I’ve read the book several times and thought with the new edition, why not get the audio booBattlefield Earth Audio Book – 2016 Edition
I’ve read the book several times and thought with the new edition, why not get the audio book? I’m not too familiar with audio books. I know a lot of them don’t have the sound quality and usually have one narrator.
BE has the audio books of audio books! 44 CD’s, each about an hour each and it sounds like a Golden Age of Radio production up there with Orson Welles or the cool horror radio I used to listen to as a kid with Lights Out or Inner Sanctum.
But I digress (as well as age myself).
Besides the high production values and the intense mood-inducing intro music throughout the production, the cast & crew were professional and emotional in presenting their characters. As in any story I would expect throwaway characters, however in BE all the characters played some important role in the building of the story.
Hubbard builds a universe (actually 16 of them) in this galactic neighborhood. When we start, we find Psychlo has an out-of-the-way mining colony of Intergalactic Mining Co., a bunch of slovenly employees who wonder why their pay is being cut, and not a lot of thought is given to the “man animals” on the planet.
We find the adventures of one security chief with delusions of grandeur and riches, Terl, and his counterpart, a “man animal” (Johnny Goodboy Tyler) who was always considered strange and asked too many questions in his village, and Johnny becomes part of Terl’s plan to take an unknown-to-the-company gold deposit near Denver and convert it to ingots and then blast the animals when the job is done.
Terl returns to Psychlo a rich alien, with females and kerbango (a cross between beer and pretzels, I suspect) to last the rest of his life!
So Terl trains the animals – men – from Johnny and from Scotland – using a learning device that quickly educates in the ways of mining, language and Psychlo technology to extract the gold.
The fun begins when Terl gets leverage over his boss, and over the company, little knowing that Johnny has plans of his own.
The story further expands from this beyond the bad Psychlos getting theirs, where Earth becomes a target for other alien races!
Will Johnny be able to handle these races or will they cut up Earth so these races can pay their debts, continue their wars to satisfy the economies of their war production on their home planets, and meantime put Man in chains?
I’ve read the book a few times but forgot so many details that the audio book provided with a panache and extremely professional production I was not expecting nor imagining.
An amazing romp through the galaxy, finding data on Economics, Politics, the failings of governments operating on out-moded laws of subjugating populations and begin to find purpose and worth in a sea of uncertainty and the imagined power brokers of uncaring banks and military leaders.
No, it’s not just a pulp tale of Tyler’s conquering the Psychlos. It’s a tale of high tension and energy in handling the world or worlds around us.
Now if we could only bring Voyager home before it’s too late. But that’s for another story.
PS: For those lucky readers who have read the book and listened to the audio books in the past, be it known that the earlier editions were abridged as was the audio book (recorded by the wonderful voice of Roddy McDowell).
Now you get the FULL story as it was originally intended!
Having not read the book in a number of years and after having read a minority if unfair opinion that Teela BroRingworld by Larry Niven
Having not read the book in a number of years and after having read a minority if unfair opinion that Teela Brown was written as a mere sex partner to Louis Wu and meant little to the story, not only was this a lie, but it was clear evidence that the accuser never read the book! Nothing could be further than the truth than this crazy theory!
Story & Plot:
If anything, Teela Brown is a central character. Through manipulation of the birth lotteries by the Puppeteers (an alien race that has a language that sounds like a piano crashing into a street!) altered the lotteries to create lucky people. And Teela is the luckiest of all! And the trio of travelers nearly dies because of it!
A Kzin (a tiger-like race that once warred with Humanity – see Niven’s novel, Man-Kzin Wars for more info), Teela Brown, the puppeteer Nessus (an avowed insane puppeteer and coward) and Louis Wu, a man who just turned 200 and has run out of things to do. Until now.
The Ringworld, a giant ring around a far star, has mountains, lakes and sophisticated technology that has for some reason been abandoned by its makers. The Puppeteers are moving their worlds from the Milky Way and want this group to check it out. It may pose a danger. The Puppeteer Worlds are moving due to a radiation wave from the center of the galaxy and will wipe out all life in its path within the next 100,000. They don’t want to take chances.
But nevermind all that, the story really centers around Louis and his survival with these others as they crash land on the Ringworld and try to survive in a land that has long forgotten its heritage, reduced to savagery and they have to figure a way back out to space and their spaceship, a light-year long ship that can eat huge distances in a matter of seconds. If they do survive, the Puppeteers will reveal the tech of this ship. If not, oh well.
What does this have to do with Teela Brown? What kind of luck is it that causes them to crash to the surface? How powerful is this?
So no, it’s not about Teela being a sexual conduit for Louis. Not one bit. Nada. She loves Louis, she’s highly intelligent and is extremely naïve. And the unsuspecting reader finds that her luck is a power that may just wipe them all out! Except for Teela of course.
Final Thoughts: Well thought out novel, but reading other Niven novels of his Known World series will clarify the characters and their motives. Ringworld Engineers is next. ...more
This novel combines the two part serial by L Ron Hubbard, meshing the Arabian Nights with a new interdimensionalSlaves of Sleep & Masters of Sleep
This novel combines the two part serial by L Ron Hubbard, meshing the Arabian Nights with a new interdimensional story that is thought-provoking and very much reflects the silliness of the pulp era of storytelling.
