Review of Star Trek by Alan Dean Foster

SFFaudio Review

Science Fiction Audiobook - Star Trek by Alan Dean FosterStar Trek
By Alan Dean Foster, Based on the movie, written by Roberto Orci and Alex Hurtzman
Read by Zachary Quinto
7 CDs – 8 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9780743598347
Themes: / Science Fiction / Time travel /

|HEAR AN EXCERPT – Kirk on Trial|

Star Trek is dead. Long live Star Trek! Like lots of others, I went to the film expecting to hate it, but came away liking it, even though it was not the Star Trek I knew. In fact, the film pretty much killed Star Trek as I knew it. A bad thing? I’d use the word “unfortunate” because I look at Star Trek and see a huge missed opportunity for intelligent television. I don’t see any thoughtful writing in the franchise’s future – we didn’t see much of it in Voyager and Enterprise either. It had nearly turned into every other show, and this movie just finished the job.

Yet, it wasn’t a bad movie. It was very much a product of the Hollywood Blockbuster machine. Danger, action, sex, witty dialogue, big special effects, some things that make zero sense… it’s all here. It was exciting, it looked great, I liked the actors, and I liked recognizing things that they threw in there from the Original Series. It was fun.

But I’m not here to review the movie. This is Alan Dean Foster’s novelization of the film, read by Zachary Quinto, who portrayed Spock. Back in the 1970’s, Alan Dean Foster wrote one of the best novelizations I’ve run across – Alien. I must’ve read it three or four times as a kid. And he’s no stranger to Star Trek – he wrote the Star Trek Logs which were novelizations of the episodes of the Animated Series. He did a great job with this book, too.

Zachary Quinto also did a great job narrating. The voices are new, even if the characters weren’t. Quinto was an inspired choice to play Mr. Spock, and of course plays that character in the reading as it was on the screen. The others weren’t exactly attempts at mimicry, but rather more subtle changes in cadence. With Chekov and Scotty, he did the accents, and is real good at both of them. An excellent performance, throughout.

In eight hours of unabridged narration there is nothing here that deviates in any significant way from the movie. It just takes longer, but that’s not a bad thing. You come away with what a novel gives you that movies can’t: the inner thoughts and feelings of the characters. Also, there are some scenes from Kirk and Spock’s childhoods that weren’t in the movie, and other things scattered through the book.

So that’s the new Trek. We’ll see what happens from here.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Recent Arrivals from Brilliance Audio

SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

Science Fiction Audiobook - Earth Abides by George R. StewartEarth Abides
By George R. Stewart; Read by Jonathan Davis
13 CDs – 15 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781441806147
|Listen to an AUDIO SAMPLE|

An instant classic upon its original publication in 1949 and winner of the first International Fantasy Award, Earth Abides ranks with On the Beach and Riddley Walker as one of our most provocative and finely wrought post-apocalyptic works of literature. Its impact is still fresh, its lessons timeless.

When a plague of unprecedented virulence sweeps the globe, the human race is all but wiped out. In the aftermath, as the great machine of civilization slowly, inexorably, breaks down, only a few shattered survivors remain to struggle against the slide into barbarism . . . or extinction.

This is the story of one such survivor, Isherwood “Ish” Williams, an intellectual loner who embraces the grim duty of bearing witness to what may be humanity’s final days. But then he finds Em, a wise and courageous woman who coaxes his stunned heart back to life and teaches him to hope again. Together, they will face unimaginable challenges as they sow the seeds of a new beginning.
 
 
Science Fiction Audiobook - Orphan Star by Alan Dean FosterOrphan Star
By Alan Dean Foster; Read by Stefan Rudnicki
7 CDs – 8 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781423395539
|Listen to AUDIO SAMPLE|

It is a strange childhood for a kid, to be adopted by the restless Mother Mastiff and raised in the bustling marketplace of Drallar. Flinx never knew the mom and dad who abandoned him years ago. In fact, his birth has always been shrouded in mystery. But Flinx eventually discovers that his unknown parents have passed along extraordinary mental powers that are both a marvelous gift and a dreaded curse.

This double-edged legacy will lead Flinx, along with his loyal protector, the mini-dragon Pip, on a harrowing journey in search of the truth . . . about who he is and where he comes from. It is a daring adventure that brings him to another world — and into the clutches of a powerful and evil man…
 
 
Science Fiction Audiobook - The Lost Fleet: Relentless by Jack CampbellThe Lost Fleet: Relentless
By Jack Campbell; Read by Christian Rummell
9 CDs – 10 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781441806390
|Listen to AUDIO SAMPLE|

Thawed out after a century of cryogenic sleep, Captain John “Black Jack” Geary has led the Alliance fleet through Syndicate Worlds space, thwarting the enemy at every turn — even within his own ranks — during the long journey home.

