Hello, Audiophiles! It’s Leo season, which means that this week, we celebrated Dylan’s 7th birthday! It’s hard to believe how fast time flies. My spouse bought pupcakes, and Dylan and Gwen had the best time opening Dylan’s presents. August also means that it’s Women in Translation Month! Next week, I’ll talk about some of my favorite audiobooks in translation, but this week, we’re going to talk about robots. As someone fairly new to robot stories, I’ve found two that I really enjoyed — it’s like a whole new wonderful subgenre I never knew I was going to love.
This is my last reminder that Book Riot is hiring a new Editorial Operations Associate! Applications are open until August 8. We are committed to building an inclusive workforce and strongly encourage applications from women, individuals with disabilities, and people of color.
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Thank You for Listening by Julia Whelan | Narrated by Julia Whelan
Like many audiobook lovers, I love Julia Whelan’s audiobook narration. Whatever she performs, she has this ability to embody characters and their emotions to such an intense degree. So when I heard that she had her own romance novel coming out, I knew I’d need to get my hands on it. Her novel revolves around an audiobook narrator who finds herself narrating a romance novel after a long hiatus from the genre. Now she finds herself performing the novel with one of the industry’s most secretive voices: Brock McNight. With Julia Whelan writing AND performing this story, we are all for sure in for a good time.
All This Could Be Different by Sarah Thankam Mathews | Narrated by Reena Dutt
Sneha tries to remind herself that she’s fortunate to have her entry-level corporate job in Milwaukee. But as she tries to figure out her new job and send money back to her family in India, she also begins dating women. Soon she’s falling head over heels for her coworker, Marina, but her life seems to fall apart. How can Sneha get her life back on track?
Typically, I don’t read a lot of science fiction. But recently, I read two books that have made me want to branch out into the genre more.
Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson | Narrated by Mike Chamberlain
Mike Chamberlain performs this science fiction story about robots trying to take over the world. Daniel H. Wilson, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, has written one of the best fast-paced apocalypse stories that I’ve read. In an alternate near future, an AI program gains sentience and takes over the world, creating a sort of hive mind and controlling other robots and machines. Humans around the world begin resisting the hostile takeover, and Wilson tells their stories in a series of documents, transcripts, and other forms of communication. I loved how fast paced the story is and how each chapter took us somewhere new around the world. Most of the viewpoint characters are men, so Chamberlain’s performance shows a range of different characters just trying to survive and fight back against the robots.
All Systems Red by Martha Wells | Narrated by Kevin R. Free
In one of the most beloved recent novella’s we meet Murderbot, a sentient robot contracted to work for a team exploring a new planet. What starts as Murderbot performing its protection duties with disinterest, turns into something completely different. Murderbot must finally choose between obedience or do what it thinks is the right thing to do. Kevin R. Free narrates Murderbot’s perspective perfectly, enhancing Murderbot’s personality and perspective. And like all great series, he returns as the narrator for each audiobook in the series.
That’s it for this week! You can find me over on my substack Winchester Ave or over on Instagram @kdwinchester. As always, feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.
Happy listening, bookish friends!