Next SFF Author: Anselm Audley
Previous SFF Author: Frank Aubrey

Series: Audio

Speculative fiction in audiobook format.




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The Ecolitan Enigma: An entertaining and thoughtful conclusion

The Ecolitan Enigma by L.E. Modesitt Jr

The Ecolitan Enigma (1997) closes out L.E. Modesitt Jr’s four-book ECOLITAN MATTER series. It’s a direct sequel to The Ecologic Envoy which was published in 1986, so you need to read that book first. The other two books in the series, The Ecolitan Operation (1989) and The Ecologic Secession (1990), take place 400 years earlier with different (but related) characters,


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Grail: A creative conclusion

Grail by Elizabeth Bear

Elizabeth Bear’s Grail (2011) concludes her JACOB’S LADDER trilogy. You’ll first want to read Dust and Chill which describe the generational ship called Jacob’s Ladder and introduce us to the ship’s strange denizens which include the ruling Conn family, various genetically engineered post-human species, and the ship’s fractured god-like AI.

Jacob’s Ladder has finally reached its destination, the planet they call Grail,


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Chill: It’s fun to explore this generation ship

Chill by Elizabeth Bear

Chill (2010) is the second installment in Elizabeth Bear’s JACOB’S LADDER trilogy. It begins immediately after the events of the first book, Dust, which you’ll want to read first.

The story takes place on a dilapidated generation ship called Jacob’s Ladder which has been drifting through space, basically becalmed, for hundreds of years. During that time, due to the effects of nanotechnology, the ship’s denizens have evolved into inharmonious groups of post-human species and society has regressed to a type of feudalism with the Conn family as lords.


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UnDivided: A thrilling finale

UnDivided by Neal Shusterman

With UnDivided (2014), Neal Shusterman rewards fans of his UNWIND DYSTOLOGY with a thrilling and satisfying finale. Readers will need to read the first three novels, (Unwind, UnWholly, and UnSouled) first.

The story picks up where UnSouled left off. Our heroes, Connor, Risa, Lev, Grace, and Cam are desperately trying to fight a batch of newly proposed legislation which gives the government even more power to unwind troublesome teens,


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Lute: A wonderfully written take on folk horror

Lute by Jennifer Thorne

There are many words I could use to describe Lute by Jennifer Thorne. I could say words like “atmospheric” or “haunting.” I could also say “beautiful” or “terrifying.” Lute is a book that evokes many descriptors, but none really captures the story in its totality. The blurb from Tor Nightfire says “Wickerman meets Final Destination.” That description is about as accurate as it gets. 

Lute is an island off the coast of Scotland,


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UnSouled: Shusterman is a good storyteller

UnSouled by Neal Shusterman

The third book in Neal Shusterman’s YA UNWIND DYSTOLOGY is UnSouled (2013). It follows Unwind and UnWholly, and you’ll need to read those first. I almost gave up on this series because I found the premise to be so unlikely but, while Shusterman has not convinced me that many Americans would choose to have their children “unwound” (scrapped for parts, basically), he’s managed, over three books, to build an alternate history that at least has made me seriously consider the possibility and has challenged me to consider the consequences.


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Daybreak – 2250 A.D. (aka Star Man’s Son): Simple and heartwarming

Daybreak – 2250 A.D. (aka Star Man’s Son) by Andre Norton

It’s 2250 A.D., two hundred years after a nuclear holocaust destroyed most life, knowledge, history, and civilization on Earth. Fors, a young man with a mutation that renders his hair silver and his hearing and sight extra keen, is a descendent of a group of scientists who used to do nuclear research before it all went wrong. Fors desperately wants to become a Star Man like his father who died on a quest ten years ago.


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UnWholly: Another exciting UNWIND story

UnWholly by Neal Shusterman

UnWholly (2012) is the second book in Neal Shusterman’s UNWIND DYSTOLOGY. You’ll need to read the first novel, Unwind, first, so I’ll assume you have. This review will contain minor spoilers for that book.

Connor, Risa, and Lev have each escaped being unwound, are hiding from the juvenile authority, and are determined to stop the evil practice of unwinding that their society has embraced. The plot splits into a few subplots as each teenager has their own dangerous road to travel in this installment.


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Heaven’s River: An entertaining Bobiverse story

Heaven’s River by Dennis E. Taylor

Heaven’s River (2021) is the fourth book in Dennis E. Taylor’s amusing and intelligent BOBIVERSE series. You’ll first want to read the previous three books, We Are Legion (We Are Bob), For We Are Many, and All These Worlds, or you’ll be lost. This review will contain mild spoilers for the previous books.

By this point in the Bobiverse timeline,


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Unwind: A gripping story if you can get past the premise

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

In the near future, after a long bloody war between pro-life and pro-choice armies, the United States amended the constitution to ban abortion but allow parents to “retroactively abort” a child between 13 and 18 years old as long as the child was “unwound” in a process that allows the child’s parts to be given to others, like organ donations. In this way, the child isn’t actually killed, but lives on, a technicality that appeases both sides.

You’d think that few parents would opt to unwind their child,


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Next SFF Author: Anselm Audley
Previous SFF Author: Frank Aubrey

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