Colonial Union Ambassador Ode Abumwe and her team are used to life on the lower end of the diplomatic ladder. But when a high-profile diplomat goes missing, Abumwe and her team are last-minute replacements on a mission critical to the Colonial Union's future. As the team works to pull off their task, CDF Lieutenant Harry Wilson discovers there's more to the story of the missing diplomats than anyone expected... a secret that could spell war for humanity.
The B-Team is a tale from John Scalzi's The Human Division, a series of self-contained but interrelated short stories set in the Old Man's War universe.
Listen to the complete edition of The Human Division, the fifth full-length book by John Scalzi in the Old Man's War universe.
©2012 John Scalzi (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
This is the second audio book/story i have listened too, and i have to say that so far i am rather impressed by audiobooks. I chose this "Book Segment" due to its price more than anything. it was cheap and therefore i could experience another story in this format without it costing a small fortune, less about pointless background and more about "The B Team by John Scalzi Narrated by William Dufris "
Story - In this short story Scalzi provides an interesting (it wasn't hugely original or unpredictable), relatively fast paced, introduction to the "The Human Division" and the "Old Mans War Universe." I felt the story was clever and explained some complicated ideas (How the ships "skip" the idea Scalzi uses instead of warp speed or the jump gates in babylon 5) really well and never dips into complex explanations. Which at least for me, is a real blessing.
my only criticisms really are: 1) i wasn't really surprised by anything and could see how the story was going to pan out. 2) This is probably due to the short story nature i felt that although i got to know Wilson and the other central characters reasonably well (and i hope these characters return through future episodes) i feel the wider universe is still a bit of a mystery to me...
Narration - I agree with some of the other reviewers, William Dufris is a fantastic narrator that captures the mood and feeling of the story and then relays that back, whether it be a conversation or description. i will be looking for other books that he narrates as he is a pleasure to listen too.
I immediately downloaded and listened to the next volume which is even shorter but just as sweet. This series is starting off well i recommend!
Say something about yourself!
It made me chuckle quite a lot - there's a fair amount of humour in it. This is helped by the narrator who does a good job. As someone else mentioned, the word "said" can become extremely annoying - and it IS unnecessary on quite such a scale. I have (perhaps rashly) bought the rest of the episodes whilst on sale as the length of the stories will be good for a short trip/listen.
Pretty much a short story, this took a morning to listen to and I quite enjoyed it, I think I'd have enjoyed it less as a traditional book since the constant (and I mean constant) "he said" lines would likely have driven me to distraction. Oddly, read out loud, that works better than it does when you're reading it.
An enjoyable, if very short, introduction to a series.
Good interesting short story, good humor, interesting characters and plot. Audio quality is OK, all words are heard clearly. It is well read with different accents given to each character to the extent that the word 'said' need not be used so often and it is used a lot, annoyingly so at times. But still a good listen on my journey to work.
I listen rather than read on train journeys as I can't stand being jostled by other travelers, and walking & listening is so easy
While the story is good, but not brilliant, what makes this book is the narrator, he is just INCREDIBLE, from the inflections of his tones during descriptions of actions, to the way that the characters talk, the diversity of the characters, I can't believe how good he is - I would find other books that he reads just to hear how he reads them!
I will be getting the other parts of this series to see where the story goes (quite a good setting), and to see where the characters develop, I'm loving Wilson, especially the way he's given depth by William Dufris' reading
Since this is small & quite cheap, it's a good way to dip into a new story, but a fabulous way to find a great narrator
If the story was more engaging this would get 5 stars, but as it is I'll give it 4, and most of that is from the reading
An interesting story and good characters saved the rather clunky writing and narrating styles.
As previous reviewers have noted there is a lot of repetition of "said" - "[character name] said... [other character name] said..." and on and on for large sections of dialogue. It felt like the author wasn't confident enough that his writing would make it obvious who was speaking and chose to state it with every line so there could be no confusion. Instead it just distracted from what the characters are actually saying and is especially wearying when each line of dialogue is short.
This idiosyncracy also crept into non-dialogue prose: "the object was displayed on the display [... ] he saw it clearly on the display". I'm not a fan of writers who have obviously over-consulted the thesaurus for the sake of it but sentences like that can really distract from the listening experience and jarred me out of paying attention to the story as I mentally winced :-)
The narrator, while good overall, had a strange habit of *really* enunciating some sounds (very hard Ts and Ks) while mumbling others ("earth" sounded like "er").
Despite all this I did enjoy this audiobook and will be purchasing further episodes in the series. Now that I know what to expect from both author and narrator I think I'll be better able to ignore their personal tics and have a more immersive experience.
I don't have time to review all thirteen episodes of The Human Division but they are all great.
They are a loosely linked set of short stories with mostly the same set of characters. My favourite is the amazing and amusing Harry Wilson. William Dufris does a great job of bringing the characters to life. I have now just bought the book - paperback as unfortunately no Audible edition yet- of The Old Man's War by John Scalzi, the book set in the world where these episodes are based. Go ahead and give one ago- they are short and cheap so worth a try.
SciFi & Fantasy Fan. I like happy endings!
The story is simple, but interesting. It reminds a little bit the of the stories of the galactic diplomat James Retief (Keith Laumer).
