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I bought this audiobook on Amazon, linking through from the paperback version of the “Beyond the Aquila Rift” short story collection. However, even though this has the same title as that collection, it is just a single story! I’m contacting Amazon to ask for a refund. Ripoff.
I love the universes that Alastair Reynolds creates, and the stories he weaves in them so I was a little disappointed to see how short this story was (it's only an hour long, take note of the price as it's probably worth purchasing it rather than wasting a credit). Length complaints aside, this is a great story and I really enjoyed it. It vaguely echoes some of his other work but it's definitely new and interesting material, telling the story of some off-track astronauts, shuttling between brief vignettes of "now" and "not too long ago" with a nice psychological twist at the end to keep you wondering for a while.
That said, this audio version of it verges on terrible. I don't know if it's because I now unconsciously relate John Lee with Alistair Reynolds but the narrator (Tom Dheere) just didn't work for me. He sounded like he'd been challenged to read through the story as fast as possible and, to draw a traffic analogy, treated sentence ending punctuation much like a speedhump or chicane rather than stop signs or red lights. Additionally, the vignettes are separated by 15 seconds of music. WHY??? It's an audio version of a book, it doesn't need extra music or sounds effects, it just needs someone to read the words! If it's imperative to draw a distinction between separate passages then leave 2 seconds of silence to indicate it or something, don't start introducing lengthy chunks of foreign material where the author never intended them to be!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
i wanted to like this. but the experimenting with this form of narrative didn't work for more.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful