Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net


Archive for the 'Audio Books' Category

Audiobook of The Last Good Man is here!

Saturday, July 8th, 2017

I’ve been waiting for the audiobook to release — I was hoping to include an announcement in a newsletter I sent out yesterday — but I’d had no word on the release date and when I last checked Audible it wasn’t there. I guess I missed it by a few hours, because in an email last night someone told me he had picked up the audiobook.

So it’s available! Narrated by Liisa Ivery. The sample sounds good and I’m looking forward to listening to the full story.

Click here to find it on Audible.

Click here to find it on Amazon.

Recommended Audiobook:
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Friday, January 13th, 2017

The full title of Trevor Noah’s childhood memoir is Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood. I picked this audiobook because it had been named a best book of the year by several publications, and because the sample I listened to hooked me immediately.

I can’t say I was a fan of Trevor Noah before this. Really, I knew almost nothing about him except that he was the new host of The Daily Show. But I’m a fan now.

Trevor Noah reads the audiobook himself. He has a wonderful voice and is multilingual, speaking not just the various accents of the characters in the story, but also speaking brief sentences in native languages as he narrates incidents.

The title, Born a Crime, refers to Trevor himself. He was born under apartheid, the son of a black woman and a white man — his very existence evidence of an illegal act — and for the first several years of his life his parents hid him from officials and nosy neighbors.

The quality of the storytelling in this book is amazing. Trevor relates many experiences, beginning in his childhood and progressing through the start of his career as a comedian. Throughout, he reflects with great insight, intelligence, and empathy on what he’s seen and what he’s done. He speaks truths without outrage, but rather in a “let’s talk, let’s get real” style that is easy to listen to, but still powerfully communicates the hardships and the challenges faced by those who endure bigotry, poverty, and destructive cultures. He delves into issues of misogyny and the rights of women, and the incredible strength, independence and stubbornness of his own mother. He discusses racism, skin color, apartheid, poverty, education, the police, life in an abusive home, and making a living when your options are few.

Despite all that, this book is in no sense a downer. Quite the opposite: The strength of spirit and determination that exists in every story that Trevor tells is both inspiring and uplifting.

Highly recommended.

Recommended Reading: Darktown

Friday, November 4th, 2016

darktown_by_thomas_mullenThomas Mullen is the author of Darktown, a novel set in Atlanta shortly after World War II, in a time when black police officers were first allowed to work in the Atlanta Police Department.

Darktown succeeds on multiple levels. First, it’s very well written, with gorgeous detail in both setting and characters, without ever going overboard.

It also works as a straight-up crime novel as police officers attempt to unravel the mystery behind the murder of a young woman.

But the most powerful aspect of the novel for me was the immersion into the violently segregated culture of the deep south during this period of history. The oppression and brutalization of black communities is rendered in detail, but what’s also made clear is how difficult it is to change the status quo when ordinary citizens, including law enforcement, fully support the authoritarian culture and are thoroughly trained to crush any dissent. Yes, this novel is a well-timed reminder of what authoritarianism and bigotry mean for a society.

Despite this, Darktown is not a “downer.” It’s a fascinating, well-told tale of courage.

I listened to the audio edition. I really enjoyed the narrator’s voice, finding it both pleasant to listen to and easy to understand, with the drawback that the voices of the different characters tended to sound the same, and at several points I wasn’t sure who was speaking.

In my own writing, I’ve begun using more speech tags – he said / she said – since I started listening to audiobooks. Speech tags aren’t always necessary if you’re reading text. If two characters are in conversation, a paragraph break indicates when a different character is speaking. But a listener can’t see this, so additional speech tags can be necessary for clarity. Something to keep in mind, for those of you who write.

Links, News, and Recommendations

Sunday, September 4th, 2016

Links
It’s easy to tell when I’m trying to catch up on my nonfiction reading — that’s when I start posting links here.

At USNI News, Megan Eckstein has an article titled “CMC Neller: Marines Now Training to Battle Drones, Fight Without Comms”, which is a pretty interesting look at exactly what the title says, and has some intersections with events in The Red trilogy — particularly the last action sequence in Going Dark.

And on a completely different subject, “The Cost of Holding On” is a short post at The New York Times by Carl Richards, offering some excellent advice on letting go of grudges:

“There is an actual cost to holding onto things we should let go of. It can come in the form of anger, frustration, resentment or something even worse. The question is, can you really afford to keep paying the bill?”

I’ve seen people hold on tight to the memory of slights, and to grudges that are twenty, thirty, forty years old, or more. It’s not worth it, folks. All that energy spent on resentment could be so much better spent in positive ways.

Recommended Audiobook
My latest audiobook rave is Bruce Schneier’s Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Capture Your Data and Control Your World. This is a nonfiction read, exploring the remarkable extent of government and corporate surveillance and data collection in the modern world. The book was originally published in 2014. In the realm of technology a two-year-old book might be suspected of being dated, but this one felt utterly relevant. I found it fascinating.