Jan Palmer is a bit of a wimp. When crossing an ifrit named Zongri, Jan is cursed with Eternal Wakefulness and finds himself living two lives – one, named Tiger in a land where the Jinn rule and the time of the Arabian Nights never left, and the world of Jan as a Seattle-based shipping magnate who would like nothing more than to forget his duties and go fishing at Puget Sound!
Overall the story keeps you going in Part I, but Part II is more of a commentary on the fakery of the “solution” that psychiatry brings – electro shock therapy & prefrontal lobotomy – and how the Two World Diamond rekindles Jan and brings about a freedom for the humanity slaved by the Jinn.
Slaves of Sleep was originally published in 1939 and Masters of Sleep in 1950.
Good storytelling in the early pulp fiction style. Recommended.
Another interesting tale from Connie, but again not up to her standard set in The Doomsday Book. Two characters are interested in what happens in lifeAnother interesting tale from Connie, but again not up to her standard set in The Doomsday Book. Two characters are interested in what happens in life after death, but one guy, Mandrake, wants to profit from it, so he asks leading questions to get them to make up stuff, ruining any chance of true discoveries.
Overall not a bad book; read this once before and it was forgettable then and so much so that I forgot I read it before! Read Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog. Much better stories. ...more
Overall I thought it a decent story, if short. And the play and movie references had me looking them up! Claire is introduced to an android named EmilOverall I thought it a decent story, if short. And the play and movie references had me looking them up! Claire is introduced to an android named Emily and she wants to be a Rockette. Claire was afraid she'd run into someone who would take her job as was done in All About Eve. Later in the story she feels sorry for Emily and petitions to have her accepted by the Rockettes. It's a tough call since society is not happy with the possibility of losing their jobs to robots.
The story seems more interested in bragging about their thorough knowledge of Broadway rather than what is essentially a piece of fluff written by Connie Willis, who I adore for her excellent novels All Clear, To Say Nothing of the Dog and the Doomsday Book.
Nice short story, not a lot to recommend it, except perhaps a better understanding of Broadway and the art of acting. ...more
I was inspired to read this as it was the basis for the film Predestination. In Predestination, the guy who goes baAll You Zombies, by Robert Heinlein
I was inspired to read this as it was the basis for the film Predestination. In Predestination, the guy who goes back in time is trying to find a killer who also seems elusive, as if he too is using time to do his bombing and terrorism.
The story by Heinlein is a bit less violent, a bit more humane and a lot more interesting.
Weston’s father wrote a letter to him to come home, and watch out for a varmint named Dodge. But when he returns home, he finds his fathBranded Outlaw
Weston’s father wrote a letter to him to come home, and watch out for a varmint named Dodge. But when he returns home, he finds his father dead, his ranch hands and cattle gone, and one burning desire to take care of Dodge.
His first attempt almost kills him. In his escape he is saved by a beautiful woman who happens to be Dodge’s daughter! Holy matrimony!
Did Dodge do it? Or is there some other rustler pitting the two against each other and collect from both of them?
Cool Western by Hubbard. Short and sweet novelette.
Just finished this on Kindle and though I was not a fan of the original Ancient Shores, thThunderbird, by Jack McDevitt [Minor spoilers]
Just finished this on Kindle and though I was not a fan of the original Ancient Shores, this modernized sequel written many years later, was an improvement, but the ending was disappointing.
Story & Plot:
Basically picks up from the first book which is unnecessary to read to read this sequel, but it would be a good idea to since the characters won’t make a lot of sense otherwise.
It was really hard to really connect to any of the characters since most of them made their appearances and left, except for April, the dreamer and Walker, the realist.
A gate was discovered to new worlds, on Sioux land. The US and the Native Americans struggle to see who owns it. The international community wants everyone to share. They have a good point but that part of the tale is never developed.
The worlds all look interesting but again never followed up on. Example: Eden is inhabited by people on an island who resemble gorillas. The translator who travels there is invited to the main continent where she would have gotten a better look at their technology. (It’s like we went to Borneo and were told to come to America.) Then the author stops!
There is a water world discovered. Do we explore it? No.
There is a space station discovered, which tantalizingly has the same Thunderbird symbol as the Indians had for generations. Makes you think. Do we explore that further? No.
There is a world that turns out to a lot different than anyone imagined – until we see Earth’s moon in the sky! Wow! Is this explored? No.
Finally, a civilization is discovered (we make sure we’re not seen, naturally) that is more advanced than us and probably built these stargates. Do we say hello? NO!
The ending, which I won’t reveal, is a cop-out and does not explore in detail any of the issues brought up in the book.
There is an issue I’d be interested in – that we as Americans are somehow paranoid and when we see something we don’t like, we line up the alien in our rifle sites, yet wonder if the aliens are friendly! We sure ain’t friendly. I hope we take April’s approach of diplomacy, curiosity and courage than Walker being inconvenienced and pressured to shut it down so he can get some sleep. Lame.