I'm looking forward on how the authors develops the plot and the figures!
"Whole Series – Just OK"
This is a single review of all 13 episodes. The narration is very good throughout all the episodes.
I really enjoyed Old Man’s War and several other Scalzi novels, but The Human Division stories left me a bit unsatisfied. These were not at all bad stories and included pleasant story elements, humor, and sarcasm but lacked the touching aspects and strong story that made Old Man’s War more fulfilling. The Human Division was 13 short stories weakly bound together, lacking the character development and cohesion of a novel. This felt a little like a bunch of episodes of a TV series with a strong world framework and continuing characters, but lacking a strong continuing story. I was quite annoyed using the iPhone Audible app where titles are shorted excluding the episode number, and the episode details don’t include the episode number, so I had to query the internet to figure out which title to listen to next.
"Best $0.69 spent in a long time..."
A great first episode. I wish Ep.2 was already out.
"Obumwe said, Eagan said, Wilson said, Rickney said"
Can't say, I haven't read the print version. But, I really enjoyed the audio performance.
Ambassador Baer's demise.
Just liked the whole shebang! Love the snappy banter.
One of the beauties of a well performed audiobook is that with the different vocal characterizations the listener doesn't have to be told who is saying what. I really enjoy John Scalzi's work, but, can somebody (like his editor, maybe) please tell him to cut out the innumerable "he said" and "she said"'s? It's like almost as annoying as like, you know....like, you know?
You read previous books and you know how it ended.
Trading was established and Earth's Iron Curtain was finally dropped.
and everybody lived happily ever after? NO, YOU ARE WRONG !
It's time for some reality Injection.
"Great Short Story (and for 51 cents!)"
Short but very entertaining sci-fi. Not a complicated performance, but it was well done.
This is my second Scalzi book (the first was a much longer Fuzzy Nation). He writes with constant "he said" "she said" at the end of sentences which gets annoying, but his stories are good enough that you still enjoy them.
I plan to listen to all the books in his Human Division series.
"Monsieurs Scalzi & Dufris: Well Played Sirs"
I will certainly listen to it again. Scalzi's stories are enjoyable to reread, and Dufris hits all the notes perfectly. I might just go listen to it again when I finish this review. The nice thing about Scalzi is that the story is fun even when you know exactly what is going to happen. Speaking of which, as Scalzi has warned, this series does contain spoilers for the Old Man's War books. If you already know Scalzi, it's moot. You've already read that series and you've probably already purchased this audiobook because Scalzi just rocks. But if you don't know Scalzi and don't want to risk a credit on Old Man's War, my advice would be to buy this audiobook (I mean, 99 cents) and listen to chapter 1 (about 15 minutes) which doesn't give away any major prior events and/or characters. If you like it, you are going to like the Old Man's War books, so go ahead and beg, borrow or steal three credits and listen to the following: Old Man's War/The Ghost Brigades and The Lost Colony before finishing the rest of The B Team. (And if you got so engrossed in the story that you forgot to stop listening after fifteen minutes, never mind. Spoilers aren't so bad.)
Harry Wilson! Who else? That guy is just fun to be around.
William Dufris has narrated three of the four books in Old Man's War. He was a great choice and I'm glad he is narrating this series as well.
As with all Scalzi, there's a moment when I settle back with a satisfied sigh. For Red Shirts, he had me at "The rich are different." This time it happened while the ship was readying itself for a skip drive & Scalzi was judiciously sharing enough backstory so newcomers could keep up. Though he never took his eyes off the dialogue, he had a small smile on his face that we old Scalzi fans knew was meant for us. It told us he knew we knew all this stuff and to just relax & enjoy the ride. :)
Scalzi wrote a short story called After the Coup which features these characters & which takes place shortly before the events in The B Team. The ebook version is on Amazon (http://amzn.com/B003V4B4PM) and I wish there were an audio version. Pretty please?
So I don't bother with anthologies. They are always filled with maybe one story I would like to read and 4 or 5 I do not care about at all, or even worse a couple of stories I have already read for free on the authors website. Anthologies have always seemed to me like something a publisher would do for the sole purpose of making monies and not really something authors would do to release their scribblings (and make money).
But this, this I can get behind. 50 cents for 2 hours of Scalzi. Sign me up
Just make sure you do NOT spend a credit on this, that would be a terrible idea.
Oh yeah, the story is ok too. It is more than ok for 50 cents anyway.
"Grew tired of waiting for more chapters"
The series started off well enough, but I grew tired of waiting for more episodes to come out. The piecemeal release of each episode is how tv networks operate, I don't want the same thing in my books.
The first book in the series.
My extreme reaction caused me to preorder the whole series.
After the ninth episode, I canceled the rest. I decided not to put up with having to wait. If a full book is published, I'll be one of the first to order it.
"Nice Start To A New Series"
This book is a great start to a new saga. It has very good Narration, and a good story. The story does NOT have all that Unnessary crap a lot of books have. You know a lot of everything you don;t need to know or care about just to fill a book. I will now start the next book in this great saga!
"Good story, alittle short"
nice short story, it left me wanting more of this little group.
I think I almost did this one in one sitting.
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