Narrated by Michael Hogan, Scott Brick, Kandyse McClure, Alessandro Juliani, Stefan Rudnicki, John Scalzi (click here for the Audible page)
This was a freebie from Audible and I selected this one because 1) Science Fiction, 2) it was the longest* of the offerings and 3) Scott Brick!
And, because it is audio, I really don’t know how to access the individual story titles and my memory is already turning foggy. I find it difficult to review audiobooks because I don’t have the paper at my fingertips. So allow me to ‘wing it’ and we will see what happens.
(The publisher’s blurb says, “Welcome to the dawn of uncivilization.”)
The first story I will call Tygre Tygre because it features this wonderful speciman of a hero named Tygre Tygre and he is beyond belief in poise, strength and attractive personality. The world building was amazing. However. However, it seemed to end extremely abruptly and I really don’t have a clue what Tygre was trying to accomplish or why he was hired (if such was the case) to walk right into Cascadia and do what he did.
This whole collection was about the world-building and the imaginings of our future global – human connectedness. The first story did an excellent job describing Cascadia, the green city of the Northwest US. It is referenced by every story there after.
The second story was the one narrated by Brick and it was about Taking Over Detroit with Bicycles. Well, sort of. It was bigger than that but I did like the main guy and how he fell into his job to coordinate sneaky very clever riots to draw attention away from what was really going on. Brick did an excellent job and thus another reason this was my favorite story of the five.
The third story featured a woman who was in hiding from her mobster husband and taking care of her stepchild. Which is a spoiler thing to say but that’s just too bad. I thought this story a tad weak but it certainly brought in more of the human element of survival. I think it, too, was set in a future Detroit. Let’s call this one Escape into Connection.
The fourth story was written by Scalzi. It was from the viewpoint of someone who had grown up inside one of the more protected and stable communities and the kid had some growing up to do to realize how the world really works ‘out there’. And it was a love story. I call this one The Pig in the Wedding Picture.
The last story was extremely science-fictiony and had some tough concepts of the Internet Layers and how people disappear into these digital worlds. Lots of game play references and constructs that had my mind struggling to hold on. Would most likely appeal to the super geeky of the sci-fi fans, I bet. It had mystery-thriller elements but to be honest, I had difficulty following the plot and final conclusion. We could also title this The Search for Plutonium.
Rating: Three slices of pie. Mostly for rewarding myself for sticking with it and trying something new. From a performance perspective, I thought it well done and would listen to any of the narrators again.
* I like me a loooooong audiobook. I have this thing about dollar/hour that I don’t have with printed books. I never consider the price and how many pages a book or how long it will take me to read a book (based on ~50 pages an hour). I like to think I’m getting a ‘good deal’ when I consider audiobooks! Anybody else have silly criteria to determine what to buy next?