectacular rise of the starfish-like Gw’oth, the onslaught of the genocidal Pak. Now fresh disaster looms, as though past crises have returned and converged. Who can possibly save the Fleet this time?

While Blackstone Audio has been busily re-recording many of the Miles Vorkosigan books, many had been previously recorded by the now defunct The Reader’s Chair), this one is wholly and entirely new, and has never before been audiobooked…

Cryoburn by Lois McMaster BujoldCryoburn (A Miles Vorkosigan Adventure)
By Lois McMaster Bujold; Read by Grover Gardner
9 CDs – Approx. 10.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: October 2010
ISBN: 9781441747464
Kibou-daini is a planet obsessed with cheating death. Barrayaran Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan can hardly disapprove—he’s been cheating death his whole life, on the theory that turnabout is fair play. But when a Kibou-daini cryocorp—an immortal company whose job it is to shepherd its all-too-mortal frozen patrons into an unknown future—attempts to expand its franchise into the Barrayaran Empire, Emperor Gregor dispatches his top troubleshooter, Miles, to check it out. On Kibou-daini, Miles discovers generational conflict over money and resources is heating up, even as refugees displaced in time skew the meaning of “generation” past repair. Here he finds a young boy with a passion for pets and a dangerous secret, a Snow White trapped in an icy coffin who burns to rewrite her own tale, and a mysterious crone who is the very embodiment of the warning “Don’t mess with the secretary.” Bribery, corruption, conspiracy, kidnapping—something is rotten on Kibou-daini, and it isn’t due to power outages in the Cryocombs. And Miles is in the middle—of trouble!

Here’s the follow up to First Drop Of Crimson, if the title pattern continues I’d expect that a future book in the series might be Temporary Tatoo Of Blue – or something to that effect…

Eternal Kiss of Darkness by Jeaniene FrostEternal Kiss of Darkness (The Night Huntress World Series, Book 2)
By Jeaniene Frost; Read by Tavia Gilbert
9 CDs – Approx. 10.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: September 2010
ISBN: 9781441773357
An immortal war has been brewing in the darkness … and now one woman has stumbled into the shadows. Chicago private investigator Kira Graceling should have just kept on walking. But her sense of duty refused to let her ignore the moans of pain coming from inside a warehouse just before dawn. Suddenly she finds herself in a world she’s only imagined in her worst nightmares. At the center is Mencheres, a breathtaking Master vampire who thought he’d seen it all. Then Kira appears—this fearless, beautiful human who braved death to rescue him. Though he burns for her, keeping Kira in his world means risking her life. Yet sending her away is unthinkable. With danger closing in, Mencheres must choose either the woman he craves or embracing the darkest magic to defeat an enemy bent on his eternal destruction.

It seems like there’s a new book in this series every full moon now…

Overwinter by David WellingtonOverwinter (The Werewolf Tales Book 3)
By David Wellington; Read by Tai Sammons
9 CDs – Approx. 10.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: October 2010
ISBN: 9781441751065
In this stand-alone continuation of the tale begun in Frostbite, horror star David Wellington delivers another gripping werewolf tale in which heroine Chey is once again forced to fight for her own humanity. Overwinter opens as protagonist Chey, bitten by a werewolf and cursed to live out eternity as a monster, prowls the Arctic Circle on the trail of an ancient secret, the one thing that could remove the lycanthropic curse and make her human again. As she hunts for an answer, she realizes that with every passing day the wolf inside her is becoming stronger and her humanity is slipping away. Meanwhile, another werewolf arrives, an evil centuries-old woman, bent on sabotaging Chey’s quest and stealing away the one thing that’s still important to her.

I wonder how this would compare with David Moody’s Hater |READ OUR REVIEW|? I love the cover…

Patient Zero by Jonathan MaberryPatient Zero: A Joe Ledger Novel, Book 1
By Jonathan Maberry; Read by Ray Porter
12 CDs – Approx. 14.2 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: October 2010
From multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning author Jonathan Maberry comes a major new thriller that combines the best of the New York Times bestselling books World War Z by Max Brooks and James Rollins’s Sigma Force Series to kick off the start of a new series featuring Joe Ledger and the Department of Military Sciences. When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there’s either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills—and there’s nothing wrong with Joe Ledger’s skills. And that’s both a good and a bad thing. It’s good because he’s a Baltimore detective who has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new task force created to deal with the problems that Homeland Security can’t handle. This rapid-response group is called the Department of Military Sciences, or the DMS for short. It’s bad because his first mission is to help stop a group of terrorists from releasing a dreadful bio-weapon that can turn ordinary people into zombies. The fate of the world hangs in the balance.

Here’s an interesting one, James Howard Kunstler is a non-fiction author who is turning to fiction and using the thesis of his non-fiction to create the world! Blackstone Audio, oddly, is classifying it as a “General Fiction” book. Really? Are things really that bad in the USA?

