SFFaudio Challenge title: Star Surgeon by Alan E. Nourse COMPLETED

SFFaudio Online Audio

Meta SFFaudio - SFFaudio Contest - Make audiobook win an audiobookScott D. Farquhar from Prometheus Radio Theatre has written in with some exciting news. He tells me that his unabridged reading of Alan E. Nourse’s novel Star Surgeon has been completed! This is one of the titles from in our SFFaudio Challenge! Scott took slightly longer than he’d expected to, but it was well worth the wait, the extra and attention Scott put into it has really paid off. The 1959 novel is now a 2007 audiobook!

This is one of those rare novels that tells its story from the point of view of an alien. One of those novels that make you dig deeper. It is the kind of Science Fiction that makes you think harder about human attitudes and prejudices, to really look beyond the surficial.

Star Surgeon is the story of Dal Timgar, a medical student, the first alien to attend a universally prestigious earth medical school. If Dal is to become the first fully-fledged star surgeon, he must fight the prejudices of his superiors, and then the rigors of an interstellar emergency.

This novel is widely respected by readers who’ve read it, and many think it represents Alan Nourse at his very best. In writing it, Nourse is expressing a subject dear to his heart as he himself was a doctor.

LibriVox Science Fiction Audiobook - Star Surgeon by Alan E. NourseStar Surgeon
By Alan E. Nourse; Read by Scott Farquhar
14 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – 5 Hours 25 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: June 2007
When Dal Timgar, of all in his medical class, was denied assignment to a general practice patrol ship going out from Hospital Earth to serve the medical needs of the Galactic Confederation, it seemed to him that his eight years of study in the great medical center of the galaxy had ended in failure. He had worked hard and stood at the head of his class, but Dal was different from his medical colleagues in one important way. Born on a planet of a distant star, he was the first son of an alien race to attempt to become a qualified physician of Hospital Earth. Dr. Thorvold Arnquist, a power in Earth’s medical council, is determined that Dal Timgar shall have an equal chance with his Earth-born classmates to prove his skill as a physician and to earn his rank as Star Surgeon. He succeeds in getting Dal assigned, under protest, to the patrol ship Lancet, where Dal is faced with the full responsibilities of a patrol physician as well as the hostility of some of his crewmates. As the Lancet responds to calls of all kinds on planets of distant and unknown star systems, Dal’s skill and judgment as a surgeon are tested to the utmost. But it is not until he is confronted with a dreadful decision, which he alone must make, that Dal faces the final test–a test that will determine once and for all whether he is ever to become a Star Surgeon.

Subscribe to the podcast feed via this URL:

http://librivox.org/bookfeeds/star-surgeon-by-alan-edward-nourse.xml

Scott also sez:

“FYI… I’m doing another edit of the recording to submit to Podiobooks.com. It will be mostly the same, but I’ve cleaned up some minor issues and I’m adding only a bit of effects in some places like filters for loudspeaker and radio dialogue and such. Nothing really fancy, but just a bit cleaner and slicker. If I get a little batch of donations through podiobooks I may just have to pick another one to read….!”

Way to go Scott! Your hear that everybody? As soon as Podiobooks gets a copy of the revised edition of Star Surgeon hit that donation button!

Review of The Harvest by Alec Sand

The Harvest by Daniel SandThe Harvest
By Alec Sand; Read by John Pruskin
1 MP3-CD – 4 hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Academic MP3 Audiobooks
Themes: / Science Fiction / Space Travel / Biology / Alien life / Medicine /

Click here for an Audio Trailer

The Harvest is a short novel of future history. No, it’s a bit more than just that. Alec Sand has created a detailed future in which his characters move. It is a future in which a substance called iridium has changed things significantly – it’s a substance from which power is derived and the finding and mining of iridium occupies much of mankind’s time. The Harvest is hard science fiction in which the ideas and concepts generously flow.

In this future, Gideon and his sister Dara reside. Dara has a disease that Gideon is somehow convinced has a cure somewhere “out there”, so he takes her with him on a mining expedition to a new planet. Dara finds much there.

There was some lecturing during the story, which I felt slowed things down a bit. The author could have found smoother ways to introduce information, but it was all interesting, and I found myself eager to know what happened next. I liked the story as a whole very much.

John Pruskin narrates, and overall was very good at keeping my interest. There were a few errors in the narration, but again – I was always eager to continue, and a listener can’t ask for much more than that. He maintained a good, consistent pace throughout and read with clarity.

A unique aspect of this audiobook is its soundtrack. There are several songs that play at various times throughout the audiobook, usually as bridges between chapters or sections. A band called Silk84 provides this music, and the songs are included in full in a different folder on the MP3-CD. I’m listening to some of this music as I write this… I like it! The music ranges from upbeat dance music to beautiful piano music, and though I didn’t always feel the music matched my mood while listening, what Academic did with music in this audiobook is unique and it worked! Yeah, Silk84… I like the sound of your guitar. (You can find Silk84 on iTunes.)

You can get a copy of The Harvest from Academic MP3’s website by clicking right here.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Review of The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

Science Fiction Audiobooks - The Andromeda Strain by Michael CrichtonThe Andromeda Strain
By Michael Crichton; Read by Chris Noth
2 Cassettes – 3 Hours [ABRIDGED]
Publisher: Random House Audio
Published: 1993
Themes: / Science Fiction / Mystery / Disease / Disaster / Scientist / Medical /

A top secret research satellite falls to Earth near a small town in Arizona. Hours later a recovery team discovers that something  has killed off the town’s entire population except for an old man and a new-born baby, statistically the most likely age groups to succumb to any normal disease. In anticipation of such an event a team of microbiologists assembles in a top-secret, underground laboratory in the Nevada desert. This laboratory was designed to handle an accidental introduction of virulent organisms into Earth’s atmosphere and ecological systems. The team begins to study the survivors and the “toxic” satellite and discovers several black/green patches of deadly bacteria that they have code-named: The Andromeda Strain.

First Published in 1969, The Andromeda Strain is one of Crichton’s best science fiction tales and a terrific scientific mystery story! As the microbiology team races against the clock, trying to figure out the toxic effect of the alien infection, the US government contemplates a nuclear cauterization of the infected crash site. But when The Andromeda Strain mutates it begins to eat through plastic lab suits and rubber gaskets protecting the scientists and the population from escaping toxins. Its a real thriller of a story, and was successfully turned into a great feature film directed by Crichton himself.

This fine novel is only available as an abridgement, and this is unfortunate. The missing portions actually improve the novel to a very large degree because the novel is written in the style of a non-fiction report of events. The original text includes, images, citations, timelines and references, their absence is a disservice to the remaining story. Chris Noth, most famous for his role on the NBC television series Law And Order, reads with a rich and compelling voice. But Noth does merely a satisfactory reading, he makes good attempts with the scientific jargon replete throughout the novel, but they are often mispronounced. Added to this is his lack of range for the voices. Given more audiobook experience Noth will probably become a good reader, in this audiobook however, his performance is merely satisfactory. All in all well worth a listen, but I sincerely hope an unabridged edition is released.