An SF fable for the young-at-heart from stand-up comedian and satirical song-writer Mitch Benn.
No-one trusts humanity. No-one can quite understand why we're intent on destroying the only place we have to live in the Universe. No-one thinks we're worth a second thought. And certainly no-one is about to let us get off Rrth. That would be a complete disaster.
But one alien thinks Rrth is worth looking at. Not humanity, obviously, we're appalling, but until we manage to kill every other living thing on the planet there are some truly wonderful places on Rrth and some wonderful creatures living in them. Best take a look while they're still there.
But on one trip to Rrth our alien biologist causes a horrendous accident. The occupants of a car traveling down a lonely road spot his ship (the sort of massive lemon coloured, lemon shaped starship that really shouldn't be hanging in the sky over a road). Understandably the Bradbury's crash (interrupting the latest in a constant procession of bitter rows). And in the wreckage of their car our alien discovers a baby girl. She needs rescuing. From the car. From Rrth. From her humanity.
And now eleven years later a girl called Terra is about to go to school for the first time. It's a very alien experience...
Terra is a charming and hilarious satirical fable. A story about how odd and alien we are. And a story about how human odd aliens are. It tells the story of a girl who grows up in a very different world, who gains a unique perspective on our world and a unique perspective on her new home. A girl who can teach us and them a lot. A girl living in an extraordinary world that is spiraling into a terrible war.
©2013 Mitch Benn (P)2013 Orion Publishing Group
Mitch Benn's reading brought even more warmth and humour to the story than the words on the printed page.
Haha, no spoilers, can't tell you. But some of the nods to Douglas Adams' writing raised a smile.
The more obvious 'character' parts, precocious Fthfth, accident-prone Pktk and officious Vstj, add colour to the tale, but the warmth between Terra and Lbbp was beautifully portrayed and, for me, where the performance stood out as more than just a 'reading'.
I had to break my listening into about three sessions, but each time I was impatient to come back to it.
This is a heartwarming story in a similar vein to E. T. and would be a great introduction to sci-fi for a younger audience. Existing fans of the genre and geeks in general will enjoy that the 'sci' in this sci-fi hasn't been sidestepped or excessively dumbed-down.
Highly, highly recommended.
Terra is an engaging story, with engaging characters, set in an engaging universe. I listened right through in just a couple of sittings, and enjoyed it thoroughly. However, (you were expecting a ‘however’, weren’t you?) I did find the language and plot to be aimed at a much younger audience. If you have a 12 year old sci-fi obsessed daughter, she will love it.
Mitch Benn (as you can expect from an accomplished musical stand-up) is expressive and . . can I say ‘engaging’ again? He is more than capable of expressing the many, varying characters in his story through use of different voices and intonations, and has that kind of quirky edge to his voice that keeps a listener interested throughout.
Thoroughly enjoyed Terra. It's a clever story building on some classic ideas from the science fiction genre but producing something fresh and clever at the end...
Can't wait for book 2!
Had not expected a children's book, but the child at heart took to it quickly and enjoyed this alien romp through the meaning of inclusion and exclusion and a lot more else. Better ask the children if I can have the sequel (before they do!).
Tell yourself about us!
Although a little simplistic, the story was fine and the characters not too thin. gonna start in on the sequel and see if things improve.
Loved this. I've always liked the humour of Terry Pratchett but could somehow never quite get on with his novels without quite knowing why. This had so many parallels but filled that mystery gap for me. The narration was excellent and I suspect no-one else could have done this other than the author himself. The characters were good, humour just right and unmistakable elements of Harry Potterness added to, rather than detracted from, the overall flow and feel of the story. Can't wait to hear the next one!
Mitch Benn has done a wonderful job with this story, he has an incredible way of seeing our world from a different perspective and making us see ourselves differently. Terra's humanity is infectious and Mitch Benn has done has beautifully highlighted the best of what we are. A funny story from a funny man. Worth a listen.
The audiobook of Terra isn't available from Audible.US, so it took a small effort to be able to buy it as an American.
I just had to get a passport. Then book a flight to the UK. I flew into Heathrow because there were no direct flights to Manston from Atlanta. Took one of Southeastern's lovely trains to Tunbridge-Wells, where I met with a lovely estate agent and rented a flat. I then just had to open a bank account. Armed with my new card with a UK billing address, I was able to readily purchase both of Mitch's excellent audiobooks.
Would do it again without hesitation.
I enjoyed this book by Mitch Benn very much, and even more so because the audiobook is narrated by him. He has great comedic timing, and gives each character their own voice, so you can follow the story even though some of the alien names could leave one a little lost occasionally. It's also a well written story, by someone who clearly has affection for the genre, and his humour often reminded me of Terry Pratchett, which I don't say lightly. I think this book would be brilliant for younger readers/listeners, but is well written enough to keep adults entertained too.
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