Recommended reading, but be prepared for a let-down.
First Thoughts: I liked this book much better than Ancillary Sword. It turns out Ancillary Sword is almost a book-sized chapter in itseAncillary Mercy
First Thoughts: I liked this book much better than Ancillary Sword. It turns out Ancillary Sword is almost a book-sized chapter in itself for the third book of the trilogy. Yes, still read that, but don’t expect much.
“Mercy” is more understandable once you get your groups of military and assistants all straight, with their odd terminology – and I realized later, similar to Roman legions and their strange terminology to describe their military groups, centurions and so on.
Story and Plot:
The Author gives a lot of back story to her third novel which almost makes the first novel unnecessary to read. Almost. Read it anyway or the terms won’t make a lot of sense.
The Usurper (the so-called god who split herself) is heading to Athoek Station. Breq wants to make what’s right for the citizenry at the planet below and in the station above. The best way to do that is to grant certain freedoms that this dictatorship/police state is not used to .
The imaginative way it’s gone about is fun to read, and this novel is not bogged down into a soap opera-esque grind as Book Two was.
Will Breq make it happen? Will the Presger (the only alien race that can wipe out us Humans) step in? Will the Tyrant succeed? Will the squabbles of the others stop so that they can unite against a common enemy – propriety over common sense??
Final Comments: The book does have its faults. What happened to the original Anaander Mianaai who made Breq her “cousin” and sent him to Athoek Station in the first place? A few key characters seem to disappear from the scene as well. Despite these apparent holes, an enjoyable trilogy to check it, even if the pronouns are askew.
John has really improved on his Old Man’s War series of novels and short stories. Among these is the EndComments on End of All Things #1 – John Scalzi
John has really improved on his Old Man’s War series of novels and short stories. Among these is the End of All Things storylines, written in four volumes, which I like reading on Amazon Kindle e-reader.
Story & Plot:
First off, really like the writing style. Sarcastic, fast-paced. Similar to Andy Weir’s The Martian in terms of style and interest. Kept me going throughout.
Getting hired as a pilot is one thing. But being kidnapped and having your brain transferred to a computer and flying a ship is something else!
The bad guys with a traitor politician (no surprise there) want to get rid of the Colonial Union. With secrets from the senator, this is an easy task. But our hero is a computer programmer as well as a pilot, and devised a way of circumventing the computer controls and makes his escape. But he’s still a brain in a box!
Conclusion: Great short novel, a fun read. Can’t wait for the next one!
David Lagercrantz, a respected Swedish writer, took the Steig Larsson's characters from Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and made quite** MINOR SPOILERS **
David Lagercrantz, a respected Swedish writer, took the Steig Larsson's characters from Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and made quite a novel from it!
Story & Plot:
The book starts very slow, way too slow. Throwaway characters given practically a complete bio and then you never hear from them again. Insufficient development of Camilla. Convoluted plot.
But don't worry, that's just until you get to the middle.
Then it's as if it were written by another -- fast pace, exciting page-turner, the bad guys got the guns but the good guys (and girl) got the smarts -- the power of the independent journalist versus the NSA. Can Salandar crack the code of a document she found in snooping through the NSA's supposedly impenetrable computer banks?
And the story all centers around Frans Balder (who gets killed early in the story) and his disabled son August, a boy who is autistic yet has incredible mathematics abilities.
The author uses these characters and skill to the hilt to pull off a pretty damn good story. Not sure what he was doing in the first half, typing drunk! But last part is really nicely played.
Now the ending. Well, it leaves us wondering what of Camilla, the supposed mastermind of the whole crime spree. What becomes of her? Stay tuned. ...more
This is the continuing re-publishing of Mr. Hubbard's fiction works from the 1930s and 1940s. I'm not usually a fan of Westerns except perhaps for LouThis is the continuing re-publishing of Mr. Hubbard's fiction works from the 1930s and 1940s. I'm not usually a fan of Westerns except perhaps for Louis L'Amour writings. However I am digging these types of pulp fiction books.
Tons of cheese mixed with some very capable characters and great scenery & description. There are three stories in this collection:
Death waits at sundown, Lynn Taylor busts into town looking for McCloud, a landowner whom Lynn thinks is a liar, thief and crook who may have killed his pa and taken all the land he should rightfully get. But is McCloud the real villain in the piece or is there someone else who we don't expect is the real culprit. Lynn learns through McCloud's daughter that appearances are not all they seem. Great action and suspense, some chair-gripping moments and a fun, cheesy gets-the-girl ending that's cute.
Ride 'em Cowboy is the second entry, about some rodeo stars who have a lot to learn about mixing romance and extreme competition, complete with mustangs, bulls and a tough lady who can whip any man riding a bucking bronco! Long Tom Branner has a crush on a certain Vicky, she all dressed in white boots, spurs and corn-colored hair, and an unreal hatred towards Long Tom! Will this get handled before the final gate opens?
Last but not least, Boss of the Lazy B. 10,000 head of cattle disappear from our hero's ranch. Who's the rustler? Another cool story of a woman who scorns, a man who forgives, and a sheriff who doesn't know who's the bad guy. The least favorite of the trio.