World Made By Hand by James Howard KunstlerWorld Made By Hand
By James Howard Kunstler; Read by Jim Meskimen
8 CDs – Approx. 9.3 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: September 2010
ISBN: 9781441772961
In The Long Emergency, celebrated social commentator James Howard Kunstler explored how the terminal decline of oil production combined with climate change had the potential to put industrial civilization out of business. In World Made by Hand, an astonishing work of speculative fiction, Kunstler brings to life what America might be, a few decades hence, after these catastrophes converge. The electricity has flickered out. The automobile age is over. In Union Grove, a little town in upstate New York, the future is nothing like people thought it would be. Life is hard and close to the bone. Transportation is slow and dangerous, so food is grown locally at great expense of time and energy, and the outside world is largely unknown. There may be a president, and he may be in Minneapolis now, but people aren’t sure. The townspeople’s challenges play out in a dazzling, fully realized world of abandoned highways and empty houses, horses working the fields and rivers, no longer polluted, and replenished with fish. This is the story of Robert Earle and his fellow townspeople and what happens to them one summer in a country that has changed profoundly. A powerful tale of love, loss, violence, and desperation, World Made by Hand is also lyrical and tender, a surprising story of a new America struggling to be born—a story more relevant now than ever.

And here’s the sequel…

The Witch of Hebron by James Howard KunstlerThe Witch Of Hebron: A World Made By Hand Novel
By James Howard Kunstler; Read by Jim Meskimen
8 CDs – Approx. 9.3 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: September 2010
ISBN: 9781441772893
In the sequel to his bestselling World Made by Hand, James Howard Kunstler expands on his vision of a post-oil society with a new novel about an America in which the electricity has flickered off, the Internet is a distant memory, and the government is little more than a rumor. In the tiny hamlet of Union Grove, New York, travel is horse-drawn and farming is back at the center of life. But it’s no pastoral haven. Wars are fought over dwindling resources and illness is a constant presence. Bandits roam the countryside, preying on the weak, and a sinister cult threatens to shatter Union Grove’s fragile stability. Here is a novel that seamlessly weaves hot-button issues like the decline of oil and the perils of climate change into a compelling narrative of violence, religious hysteria, innocence lost, and love found—a cautionary tale with an optimistic heart. Already a renowned social commentator and a bestselling novelist and nonfiction writer, Kunstler has recently attained even greater prominence in the global conversation about energy and the environment. In the last two years he has been the focus of a long profile in the New Yorker, the subject of a full-page essay in the New York Times Book Review, and his wildly popular blog and podcast have made him a sought-after speaker who gives dozens of lectures and scores of media interviews each year.

Here’s the first book in a new series from author David Weber. In the audio sample I heard, over on the Macmillan Audio site, there was an alien complaining about another alien being a pain in his “excretory orifice.” See, aliens aren’t so different. It kind of reminded me of the Vogons. Also, regarding that sample, narrator Charles Keating sounds terrific!

Out of the Dark by David WeberOut Of The Dark
By David Weber; Read by Charles Keating
15 CDs – Approx. 18 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Published: September 2010
ISBN: 9781427210616
Earth is conquered. The Shongairi have arrived in force, and humanity’s cities lie in radioactive ruins. In mere minutes, over half the human race has died. Now Master Sergeant Stephen Buchevsky, who thought he was being rotated home from his latest tour in Afghanistan, finds himself instead prowling the back country of the Balkans, dodging alien patrols and trying to organize the scattered survivors without getting killed. His chances look bleak. The aliens have definitely underestimated human tenacity—but no amount of heroism can endlessly hold off overwhelming force. Then, emerging from the mountains and forests of Eastern Europe, new allies present themselves to the ragtag human resistance. Predators, creatures of the night, human in form but inhumanly strong. Long Enemies of humanity…until now. Because now is the time to defend Earth.

From the description, I like the “Sci-Phile” aspect of this audiobook, and the whole Nancy Drew-style plotting sounds pretty interesting too! There’s a website for the book, and the audiobook should be in stores tomorrow.

Virals by Kathy ReichsVirals: Adventures Unleashed
By Kathy Reichs; Read by Cristin Milioti
8 CDs – Approx. 9.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Published: November 2010
ISBN: 9780142428160
Adventure has always been in fourteen-year-old Tory Brennan’s blood. After all, she is the niece of world-famous forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. So when she moves to middle of nowhere Morris Island, South Carolina, to live with a marine biologist dad she’s never known, Tory does the best she can to adjust to her new life. There she meets a group of local kids who are just as “Sci-Phile” as she is—science geeks who’ve grown up exploring the backwoods marsh-lands of nearby Loggerhead Island. But there’s something strange going on at the Loggerhead Research Institute… maybe even something deadly. After rescuing a stray wolfdog pup from a top-secret lab, Tory and her friends are exposed to a rare strain of canine parvovirus, changing them—and their DNA—forever. Now, with newly heightened senses and canine-quick reflexes, they’ll have to solve a cold-case murder that’s suddenly become very hot … that is, if they can stay alive long enough to catch the killer’s scent. Fortunately, they are now more than friends. They are a pack. They are VIRALS.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #041

November 9, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #041 – Jesse and Scott are joined by SF author Robert J. Sawyer to talk about his audiobooks, writing Science Fiction novels, and the TV show based on his novel FlashForward.

