by David Brin
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Best-selling, award-winning futurist David Brin returns to globe-spanning, high concept SF with Existence. Gerald Livingston is an orbital garbage collector. For a hundred years, people have been abandoning things in space, and someone has to clean it up. But there’s something spinning a little bit higher than he expects, something that isn’t on the decades’ old orbital maps. An hour after he grabs it and brings it in, rumors fill Earth’s infomesh about an "alien artifact". Thrown into the maelstrom of worldwide shared experience, the Artifact is a game-changer - a message in a bottle, an alien capsule that wants to communicate. The world reacts as humans always do: with fear and hope and selfishness and love and violence. And insatiable curiosity.
Christ on a cracker!
I gave this book a try. Really, I did. Between the horrible narration and the seemingly disjointed story line, however… after 2 hours and 31 minutes of listening, I felt like gnawing on the barrel of a gun.
Epic First Contact
Awesome array of concepts about the "empty sky" puzzle: where is everybody? Pulling together around a dozen different stories, it takes a while to come together, but pays off well enough. Thick with ideas regarding potential alien strategies and the endless pitfalls of technological advances.
Disappointed is an understatement
I loved all of his books, the Uplift Series, Sundiver, The Postman. I'm also an avid listener of audiobooks (an hour commute each way). I don't recall ever having stopped listening and just left a book. This is the exception.
Narration is horrible. The first narrator overacts to the point of hilarity. There's another who is constantly trying to channel Casey Kasem's radio narration.
After listening to the first hour of the book.. I really can't believe that David Brin is the author. the dialog is overly dramatic.. with an obsession on sexual terms used to describe 'normal' objects. Rods used in space are 'throbbing', events are 'orgiastic' and characters are constantly 'moaning' responses. With none of those used in any sexual context. The characters own though processes are dramatic to the point that I thought the book was a spoof.
The premise seems promising.. but I don't think i'll be able to find out how it turns out.
... a disappointed reader/listener