Alliance prisoners of war are being held at a labor camp in the Heradao Star System, which also happens to be the location of the majority of the surviving Syndic warships. Determined not to leave any of his people behind, Black Jack Geary orders the fleet to strike hard and fast to rescue the POWs with minimal Alliance losses.

The raid is successful, but victory is short-lived. Geary discovers that the Syndics plan to ambush the fleet with their powerful reserve flotilla in an attempt to annihilate it once and for all — but he doesn’t know where the enemy is located. And as Geary has the fleet jump from one star system to the next, hoping to avoid the inevitable confrontation, saboteurs contribute to the chaos…
 
Posted by Scott D. Danielson

The SFFaudio Podcast #037

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #037 – Jesse and Scott talk about the latest audiobook releases, audiobook narrators and plenty more. It’s a show full of “stage-actory goodness” in which we learn the ultimate truth:

“the monster frozen in the ice is definitely alive”

Talked about on today’s show:
Scott is living the sequel to High Plains Drifter, Hercules by Geraldine McCaughrean, Full Cast Audio, Who was the greatest Greek hero?, Perseus, Odysseus by Geraldine McCaughrean, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, Achilles, Guest Law by John C. Wright, Infinivox, Aliens Rule edited by Allan Kaster, “How Music Begins” by James Van Pelt, Listening Library, the Becka Cooper series, Terrier by Tamora Peirce, Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce, Random House Audio, The Year Of The Flood by Margaret Atwood, Audible addiction, Audible Frontiers, The Wind Up Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, Jonathan Davis, Infinivox’s The Fluted Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, Recorded Books, Saturn’s Children by Charles Stross, Wild Voices Audio, The City And The Stars by Arthur C. Clarke, Blind Lake, Bridge Of Years, Darwinia, Spin by Robert Charles Wilson, Julian Comstock by Robert Charles Wilson, Hachette Audio, Transition by Iain M. Banks (UNABRIDGED), also the podcast version, Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks, Dune: House Atredies by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, Blackstone Audio, Treason by Orson Scott Card, Audible.com’s latest sale includes: Kindred by Octavia E. Butler, Ringworld by Larry Niven, The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, Stalking The Vampire by Mike Resnick, Waystation by Clifford Simak, Grover Gardner, Born Standing Up by Steve Martin, The Jerk, Macmillan Audio, The Box: Uncanny Stories by Richard Matheson, The Twilight Zone (1985), “Button Button” by Richard Matheson, (the collection also includes: Girl Of My Dreams, Dying Room Only, A Flourish Of Strumpets, No Such Thing As A Vampire, Pattern For Survival, Mute, Creeping Terror, Shock Wave, Clothes Make The Man, The Jazz Machine, ‘Tis The Season To Be Jelly, The Mystery Of Grace by Charles de Lint, Slings & Arrows – Series 1, Podkayne Of Mars by Robert A. Heinlein, Armor by John Steakley, John Carpenter’s Vampires
FlashForward by Robert J. Sawyer, Star Trek by Alan Dean Foster, FlashForward (the TV series), revealing or realizing the solution to a mystery in fiction, Terminal Freeze by Lincoln Child, Zachary Quinto, The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, Shed Skin by Robert J. Sawyer, Burn Me Deadly by Alex Bledsoe, Sword Edged Blond, Blood Groove, Escape From Hell by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, The Mote In God’s Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, first contact, gender, feminism, The Gripping Hand by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, iPhone, audiobook functionality, CBC Radio and NPR apps.

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #035

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #035 – Jesse and Scott talk new releases and recent arrivals with 2 of the 3 internet celebrities that were on last week’s podcast:

Gregg Margarite (LibriVox.org narrator and book coordinator),

and Luke Burrage (professional juggler and host of the Science Fiction Book Review Podcast) discuss…

