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ALL SYSTEMS RED

Earphones Award Winner

by Martha Wells | Read by Kevin R. Free

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Science Fiction

The creature telling this story, a security unit tasked with protecting a planetary survey team, calls itself "Murderbot." It's depressed and withdrawn, and Kevin R. Free performs the character perfectly, giving its voice languid tones and a slow-speaking pace but layered with an unsettling tension that hints at dangerous rage. There are similar subtle notes in the other... Read More

BARBARY STATION

BARBARY STATION

by R.E. Stearns | Read by Mia Barron

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Science Fiction

Mia Barron narrates this sci-fi tale of newly minted engineers and life partners Adda and Iridian's struggle against a pirate ship's Artificial Intelligence. Barron's delivery, though matter-of-fact in tone, makes the struggle completely believable and highly entertaining. The mysterious AI has gone mad and is trying to kill all the station residents and shoot down ships trying... Read More

BINTI

BINTI

by Nnedi Okorafor | Read by Robin Miles

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Science Fiction

Robin Miles narrates the story of a young woman who is the first of her people to be accepted as a student at prestigious Oomza University, located far across the galaxy. A slight sense of detachment filters into parts of Miles's narration, but she skillfully balances the expected coming-of-age story of a young woman leaving home with the unexpected survival story due to a... Read More

BINTI: HOME

BINTI: HOME Binti, Book 2

by Nnedi Okorafor | Read by Robin Miles

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Science Fiction

With distinctive accents and an engaging tone, Robin Miles continues the story of Binti, a Himba girl and mathematical genius who is the first of her people to attend the prestigious intergalactic Oomza University. After a year away, she is returning home, along with the flat-voiced Meduse jellyfish-like alien, Okwu, she befriended after she helped prevent tragic war with its... Read More

DAYFALL

DAYFALL

by Michael David Ares | Read by Paul Heitsch

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Science Fiction

For the past 10 years, Manhattan and most of the northern hemisphere have suffered under perpetual darkness. The city rots as sin and corruption run rampant. As daylight finally begins to break through, a serial killer's rampage throws the city into chaos. Narrator Paul Heitsch portrays small-town cop Jon Phillips, who attempts to stop the serial killer and avoid becoming... Read More

ELYSIUM FIRE

ELYSIUM FIRE

by Alastair Reynolds | Read by John Lee

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Science Fiction

In this sequel to THE PREFECT, narrator John Lee draws listeners back to the 25th century just in time for a new crisis. In clipped, authoritative tones, Lee brings the Panoply police force prefects to life as they investigate malfunctions in brain implants that are causing unexpected deaths across multiple worlds. Lee's steady pacing and autocratic inflection enhance this... Read More

THE GONE WORLD

THE GONE WORLD

by Tom Sweterlitsch | Read by Brittany Pressley

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Science Fiction

Brittany Pressley narrates this bone-chilling thriller set in 1997 and many possible futures. Shannon Moss, an agent in the secret Deep Time program, recounts her investigation into a multiple murder case in her past. At the same time, she's racing against the destruction of mankind, called the Terminus, which comes closer every year. The plot is complex, and descriptions of... Read More

HAPPINESS FOR HUMANS

HAPPINESS FOR HUMANS

by P.Z. Reizin | Read by Gavin Osborn

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Science Fiction

BLACK MIRROR meets Nora Ephron in this unique sci-fi British romance. The story is perfectly complemented by narrator Gavin Osborn's crisp English accent and energetic performance. When Aiden, a clever and precocious artificial intelligence, escapes onto the Internet, he decides to help his unsuspecting human co-worker, Jen, find love. Following Reizin's lead, Osborn's... Read More

THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS

THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS

by Ursula K. Le Guin | Read by George Guidall

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Science Fiction

George Guidall narrates this classic novel with gravity and emotion. He smoothly shifts his voice between that of the outsider Genly Ai, a black man with a masculine voice who is acting as an ambassador on the distant planet Gethen, and the more androgynous voices of the gender-shifting humanoid aliens. The people of Gethen challenge Genly's--and the listener's--notions of... Read More

