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Gary Sereno

  • 17
  • reviews
  • 29
  • helpful votes
  • 17
  • ratings
  • Data Runner

  • By: Sam A. Patel
  • Narrated by: Vikas Adam
  • Length: 8 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 5

In the not-too-distant future, in what was once the old City of New York, megacorporations have taken over everything. Now even the internet is owned, and the only way to transmit sensitive information is by a network of highly skilled couriers called "data runners" who run it over the sneakernet. It is a dangerous gig in a dirty world, but Jack Nill doesn’t have much choice in the matter.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping story, but more for Hollywood!

  • By Raj Chakraborty on 07-12-18

Written for 12 year olds and hoping for a movie ?

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 27-12-17

For some reason this book appears on a number of cyberpunk must read lists, however I'm not sure why. The story is weak, predictable (with one exception), thin, linear, and unoriginal. It is almost as if the author has been reading books, watching films and TV and thinking 'ooh that scene would work' and then tried to fit them together. It is also written in such a way that you're certain the author is/was looking to write a sequel or a series based on this book, along with a string of movies (or straight to TV movies).

Are there any positives? Well it is very well narrated by Vikas Adam. Can't think of that much else.

  • Gateway

  • By: Frederik Pohl
  • Narrated by: Oliver Wyman, Robert J. Sawyer
  • Length: 8 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 164
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 133
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 131

When prospector Bob Broadhead went out to Gateway on the Heechee spacecraft, he decided he would know which was the right mission to make him his fortune. Three missions later, now famous and permanently rich, Robinette Broadhead has to face what happened to him and what he is...in a journey into himself as perilous and even more horrifying than the nightmare trip through the interstellar void that he drove himself to take!

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Great book, shame it's not genuinely unabridged

  • By Mark Pack on 27-04-11

Truly a Great Story in a Sci Fi Wrapper

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-11-17

I went for this book based on it appearing in top 10/20 cyberpunk and sci-fi lists. It truly deserves it. I'm not sure I'd consider it cyberpunk, but I would not let that put you off. It is original in it story and hard to fault, in fact I don't think i can.

  • Children of Time

  • By: Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • Narrated by: Mel Hudson
  • Length: 16 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,355
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,124
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,118

Adrian Tchaikovksy's critically acclaimed stand-alone novel Children of Time is the epic story of humanity's battle for survival on a terraformed planet. Who will inherit this new Earth? The last remnants of the human race left a dying Earth, desperate to find a new home among the stars. Following in the footsteps of their ancestors, they discover the greatest treasure of the past age - a world terraformed and prepared for human life. But all is not right in this new Eden.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Tchaikovsky is still writing Symphonies!

  • By Simon on 11-05-17

Good book, but at times forced.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-09-17

I do like the concept behind this story and for much of the book it works well. However it at times also feels forced and some of the characters do not seem to fit roles that were meant to have been psychometrically assessed (as is explained behind the selection for one of the characters).
While towards the end it feels expected, partly due to it's forced nature, it also was not wholly predictable, which was nice.
Narration was decent, again not great, but certainly above average, which seems to just fit in with this book.

If you're after an exceptional story, I personally would recommend you give this one a miss, however if you want a decent book, which is slightly different, then this could be a tale for you.

10 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Frontera

  • By: Lewis Shiner
  • Narrated by: Gabrielle de Cuir, Stefan Rudnicki
  • Length: 7 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    2.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    2.5 out of 5 stars 2

After the world's governments collapsed, the corporations took control. Houston's Pulsystems has sent an expedition to the lost Martian colony of Frontera to search for survivors, but Reese, aging hero of the US space program, knows better. The colonists are not only alive; they have discovered a secret so devastating that the new rulers of Earth will stop at nothing to own it.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Writen with a movie and sequels in mind ?

  • By Gary Sereno on 25-09-17

Writen with a movie and sequels in mind ?