Talked about on today’s show:
recent arrivals and new releases, Audible.com, The Fountains Of Paradise, A Fall Of Moondust, Arthur C. Clarke, space elevator, Dyson sphere, augmented reality, William Gibson’s Virtual Light |READ OUR REVIEW|, Minding Tomorrow by Luke Burrage, audiobook narration, The Prisoner, disaster, The Poseidon Adventure on the moon, the “BRADBURY 13” radio drama series, A Sound Of Thunder [BRADBURY 13] based on the story by Ray Bradbury, A Gun For Dinosaur by L. Sprague de Camp, A Galaxy Trilogy Vol. 3 includes (Giants From Eternity by Manly Wade Wellman, Lords Of Atlantis by Wallace West, City On The Moon by Murray Leinster), Tom Weiner, Hater by David Moody, apocalypse, zombies, Stephen King’s Cell |READ OUR REVIEW|, Left 4 Dead, what makes zombies so compelling?, Of Bees And Mist by Erick Setiawan, book reviewing (using stars or scores), Metacritic.com, A Dribble Of Ink, Subterranean Press, The Sharing Knife Vol. 4 Horizon by Lois McMaster Bujold, The Curse Of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold |READ OUR REVIEW|, Star Trek by Alan Dean Foster, Alien by Alan Dean Foster, Star Trek: The Animated Series, Predator by Paul Monette, The Abyss by Orson Scott Card, The Abyss (the movie), endings, the goldfish effect, Science Fiction exposes you to a world, Fantasy immerses you in a world, Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Abyss, The Terror by Dan Simmons, abridgements, Simon Vance, Hyperion by Dan Simmons, Q Squared by Peter David, John de Lancie, LibriVox.org, Short Science Fiction Collection Vol. 025, Belonna Times, Brigands Of The Moon by Ray Cummings (read by Seth1864), The Pirates Of Erzats by Murray Leinster (read by mylantus), slide rules and calculators and abucci, Korean finger counting, Photoshop as a calculator, what jugglers are like, sculptor Jonathan Borofsky, The Pleasure Of My Company by Steve Martin, Magic square, Benjamin Franklin, Mandelbrot set, an entire issue of Astounding Stories of Super-Science – September 1930 as an audiobook, the Speech Accent Archive. An excerpt from Star Trek by Alan Dean Foster (the audiobook novelization of the 2009 film)

Posted by Jesse Willis

Recent Arrival: Star Trek

SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

Science Fiction Audiobook - Star Trek by Alan Dean FosterStar Trek
By Alan Dean Foster, Based on the movie, written by Roberto Orci and Alex Hurtzman
Read by Zachary Quinto
7 CDs – 8 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9780743598347

This is the first Unabridged Star Trek novel from Simon and Schuster Audio. Written by Alan Dean Foster, read by Zachary Quinto!     |HEAR AN EXCERPT – Kirk on Trial|


“Are you willing to settle for an ordinary life? Or do you think you were meant for something better? Something special?”
 
One grew up in the cornfields of Iowa, fighting for his independence, for a way out of a life that promised only indifference, aimlessness and obscurity.
 
“You will forever be a child of two worlds, capable of choosing your own destiny. The only question you face is, which path will you chose?”
 
The other grew up on the jagged cliffs of the harsh Vulcan desert, fighting for acceptance, for a way to reconcile the logic he was taught with the emotions he felt.
 
In the far reaches of the galaxy, a machine of war bursts into existence in a place and time it was never meant to be. On a mission of retribution for the destruction of his planet, its half-mad captain seeks the death of every intelligent being, and the annihilation of every civilized world.
 
Kirk and Spock, two completely different and unyielding personalities must find a way to lead the only crew, aboard the only ship, that can stop him.
 
“The wait is over.”

 

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Recent Arrivals from Brilliance Audio

SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

Science Fiction Audiobook - Endymion by Dan SimmonsEndymion
By Dan Simmons, Read by Victor Bevine
20 CDs – 23 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781423381624

It is 274 years after the Fall and the universe is in chaos. Raul Endymion, onetime shepherd and convicted murderer, is chosen as a pawn in a cosmic game whose outcome will determine the fate of humanity. Selected as a bodyguard to the next messiah, Endymion will cross time, space, and the very fabric of reality as her protector, lover and finally disciple. At the same time, the enigmatic Shrike–part monster, part killing machine, part avenging angel–has also followed the girl into the 32nd century. Yet it is Endymion who has been chosen to rescue Aenea, against all odds. How will her message change the universe–if she is willing to speak it–and if she does, is humankind prepared to hear it?
 
 
Science Fiction Audiobook - A Hymn Before Battle by John RingoA Hymn Before Battle
By John Ringo, Read by Marc Vietor
12 CDs – 15 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781423395089

With the Earth in the path of the rapacious Posleen, the peaceful and friendly races of the Galactic Federation offer their resources to help the backward Terrans—for a price.

Humanity now has three worlds to defend.

As Earth’s armies rush into battle and special operations units scout alien worlds, the humans begin to learn a valuable lesson: You can protect yourself from your enemies, but may the Lord save you from your allies.
 
 
Science Fiction Audiobook - The Tar-Aiym Krang by Alan Dean FosterThe Tar-Aiym Krang
By Alan Dean Foster, Read by Stefan Rudnicki
6 CDs – 7 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781423395485

Here was a wide-open world for any venture a man might scheme. The planet attracted unwary travelers, hardened space-sailors, and merchant buccaneers—a teeming, constantly shifting horde that provided a comfortable income for certain quick-witted fellows like Flinx and his pet mini-dragon, Pip. With his odd talents, the pickings were easy enough so that Flinx did not have to be dishonest . . . most of the time.

In fact, it hardly seemed dishonest at all to steal a starmap from a dead body that didn’t really need it anymore. But Flinx forgot one crucial point. He should have wondered why the body was dead in the first place.
 
 
Posted by Scott D. Danielson