The Islanders is the type of book that’s not going to be universally liked by everyone. Not that there is something hard to understand in it or it’s flawed, but because, at least in my opinion, it doesn’t fit in the classic definition for a science fiction novel. I had my suspicions after experiencing The Prestige and my expectations were for something out of the ordinary that will surprise me. I wasn’t disappointed.
The Device by Patrick Skelton seemed like an intriguing sci-fi story so I couldn’t resist reading it. A mysterious device, a troubled man on a quest to uncover the secrets of his past and a chilling discovery that might change the world. What’s not to like? It’s an interesting premise and the author largely delivers.
written by James Hitchins, music by Alvine Spetz, narrated by Keith Allen
I love short fiction and especially short sci-fi stories! When done right they’re so powerful and engaging and just make you think! Gravity Pulls Through is such a story for me. It’s very well written with some witty dialogue and complemented by some (a little weird) music by Alvin Spetz which makes it so much more unique. I don’t think I’ve encountered another audiobook that has short song breaks throughout the story. I found it a little strange at first but the more I think of it, the more I like the idea. I don’t know if I’d prefer my novels that way, but for the short story format it certainly works well.
You know how it happens. A big-budget Holywood movie comes out, makes a bunch of money for the studio and of course they want to squeeze every last dollar possible. So naturally as a part of the modern publishing process, they make a book version of the movie and release it after the flick is in the cinemas. It keeps up the hype and can be a good secondary income stream. Generally speaking these books aren’t that good but thankfully they don’t do novelizations for all movies that come out. On the cover it says it’s based on the movie, but what really that means is it’s based on the movie script.
The Lost Fleet: Dauntless by Jack Campbell is a military sci-fi novel and the first book in The Lost Fleet series. John “Black Jack” Geary’s emergency pod has just been recovered from deep space after a century of cold-sleep hibernation. He was considered dead after his heroic last stand against enemy spaceships, allowing the remaining Alliance fleet ships escape. His actions went into the history books as the famous battle of Grendel and every child in the Alliance grew up with exaggerated tales about Black Jack and how some day he’ll come back to save everybody.
To be honest I don’t think I’ve heard of or read anything from Peter Watts before Blindsight. If everything he’s written before is half as good, I’ll certainly be reading it at some point. Straight to the point – Blindsight is probably the best Sci-Fi audiobook I’ve read this year. Let me tell you why.
Blindsight has most of the elements that are common in Sci-Fi novels – the plot unfolds in the future, somewhere near the end of the century, we have some sort of a post-economic society where working is not mandatory, the human body and mind are completely explored and can be easily fixed, manipulated and upgraded as easily and routinely as it is to get an appendix removed or go the dentist. We’ve somewhat explored the Solar system – a few bases on Mars and several other planets but no interstelar travel. Yet, there are very unique themes and cool ideas I’ve not encoutered elsewhere.
The first half of the audiobook was excellent. I was paying attention. I was sucked in. The narrator Nicole Quinn did such a good job with all the voices. No complaints there. The story showed a lot of promise, luring me into intoxicating murals of wildly creative mind trips painted underneath the feet of unsuspecting characters that are put straight into potentially huge plot revelations.
There’s no doubt – The Host is superior to the Twilight Series, probably given it is designed for adults, rather than teens, and I fall in that first category.
Quite interesting insights into a genre that hasn’t been explored much. Take Robert Heinlein’s “The Puppet Masters” or maybe ABC Televesion’s recently unsuccessful series “Invasion”, jump 3 years after some symbiotic aliens have successfully crushed Earth and many of its human population then tell a story from the point of view of a good alien introduced right into a hostile host then you have the beginning of The Host.