Review of The Helmsman by Bill Baldwin

Science Fiction Audiobooks - The Helmsman by Bill BaldwinThe Helmsman
By Bill Baldwin, Narrated by Justin Brooks, C.J. Critt, Patrick Seaman, Roger Jones, & Steve Botha
MP3 Download, 576Mb – 10 hours [UNABRIDGED]
ISBN: 1587521539
Pub Date: 2005
Publisher: Timberwolf Press
Themes: / Science Fiction / Military Science Fiction / Space Travel / Aliens / Battles /

One of the few survivors of a League sneak attack on his poor and miserable homeworld of Careseria, Wilf Brim sets out to settle the score. Were it not for the attrition from the war that followed, Wilf would never have escaped his lower-class status and been accepted into the Academy. Now, freshly graduated, young Sublieutenant Wilf Ansor Brim, Imperial Fleet, begins his first assignment, Helmsman of the I.F.S. Trucluent.

I’m honestly not certain how to categorize this book audio-wise. Though it is listed as “unabridged”, the recording itself says “Based on The Helmsman by Bill Baldwin”, and is very near a 10 hour audio drama. There is a narrator (a very good one), but all of the dialogue is read by other actors, and there are sound effects throughout. The important question is “did it work”, and the answer is Yes, though the occasional unbelievable actor really pulls the listener out of the action.

The novel is pure military pulp science fiction. There is a ton of technical jargon as characters tune disruptors and such. Vehicles are often called “field pieces”, time is measured in “metacycles”, and everyone says “Aye, sir!” quite a bit. The action moves quickly as battles lead to more battles. The title is listed as “mature” for some sexual scenes.

In a nutshell, The Helmsman should please fans of military SF. The sound quality is very good, and the main narrator excellent. This is the first of several volumes – the Timberwolf Press website promises Galactic Convoy (currently available), The Trophy, The Mercenaries, The Defenders, and The Siege.

This title is available at Paperback Digital.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

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