Rebis edition - Polish language - The RedNews
The Nanotech Succession Omnibus is an ebook that includes my first four novels, all taking place in a shared story world. The omnibus has been available at my webstore, but it can now be purchased from Kobo if that’s your preferred vendor. Find it here.

The Red now has its second translated edition. The first was Italian. This one is a Polish-language edition by the publisher Rebis. I like that red font on the cover!

Final Work-In-Progress Report + Various

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

Work-In-Progress Report
I haven’t been posting much lately, have I? That’s because I’ve mostly been writing, with time off for workouts — but even the workouts stopped a few days ago as other chores intruded.

Anyway, as noted in the title, this is my last work-in-progress report for the new novel, because that novel is officially “done.”

Of course, in this business there are many phases of “done,” and there will certainly be more revisions to come, but it’s now with my agent, so that’s a draft!

John W. Campbell Memorial Award
The Hugo Awards, given out at Worldcon this past weekend, were casting shade, but the winner of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award was also announced during the convention — and no, it wasn’t me. The award went to Eleanor Lerman for her novel Radiomen. Congratulations to Eleanor! As it turns out, Going Dark was tied for second place alongside Adam Roberts’ The Thing Itself.

Follow this link for details.

Recommended Audiobook
Malka Older’s Infomocracy is a near-future look at politics and the way a global system of “micro-democracies” might work — and of course how people, being people, will attempt to game the system. The story takes place during a world-wide election, held every ten years, in which “centinels” — geographic divisions of a hundred-thousand people — are each choosing new leadership, and there is a lot of competition among the various political groups to pick up these new centinels.

The world building behind Infomocracy is absolutely brilliant and at times some of the observations made in the story are quite funny — but be aware that there is a lot of detail as the characters discuss statistics, voting, and political platforms. Think of Infomocracy as a bureaucrat’s thriller. I won’t be at all surprised to see it on next year’s Campbell Memorial list.

The audio narration is by Christine Marshal and I thought it was very well done.

Giveaway Winners

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

Thank you to everyone who entered to win a set of The Red trilogy audio CDs!

As you may recall, I was giving away one set of audio CDs to a current subscriber to my newsletter, and one set to a new subscriber, who signed up during the contest period.

Twenty-five current subscribers let me know they wanted to participate, and the twelve new subscribers who signed up during this period were automatically entered.

Today I determined the winners. The process I used was to first assign numbers to entries, following the order I received them. Then I sent my son to Random.org and had him generate two random numbers, one for each group.

Josh was the winner for new subscribers, and Barry won among those who are already subscribed. Congratulations to both, and your CDs are on the way.

Audio Giveaway for Newsletter Subscribers

Friday, June 17th, 2016

Earlier this week I was very surprised to receive in the mail a box with CDs of the audio edition of The Red trilogy, as narrated by Kevin T. Collins. Audiobooks of the trilogy have been available as downloads at Audible, but there was no CD edition and I wasn’t really expecting one. I’d been told it might happen, but don’t hold out hope. So it happened! Cool! And now that I’ve received my author copies, I want to do a giveaway of two sets.

If you’re a current subscriber to my newsletter, then check your email (and your spam folder) because you’ve just received an announcement about the giveaway. If you’re interested in participating, reply to that email telling me you want to be entered in the giveaway, and I’ll add your name to the list. One current subscriber will be randomly chosen from those who respond, to win a set of audiobook CDs.

If you’re not a current subscriber, sign up! The second set of CDs will go to a randomly chosen new subscriber. To sign up for my newsletter, fill out that little form in the right-hand column of this blog. You’ll get a verification email from Mail Chimp, which you will need to respond to before you’re actually signed up.

I’ll leave the contest open for entries until the end of June.

If you’re worried that I’ll fill up your inbox with weekly spam, DON’T WORRY. The contest announcement is the first newsletter I’ve sent since Going Dark came out last November. The newsletter is my way of letting you know when I have new stories or novels out, when I’m doing special promotions like this one, or when I have some kind of big news. Five or six newsletters a year would be a lot of newsletters for me. And if you decide you don’t want to read anymore of my work, you can always unsubscribe. 🙂 😀

So sign up!

The Red trilogy - audio CDs

Links and Recommendations

Sunday, March 6th, 2016

As if you don’t already have enough distractions…

I failed to post here at my blog for almost the entire month of February, so I’m making up for it with a flurry of posts in early March. (If posting regularly is the key to building a blog readership, well, that explains a lot.)

Recommended Audiobooks

Hyperion by Dan SimmonsHyperion and The Fall of Hyperion
by Dan Simmons:
These are science fiction classics that I loved back when they were originally published, and they are just as amazing today. Instead of re-reading, I listened to the audiobooks and was extremely impressed by the production. I’ve been listening to audiobooks for only about nine months, and early on I got into the habit of listening at a slightly faster than normal speed, usually 1.25x, unless I really wasn’t enjoying a book and then I would shift to 1.5x. But with these books I downshifted to 1.0x because every word is worth hearing. Truly amazing writing, characters, and world building. I’ll be moving on to the next book in the set, Endymion, before too long.

