Posts Tagged ‘audible’

Time just flits by so quickly. I’ve had a nasty bout of RSI this week and lots to do. I’m still in Audible mode as well as reading print and e-books. This not quite review is of Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead. Older SF but still good. When I started on Audible I wanted to use it as a vehicle to read those books that I don’t already own and that I’ve wanted to read but for some reason haven’t. These books were recommended to me by a work colleague.

The Audible files for these two books were good. I haven’t seen the movie btw so I’m basing this on my listening experience.

Ender’s Game for me was an interesting book. I can’t say that I found it easy to identify with Ender’s situation or character. He is a six year old genius sent to military school to be carved into a tool. This doesn’ t mean I didn’t enjoy the book. I enjoyed the idea of the story, of the boy and his experiences. I enjoyed the craftmanship of the story. I enjoyed Card’s depiction of working in micro gravity and how it changes perceptions. We work in a space that has sideways and up but rarely do we conceive of down or no up. I believe the book had a profoundness to it, particularly the ending. If you haven’t read it I recommend you do.

In comparison though, the next book, Speaker for the Dead moved me greatly. Card says in his interview on Audible for Ender’s Game that he wrote Ender’s Game to set up the book he wanted to write, Speaker for the Dead. You wouldn’t necessarily have to read Ender’s Game to understand the next book or get the message, but after being on Ender’s journey it adds to the poignancy of Speaker for the Dead if you do.

What stood out for me with Speaker for the Dead was those elements of realness in there. Card did his Mormon  mission in Brazil and he used that experience to layer Lusitania, with a Portuguese, catholic culture. Despite him not being catholic himself, he used it quite sensitively and knowingly. The economic workings of the colony were very well thought out and solid.

The depiction of the Piggies, the alien race and their alienness was intriguing and fully- fledged. He’d really thought about this. No wonder that both books won Hugos and Nebulas.

The strength of the book for me was the characters. I felt them. They were very three dimensional. Something I admit I wasn’t expecting from an 1980s SF story. I’m not sure why but it was streets ahead of Ender’s Game on this point. I cried in parts of the book. I had to sit in my car and compose myself before going into my office.

The Piggie called Human touched me. I’m getting teary just writing this blog post.

Anyway, if you were thinking of some retro SF then try these books. I’m going to read/listen to the next one, Xenocide soon (after Robin Hobb’s Farseer trilogy gets its claws out of me).

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Audio books

I feel like I’m a bit of a newcomer to audio books, but I’m probably not that new, I’ve just never done them in a big way before now.

I remember way back when radio play of Star Wars played on the radio and we listened so hard to it. This was in the days before VHS players and the like and hearing the radio play was a way to get a fix.

Over the last few years I have, on occasion, listened to Black Library audio plays and audio books featuring the Warhammer 40K universe. These were mostly on car trips with my partner, Matthew.

I wasn’t until a recent car trip to Sydney with my daughter, Shireen, that I was introduced directly to Audible. My son and another friend highly recommended Audible to me but it was just one of those things I didn’t get around to checking out. The trip to Sydney was interesting. Instead of listening to music, my daughter suggested we listen to a book. I was easy with that idea and she asked me to choose. I chose The Girl on the Train. I knew nothing about the book. In the early chapters I said to my daughter, this sounds like a chic lit type of thing that I’m not into and we listened some more and I was totally getting into it. Next I’m saying ‘what did she say?’ and “OMG, she’s not going to do that is she?” and other interjections which my daughter just smiled and nodded. On the trip home, same deal, but this time I’m driving and I’m tense and so into the story that my daughter tells me it’s time for her to drive. When we arrive home to Canberra, the book wasn’t finished. We were only up to chapter 15. Shireen said you’ll have to get your own copy. When I got home I signed up to Audible got the book and listened to the rest and it was so worth it.

With audio books (whether from the library, book shop, Audible or other provider) you can turn non-reading time into reading time. I listen while I sew, clean, and drive to work, when I get home and I’m just chilling or if I go to be early.

I signed up about five weeks ago. I’ve listened to, The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, Lock in by John Scalzi, Redshirts by John Scalzi,  Consider Phlebas by Iain Banks and I’ve just finished with Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. (an amazing book btw. At times I couldn’t stop listening). That’s a lot of books for me. I’m still reading paper books. I finished Tiddas by Anita Heiss, almost finished Georgette Heyer’s Regency World by Jennifer Kloester and I’m also beta reading a manuscript and The Tales of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe (this is dense so it will take a while). I think I have my head into another book or two, but that’s all I can recall at this present time.

I made a vow to myself that I’ll only listen to books I don’t already own. This is a tad hard, because there’s Georgette Heyer books on audio and all of the JD Robb death series. But I figure there are lots of book I should read that I haven’t yet and at $14.95 for an audio book why not. So now I’m loading up the next book, Speaker of the Dead by Orson Scott Card for the trip into work tomorrow. If I want to get some writing done myself, I dare not start listening to it now.

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