Tag Archives: scott brick

So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld

So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld (unabridged audiobook read by Scott Brick; 6 hrs 33 min 6 on discs): Hunter is sort of a Cool Detector – that is, he looks for things that are novel and shoots them off to a certain major brand to see about incorporating it into future designs. The story opens with him meeting Jen, who has tied her shoelaces in a particularly unusual way. When Hunter’s boss disappears, he and Jen find themselves chasing a group of sort-of anarchists. It’s a somewhat interesting take on what makes something “cool” or popular, and why trends fade so quickly, but being someone so totally not fashion-conscious in any form, I couldn’t always relate. I’ve never seen a pair of shoes, for example, that I just had to have. That’s an utterly foreign idea to me. All the same, the story itself was kind of fun and Westerfeld always spins a decent yarn. I just wasn’t the right audience.

The Worthing Saga by Orson Scott Card

The Worthing Saga by Orson Scott Card (unabridged audiobook read by Scott Brick and a full cast; 18.5 hrs on 15 discs): The first half or so of this book is a novella about the life of Jason Worthing, a telepath born thousands of years before. Jason’s world revolves around Somec, a drug that basically puts people into suspended animation and is distributed out based on merit, not money, to preserve the “most valuable” individuals for future generations. The greater the value of the person, the greater the ratio of time asleep to time awake, with the Empress at the highest Somec levels: awake one day for every five years asleep. Like a pebble skipping across a pond, these people skip across time, and ultimately the human race stagnates, as the most innovative minds are never awake long enough to accomplish anything. This is also the story of Jason’s colony started from scratch, the colonists adults with the minds of infants. This part got a little preachy – one of the examples of how degenerate life in the capital city had become was how the citizens found defecation more offensive than fornication – but most of the rest of it was pretty good. The latter half was a bunch of short stories, some retelling tales from earlier in the book, others new stories of Somec. Though some of them were kind of interesting, the addition felt unnecessary. All in all, well, this book passed the time. It wasn’t especially engaging. I find Card to be hit or miss; this wasn’t a complete miss, but it wasn’t a hit either.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

Dune by Frank Herbert

Dune by Frank Herbert (unabridged audiobook read by Scott Brick; 26 hours on 22 discs): It took me a long time to get into this one, but that’s okay because it’s a long book. In many ways this is a political thriller that takes place on a distant planet. Paul, son of Duke Leto, is 15 when his family is transferred to the desert planet known as Arrakis. When a rival baron takes over, Paul and his mother are forced to flee into the desert, where they join with the planet natives. Politics mingle with religion, genetic engineering, prophecy, and the meticulous conservation of water to produce an intricately woven tale in a meticulously detailed world. This level of world-building is on par with Tolkien. However, the story – though unquestionably interesting – has not gripped me so thoroughly that I feel any need to read the subsequent books in the series. But I’m glad to have read this one.

A note on the audio: I’ve listened to a fair number of books narrated by Brick, and while his cadence is predictable and does pretty much no special voices for the characters, I like his performances nonetheless. I do, however, think that including the final appendix (which is basically a glossary) was not such a good idea. It would have been nice to reference while reading the rest of the book, but at the end it felt tedious, and I ended up skipping most of it. The other appendices, on the other hand, were very interesting. Herbert clearly put a lot of thought into the creation of this story’s universe.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Foundation by Isaac Asimov (unabridged audiobook read by Scott Brick): It is rare that I read a story set so far in the future that Earth is practically a myth. This basically means that you can set up human society to be whatever you wish, without the burdens of the history known by the reader. In this case, the human race has grown into a massive galactic empire. Hari Seldon is a prominent psychohistorian, who uses his studies of the past to predict the future. Specifically, he predicts the collapse of the empire, and claims to be creating a great Encyclopedia Galactica to save all the knowledge of man in order to ease the transition after the fall. Frightened by the idea of civil unrest in response to this foretelling, Seldon and his people are exiled to Terminus, a planet far out on the rim of the galaxy. The rest of the book chronicles the next two centuries or so. Much of it was a little slow, since I’m not much for politics, but I very much enjoyed Mayor Hardin. I have the second book in the trilogy on my shelf, but I’m not sure when I’ll get to it. On the one hand, I’m not in any hurry to return to the universe of Foundation, but on the other, the longer I wait the less I’ll remember about Foundation, which will probably make Foundation and Empire more difficult to follow. Heh.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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