Sunday 31 October 2010

Fractured Horizons by H.E. Roulo

Official Blurb

Katherine Downs sets off to find her mysterious father—and awakens hundreds of years later into a world guided by visionary Royals. But Kay inadvertently blinds their power.

Hunted, she joins the rebel Adams, bioengineered warriors who rely on banned technology for a precarious foothold on the fading world. Will they destroy Kay for being only human, or will revelations about her own unnatural origins cause Kay to help them in their ongoing war?

Greeted by a high-tech horde, courted by visionary royalty, and always steps away from her goals, Kay must master her own abilities before humanity is destroyed on Earth and the colonies in space.

Envision a world ready to collapse-- and then watch it tip over the edge.

My Review

This is an exciting novel and sci fi in every sense. The story has bio engineering, time travel (sort of), battles, duels, royals, murders, grand balls and plots. In fact the plot twists and changes direction a number of times that keeps the whole thing exciting.

The story leads the listener through a number of competing and facinating societies that the protagonist has to live in and assimilate. The author has come up with some great ideas and has written them very well into a narrative that bowls you along both introducing the strange worlds and keeping you hooked to the plot at the same time.

The author has devised a plot that weaves the fate of the protagonist in with the doom and fate of the entire world, when one threat wanes the other waxes so thing sdon't get boring for a second.

The author is also the reader, and she has a terrific voice for it.

Reading 3/3
Production 2/3
Story 2/3

Total Score 7/9

Download it from Podiobooks

Listen to the first part

Saturday 16 October 2010

Aliens in the Mind by Robert Holmes(?)

Official Blurb

None! ( well, none I could find. )

My Review

This is a radio drama, that I think was made for the BBC way back when. It stars Vincent Price. It's what you might call speculative fiction, rather than true science fiction, as its set in our world and time but with some interesting things going on.

Vincents character is called to a remote scottish island to attend the funeral of a friend, but arrives just too late. However he finds something much more upsetting.

There is another breed of near-humans moving amoungst us! Not only are they all around but they have mutant powers.

I don't really want to say much more as I'll end up giving away the plot and spoiling the whole thing. It's a bit of an mystery adventure and really enjoyable, I got through it in one day ( today! ) I recommend you download it and give it a try.

Reading 3/3
Production 3/3
Story 3/3

Total Score 9/9

Download it from the Vincent Price Audio page


Sunday 3 October 2010

The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov

Official Blurb

The Foundation Trilogy concists of:
1. Foundations
2. Foundation and Empire
3. Second Foundation

The Foundation Trilogy is an epic science fiction series written over a span of forty-four years by Isaac Asimov. It consists of seven volumes that are closely linked to each other, although they can be read separately. The series is highly acclaimed, winning the one-time Hugo Award for "Best All-Time Series" in 1966.

The premise of the series is that mathematician Hari Seldon spent his life developing a branch of mathematics known as psychohistory, a concept devised by Asimov and his editor John W. Campbell. Using the law of mass action, it can predict the future, but only on a large scale; it is error-prone for anything smaller than a planet or an empire. It works on the principle that the behavior of a mass of people is predictable if the quantity of this mass is very large (equal to the population of the galaxy). The larger the mass, the more predictable is the future. Using these techniques, Seldon foresees the fall of the Galactic Empire, which encompasses the entire Milky Way, and a dark age lasting thirty thousand years before a second great empire arises. To shorten the period of barbarism, he creates two Foundations, small, secluded havens of art, science, and other advanced knowledge, on opposite ends of the galaxy.

The focus of the trilogy is on the Foundation of the planet Terminus. The people living there are working on an all-encompassing Encyclopedia, and are unaware of Seldon's real intentions (for if they were, the variables would become too uncontrolled). The Encyclopedia serves to preserve knowledge of the physical sciences after the collapse. The Foundation's location is chosen so that it acts as the focal point for the next empire in another thousand years (rather than the projected thirty thousand).

My Review

First up, this is not a traditional audio book, it is an audio dramatisation of three books rolled up into an 8 hour serial. This series was produced by the BBC back in 1966 and sounds like it! The sounds effects at times sound like the BBC engineers had a new toy and were going to use it!. The high pitched beeps an whines can occasionally be painful. The recordings are pretty good although I did detect a slight muddiness in the last episode

As to the story, the blurb pretty much gives away the "plot". The story spans hundreds of years, dropping in on particular events and following people caught up in those events, and developing an overarching plot.

I read the Foundation trilogy many years ago and remembered it with affection, so downloaded this as soon as I found it. Personally I really enjoyed this serial but I'm aware that the series does have its pitfalls. I fear that anyone who is not an Asimov fan may find a little disconnect from the story when it leaps from one era to another. Also the sound effects I've already mentioned may put off some listeners.

Reading 3/3
Production 1/3 (The sound effects might surprise the unwary!)
Story 2/3

Total Score 6/9

Download it from the Internet Archive

Listen to the first part