Seveneves: A Novel

By Neal Stephenson
Read by Mary Robinette Kowal and Will Damron

31.87 Hours 02/03/2015 unabridged
Format: Digital Download
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    ISBN: 9781501220258

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Anatham, Reamde, and Cryptonomicon comes an exciting and thought-provoking science fiction epic—a grand story of annihilation and survival spanning five thousand years.What would happen if the world were ending?A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain.…Five thousand years later, their progeny—seven distinct races now three billion strong—embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown…to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.A writer of dazzling genius and imaginative vision, Neal Stephenson combines science, philosophy, technology, psychology, and literature in a magnificent work of speculative fiction that offers a portrait of a future that is both extraordinary and eerily recognizable. As he did in Anathem, Cryptonomicon, the Baroque Cycle, and Reamde, Stephenson explores some of our biggest ideas and perplexing challenges in a breathtaking saga that is daring, engrossing, and altogether brilliant.

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Summary

Summary

A 2015 Amazon Best Books of the Year Selection for Science Fiction & Fantasy

A 2016 RUSA Reading List Shortlist Selection

A May 2015 LibraryReads Pick

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Anatham, Reamde, and Cryptonomicon comes an exciting and thought-provoking science fiction epic—a grand story of annihilation and survival spanning five thousand years.

What would happen if the world were ending?

A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.

But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain.…

Five thousand years later, their progeny—seven distinct races now three billion strong—embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown…to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.

A writer of dazzling genius and imaginative vision, Neal Stephenson combines science, philosophy, technology, psychology, and literature in a magnificent work of speculative fiction that offers a portrait of a future that is both extraordinary and eerily recognizable. As he did in Anathem, Cryptonomicon, the Baroque Cycle, and Reamde, Stephenson explores some of our biggest ideas and perplexing challenges in a breathtaking saga that is daring, engrossing, and altogether brilliant.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Stephenson’s remarkable novel is deceptively complex, a disaster story and transhumanism tale that serves as the delivery mechanism for a series of technical and sociological visions…There’s a ton to digest, but Stephenson’s lucid prose makes it worth the while.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“No slim fables or nerdy novellas for Stephenson: his visions are epic, and he requires whole worlds—and, in this case, solar systems—to accommodate them…Wise, witty, utterly well-crafted science fiction.” Kirkus Reviews

Reviews

Reviews

by Duncan 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Long book, short story. Narration could be improved

The last Neal Stevenson book I read was Anathem, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I thought i was used to his level of detail, however this book totally exceeds that expectation. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, just something to be aware of if you're new to his work.

The story in parts one and two is interesting and exciting, although there are some characters who arrive with moderate development, only to leave the story too quickly leaving you wishing he had explored them further. The focus and description of the (albeit augmented) International Space Station provides surprising realism to storyline.
Some characters are blatant references to real people.

Part three takes a much different pace and takes an incredibly long time to tie into the first two parts of the book, mainly due to the excruciating detail he delves into.
By the time the book is 90% done, I'm wondering when something interesting or relevant is going to happen. Sure enough, the story comes to an abrupt ending rather too quickly, which has me wishing the story arc for part three had been expanded and continued into a second book.

As for the narration, Kowal narrates parts one and two. Whenever she says the name of the character 'Camila', the audio sounds different as though she had to re-record it due to a mispronunciation. This is very distracting. Some of the accents used for different characters sound forced, unnatural, and tiring to listen to after a while. Her regular narration voice is pleasant.

Damron narrates part 3 of the book. His narration lacks the intonations of Kowal's, and his narration tempo is so frustratingly steady it could be used as a metronome. The accents used are fewer and easier to listen to than Kowal's.

Overall, I'm on the fence with this book. I didn't enjoy it as much as Anathem, Cryptonomicon, Snow Crash, but did appreciate the (likely scientifically accurate) descriptions of orbital mechanics bringing more realism then the usual sci-fi novel.
I would have hoped for a longer part three, or even a part 2.5.
by CorayThan 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Truly epic, but a little dull at times

I'm a big fan of some of Neal STephenson's books. Especially Reamde, and I liked Anathem and Snow Crash a fair bit. Cryptonomicon was pretty good, but a little slow for my taste. This book feels a lot like Cryptonomicon to me, but the story is more epic and crazy, and the characters aren't as interesting and awesome.
by Ana 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Extremely powerful and compelling from start to finish

If you are Neal Stephenson fan, this one is a no-brainer. And I highly recommend it on audio. It is challenging in a good way to understand the technical details in the audio form. I think that it makes it all the more engrossing, but this is not a story to listen to while you're trying to multitask on anything distracting. You will not want to miss a second, there is action and multiple characters that capture your heart. It truly is epic, and I found it difficult to let go of Kowal's female voice along with the first section's characters. But Damron does an equally great job in the final portion of the book, and the characters are fascinating. This is both a devastating and uplifting story that will make you think about the future of humanity and what we are doing to the planet right now.
by Paul (AudiobookReviewer) 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

OMG……is it wordy…and technical….and over descriptive

Notes: this is my first Neal Stephenson story…..and maybe it was a bit much to start with but the blurb sounded interesting and it was available for review so I thought I would dive in……I would like to start out by saying that while I am in awe of his imagination to create such a story to be honest I think you could have cut out about 20(ish) hours of the descriptive narrative, the how and why’s and the incredibly detailed explanations (I don’t think I want to hear the word trajectory again) most of it was greek to me and for me made no difference to the story at all other then wanting to make me scream when it interrupted that actual character interaction of the story. So now to the actual review…..

Review Part 1

I would like to start off by saying I do find this story very interesting, but OMG……is it wordy…and technical….and over descriptive…did I mention wordy? I felt like the Charlie Brown cartoon where when the teacher is speaking it’s just “wawwaaa…. wawwaaa ….. wawwaaa” (is there really a way to spell that??) through a lot of it, talk about information overload. I get that there needs to be world building but it’s a bit overboard for me. I would actually love to see an abridged version as it might make it more interesting for me. The narration by Mary Robinette Kowal is what is really making this easier to get through. She is doing a fabulous job on all the voices, male and female and very good on the different accents. Each character has their own distinct voice.

So my final thoughts – I don’t know if I will be trying another Neal Stephenson book anytime soon, this one kind of burned me out….it took a month to listen to because for once I had to set an audio aside to “take a break” or go crazy. Awesome narration….and lastly I would bet that if there were an abridged version of this, a lot of what I had issue with would be cut out and would make it an excellent listen.

Author

Author Bio: Neal Stephenson

Neal Stephenson is known for his speculative fiction works, variously categorized as science fiction, historical fiction, maximalism, and cyberpunk. He is the author of the bestselling Reamde, Anathem, the three-volume historical epic the Baroque Cycle as well as Snow Crash, which was named one of Time magazine’s Top 100 All-Time Best English-language Novels. He also writes nonfiction articles about technology in publications such as Wired magazine and has worked part time as an adviser for Blue Origin, a company developing a manned suborbital launch system.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Fiction/Science Fiction
Runtime: 31.87
Audience: Adult
Language: English