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Dark Eden | [Chris Beckett]

Dark Eden

A marooned outpost of humanity struggles to survive on a startlingly alien world. John Redlantern, one of the 532 degenerating descendants of two marooned space explorers, will break the laws of Eden, shatter the Family and change history. He will be the first to abandon hope, the first to abandon the old ways, the first to kill another, the first to venture into the Dark, and the first to discover the truth about Eden....
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Publisher's Summary

Dark Eden was shortlisted for the BSFA Best Novel award, and was the winner of the 2013 Arthur C. Clarke award.

A marooned outpost of humanity struggles to survive on a startlingly alien world. John Redlantern, one of the 532 degenerating descendants of two marooned space explorers, will break the laws of Eden, shatter the Family, and change history. He will be the first to abandon hope, the first to abandon the old ways, the first to kill another, the first to venture into the Dark, and the first to discover the truth about Eden....

Chris Beckett is a university lecturer living in Cambridge. He has written over 20 short stories, many of them originally published in Interzone and Asimov's. In 2009 he won the Edge Hill Short Story competition for his collection of stories, The Turing Test.

©2013 Chris Beckett (P)2013 Audible Ltd

What the Critics Say

"A classic theme, beautifully told" (Sunday Telegraph)

"Brilliantly brought to life by Chris Beckett, a dazzlingly inventive science-fiction writer... superbly well paced and well written, packed with ideas" (A.N Wilson, Reader's Digest)

"Human plight and alien planet are both superbly evoked in a captivating and haunting book" (Daily Mail)

"Dark Eden is an incredible novel" (SFBooks)

"Dark Eden is stunningly written" (SciFiNow)

"... a strong contender for science-fiction novel of the year...There's no justice if Dark Eden, with its beautiful, terrifying planet, slowly revealed, fails to bring Beckett awards." (Sunday Times)

"... a superior piece of theologically nuanced science fiction... I for one would relish reading a sequel" (Guardian)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (60 )
5 star
 (14)
4 star
 (32)
3 star
 (9)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (2)
Overall
3.9 (53 )
5 star
 (11)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.0 (55 )
5 star
 (19)
4 star
 (20)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
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  •  
    Stephen Urmston, United Kingdom 24/10/2013
    Stephen Urmston, United Kingdom 24/10/2013 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    31
    8
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    Story
    "It just ended ..... what?"
    Would you try another book written by Chris Beckett or narrated by Oliver Hembrough and Jessica Martin ?

    I liked the idea and concepts in the book, the narration was good and painted the story well. But as it reached its climax .... it just ended, literally mid sentence. I was so disappointed! I even re-downloaded the chapters to make sure I'd not been mistaken, nope that was it.

    It had good promise, but ended up being a waste of time and money. Real Shame.


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristina Belyk 05/06/2014
    Kristina Belyk 05/06/2014 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Gripping story set in a beautiful unusual world."
    What did you like most about Dark Eden?

    On surface level - a thrilling story told in a beautiful and imaginative way. Going deeper, it says so much about life and human character, the structure of society, history... I love a story that makes me think!


    What other book might you compare Dark Eden to, and why?

    Dark Eden is hard to compare - if you love science fiction, you will find links to so many books, yet nothing quite like it.


    Which character – as performed by Oliver Hembrough and Jessica Martin – was your favourite?

    I love how all characters are so transcendent - they all change, cross boundaries, rise and fall, play heroes and villains. It so profoundly reflects the nature of being human, the way people never stay the same, they get wiser, make mistakes, become kind, lose hope, ever-changing. A nice change from the flat characters of countless novels.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I earned a gold all-nighter badge from Audible listening to this! Therefore, you can imagine how hooked I was.


    Any additional comments?

    Loved it! And don't listen to any comments that complain of the abrupt ending - the ending is perfectly placed and timed. There was no more to tell.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Banchory, United Kingdom 01/02/2014
    Mark Banchory, United Kingdom 01/02/2014 Member Since 2006

    MSB

    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
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    39
    24
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    Story
    "A Dark Ending Indeed"

    This is a well written story by a talented author - I enjoyed the thoughtfully developed theme. I saw the book was coming to an end and was natually expecting there to be a sequel - but there appears to be no sequel and the book just seemed to stop. I had the feeling that the author just got bored with his work.The official critics out takes appear to suggest the book is excellent and make no mention of the abrupt ending. Perhaps I am so use to SciFi authors writing endless shaggy dog stories volume after volume, that I natuarally expected a follow on. Anyway - enjoyable while it lasted, can do better! Please be a little more friendly to the reader or listener next time. I found the reading to be good, and matched the mood of the story well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. M. York Manchester, UK 25/01/2014
    D. M. York Manchester, UK 25/01/2014 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A good story with a very abrupt ending"
    Where does Dark Eden rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is a very interesting story told in a very accessible way. Though it is in essence a science fiction story, because of the way that it is told and that it doesn't in any way focus too heavily upon fantasy or science it is quite accessible. Indeed it is told on an alien world, though it is quite easy to overlook that fact since it focuses 80% of the attention upon the characters and their exchanges and interactions.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Dark Eden?

