Archive for the ‘Science Fiction’ Category

Minority Report and Other Stories by Philip K. Dick (Audio Book)

October 5, 2008

Synopses From Harper:
Viewed by many as the greatest science fiction writer on any planet, Philip K. Dick has written some of the most intriguing, original, and thought-provoking fiction of our time. This collection includes stories that will make you laugh, cringe…and stop and think. In “The Minority Report,” a special unit that employs those with the power of precognition to prevent crimes proves itself less than reliable. This story was the basis of the feature film Minority Report.

In, “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale,” an everyguy’s yearning for more exciting “memories” places him in a danger he never could have imagined. This story was the basis of the feature film Total Recall.

In “Paycheck,” a mechanic who has no memory of the previous two years of his life finds that a bag of seemingly worthless and unrelated objects can actually unlock the secret of his recent past, and insure that he has a future. This story was the basis of the feature film Paycheck.

In “Second Variety,” the UN’s technological advances to win a global war veer out of control, threatening to destroy all of humankind. This story was the basis of the feature film Screamers. And “The Eyes Have It” is a whimsical, laugh-out-loud play on the words of the title.

Download Link 1

Download Link 2

PASSWORD: http://www.rapidbyte.org

from RapidByte
Advertisements

A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick (Audio Book)

October 5, 2008

Amazon.com Review
Mind- and reality-bending drugs factor again and again in Philip K. Dick’s hugely influential SF stories. A Scanner Darkly cuts closest to the bone, drawing on Dick’s own experience with illicit chemicals and on his many friends who died from drug abuse. Nevertheless, it’s blackly farcical, full of comic-surreal conversations between people whose synapses are partly fried, sudden flights of paranoid logic, and bad trips like the one whose victim spends a subjective eternity having all his sins read to him, in shifts, by compound-eyed aliens. (It takes 11,000 years of this to reach the time when as a boy he discovered masturbation.) The antihero Bob Arctor is forced by his double life into warring double personalities: as futuristic narcotics agent “Fred,” face blurred by a high-tech scrambler, he must spy on and entrap suspected drug dealer Bob Arctor. His disintegration under the influence of the insidious Substance D is genuine tragicomedy. For Arctor there’s no way off the addict’s downward escalator, but what awaits at the bottom is a kind of redemption–there are more wheels within wheels than we suspected, and his life is not entirely wasted.

Download Link 1

Download Link 2

Download Link 3

PASSWORD: http://www.rapidbyte.org

from RapidByte

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (Audio Book)

October 5, 2008

From Publishers Weekly
If readers found the Sandman series creator’s last novel, American Gods, hard to classify, they will be equally nonplussed—and equally entertained—by this brilliant mingling of the mundane and the fantastic. “Fat Charlie” Nancy leads a life of comfortable workaholism in London, with a stressful agenting job he doesn’t much like, and a pleasant fiancée, Rosie. When Charlie learns of the death of his estranged father in Florida, he attends the funeral and learns two facts that turn his well-ordered existence upside-down: that his father was a human form of Anansi, the African trickster god, and that he has a brother, Spider, who has inherited some of their father’s godlike abilities. Spider comes to visit Charlie and gets him fired from his job, steals his fiancée, and is instrumental in having him arrested for embezzlement and suspected of murder. When Charlie resorts to magic to get rid of Spider, who’s selfish and unthinking rather than evil, things begin to go very badly for just about everyone. Other characters—including Charlie’s malevolent boss, Grahame Coats (“an albino ferret in an expensive suit”), witches, police and some of the folk from American Gods—are expertly woven into Gaiman’s rich myth, which plays off the African folk tales in which Anansi stars. But it’s Gaiman’s focus on Charlie and Charlie’s attempts to return to normalcy that make the story so winning—along with gleeful, hurtling prose.

Download Link 1

Download Link 2

Download Link 3

PASSWORD: http://www.rapidbyte.org

from RapidByte

American Gods by Neil Gaiman (Audio Book)

October 5, 2008

Amazon.com Review
American Gods is Neil Gaiman’s best and most ambitious novel yet, a scary, strange, and hallucinogenic road-trip story wrapped around a deep examination of the American spirit. Gaiman tackles everything from the onslaught of the information age to the meaning of death, but he doesn’t sacrifice the razor-sharp plotting and narrative style he’s been delivering since his Sandman days.

