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Sci-Fi Is About More Than the Future — 6 Terrific Audiobooks

ArtemisI listened to Andy Weir’s ARTEMIS, just nominated for an Audie Award in Science Fiction, because long ago, my dyslexic brother-with-a-PhD learned to read with the help of comic books about Buck Rogers and the 25th Century. (Make that with the inspiration of Buck’s backpack transporter and sidekick Wilma’s conical breasts.) My brother fell in love with science fiction, and guided by him, I did, too. Hence my delight in Rosario Dawson’s Earphones Award-winning performance of a rule-breaking woman in a moon colony. Plus all that realistic-sounding science that Weir throws in. I love that stuff.

Speaking of the science part of sci-fi, including robots (always include robots), I finished Martha Wells’s final fantastic Murderbot Diaries novella, EXIT STRATEGY, two nights ago. The wonderful Kevin R. Free has aced all four books about an honorable, thinking-person’s cyborg in a far future when space colonies are as big as planets and corporations battle for control of everything. It had me explaining every plot point to my non-sci-fi-fan husband, and actually, he was fine with that. We love our hero Murderbot.

Exit Strategy
Planetside

And we love the future-time Colonel Butler, who’s called upon to investigate a disappearance in Michael Mammay’s debut sci-fi novel PLANETSIDE. R.C. Bray won an Earphones Award for his performance of this clever, funny, thought-provoking story, and now it’s nominated for an Audie Award. Full of science, mystery, and spaceships, it lacks only Buck’s backpack transporter and Wilma’s conical breasts, which is probably for the best. I’m looking forward to more  audiobooks from Mammay and Bray.

A narrator who can convincingly portray humans and a range of aliens is to be admired. Dan Bittner’s terrific performance of Michael Moreci’s Audie nominated BLACK STAR RENEGADES offers high adventure and an appealing young hero and a crew of misfits on a grand quest. Also included are touches of comic space opera, plus as many galaxies as Star Wars. That’s where Bittner’s skill with aliens and a killer robot come in. What’s not to love?

Black Star Renegades
Head On
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Hexagonal Phase

Wil Wheaton has teamed with bestselling sci-fi author John Scalzi in HEAD ON, a gripping mash-up of a police procedural and a buddy story set in the near future. An athlete in a violent sport dies mid-play. Except it was his robotic extension that was killed. So why did the off-field human die, too? Full of snappy dialogue and pointed observations, Scalzi’s futuristic mystery is the second in a series, which means that I hope for many more.

Finally, I recommended the new full-cast production of Douglas Adams’ THE HITCHHIKERS GUIDE TO THE UNIVERSE: HEXAGONAL PHASE in a previous post, but I get to mention it again because it’s been nominated for an Audie Award! And really, you must listen to a book that includes such lines as, “What can one say about President Beeblebrox that he has not already had printed on t-shirts and circulated throughout the galaxy . . . ” It is absurd and wise and will make you feel good in the way that eating an entire chocolate sundae used to, which is saying something.

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