    That would be difficult to say without betraying a rather huge twist in the story.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The performance is very clear and easy to listen to, though there are some occasions where it comes across a little bit too clearly and almost feels as though it is a children's book that is being read. Though otherwise the narration was quite good.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    As aforementioned, that would be difficult to say without giving away big parts of the storyline.


    Any additional comments?

    Though this was a very enjoyable audio-book and the story and characters were all very good, the ending was quite terribly abrupt, to the point that I had to double check that there was not still another chapter to play or another part of the book to download. It seemed almost as though it finished mid-sentence, and you are left with many questions that can never be answered.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dr 15/12/2013
    Dr 15/12/2013 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Gripping Modern Sci Fi"
    What made the experience of listening to Dark Eden the most enjoyable?

    It's a fresh take on the genre, starting with a previously considered idea of a population abandoned following an exploration from earth but looking at the development in a manner similar to classics like Lord of the Flies


    What other book might you compare Dark Eden to, and why?

    Lord of the Flies or Earthsearch


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes, good narration bringing characters to life.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    My Lord we're flying in space


    Any additional comments?

    Chris Beckett is an exciting writer well worth keeping an eye on. I'm looking forward to more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Duncan kirkcaldy, fife, United Kingdom 26/10/2013
    Duncan kirkcaldy, fife, United Kingdom 26/10/2013 Member Since 2008
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    47
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "There's nothing like it."
    What did you like most about Dark Eden?

    It takes a fairly straight forward idea but the way it is told and written takes my breathe away. There is so much to it and yet it is simply told. The style of writing is unique but chosen with a reason that slowly emerges. I needed 30 minutes to 'tune in' to this book (I don't usually need that) but then I was hooked.


    What other book might you compare Dark Eden to, and why?

    I have absolutely nothing to compare this book to.
    It is like a 21st Century Rudyard Kipling except he didn't write Sci Fi.


    Which character – as performed by Oliver Hembrough and Jessica Martin – was your favourite?

    John. The world does have a few people like this.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It's a deep book and yes, pretty dark!


    Any additional comments?

    The portrayal of the dark world really works on audio book. There is so much this book gets right, everyone should read it (though not young children).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ant St Albans, United Kingdom 20/09/2013
    Ant St Albans, United Kingdom 20/09/2013 Member Since 2012

    I dance around and sing a song and know that I can do no wrong.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A differently told tale that held my interest"

    I found this story to be very much a look at the different characters of people in a group. From that perspective I found it quite interesting. The story itself was a believable mixture of things which happened to give the characters something to react to and things that logically follow from the actions of the characters.

    The narrative is from the first person perspective of members of the groups and that really helps with bringing out their inner thoughts. Often the same event is seen from multiple perspectives. I found that this device worked quite well and never felt the need to "get on with the story".
    I liked this book in a large part because of it's novelty value, it's always nice to read something a little different if it's well done.
    The story is narrated by two people and I found both very easy to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Keeble Hampshire, England 01/09/2013
    Daniel Keeble Hampshire, England 01/09/2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Compelling characters on a rogue planet"

    This story has a great stage. A rogue planet: A planet without a sun where the majority of life on the planet has evolved bioluminescence to survive. There are some good compelling character arches and the plot continues to move throughout.

    Performances from both narrators are great. Their voices clearly define different characters and have the range from young to old making both sound comfortable. One little thing that did annoy me is that the characters in the book repeat words to emphasise (saying "cold cold" rather than "really cold") and each narrator delivers this in different ways. Would've been nice to have consistency (I prefer the man's delivery) but this is a very little niggle.

    A great read (listen).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel 01/07/2013
    Daniel 01/07/2013

    I am a sci-fi and fantasy fan

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very well put together and enjoyable!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Dark Eden to be better than the print version?

    I think the readers performances added an extra dimension to an already good experience!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    The story flowed very well and held my interest constantly. Definitely a book I could listen to in one sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    This story is an excellent example of a well balanced book. It combines an interesting concept and situation in a not to unlikely future with excellent characters, well paced storyline and good plot.
    I was very pleasantly surprise with this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-9 of 9 results
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  • Andrew Pollack
    Cumberland, Maine USA
    20/06/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great character piece, fascinating world, poor end"

    The book starts a bit slow and it's a very unusual kind of story, but you get into it fairly quickly. The bulk of the book is a great character study, with very real young people in it, but the end fell apart. Even without changing the plot, the end could have been written better.

    Much of the subject matter is too adult for the rest of the book. That's not to say it didn't belong there. I think it was well treated and necessary for the story. The problem is that in every other respect it would be a great bit of young adult science fiction -- the adolescent exploration of a new environment, the rebellion against the enforced status quo, etc. are all staples of good YASF; but there's just too much content that I'd say most parents would want to wait for late teens (at least) before being comfortable with the kids getting to deep into.

    The story was well read, and the subject matter well treated for all that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-1 of 1 results

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