I am not sure how I feel about meeting my reading goal for the year. I goodly chunk of it has been from audio books. Does that make it wrong? It's not like I didn't "consume" it, it's just that I didn't do so with my eyes. It feels a little bit like cheating.
Audio books are certainly trending with the public, it is a real growth area of literature. Amazon's Audible, and audio books in general, have enjoyed a 20% increase in sales in 2015 over 2014. So I guess I am on-trend in that regard.
Okay, that said how was the book?
I must say that Flynn has mastered the "literary" hard science fiction genre. His characters are brilliantly true-to-life, they feel like real people; driven and flawed like all of us.
The book continues from the first seamlessly even though it skips ahead a bit, with the Far Trip mission nearing its destination and the construction of the LEO space station in full swing.
Throughout the book are the messy, human shenanigans that are so common in life.
I have to say that Flynn's depiction of humanity in space was a far better read than Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy. But it occupies the same, distinct part of science fiction that cannot be ignored; that of the well-researched and plausible speculation that is so important in sparking the imagination.
Flynn's ability to keep the plot moving is what sets his work above Robinson's as he was able to keep my attention.
This book is nearly 20 years old and the only detail it departs with reality is the level of sub-orbital and low earth orbit activity that takes place. Nothing in the book is out of the realm of the possible.
I was simply captivated by the story.
I must say something about the narrator, Malcolm Hillgartner. This guy was terrific, his ability with voices and accents was staggering. There are so many characters in these books that I was completely impressed with how he was able to keep them straight and to recall them.
He brought the whole thing to life.