MOTHER GO

MOTHER GO

Earphones Award Winner

by James Patrick Kelly | Read by January LaVoy

Audible, Inc. | Unabridged
Science Fiction

Narrator January LaVoy performs this sci-fi adventure set 100 years in the future. Using a variety of accents and dramatic effects, LaVoy brings the characters and the setting, the moon, to life. Fifteen- year-old Mariska Volochkova, clone of Natalia, a famous space explorer, is the protagonist. LaVoy portrays her and delivers the narrative with a minimal accent, which... Read More

SIX WAKES

SIX WAKES

by Mur Lafferty | Read by Mur Lafferty

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Science Fiction

A great advantage to having an author perform her own audiobook is that she knows what characters are thinking. The strongest feature of Mur Lafferty's narration is the insight she brings to the way lines of dialogue should be spoken and where emphasis should be placed in sentences. Lafferty's voice is clear, and her pacing is good, but her range is limited, and she makes... Read More

SLEEP OVER

SLEEP OVER An Oral History of the Apocalypse

by H.G. Bells | Read by Justine Eyre, Saskia Maarleveld, Tim Campbell, Alana Kerr Collins, P. J. Ochlan, Adenrele Ojo, Neil Shah, Susan Ericksen, Prentice Onayemi, Andrea Emmes, Braden Wright

Brilliance Audio | Unabridged
Science Fiction

Insomnia brings on the apocalypse, here revealed through a progression of intimate, personal stories. With varying success, 11 narrators present the voices of different characters from around the globe. While some of the accent work approaches caricature, generally they add an element of context that is often difficult to pick out as the main plot lurches forward. With few... Read More

SPACE OPERA

SPACE OPERA

Earphones Award Winner

by Catherynne M. Valente | Read by Heath Miller

HighBridge Audio | Unabridged
Science Fiction

Heath Miller narrates a story that is equal parts scathing social commentary and hilarious send-up of music competitions. In order to prove to the rest of the galaxy that they are sentient and avoid complete annihilation, humanity must compete in an interstellar grand prix of song--if the band chosen to represent them can make it to the competition. Miller shines as the... Read More

AN UNKINDNESS OF GHOSTS

AN UNKINDNESS OF GHOSTS

by Rivers Solomon | Read by Cherise Boothe

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Science Fiction

Narrator Cherise Boothe has her hands full with this story set aboard an interstellar ark for humanity. The HSS MATILDA has the class structure of the pre-Civil War South, with overseers on the upper decks and sharecroppers down below. With each section having its own patois and the rulers their own stiff language, Boothe must juggle a dozen different accents and dialects, and... Read More

VALIANT DUST

VALIANT DUST Breaker of Empires, Book 1

by Richard Baker | Read by Steve West

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Science Fiction

There's nothing like military science fiction to challenge a narrator. Take, for example, this first audiobook in the Breaker of Empires series. Its privileged protagonist, Sikander North, comes from the colony of Kashmir (think India), and he must battle to earn his place on the CSS HECTOR, an Aquilian Commonwealth (think Britain) starship. The HECTOR is assigned to protect an... Read More

WHO IS THE BLACK PANTHER?

WHO IS THE BLACK PANTHER? Marvel

by Jesse J. Holland | Read by Ken Jackson and a Full Cast

GraphicAudio | Audio Program
Science Fiction

The GraphicAudio people outdid themselves with this story of T'Challa, the Black Panther, ruler of the hidden African nation of Wakanda. Narrator Ken Jackson knows how to build suspense, as does the rest of the cast, especially Zeke Alton, who plays the role of T'Challa with just the right touch of heroism and imperious attitude. The special effects are fantastic, but the real... Read More

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