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-09-17

Not quite sure what to comment on this one.
The concept sounds interesting.
The narration at first feels weird, but once you're used to it, it does work well.
The story. The story, well it feels forced, it feels as if it was written in a way to make it easy to transition to the big screen, and it was written in such a way as several sequels could be spun off. As a result it just doesn't work for me.

  • Metrophage

  • By: Richard Kadrey
  • Narrated by: Peter Ganim
  • Length: 11 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    2.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars 2

Welcome to Los Angeles - where anger, hunger and disease run rampant. Jonny is a black-market dealer in drugs that heal the body and cool the mind. All he cares about is his own survival. Until a strange new plague turns L.A. into a city of death, and Jonny is forced to put everything on the line to find the cure... if it can be found on Earth.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Highly rated story ? Killed by bad naration

  • By Gary Sereno on 01-02-17

Highly rated story ? Killed by bad naration

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-02-17

I went for Metrophage having read good reviews of it else where and seeing it on a number of must read cyberpunk lists. How good it really is I'm not sure. The story in hindsight was fine, but not great, the main character was a tad flat, but what really ruined this for me was the narration. It is so bad and soulless that at first I thought it was computer generated. It was as if some automated system was being fed the lines. There was no emotion, just a flat, boring, single pace, reciting of words. It did improve later on, but not by much.

If you're tempted by this title and bounce between listening to audio books and reading the physical copies, do the latter.

  • Altered Carbon

  • Altered Carbon, Book 1
  • By: Richard Morgan
  • Narrated by: Todd McLaren
  • Length: 17 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,251
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,181
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,178

Four hundred years from now mankind is strung out across a region of interstellar space inherited from an ancient civilization discovered on Mars. The colonies are linked together by the occasional sublight colony ship voyages and hyperspatial data-casting. Human consciousness is digitally freighted between the stars and downloaded into bodies as a matter of course.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Always interesting!

  • By Jez Cajiao on 19-10-13

Mike Hammer in a Dystopian Future

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-10-15

First off this is more a detective/crime story than sci fi, the latter is very much scene setting and background. It is also very much in the penny/nickel book format that brought us Philip Marlow and Mike Hammer. The story is semi-predictable and follows the standard format that we'd expect for that genre, but as a result it really works.

The start is sci fi, but once it gets going, it's all gum shoe and is both well written and well read. It's not a truly great story, but the way Todd McLaren narrated it is superb - better than Stacy Keach's recent Mike Hammer audio recordings.

Certainly a great way to pass time and worth listening to you if you like this genre of story telling.


  • Dust World

  • Undying Mercenaries, Book 2
  • By: B. V. Larson
  • Narrated by: Mark Boyett
  • Length: 13 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 530
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 496
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 494

The Galactics arrived with their Battle fleet in 2052. Rather than being exterminated under a barrage of hell-burners, Earth joined a vast Empire that spans the Milky Way. Our only worthwhile trade goods are our infamous mercenary legions, elite troops we sell to the highest alien bidder. In 2122 a lost colony expedition contacts Earth, surprising our government. Colonization is against Galactic Law, and Legion Varus is dispatched to the system to handle the situation. Earth gave them sealed orders, but Earth is thirty-five lightyears away.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • More of the same

  • By Gary Sereno on 12-09-15

More of the same

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-09-15

I enjoyed Steel World, even though it was flawed. This book was decent enough, but really it was just more of the same in a different setting with our 'hero' pulling of miracle end results by doing his own thing and getting in to trouble.

As you may guess I'm probably going to park on this one, if you were uncertain about the first book this one will leave you disappointed. There's still a chance I might try the third volume as the stories are not that bad, but not for the moment.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • When the Bough Breaks

  • The Empire's Corps, Book 3
  • By: Christopher G. Nuttall
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 189
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 179
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 179

The Galactic Empire is dying. In their high towers, the Grand Senators plot and struggle to grasp a larger share of power while on the streets, the poor struggle to survive just one more day. Chaos and anarchy are running through the megacities of Earth, while giant corporations tighten the screws and colony worlds plot to declare independence and escape the Empire's increasing demands for resources. Centuries of mismanagement are finally catching up with the human race.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Better than average military sci-fi

  • By Martyn. R. Winters on 25-05-18

Side story that worth it for completion.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-09-15

It's quite hard to judge this one. It's really nothing more than a side story to act as background to the rest of the series. If it adds anything further down that line I do not know.