Shadow gets out of prison early when his wife is killed in a car crash. At a loss, he takes up with a mysterious character called Wednesday, who is much more than he appears. In fact, Wednesday is an old god, once known as Odin the All-father, who is roaming America rounding up his forgotten fellows in preparation for an epic battle against the upstart deities of the Internet, credit cards, television, and all that is wired. Shadow agrees to help Wednesday, and they whirl through a psycho-spiritual storm that becomes all too real in its manifestations. For instance, Shadow’s dead wife Laura keeps showing up, and not just as a ghost–the difficulty of their continuing relationship is by turns grim and darkly funny, just like the rest of the book.

Armed only with some coin tricks and a sense of purpose, Shadow travels through, around, and underneath the visible surface of things, digging up all the powerful myths Americans brought with them in their journeys to this land as well as the ones that were already here. Shadow’s road story is the heart of the novel, and it’s here that Gaiman offers up the details that make this such a cinematic book–the distinctly American foods and diversions, the bizarre roadside attractions, the decrepit gods reduced to shell games and prostitution. “This is a bad land for Gods,” says Shadow.

More than a tourist in America, but not a native, Neil Gaiman offers an outside-in and inside-out perspective on the soul and spirituality of the country–our obsessions with money and power, our jumbled religious heritage and its societal outcomes, and the millennial decisions we face about what’s real and what’s not.

Download Link 1

Download Link 2

Download Link 3

Download Link 4

Download Link 5

Download Link 6

PASSWORD: http://www.rapidbyte.org

from RapidByte

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein (Audio Book)

October 5, 2008

Synopsis
Robert A. Heinlein was the most influential science fiction writer of his era, an influence so large that, as Samuel R. Delany notes, “modern critics attempting to wrestle with that influence find themselves dealing with an object rather like the sky or an ocean.” He won the Hugo Award for best novel four times, a record that still stands. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress was the last of these Hugo-winning novels, and it is widely considered his finest work.

It is a tale of revolution, of the rebellion of the former Lunar penal colony against the Lunar Authority that controls it from Earth. It is the tale of the disparate people–a computer technician, a vigorous young female agitator, and an elderly academic–who become the rebel movement’s leaders. And it is the story of Mike, the supercomputer whose sentience is known only to this inner circle, and who for reasons of his own is committed to the revolution’s ultimate success.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is one of the high points of modern science fiction, a novel bursting with politics, humanity, passion, innovative technical speculation, and a firm belief in the pursuit of human freedom.

Download Link 1

Downoad Link 2

Download Link 3

Download Link 4

Download Link 5

PASSWORD: http://www.rapidbyte.org

from RapidByte

1984 by George Orwell (Audio Book)

October 2, 2008

Amazon.com Review
“Outside, even through the shut window pane, the world looked cold. Down in the street little eddies of wind were whirling dust and torn paper into spirals, and though the sun was shining and the sky a harsh blue, there seemed to be no color in anything except the posters that were plastered everywhere.”

The year is 1984; the scene is London, largest population center of Airstrip One.

Airstrip One is part of the vast political entity Oceania, which is eternally at war with one of two other vast entities, Eurasia and Eastasia. At any moment, depending upon current alignments, all existing records show either that Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia and allied with Eastasia, or that it has always been at war with Eastasia and allied with Eurasia. Winston Smith knows this, because his work at the Ministry of Truth involves the constant “correction” of such records. “‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'”

In a grim city and a terrifying country, where Big Brother is always Watching You and the Thought Police can practically read your mind, Winston is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. He knows the Party’s official image of the world is a fluid fiction. He knows the Party controls the people by feeding them lies and narrowing their imaginations through a process of bewilderment and brutalization that alienates each individual from his fellows and deprives him of every liberating human pursuit from reasoned inquiry to sexual passion. Drawn into a forbidden love affair, Winston finds the courage to join a secret revolutionary organization called The Brotherhood, dedicated to the destruction of the Party. Together with his beloved Julia, he hazards his life in a deadly match against the powers that be.

Newspeak, doublethink, thoughtcrime–in 1984, George Orwell created a whole vocabulary of words concerning totalitarian control that have since passed into our common vocabulary. More importantly, he has portrayed a chillingly credible dystopia. In our deeply anxious world, the seeds of unthinking conformity are everywhere in evidence; and Big Brother is always looking for his chance.