Talked about on today’s show:
FlashForward (the TV series), FlashForward by Robert J. Sawyer, Blackstone Audio, David S. Goyer, Marc Guggenheim, Jessika Borsiczky, Brannon Braga, Lost, Battlestar Galactica, does the TV show of FlashForward have a plan?, idea based SF, time travel, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells |READ OUR REVIEW|, differences between the television show and the novel versions of FlashForward, WWW: Wake by Robert J. Sawyer |READ OUR REVIEW|, Inconstant Moon by Larry Niven, philosophy in Science Fiction, Calculating God by Robert J. Sawyer |READ OUR REVIEW|, Jonathan Davis, Audible Frontiers, atheism and religion in SF, scientific institutions in Science Fiction, The Royal Ontario Museum, CERN, The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, science, Robin Cook, Michael Crichton, Launchpad Astronomy Workshop, Edward M. Lerner, Joe Haldeman, science literacy amongst Science Fiction authors, Karl Schroeder, Charles Stross, post-singularity SF, Clarke’s Third Law, NASA Ames Research Center, TRIUMF, Human Genome Project, Neanderthal Genome Project, military SF, S.M. Stirling, Harry Turtledove, alternate history, consciousness, aliens, spaceship, time travel, the WWW trilogy, Audible.com, Starplex by Robert J. Sawyer, Star Trek, alien aliens, Larry Niven, Niven’s aliens, Golden Fleece by Robert J. Sawyer, how did fantasy and Science Fiction get lumped together? Donald A. Wollheim, dinosaurs, artificial intelligence, genetics, time travel, the Internet, quantum physics, CBC Radio’s version of Rollback, Alessandro Juliani.

Jessika Borsiczky on adapting the novel of FlashForward to television:

Trailer for Sawyer’s WWW trilogy:

Posted by Jesse Willis

New Releases

May 27, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Online Audio 

New Releases

Smoky Mountain Horrors by Weston OchseSmoky Mountain Horrors
By Weston Ochse; Read by Weston Ochse
Audible Download – 4 Hours 47 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Kanigit Media / Audible.com
Published: May 11, 2009
Set mostly in Appalachian country, backwood characters will leave you laughing in pain and gasping in horror. You will learn something new about Weston’s horrific mountain tales every time you listen. They are not for the feint of heart. A collection of short horror stories. Two of the stories available for free HERE.

Tantor - The Coming Of Conan The Cimmerian by Robert E. HowardThe Coming Of Conan The Cimmerian (Book One in the Conan of Cimmeria Series)
By Robert E. Howard; Read by Todd McLaren
14 CDs or 2 MP3-CDs – 16 Hours 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Published: June 11th, 2009
ISBN: 9781400112234 (cd) , 9781400162239 (mp3-cd)
Thirteen of Robert E. Howard’s legendary stories starring Conan the barbarian, a swordsman who cuts a swath across the lands of the Hyborian Age, facing powerful sorcerers, deadly creatures, and ruthless armies of thieves and reavers.

Haze
By L.E. Modesitt, Jr.; Read by William Dufris
10 CDs or 1 MP3-CD – 11 Hours 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Published: June 25th, 2009
ISBN: 9781400112913 (cd), 9781400162918 (mp3-cd)
A war is about to start between planets in this new science fiction novel by the bestselling author of the Recluce series.

Red Seas Under Red Skies (Book 2 of the Gentleman Bastard series)
By Scott Lynch; Read by Michael Page
20 CDs or 3 MP3-CDs – 25 Hours 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Published: June 4th, 2009
ISBN: 9781400110520 (cd), 9781400160525 (mp3-cd)
In The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch took us on an adrenaline-fueled adventure with con artist extraordinaire Locke Lamora. Now Lynch brings back his outrageous hero for a caper so death-defying, nothing short of a miracle will pull it off.

From Recorded Books’ SCI-FI AUDIO imprint (First quarter 2009 new releases on CD)…

Rollback
By Robert J. Sawyer; Read by George K.Wilson
9 CDs – 10 Hours 45 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781436186506
Dr. Sarah Halifax earned worldwide fame for deciphering the first alien message received on Earth. Now nearing the end of her days, she learns that, at long last, the reply has come.

