SFFaudio’s 7th Anniversary Reviewathon continues!
By John Varley; Read by Peter Ganim
2 Hours 53 Minutes – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Themes: / Science Fiction / Mystery / Murder / Computers / Hacking /
This novella won the Best Novella Hugo in 1985 and the Best Novella Nebula in 1984. In 1984 I was 16, and my prize possession was a Commodore 64 computer. I recall programming on it, writing stories, and playing games. hmm. Not much has changed since then but the hardware, it looks like.
A story published in 1984 in which computers play a huge role is a history lesson. Floppy disks, modems, BBS’s – made me long for the good ole days. What was science fiction in 1984 now reads like historical fiction with an SF twist.
Victor receives a phone call one day from a computer, which tells him to run next door to his neighbor’s house. It will keep calling until he does it, says the computer. So he does, entering the house of a man he didn’t know well and finding him dead, an apparent suicide. Police and others are called in because this dead neighbor was into a lot of stuff: surveillance of neighbors, hacking into government systems, manipulation and theft of big money, all through his computers and his phones. Peter Ganim narrates the mystery well.
This is the longest story I’ve reviewed so far this month; it clocks in at 2 hours, 53 minutes. I LOVE novellas, and there is so much great science fiction out there at this length. Hollywood, take note! If you are mining for material, check out the science fiction novella.
Posted by Scott D. Danielson