Download Link 1

Download Link 2

Download Link 3

from WarezRaid

The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells (Audio Book)

October 1, 2008

Amazon.com Review
This is the granddaddy of all alien invasion stories, first published by H.G. Wells in 1898. The novel begins ominously, as the lone voice of a narrator tells readers that “No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s…” Things then progress from a series of seemingly mundane reports about odd atmospheric disturbances taking place on Mars to the arrival of Martians just outside of London. At first the Martians seem laughable, hardly able to move in Earth’s comparatively heavy gravity even enough to raise themselves out of the pit created when their spaceship landed. But soon the Martians reveal their true nature as death machines 100-feet tall rise up from the pit and begin laying waste to the surrounding land. Wells quickly moves the story from the countryside to the evacuation of London itself and the loss of all hope as England’s military suffers defeat after defeat. With horror his narrator describes how the Martians suck the blood from living humans for sustenance, and how it’s clear that man is not being conquered so much a corralled.

Donwload

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (Audio Book)

October 1, 2008

When a Victorian scientist propels himself into the year a.d. 802,701, he is initially delighted to find that suffering has been replaced by beauty, contentment, and peace. Entranced at first by the Eloi, an elfin species descended from man, he soon realizes that these beautiful people are simply remnants of a once-great culture—now weak and childishly afraid of the dark. They have every reason to be afraid: in deep tunnels beneath their paradise lurks another race descended from humanity—the sinister Morlocks. And when the scientist’s time machine vanishes, it becomes clear he must search these tunnels if he is ever to return to his own era.

Download

Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said by Philip K. Dick (Audio Book)

September 30, 2008

Twenty-five years before we had William Gibson and “cyberpunk,” we had Philip K. Dick, and if nothing else, this work proves that he was way ahead of his time and that his successors in the genre have done little to build upon his ideas or surpass his vision. In Flow My Tears, we are shown a near-future society transformed to a neo-fascistic police state. Jason Taverner, a pop superstar, finds himself one day without an identity: his friends and lovers don’t recognize or remember him and his music and TV shows are unknown. Most significantly, perhaps, he does not have the precious ID cards without which he cannot safely travel more than a few blocks without being waylaid by police and sent into a forced labor camp. Taverner must contend with a rogue’s gallery of bizarre and memorable characters to discover how his identity was lost and attempt to recover it. Sometimes Dick’s writing is clunky – it is as if ten words at random were removed from the paragraph, and the reader is left slightly uneasy, but this may contribute to the book’s strong mood of paranoia. A touch of psychedelia a la Burroughs compounds this effect. Luckily for the reader, unlike in many of Burroughs’s works, there actually is a story here. And the characterizations are excellent. Unfortunately, however, somewhere towards the ending, Dick breaks down. The book ends quickly and crudely, like a field amputation given by a half-trained medic in the middle of a battle. In addition, there are allusions to Jung, Renaissance poetry, and several other thinkers or artistic movements which obviously influenced Dick, but I feel that he could have done more to develop these references and themes. All in all, though it is a prescient and moving work and one that should be enjoyable to any science-fiction fans.

Download Link 1

Download Link 2

Download Link 3

from RapidFind

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury (Audio Book)

September 30, 2008

Amazon.com Review
From “Rocket Summer” to “The Million-Year Picnic,” Ray Bradbury’s stories of the colonization of Mars form an eerie mesh of past and future. Written in the 1940s, the chronicles drip with nostalgic atmosphere–shady porches with tinkling pitchers of lemonade, grandfather clocks, chintz-covered sofas. But longing for this comfortable past proves dangerous in every way to Bradbury’s characters–the golden-eyed Martians as well as the humans. Starting in the far-flung future of 1999, expedition after expedition leaves Earth to investigate Mars. The Martians guard their mysteries well, but they are decimated by the diseases that arrive with the rockets. Colonists appear, most with ideas no more lofty than starting a hot-dog stand, and with no respect for the culture they’ve displaced. Bradbury’s quiet exploration of a future that looks so much like the past is sprinkled with lighter material. In “The Silent Towns,” the last man on Mars hears the phone ring and ends up on a comical blind date. But in most of these stories, Bradbury holds up a mirror to humanity that reflects a shameful treatment of “the other,” yielding, time after time, a harvest of loneliness and isolation. Yet the collection ends with hope for renewal, as a colonist family turns away from the demise of the Earth towards a new future on Mars. Bradbury is a master fantasist and The Martian Chronicles are an unforgettable work of art. –Blaise Selby

Download Link 1

Download Link 2

Download Link 3

Download Link 4

Download Link 5

from RapidFind