Review of Space Boy by Orson Scott Card

SFFaudio Review

Science Fiction Audiobook - Space Boy by Orson Scott CardSpace Boy
By Orson Scott Card; Read by Stefan Rudnicki
2 CDs -Approx. 2 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 2007
ISBN: 9781433207648
Themes: / Science Fiction / Family / Adventure / Physics / Wormhole / Aliens /

Is it space travel that children dream of, or merely visiting other worlds? Todd had always set his heart on being an astronaut, but when he meets an alien and travels to another world, he doesn’t use a spaceship; he just hangs out in his own back yard.

You can tell you’re reading an Orson Scott Card story pretty quickly. Not only are the characters and plotting top notch, there are also a number of themes that will echo. Siblings, family, doggerel. Card seems to understand children, boys especially. And his protagonist in Space Boy is very sympathetic, he’s the Space Boy of the title, he’s somehow memorized the entire history of the space program, from every satellite launch, to every shuttle mission right up to the modern era – he especially reveres the three yǔhángyuán (Chinese astronauts) who went to Mars and never returned. But instead of winning himself a used space-suit and hitching a ride aboard a passing spacecraft instead Todd manages a giant adventure that spans from his brother’s bedroom closet – to another planet – and back to his own backyard. No high tech gadgets are required, what’s needed instead is a little imagination, a garden hose and as much bravery as a 13 year old boy can manage. Todd lives with his father and little brother. We learn that his mother disappeared suddenly about four years ago under mysterious circumstances. Nobody really knows what happened, but Todd’s little brother insists that the monster in his closet ate her. The plot of the tale suddenly emerges when a hairy naked elf steps out of nothingness in Todd’s backyard one day. The elf, who really isn’t an elf at all, reveals that he’s a scientist from another planet. He travels through something he calls “worms.” Through the interrogation, while the alien is getting dressed we learn that Todd’s mother is still alive and that for her barely a week has passed. Now its up to Todd, with the help of his little brother to convince their dad that there mom is still alive – and then to come up with a plan to get mom back.

You can tell you’re listening to an Orson Scott Card story pretty quickly. Star narrator and audiobook producer Stefan Rudnicki has been associated with nearly every Card audiobook for the past ten years – including this one. His deep voice is full of pathos, wisdom and resonance. Here he’s tasked with performing a family, father, sons, a mother – and an alien too. I found myself basking in the warmth of this tight knit family. Card takes his time developing the characters, which allows Rudnicki room to bring them to life. Blackstone has outfitted the two-CD audiobook with original art and a sturdy ring-binder library case. This is another terrific addition to the Orson Scott Card audiobook-shelf. Recommended.

Posted by Jesse Willis

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