The Human Division Listen-A-Long: Episode 5: Tales From the Clarke

15 02 2013

Tales From the Clarke by John Scalzi (The Human Division, Episode 5)

Read by William Dufris

Audible Frontiers

Length: 59 Min

Genre: Science Fiction

Grade: B+

As part of The Human Division Listen-A-Long, hosted by The Audiobookaneers, I will be posting my thought on each episode on the Friday after release. If you are involved in the Listen-A-Long, or Read-A-Long, or just posting your thoughts each week, feel free to leave a link to your post in the comments and I will add it to my weekly roundup of post.

Episode 1: The B-Team
My Review
The Audiobookaneers
Stainless Steel Droppings
Tor.com

Episode 2: Walk The Plank
My Review
Stainless Steel Droppings
Tor.com
The Audiobookaneers

Episode 3: We Only Need the Heads
My Review
Stainless Steel Droppings
Tor.com
Audiobookaneers

Episode 4: A Voice in the Wilderness
My Review
Stainless Steel Droppings
Tor.com
The Audiobookaneers

Episode 5: Tales From the Clarke
Stainless Steel Drippings
Tor.com

Special Features:

Interview with The Human Division narrator, William Dufris.

 

In this week’s episode of The Human Division titled Tales From the Clarke, Scalzi tries to twist and turn, and pull things out of left field in this intriguing story. We are back with the crew of the diplomatic ship, The Clarke, yet, it’s a crew without a ship. So, when the CDF needs a group to deliver a ship to Earth as a sort of peace offering, Captain Colonna is tapped. Coloma assigns Harry Wilson to deal with the Earth diplomats, since he is originally an Earthling himself and Harry begins to get the feeling that something is not quite right with the mission. This is probably the first episode that I am less than enthusiastic about. OK, I enjoyed the heck out of it, and got more than a few chuckles along the way but in all honestly, the plot seemed a bit convoluted, and I am unsure how it will play into the entire series. I really enjoyed the beginning with Colonna under questioning, and the final disposition of The Clarke, but after that, things got weird.  I think, with all the other episodes, I was looking for more conspiracies within conspiracies and then when the big reveal came, I was sort of miffed with it. Not that it didn’t work, but that it wasn’t really what I was expecting and the reasoning behind it seemed very specious. In fact, there is a big part of me that still feels that something more was at play and that something more was the only thing that could justify the risk to a group that has been chosen to act as a fire team for the CDF. Also, as a baseball fan, I loved what Scalzi did here, but have trouble with the idea that a certain team could ever escape its futility. I mean, I have accepted skip drives and strange alien species, how much more can you expect out of me? All in all, I liked the episode, but I feel my overall impression of it will be affected more by future episodes than any of the previous episodes of the series.

Again, William Dufris was in the zone for this episode. I think that Dufris is becoming more and more comfortable with the underlining humor of this series, and is now managing to capture the often subtle wryness of Scalzi’s storytelling. There were certain moments in this tale that got a laugh out of me, that I don’t think would have in print. Also, with us returning back to the main story arch, I feel he’s really taken command of the characters. While this episode wasn’t full of the bells and whistles of many of the previous episodes, it was the kind of solid, character driven storytelling that the author and narrator both excel at.

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4 responses

20 02 2013
Carl V. Anderson

That is funny because I liked this one a lot more and didn’t have the issues you did with it and yet your feelings about this episode are probably not far off from the way I ended up feeling about this week’s episode, #6.

I’ve really enjoyed all the chapters with the Clarke crew thus far and thought the build up and the reveal were enjoyable, especially with the use of the baseball story thread.

And I’m with you, that part, the baseball, was the most implausible part of the story, lol!

22 02 2013
The Human Division Listen-A-Long: Episode 6: The Back Channel by John Scalzi | The Guilded Earlobe

[…] 5: Tales From the Clarke My Review Stainless Steel Droppings Tor.com The […]

1 03 2013
The Human Division Listen-A-Long: Episode 7: The Dog King by John Scalzi | The Guilded Earlobe

[…] 5: Tales From the Clarke My Review Stainless Steel Droppings Tor.com The […]

8 03 2013
The Human Division Listen-A-Long: Episode 8: The Sound of Rebellion by John Scalzi | The Guilded Earlobe

[…] 5: Tales From the Clarke My Review Stainless Steel Droppings Tor.com The […]

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