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The Roar of the Spheres

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  1,197 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
Rob Dunbar is the perfect history professor: after all, he's been alive for 3000 years, keeping his immortality a secret from everyone he's ever known.

Until New Year's Eve, 2199, when a moody stranger named Baxter threatens to out him.

Shanghaied by Baxter on a planet-hopping rescue mission, Rob's help may preserve mankind's future among the stars--if his long past doesn't
Kindle Edition
Published (first published March 4th 2011)
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There's a good story in here: some great ideas, and Robertson can write. The problem is that it feels half-baked. The writing is all one-liners and pithy stuff that probably sounded cool on the author's head; the characters never really develop and the prose is often clunky. It's a book in desperate need of an editor - and a few more drafts.

tl;dr: there's a reason Titans is free. (Kevin Bayer)
This was a fascinating book.

The conceit is, the main character Rob Dunbar is immortal and has been alive since before the time of Christ. The other main characters are an AI in an almost human body, and a prescient AI in the body of a brand new spaceship. The AIs convince Rob to use his vast experiences to help form a new government on Titan, and eventually at Alpha Centauri. In exchange, they'll use their vast AI computing powers to diagnose why he's immortal.

And it's that part of the story tha
Oct 09, 2014 Steven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Normally I avoid sci-fi because the science is either too technical or implausible. It also tends to bog down the story. This one wasn't. The science was there on the periphery, but it was the fiction and storyline that drove this book.

The synopsis is fairly accurate with the exception that the book is open-ended. The whole "change the course of human history in the stars" part isn't seen in this book. But hey, that's marketing hype for you.

The story is driven by the two main characters, Rob Dun
Clark Hallman
Jul 09, 2014 Clark Hallman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Titans by Edward W. Robertson – Rob Dunbar is about 3,000 years old and has experienced much of Earth’s civilizations and fought in many wars. He can’t explain why he does not age, but the reader learns much about his long life. Now, Earthlings have colonies on the Moon, Mars, and Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. In addition, a large population of artificial intelligence beings has developed and huge corporations control peoples’ lives. Rob is bored teaching history, and an AI stranger (Baxter ...more
Jonathan Pax
Mar 02, 2015 Jonathan Pax rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I fairly enjoyed my time reading Titans by Edward W Robertson. The concept of the book itself was very intriguing, but the story line was poorly executed. Robertson filled his writing with repetitive one-liners, but he never really developed any dialogue. I also believe that Robertson tried to put too much information into his book. Many aspects of his writing, such as the excessive amount if background information, proved to be unnecessary to the story. Overall, I would recommend this book to a ...more
Mike Speer
A good read but.......

It was an easy read but the story has it short comings. If I want to suspend beliefs I'll read a fantasy. If you write SF stick to the rules of universe your in.
Now I have go read some non-fiction.
I picked this book up a while ago for free after listening to a podcast with the author and liking it. After finishing up Dark Matter season two I wanted some more space stuff and decided this would fit the bill.
I don’t normally read Space Opera, though I love to watch it, and I’ve been meaning to get into the genre. Sadly this book wasn’t really what I was looking for. Rob wasn’t very compelling as a main character and Baxter was just angry and stupid. The corporation side of things was interes
William Taira
Jul 13, 2017 William Taira rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Story of two people, three thousand years apart yet linked together

Well written sci-fi romp. Two people from opposite periods of time linked in a struggle to ensure mankind's future amongst the stars.
I enjoyed the idea that a representative from the genesis of human democracy would play a part in seeing that human civilization persists in an age of interstellar growth.
Feb 17, 2017 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
It kept me reading but I wouldn't call it an adult book. Clean simple fun that would better suit a young audience. I'll skip any more in the series but don't regret this one.
J.L. Dobias
May 05, 2015 J.L. Dobias rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: SFF lovers
Shelves: book-shelf-08
Titans by Edward W. Robertson

I picked up this book along with two others off of a suggestion for reading. Of the three this one was by far the most well rounded story. The story is told from the POV of a main character that has lived for over three thousand years. Living forever of course has its good points and then some few bad points, though I know a few people who might argue that it would be whiny to make a big deal about the bad points of this situation.

But there is one kicker, in that Rob
Titans is an interesting book that starts off trying to be more of a mystery novel than it really is. We are first introduced to our characters and are given hints of mysterious backgrounds. We then move onto various plots against nameless and powerful shadowy entities that are never fully explored.