Shaman’s Crossing (Book One of The Soldier Son Trilogy)
By Robin Hobb; Read by
16 CDs – 18.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4361-7968-3
Nevare Burvelle was born to be a
soldier in the Gernian army. But as Nevare’s career takes off, his worldview alters considerably. Corruption and nepotism reign, and now Nevare questions his own ideals, wondering why he continues fighting for the empire.

Fifty Degrees Below
By Kim Stanley Robinson; Read by Richard Ferrone
15 CDs – 18 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4361-8634-6
When the Gulf Stream stalls, dangerously low temperatures grip the Eastern Seaboard and Western Europe. While multinational corporations attempt to exploit the disaster, humankind’s only hope may be a desperate move to dump millions of tons of salt into the ocean.

Mean Streets
By various; Read by various
9 CDs – 9.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4361-9217-0
Featuring New York Times best-selling authors Jim Butcher and Simon R. Green, and national best-selling authors Kat Richardson and Thomas E. Sniegoski, Mean Streets offers four novellas from the hottest names in contemporary paranormal suspense. Running the gamut from demons and werewolves to zombies and black magic, these whodunits crackle with otherworldly secrets, making for a noir collection with an extra set of fangs.

Fool’s Experiment
By Edward M. Lerner; Read by George K.Wilson
10 CDs – 11.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781436164849
As a NASA engineer, critically acclaimed author Edward M. Lerner developed a background in science and technology perfectly suited to his fast-paced SF thrillers. In Fools’ Experiments, the military-industrial complex unwittingly unleashes a devastating threat to humanity after government programmers experiment with viruses and worms. But what escapes is no ordinary computer virus, and when the deadly artificial life-form reaches the Internet, humanity’s very existence is at stake.

From Recorded Books’ SCI-FI AUDIO imprint (Second quarter 2009 new releases on CD)…

Forest Mage (Book Two of the Soldier Son Trilogy)
By Robin Hobb; Read by John Keating
22 CDs – 19 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781436179706
Nevare Burvelle has survived major combat and is making a quick recovery from a disease plaguing his fellows in the King’s army. He also believes he is free from the Speck magic that held him under its sway. Now traveling home to rendezvous with his fiancée, Nevare suffers haunting visions and soon realizes that malicious magic still resides within him—and is intent on destroying everything he holds dear.

Brightness Reef
By David Brin; Read by George K.Wilson
20 CDs – 17 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781436179744
Persecuted refugees from six separate alien races have migrated to the idyllic planet Jijo. And despite their incredible diversity, the inhabitants live together in blissful harmony. However, settlement on Jijo is illegal—and it’s only a matter of time before the residents of this forbidden paradise are discovered by the galactic powers-that-be.

Iron Sunrise
By Charles Stross; Read by George Guidall
11 CDs – 13 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781440710575
PlanetMoscow is vaporized by an unnatural star explosion, prompting those who escaped to counterattack the likely culprit—planet New Dresden of the neighboring system.
But New Dresden wasn’t to blame, and as worlds go to war, an unseen enemy labors to destroy the universe itself.

Counting Heads
By David Marusek; Read by Kevin R. Free
13 CDs – 14 Hours 45 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4361-8640-7
The debut novel from highly regarded short-story author David Marusek, Counting Heads pushes the limits of the genre. Life in the year 2134 is nearly perfect, with nanotechnology and medical science granting people near immortality. But when Sam Harger is flagged as a terrorist, his powerful wife dies in a plane crash, and his daughter’s cryogenically frozen head becomes a sought-after prize, Sam must fight to save the human race from a secret cabal.

The Fabulous Riverboat (Riverworld Saga, Book 2)
By Philip José Farmer; Read by
10 CDs – 12 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4361-8636-0
The Fabulous Riverboat tells of a world where all of humanity has been mysteriously resurrected on the banks of one mighty river. Samuel Clemens (a.k.a.MarkTwain) is tasked with finding a fallen meteorite and using its ore to build a massive riverboat. But in order to succeed, he’ll have to outwit some of history’s most nefarious villains.

Into Looking Glass
By John Ringo; Read by L.J. Ganser
10 CDs – 12 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books / Sci-Fi Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781440710612
When a subatomic physics experiment causes a massive explosion, interdimensional gateways open in Florida—and aliens pour out. Some intend to bring Earth to its knees. Others seem willing to help, but will annihilate the planet if Navy SEAL Command Master Chief Robert Miller can’t stop the menace from spreading.

And from Recorded Books’ new “Mystery” imprint…

The Somnambulist
By Jonathan Barnes; Read by John Curless
9 CDs – 11 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Recorded Books Mystery
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978143618066-5
Set amidst Victorian London’s seamy, fog-shrouded underworld. Meet Edward Moon, an illusionist and detective who operates solely with the aid of his hulking, mute sidekick.

Posted by Jesse Willis

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