The Birth of the Dread Remora by Aaron Rosenberg (A Book of the Scattered Earth)
Read by Dave Courvoisier
Length: 6 HRs 43 Mns
Genre: Science Fiction
Quick Thoughts: The Birth of the Dread Remora requires you to suspend a lot of disbelief, but when you do, it’s a whole lot of cheesy science fiction fun.
One of the things that attracts me to sci-fi novels is the sense of adventure. I never had much of a science background, so I try not to get caught up in the nit picky attitudes that some fans of hard science fiction seem to have. Sure, I want the story to not be so ridiculously ignorant of scientific principles and social realities, but I try not to get hampered down worried whether or not compressed sound waves as a form of communication is feasible in interstellar travel, or the likelihood of an alien species using base 12 mathematics. What I am truly concerned with is whether the story piques the interest of my adventurous psyche. For this reason, I have always liked pulp science fiction tales about space travel. I like the idea of ill prepared humans, throwing caution to the wind and heading out on a possibly suicidal exploration of space. So, when I saw Crossroad Press’ The Birth of the Dread Remora by Aaron Rosenberg being offered by Audiobook Jukebox’s Solid Gold Reviewer’s program, I said, to myself "Why the heck not?"
The Birth of the Dread Remora revolves around a junior Officer named Nathaniel Demming of the HMES Remora, his planet’s first space going vessel. The Remora is sent on a mission to investigate a strange light seen by their planet. While totally ill prepared to enter space with faulty knowledge of the nature of the ether, the crew of the Remora is in for a lot of shocks as they explore their galaxy, encountering alien cultures and space pirates. The Birth of the Dread Remora requires you to suspend a lot of disbelief, but when you do, it’s a whole lot of cheesy science fiction fun. The characters are likeable, in a two dimensional sort of way. As they blunder from one situation to the next, slowly developing what it takes to be interstellar explorers, you can’t help but cheer for them the way you would cheer for a dog trying to cross a busy road. There were plenty of smack your forehead moments, and Demming seemed to have brilliant and crazy ideas just come to him out of nowhere, but it’s all good fun. The book is pretty short, and not detail heavy, so it makes for good listening when you’re working around the house or engaged in some other activity. Fans of Mike Resnick’s Starship series should enjoy many aspects of this book, as well as fans of other Star Trek like space exploration tales.
I enjoyed narrator Dave Courvoisier’s narration of The Birth of the Dread Remora. In the beginning, during some long expositional passages, he picked up a weird staccato rhythm that was slightly distracting, but as the novel moved forward his reading smoothed out, and he seemed to start having some fun with it. He did a good job with most of the voices, although I found one of the women’s voices a bit strange, and maybe a bit too masculine, but otherwise I thought he made good choices that fit the characters well. His overall narrative voice is strong, with a crisp clear resonance that handled the action scenes well. The few aliens he had to voice were done well, but pretty simply. I think in future editions to this series it will be interesting to see how he handles stranger and stranger alien characters. The Birth of the Dread Remora is definitely not for everyone, but those looking for a quick, pulpy science fiction adventure should have a lot of fun with this audiobook.
Note: I reviewed this Audiobook as part of Audiobook Jukebox’s Solid Gold Reviewer’s Program. A special thanks to the people of Crossroad Press for providing me with a copy of this title for review. You can purchase this title from Crossroad Press’ website or from Audible.com.