Tag Archives: audiobook

More from the edge of the galaxy

Before I get to the books, I have a quick personal note.  You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been posting much lately.  I’ve been busy with career-related issues, including losing my job recently.  I don’t want anyone to worry – I should be fine.  I saw this coming some time ago, so my resume was […]

Series: Hard Luck Hank

Hard Luck Hank: Screw the Galaxy You may have noticed that I haven’t been online for the past few weeks.  I’ve become increasingly frustrated at work, so I’ve been spending all my free time searching for jobs, filling out applications, and driving across the country for interviews (typical result:  the company changes its mind and […]

Mini-Review: The Thorne Legacy

The Thorne Legacy I’m still being crushed (under a mountain of paperwork) at my job, so I don’t have time tonight to write up another magazine review and continue my last Four Apes story.   Instead, I thought I’d put down a few words about a story by fellow blogger JD Brink. While thinking about […]

Mini-Review: Snapshot

Snapshot Snapshot is a novella-length story, roughly two and a half hours of audiobook, which I’m estimating would make it about 80 pages long if it were offered as a paperback (ebook and audio are the only current options).  Although Brandon Sanderson has published many books through the big houses, he chose to self-publish this […]

Review: Classic Science Fiction, Volume 1

Classic Science Fiction, Volume 1 I picked up volume 2, volume 3, volume 4, and volume 5 during a sale, so I decided to complete the series by going back for volume 1. There are three stories in this volume that fit with the rest of the series:  they are by well-known authors, and were mostly published in the […]

Review: Children of the Different

Children of the Different     Three flying saucers (3 out of 4 rating) Fellow blogger SC Flynn gave me a copy of the audiobook version of his first self-published novel, Children of the Different. I enjoyed listening to an Australian-authored audiobook with an Australian narrator — most Aussie audiobooks I’ve run across are read […]

Last Week

I was on vacation in Maine last week. I logged in here, posted a pre-written article, and responded to a few comments, but otherwise stayed away from email and blogs. I’ll write up a full travelogue of my trip this weekend or next week, including a few photos. The alien rover has already broadcast one […]

Review: Classic Science Fiction, Volume 5

Classic Science Fiction, Volume 5 I didn’t enjoy this volume as much as Volume 3 or Volume 4. The Wall by Howard Graham (1934) — A scientist puts a super-special lacquer on a square of material, causing a 200 mile long force field to bisect Manhattan. He and another scientist spend the rest of the […]

Review: Classic Science Fiction, Volume 2

Classic Science Fiction, Volume 2 I picked up several of these Classic Science Fiction collections at Audible when they were on sale. Since I’m very busy this month, I thought it would be a good time for some short listens and short reviews.  Each of the collections I purchased consists of three short stories: Proof […]

Review: The Awakening

The Awakening One dung Beetle (1 out of 4 rating) Abducted humans wake up aboard an alien spaceship. The aliens have been collecting apex predators from various planets, but for some reason the predators are waking up and running loose on the ship. Plus, an automated defense system is trying to kill all life on […]

Review: Heirs of Empire

Heirs of Empire I found Heirs of Empire when I was searching for a novel to nominate for The Planetary Awards. The book has a reasonably interesting plot: a military coup knocks out most of a ruling dynasty, the youngest members of the dynasty escape, and the dynasty’s allies lay a foundation for its return […]

Review: Armada

Armada Two nuclear missiles (2 out of 4 rating) I read Armada as part of my search for a 2015-published novel worthy of a Planetary Awards nomination. I place it third out of the five traditionally-published novels I read. If Armada had been indie-published, I also would have placed it squarely in the middle of […]

Rath’s Deception – my choice for best self-published novel of 2015

Last week, I posted my nomination for the Planetary Awards in the short story category. In that post, I mentioned that I found a couple of surprise gems in my December novel-reading binge. The best of these was Rath’s Deception by Piers Platt. I wasn’t familiar with the author, and the polished writing and page-turning quality […]

My 2015 Planetary Awards Nominations

The 2015 Planetary Awards have three categories open for nominations: shorter story (including novelettes and novellas), traditionally published novel, and self-published / small press novel. It wasn’t too hard for me to find a short story nominee. I’ve read a dozen 2015 science fiction magazines as part of my magazine quest, and I’ve also read […]

Review: The Lies of Locke Lamora

The Lies of Locke Lamora Two nuclear missiles (2 out of 4 rating) The good news: this novel has a great story. The bad news: most of that story is in the last third of the book. MINOR SPOILERS BELOW – ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK The book gets off to a promising start, as […]

Review: Emperor Mollusk versus The Sinister Brain

Emperor Mollusk versus The Sinister Brain Two nuclear missiles (2 out of 4 rating) The recent 4th of July holiday here in the USA brought this book to my mind. The story isn’t set during the Revolutionary War, but in the audiobook, Emperor Mollusk has a British accent, and he fights against The Sinister Brain, […]