It is well read and has decent pace, but doesn't grab and feels more like an after thought that was published as it has been done. It's not bad, it's just not that good.

If you enjoy the Empire's Corp series then it is worth it, if after tow books you were thinking of calling it a day, ignore it.

  • Ancillary Justice

  • The Imperial Radch series, Book 1
  • By: Ann Leckie
  • Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
  • Length: 12 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 814
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 764
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 765

The spectacular debut novel nominated for every major science fiction award in 2014, Ancillary Justice is the story of a warship trapped in a human body and her search for revenge. Winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Nebula Award, the British Science Fiction Association Award, a James Tiptree Jr. honour and a Kitschie. Currently shortlisted for the Hugo Awards. They made me kill thousands, but I only have one target now.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Interestingly feminist SciFi

  • By Jonathan on 16-11-14

Once in a while comes a book with rave reviews ...

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-09-15

... that leaves you wondering why.

For around 3/4s to 4/5s of the book it bounces between the past and the present so you know what is happening and why. Nothing so wrong in this but in both cases, at no point is there any pace or excitement. The story just goes on like a second paragraph making you wonder when the story is really going to start. Even when it starts to pick up it still feels flat and unexciting. It's more a fantasy novel with a sci-fi back ground, but again that is no problem if it works, here it's just fluff on the side, what you're left with is almost a monologue.

The final chapter was actually quite good and lead to excitement over the next book, but I won't be going there as that could well be the same, lots of chapters of nothing then one or two leading you on to the next stage.

There is then the actual reading of the story. For the most part Adjoa Andoh does a very god job, however she uses different accents to fit different character backgrounds. One of them is rasta in style and I found that one very hard at times to listen too as words became indistinct. I think at times she was just forcing it too much.

In summary, I for one can not understand the fuss. This is not a well written story with a sci fi background, but more a plod along leaving you trying to stay awake.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Betrayer of Worlds

  • By: Larry Niven, Edward M. Lerner
  • Narrated by: Tom Weiner
  • Length: 9 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 29
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14

Since fleeing the supernova chain reaction at the galactic core, the cowardly Puppeteers of the Fleet of Worlds have - just barely - survived one crisis after another: the rebellion of their human slaves, the relentless questing of the species of Known Space, the spectacular rise of the starfishlike Gw'oth, the onslaught of the genocidal Pak. Now fresh disaster looms, as though past crises have returned and converged. Who can possibly save the Fleet this time?

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Sorry, so very sorry

  • By Nick Evans on 09-02-11

Agree with others. Known Space Series too large

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-08-15

I'm a huge Larry Niven fan, it was him, Isaac Asimov and Michael Moorcock who let me in to the world of Sci Fi while I was a student in the 1980s. I was very happy to find out that Larry Niven had continued the Known Space series in recent years and listened to the first four through my library, but have had to get the 5th (this) and 6th from Audible.

The biggest problem with the whole 'Worlds' series (not Ring World series) is that Larry Niven has tried to do a series of stories from the perspectives of the Puppeteers and also a human race/tribe who have come about through a pre Ring World incident (if you're thinking of listening to this book then you'll have read/listened to the previous 4 and so know the back ground). Problem is the stories tend to delve and mire in Puppeteer politics, not all of which work. This book is no better or worse than the previous ones in the series, but they are not a patch on Niven's writings from the 1970s through to 90s.

If you're a fan then you should listen to this book (through the series) to help complete the over all story, but if you're new to Niven or don not see anything special in his work then it's not worth going through this series.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful