SF Audiobooks

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by TomTB, May 21, 2016.

  1. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    My love/hate relationship with audiobooks is currently in love stage, thanks mostly to the fact I've come to the realisation I much prefer SF audiobooks than I do Fantasy audìobooks.

    Can anyone recommend really well narrated engaging SF audiobooks? I'm currently listening to Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier and really enjoying them.
  2. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

    Because my work is very eyeball intense, I listen to my books far more than read anymore... so I'm an authority on this.:)

    All of Alastair Reynolds' books available on audio have first rate narration; his Revelation Space series are great, but I prefer his standalone work. I can totally recommend Pushing Ice. If you're feeling nostalgic and want to revisit Ringworld, Larry Niven's Ringworld Companion books written with Edward Lerner are also top notch. Larry Niven with a cowriter is much better than Larry Niven left to his own devices, if you know what I mean.o_O
    Fleet of Worlds, Juggler of Worlds, Destroyer of Worlds, Betrayer of Worlds, and Fate of Worlds (FoW, which I've yet to read) are pretty well done, and with excellent narration.
    Books by Charles Stross are also very well done, but don't know if you're into his work?

    Stay well clear of Foundation, by Isaac Asimov. The narration is so bad, and the musical interludes between chapters so bizarre that it's unlistenable.
  3. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    After I re-read Consider Phlebas last May, I re-read it again two more times, where the second time was actually listening to the audiobook narrated by Peter Kenny. I thought he did a smashing job. I particularly liked it because his narration - his cadence and pace - is faster rather than slower.

    Otherwise, I have no experience with audiobooks since I don't really get along with them for fiction. I've tried some non-fiction audiobooks and those have been great. Audiobooks for older SF might be the way to go for you, since I remember you mentioning you find it hard to get along with the older works.
  4. afa

    afa Full Member

    Good book, then?
  5. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Well, yeah. Iain M. Banks (r.i.p.) is one of my favourite contemporary writers, whether he's writing science fiction or more mainstream stuff. But the science fiction is where he really shines, in my opinion. Consider Phlebas is the first published book in the Culture milieu, but it's supposedly the third or fourth written. I'm glad it was published first. It was my introduction into the Culture and I liked it a lot, but I'd always preferred most of his other Culture instalments to this one. Lately though, I've revised my opinion of this book and have kind of obsessively gone back to it. It's the most 'cinematic' of his novels. I've always found certain things a little problematic about it, but these problems matter less the more I think about it. Definitely an epic. Sort of like epic fantasy, but more of a sword-and-sorcery story against the epic backdrop. I wrote up on the book if you want to take a look at it. Should be on the blog.
  6. jo zebedee

    jo zebedee Well-Known Member

    I've never been a big audio listener - I dragged my heels terribly on my poor publisher before finally agreeing to allow the rights to it (and am now very excited about it coming out, having heard it) - but I am planning to change that. I do wonder, though, if there is any producers of audio books considered very strong in that field as a way of ensuring good quality? I've heard of Tantor as a few author friends are with them, but are there others and do they sway your receptiveness to listening to it?

    Also - if I download an audio onto my phone or ipad is the storage on the device or the site? If on the device, doesn't that make it very full? If on the site, if I listen to the audio do I have to stream it to do so?
  7. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks all. I'll definitely try Consider Phlebas (and was considering buying this soon anyhow ..). Think I'll stick to the modern stuff for the most part though, so any post-2000 (ish) rec's would be awesome!
  8. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    You can try listening to it on Youtube to check if you're okay with the narration before purchasing.
  9. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Thank you .. that's a really good tip. A bad/boring narrator really really puts me off, and seriously affects my enjoyment of a story.

    I'm not sure if you can get samplers on Audible (like you can with Kindle) .. will have to check that out ..
  10. R-Hat

    R-Hat Well-Known Member

    Maybe it's off topic, but what do you guys think about voice synthesis? Text to mp3. My strategy is to install some high quality voices and access them through Balabolka (Windows 10 is a big help). I've read many books like that, but only two fiction. Mostly it was books on metaphysics or science that have not much of a story. Obviously I don't have comparison with reading, because I haven't read the books I listened to, it was just one time thing for each. I don't recommend doing that with any prestigious author that you expect to enjoy aesthetically.

Share This Page