Review: The Worms of Heaven

The Worms Of Heaven Three flying saucers (3 out of 4 rating) The Worms of Heaven is the third book in Misha Burnett‘s “Book of Lost Doors” series. I’ve previously reviewed the first two books, Catskinner’s Book and Cannibal Hearts. The stories focus on James, a young man who shares his head with Catskinner, who […]

Status Update

You may have noticed that I’ve been away from the blog for the past month. The fact that 30 days is the minimum time required for aliens to clone a fully-grown human is purely a coincidence. I just had something pop up at work, and then decided to spend my few spare hours planting a […]

Review: Leviathan

The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Leviathan Four Royal Crowns (4 out of 4 rating) I’ve blogged about why I enjoy the Lost Fleet series and why I was disappointed with Steadfast; now I’m glad to see the series got back on track with Leviathan. The novel starts off a bit slow, as the two […]

Review: Cannibal Hearts

Three flying saucers (3 out of 4 rating) Cannibal Hearts is the sequel to Catskinner’s Book, which I reviewed last year. Although paranormal/urban fantasy isn’t my favorite sub-genre, I enjoyed Catskinner’s book. To me, the best aspects of the story were a world where it felt like anything could happen, and the dual nature of […]

Review: The Fallen Race

  Three flying saucers (3 out of 4 rating) Fellow blogger Kal Spriggs responded to my last call for authors, and provided an audiobook version of The Fallen Race. In doing so, he’s given me a bit of a puzzle: I don’t think I can write a one-size-fits-all review; whether you’ll enjoy this story or […]

Review: A World Out of Time

Two nuclear missiles (2 out of 4 rating) When you read a Larry Niven novel, you shouldn’t expect memorable characters. You should expect big-picture science fiction concepts, with characters who serve as vehicles to carry you through the sci-fi landscape. I’m OK with that; I think there’s a place for stories focused on ideas and […]

Calling all Authors

In August, I’ll be making several long international flights, so it’s time to load my kindle and ipod with reading material. If you’re an author and would like me to review one of your stories, leave me a message in the comments section below. If you’d rather speak privately, send me a direct message via […]

Review: Catskinner’s Book

Three flying saucers (3 out of 4 rating) The author of Catskinner’s Book, Misha Burnett, gave me a copy of the audiobook version and asked me to review it. I’ve decided to try something a little bit different with this review, dividing it into the good, the bad, and the ugly. Fortunately, the story pulled […]

Review: Steadfast

Three flying saucers (3 out of 4 rating) This will be a brief review, as I recently posted about things I liked in Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet series. As the Lost Fleet is one of my favorite science fiction series, why didn’t the latest book receive my top rating? My problem is with the structure […]

We have a “winner”

New Beginnings (Vitalis) has won the first Radioactive Dung Beetle Award! I think this victory provides an important lesson for authors: make sure your marketing blurb matches the genre, style, and tone of your story. Don’t bait-and-switch, and don’t assume that the customer has read your previous work and therefore knows what to expect. If […]

First Radioactive Dung Beetle Award

It’s time for Planetary Defense Command’s first ever Radioactive Dung Beetle Award. So far this year, the blog has featured six stories awful enough to be balled up and rolled away by my dung beetles. Now, it’s time to choose the worst of the worst. This will be done in a democratic fashion; it’s your […]

Series Review: The Lost Fleet

Four Royal Crowns (4 out of 4 rating) The Lost Fleet series by Jack Campbell (pen name of John G. Hemry, a retired naval officer) is one of my favorite science fiction works. As a new book in the series (Steadfast) was just released today, I thought this would be a good time for a […]

Seven Cities of Paper

I’ve created a second blog; it is similar to this one except it is for non-fiction, primarily history books. If you have any interest in non-fiction/history, check it out at sevencitiesofpaper.wordpress.com Here at Planetary Defense Command, I try to shine a light on lesser-known writers, focusing on short stories to increase the number of authors […]

Review: Steelheart

Three flying saucers (3 out of 4 rating) I’m not normally into superheroes, but I almost gave this story my very top rating. I’ll discuss why I didn’t at the end of the review (below the triple spoiler dragons), but basically the story just went a chapter too far. If it had ended right at […]

Review: The Dragon in the Sea

Two nuclear missiles (2 out of 4 rating) This is my second discount audiobook by Frank Herbert, the author of Dune. In this story, the western hemisphere is at war with a not-quite-specified coalition of Asian powers that includes Russia. Britain is a nuclear wasteland. The westerners need more fossil fuel, so they’ve been drilling […]

Review: Whipping Star

One dung Beetle (1 out of 4 rating) Audible, the dealer for my audiobook addiction, periodically has deep-discount science fiction sales. During one of the latest, I picked up two books by Frank Herbert, the author of Dune, which I’ve seen reported as the most-loved and the best-selling science fiction book ever. I read Dune […]