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More of the Best of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Length: 5 hrs and 54 mins
4 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Summary

Who better to narrate today's best science-fiction stories than today's favorite science-fiction stars? This exciting collection features Roger Zelazny's "Permafrost" read by Siddig El Fadil ( Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Orson Scott Card's "Fat Farm" read by Roddy McDowall ( Planet of the Apes), and John Varley's "Options" read by Claudia Christian ( Babylon 5). Robin Curtis ( Star Trek III and Star Trek IV), Terry Farrell ( Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Nana Visitor ( Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), and Wil Wheaton ( Star Trek: The Next Generation) also perform, reading works by Karen Joy Fowler, Lawrence Watt-Evans, Robert Silverberg, Arthur C. Clarke, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and Joe Haldeman.
©1980 by Omni Publications International Ltd.; 1951 by Arthur C. Clarke; 1993 by Joe Haldeman; 1980 by Agberg, Ltd.; 1979 by John Varley; 1988 by Omni Publications International Ltd.; 1985 Karen Joy Fowler; 1987 by Davis Publications; 1987 by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (P)1995 by Dove Audio, Inc.

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

Interesting stories with a minus

The SF&F lives up to its normal high standards with this collection of short stories, but somehow the editor has decided to skip author and title of each story. This detracts from the overall impression. Other than that I feel this is a good read, as long as you're prepared for it to be read as one continouos story.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for John R. Galloway Jr.
  • John R. Galloway Jr.
  • 29-02-08

Just one complaint

This is a fine collection. The narration is also good. The one REALLY annoying characteristic is that there is no break between stories. No announcement of author, title, date etc. The next story just starts in with even less pause than between sentences within a story. If it were not for the fact that the narrator changes, you would not even be able to tell only by listening when one ends and the next one starts.

42 of 42 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Doug D. Eigsti
  • Doug D. Eigsti
  • 16-08-13

Table of Contents (Listed by Audible Chapter)

1 “This is Audible” Introduction.

2 "The Sentinel" by Arthur C. Clarke, read by Siddig El Fadil.

3 "Fat Farm" by Orson Scott Card, read by Roddy McDowall.

4 "Our Lady of the Sauropods" by Robert Silverberg.

5 "Options" by John Varley, read by Claudia Christian.

6 "Why I Left Harry's All Night Hamburgers" by Lawrence Watt-Evans, read by Wil Wheaton.

7 "The Poplar Street Study" by Karen Joy Fowler, read by Terry Farrell

8 "Skin Deep" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, read by Robin Curtis.

9 "Permafrost" by Roger Zelazny, read by Siddig El Fadil.

10 "Feedback" by Joe Haldeman, read by Nana Visitor.


Review of “Options” by John Varley

I wanted to listen to this collection because of one story: “Options” by John Varley. “Options” is one of Varley’s 8-Worlds stories and fits early in the overall chronology, circa 100 O.E., Occupation Earth. Varley handles the subject of what would happen to society if easy, safe and completely reversible sex-changing were to become a reality. When this was written in 1979 is was far more shocking and fantastic that is may seem today. The wonder of the story is that Varley manages to take the reader, or listener in this case, from the initial reaction of shock and disgust to the point of empathy for the sex-changing character. Varley is one of the science fiction greats. Listen to this story and you will hear why.

32 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Meade
  • Meade
  • 29-11-10

Needs a pdf download to track book titles/authors/

I agree with another reviewer in that there is no way to know the title and author of the short story, or for that matter who is narrating. A break between stories and an introduction to identify the narrator would be a welcome enhancement. Most books on tape have this feature, and this shortfall is somewhat frustrating when trying to identify selections from a collection.

If nothing else, to have a pdf document posted to the site with this information would be tremendously helpful.

Other than that shortcomming, the stories met my expectations of these well known authors. The stories spark imagination and easily transend the decades since they were created and are every bit as entertaining today.

The writing is great, the naration is entertaining; but the lack of knowing exactly what you are listening to detracts from the entertainment value.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mark Costlow
  • Mark Costlow
  • 14-05-16

Good material, horrible production

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

1. Announce the story titles and authors2. Better audio quality

What did you like best about this story?

Great stories from some of my favorite authors

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of the narrators?

No changes

Any additional comments?

I gave this a 1-star review because I would rather not have purchased it. The audio quality is very poor (it sounds like the narrators are calling from the 1970's over a bad transatlantic phone call).But the worst thing about it, as several others have pointed out, is the lack of breaks between stories, and the inexplicable omission of story titles and author credits. How on earth did this get into production without those key elements?

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-04-08

Nice Road Trip Book

I enjoyed this audio book and was entertained on my extended drive to Atlanta. I agree with the other reviewer on the transition between stories; there is none, one story ends the next begins. Was not too big of a deal but I found myself wondering what was the title to that story and is that really Roddy McDowall??? I also had problems with the volume of the narration being different from one story to the next. The stories wont blow your mind however, it was worth the one credit for entertainment value.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dan
  • Dan
  • 14-12-04

Despite it's less than stupendous ratings...

I enjoyed this audiobook a lot. The narration was done by familiar voices. It was acted out rather well. The content was great as well. The only complaint I had was that two stories were louder than the other. I would turn the volume up pretty loud (being on the freeway and all...) and then have to turn it down when it went on to a louder story. But only one narrator was loud and she did two stories, so it's not much of a complaint.

14 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for GLENNO
  • GLENNO
  • 08-01-19

Two excellent stories and some terrible ones

I had to give it a 3 even though two of the stories were excellent. The bad ones brought it down.

The Sentinel (Arthur C. Clarke)
Well-written and interesting story of an Earth-man’s encounter on the moon. (3 stars out of 5)

Fat Farm (Orson Scott Card)
Gross and dumb (1/5)

Our Lady of the Sauropods (Robert Silverberg)
If nature eventually fixes its mistakes, this one is a doozy! (4/5)

Options (John Varley)
A stupid story but a topic definitely relevant to society today. A technological trip to logical conclusions and their ultimate downsides. But the story itself tries to take all sides. (1/5)

Why I Left Harry’s All Night Hamburgers (Lawrence Watt-Evans)
AWESOME story! It’s all about perspective. (5/5)

The Poplar Street Study (Karen Joy Fowler)
How would you react to becoming a lab rat? (4/5)

Feedback (Joe Haldeman)
Interesting technology in a not bad story. (3/5)

Permafrost (Roger Zelazny)
Cool story that could have been an episode of Westworld. (4/5)

Skin Deep (Kristine Kathryn Rusch)
Excellent story about a family of colonists from Earth. (5/5)

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Janet
  • Janet
  • 12-07-10

More of the Best not the best

I have only listened to the first three stories and am immensely disapponted .. not in the reading which is very good, not in the literature which is very entertaining, but in the audio book itself. This is a book of short stories, but the presentation lacks titles, authors and readers for each story. Very confusing to listen to, so it really detracts from the enjoyment.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ecualegacy
  • Ecualegacy
  • 25-05-19

Truly some of the best

Don't let the poor audio quality (and a few duds) stop you from listening to this collection--there is something here for everyone. My favs: The Sentinel, Fat Farm, Why I left Harry's All-Night Hamburgers, The Poplar Street Study, and Feedback.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Scott M. Nash
  • Scott M. Nash
  • 29-11-17

Great Stories, great performances, terrible production values.

Excellent selection of stories, great narraters. Should’ve been a five star review. But the entire production was horrible. Sounds like it was recorded over a phone. No introductions, not even title (I recognize most of the stories and they are fantastic - Especially Clarke’s Sentinel, and Varley’s Options.). Still, I highly recommend this audiobook for its content, if not it’s quality.