Annihilation by Jeff VandermeerThe Southern Reach Trilogy
by Jeff Vandermeer:
Audible had all three volumes of the Southern Reach trilogy — Annihilation, Authority, Acceptance — in an omnibus edition, available for a ridiculously low one credit, so I decided it was high time I familiarized myself with these much-acclaimed novels. I’m not entirely sure what I expected of the Southern Reach, but I was surprised at what I found. These are “literary” novels. They engage with fine language and description and, especially in the first two books, there is much time spent exploring the odd and troubled pasts of the main characters. At times I found it slow going, and early on I tweeted this:

What kept me going was the truly amazing writing, and a wonderful cast of narrators. As above, I slowed this one down to 1.0x speed, to catch every word, and as the story proceeded, I began to feel I was drawn into a spell of words and insight. I also felt that the quality of my own writing was improving as I continued to listen — a very nice side effect!

Of the three volumes, the third was my favorite. I found it the most engrossing, as some of the mysteries are being worked out. Some reader reviews complained that the ending was too abrupt, but I didn’t find it so. Highly recommended.

Links

• In midFebruary SF Signal published a piece by James Wallace Harris called Staying on the Cutting Edge of Science Fiction. I found it to be an interesting look at how the idea of what constitutes “cutting edge” technology shifts over time and how technologically based science fiction responds to that, especially since this is a subject I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. James suggests that writers wanting to “extrapolate about the impact of real scientific knowledge … can’t let older science fiction cloud their vision.” I think this is a very important point. The post was surrounded by controversy though, because none of the books cited as examples were written by women. I wish it had been different and that the post had included a more varied list of examples. Nevertheless, I thought it was an interesting perspective.

• Yesterday Charles Stross published a very entertaining and thought-provoking piece called Towards a taxonomy of cliches in Space Opera, in which are listed several hundred “already seen it” tropes from science fiction. To my mind, this list is asking a similar question to that above: what’s new? and what’s left to explore in a literary sense?

• And finally, just for fun… this was making the rounds a few weeks ago, but if you haven’t seen it yet, check it out, and know that we are doomed:

Links & News

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

Just a few odds and ends…

* For those who write, Baen Books is holding a short story contest. They’re looking for near-future, humans-in-space themes. Find the details here. Deadline is February 1!

* The New Yorker takes a look at STX Entertainment in their article “The Mogul of the Middle.” It’s a long read, but a fascinating look at how thumbs-up/down decisions get made in the movie business.

* A photo essay on “The Internet” by Peter Garritano, with some background explanation over at The Atlantic.

* It was a nice end-of-the-year for The Red Trilogy. io9.com included it on their list The Very Best Science Fiction And Fantasy Books Of 2015. Bookworm Blues included The Red on her “The Epic Best Books of 2015 List.” Rob Bedford, who reviews for SFF World, put The Red at the top of his “Favorite 2015 Science Fiction Novels.” And Annalee Newitz included the trilogy in her Ars Technica list “All the science fiction books you’ll want to binge read over the holidays.” 🙂

* It’s been many years since I’ve read Dan Simmons Hyperion. I’m revisiting it now in audiobook format, and so far this edition is EXCELLENT. I’ll probably have more to say on it when I’m done, but at this point I’m hugely impressed both by Dan’s story and the production.

Veterans Day Audio Book Giveaway

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

Follow up:
November 12, 2015
This was a fun giveaway that brought a lot of visitors to the blog, though most of you decided not to comment!
::sigh:: But that’s all right. Since there were just six active participants, it was easy for me to give a code to all of them. The emails have already gone out to the address you used when you posted your comment. If you haven’t heard from me, check your spam folder. If you still can’t find the email, contact me at linda at mythicisland dot com (converted to regular email format of course) and I’ll re-send.

A big mahalo (thank you) to all participants, and to everyone who helped boost the signal!

Thank you to those who’ve served and who continue to serve our country this Veterans Day!

Because it’s Veterans Day, and because the audio-book edition of Going Dark has just been released TODAY, I thought I’d do an audio-book flash giveaway. Audible has provided me with download codes. So I’ll be giving away one code for each book in The Red Trilogy — and I want to have three different winners. So enter to win with a comment on this post, letting me know which book you’d like to win — either The Red, The Trials, or Going Dark — and if you’re willing to settle for your second or third choice.

My son-in-law, US Army veteran Edward White, will be selecting the winners. If you’ve got a veteran anecdote to share, he invites you to do so, but it’s not required to enter.

The Audible editions of books in The Red Trilogy are narrated by Kevin T. Collins, and they’re available worldwide where Audible books are sold. I haven’t been told there are any regional restrictions on the code, so do enter even if you’re outside of the United States. You do need to be registered at Audible/Amazon to redeem a code, but you do not need a paid membership plan.

Enter today! Winners will be announced tomorrow, November 12 (Hawaii time). Thanks for participating!

The Red Trilogy Audio Editions