Overall the author tries to put just a little too much mystery into a story that is essentially a standard space opera with a couple of characters that have interesting backgrounds. Don't misunderstan
Paul Trembling
Jan 27, 2016 Paul Trembling rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the big challenges in SF is creating realistic aliens: another, very similar challenge is creating realistic AI's. This fast paced and well plotted story has lots of them, and my biggest problem was that I couldn't take them seriously. I was OK with Baxter, the AI in human form, and with FAY, the AI spaceship, but the asteroid full of intelligent bowling balls, all with the personalities of precocious kids - that just didn't work for me. I can't really say that they were unrealistic, sinc ...more
I did enjoy this book quite a bit, so maybe I'm being harsh with a 3/5? the parts I liked: the 3000 year old guy mixed with AIs without a thought to justifying the juxtaposition or even really dealing with a creation mythos. inexplicably, this is one of the things that I thought worked very well. also, the backstory of said 3000 year old guy was also very well done, timely and dramatic.

but alas, all good things must end, so on to the bad things. the back story on the android Baxter was patchy an
Julian White
Aug 27, 2015 Julian White rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's a long time since I enjoyed a book quite as much - a real throwback 'classic' sf novel, with a timeline stretching from ancient Nineveh (or possibly Babylon) to 2200 (mostly the latter) and spanning the Solar system (Earth to Mars and then Titan) and on to Alpha Centauri, with an immortal protagonist - not a spoiler as it's alluded to on page 1 of the first chapter. That protagonist is a lot more fun than Lazarus Long, though - and the Heinlein references don't end there: the plot has a num ...more
Michinio Camorelli
Already 2nd recently read sci-fi that gave feeling of watching a Hollywood movie. But if The Martian was a good movie, interesting, scientific, original and fresh (though lacked some suspense), this one was not so much fun. But the beginning was so good - thousands of years old guy (for unknown reason (view spoiler)), android Che Guevara, kind HAL9000 with sense of humor, colonies on the planets... but that's it - only the ideas a 13 years ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brian Turner
Oct 16, 2014 Brian Turner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Interesting novel following a 3000 year old human, an illegal AI and a group of colonists.
Corporations want to treat people as property, and this ragtag bunch get drawn into the middle of it, ostensibly while trying to get the colonists some rights.
The characters are interesting, although the human spends a lot of time reminiscing about his time during the war between Athens and Persia. Would have been good to get more of a cross section of everything else he did in the intervening years.

The AI'
Peter Petermann
Dec 16, 2014 Peter Petermann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, I really love the background of the story, the projection on where humanity might go.. A great setting, I just think the.. Easiness (for the lack of a better word) that sets the tone stopped me from giving 5 stars. I wish the story had been a bit darker, making the dirt that all characters definitely had stick a bit more.
Also, the 3k year thing? It would have worked with a more believable scenario too, like the main character could have been just mad and thought he was that old, or download
Feb 28, 2015 Gregory rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a brilliant book! This is the first E. W. Robertson book I've read, but it definitely won't be the last. Yes, it is science fiction, but it's also a story of revolution, friendship and sacrifice. One of the central characters is an artificial intelligence (AI) and the other is over 3,000 years old. This sounds far-fetched, but the author made them so real! His character development is excellent, and I became very invested in Baxter and Rob. It was hard to put Titans down. Comparisons? Titan ...more
Mar 11, 2015 Vered rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you could live forever, what would you become? Rob Dunbar thinks he’s seen it all and more. Dragged unwittingly into a war between powerful corporations and a secretive group of AI refugees, Rob is about to discover that after 3,000 years of living, there’s still a few surprises left in the universe.

I was a bit thrown off by some of the AI – they seemed a bit too Disney for my liking. The two main characters – Rob and Baxter – had great potential with fascinating backstories, but somehow I di
Cesar Matamoros
Dec 11, 2015 Cesar Matamoros rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I had some trouble with keeping up with the story in the beginning it did capture my attention and kept me interested throughout the end. The snippets beginning every chapter were a little 'annoying' in that one had to keep these in mind to piece together the 'history' behind a couple of the characters.
This book was free - this is why I give it four stars. There was still a bit of editing that was needed throughout the book. There were a couple of sentences that made no sense to me what
Doug Hoffman
Sep 17, 2014 Doug Hoffman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In all I enjoyed this book. It had an irreverent, humorous tone and vivid characters. The science was realistic, if not always fully explained, and never bounced me out of the believability envelope. The plot never got bogged down in irrelevancies. The only thing I disliked was that there was a constant switching between a back story plot line and the present (well, future). Half way through I just stopped reading the flashback stuff and was quite happy. It's not quite Douglas Adams quality humo ...more
Sep 24, 2014 Nini rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I tried this book based on a friends reccomendation. Whilst I can see that the story is well written and the characters are well developed I found this a hard book to get through. I liked the descriptins of the different robots and the way the story showed you through Rob how socieites can change. Overall this is a well written story with well developed characters however personally it was not for me and I found it hard to actually like the main characters which made reading it seem like a chore ...more
Virginia Aikens
Sep 26, 2014 Virginia Aikens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What would AI really be like?

Although I have been a lifelong reader of fantasy and have even taught classes based around that genre, I've never been very into sci-fi. Reading this book has forced me to reconsider this stance. Between the historical analogies, civil rights issues, and the question of how different a TRUE artificial intelligence would be from a human (answer...maybe not so very different), I became totally immersed in Robertson's world. I can recommend this without reservation to
Thibaldo Manrique
A great story

I was interested by the title, and the description, but did not expect the great novel they referred to.

It has action, a deep self analysis of the human race from a historic point of view and a lot of how humanity can turn on itself.

Setting it in space is a great touch, it makes it entertaining and fun, although it has a few details that do not ring true, the rest of it makes up for them very nicely.

Definitely worth a read, it hooks you from the very beginning and keeps you hooked u
Jan 02, 2013 Scott rated it really liked it
A cool SF tale that was, like the other works by Edward W. Robertson that I've read, very strong on character. The tale is one of corporations treating people like nothing more than resources (whoa, that seems familiar in today's world!) and a struggle to take back freedom and respect on Titan, a moon of Saturn. I really enjoyed the vision Robertson presents of the future in presenting a cautionary tale masked by a well told SF story. I also liked the way the past and the future mixed together a ...more
Jim Kratzok
Loved it! This was a very engaging story about Rob, a man who by some strange chance had lived more than 3000 years, and a group of AIs, lead by Baxter, who want Rob's expertise in crafting a rebellion that will allow humanity to spread across the galaxy, not as techno-serfs, but as free men. Their fight against the corporations that would keep humanity as tightly regulated workers is covered in great detail.

I read this a couple of years ago and just re-read it this week. I think I enjoyed it mo
Rex Libris
Continuing the theme of there is nothing new under the sun, in this story a hybrid Lazarus Long/Louis Wu style character meets up with a R. Daneel Olivaw style character. Together they keep an evil, hegemonic corporation from running roughshod over the rights of the first colonists to leave the solar system. The non-dying human uses his experience from Thermopylae to win the battle against the evil corporation.
F.D. Green
Jan 23, 2015 F.D. Green rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
I couldn't get into this book, After 20%, chapter 6, I had to put it down. It, for me, jumped around to much and I couldn't see where it going. I hate not finishing any book, maybe, one day I will try to finish it. When I got to Chapter 6, what stopped me, a sentence that didn't make sense. I am guessing that if, whomever proof-read this story, completely missed this, so there may be more mistakes.
Sift Book Reviews
May 23, 2011 Sift Book Reviews rated it it was ok
Shelves: john
While the story holds promise, I can't give this a higher rating. The writing simply isn't good or compelling enough for me to. It's very sad, too, as the premise is very interesting, and well worth exploring.

See the in-depth review at Sift:

Review by: John of Sift Book Reviews
Sift Book Reviews received a free copy for review from the author. This has, in no way, affected the reviewer's opinion.
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Ed is the author of the post-apocalyptic Breakers series and the epic fantasy series The Cycle of Arawn. A former New Yorker and Idaho-guy, he currently lives in the LA area. His short fiction has appeared in a whole bunch of magazines and anthologies.
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“maybe you can tell me what the history books got wrong." I nodded, speech centers of my brain overridden by the same parts that had flown into high gear in the bakery in Athens when Demostrate announced the end of her engagement. We boarded. Titan fell away beneath us, a fuzzy yellow tennis ball above an endless black” 0 likes
“Their middle eight floors looked identical to the microscopic level: chunky, small-windowed, and gray, gray, gray. The overcast sky was more polychromatic. But” 0 likes
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