Click here to see all of the current Amazing Audiobooks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.
How Long ‘Til The Black Future Month?: Stories by N.K. Jemisin; Narrated by Shayna Small, Gail Nelson-Holgate, Robin Ray Eller, Ron Butler
Orbit Hachette Audio
Publication Date: November 27, 2018
In N.K. Jemisin’s first collection of short fiction, she provides 22 short stories featuring fantasy and science fiction narratives. Each story, in essence, provides a platform for black characters to be seen in fantasy and science fiction as Jemisin states in her prologue “ How terrifying it’s been to realize no one thinks my people have a future. And how gratifying to finally accept myself and begin spinning the future I wanted to see.” Stories include a king who trusts in magic and dragons to secure his future, a woman who recreates a strange recipe featuring magical ingredients, a restaurant that can recreate any meal from your memories, strange visions in the subway train, enigmatic aliens, and how cities become live being.
Each thought-provoking story invokes the listener to questions of the present, the future, life, death, redemption, and more. The narrators are superb, and each story is of the same caliber as they flow into one another seamlessly. Furthermore, the thorough range and depth the narrators exhibit in terms of accents and emotion is astounding and worthy of recognition.
Readers who enjoy N.K. Jemisin’s work will definitely enjoy her newest addition. Fans of science fiction and fantasy stories featuring black protagonists like Akata Witch, Binti, Children of Blood and Bone, or Dead Nation will relish in this title. For fans of science fiction and fantasy short story collections like Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful, The Ghost of Heaven, Poison Eaters, or Tales of the Peculiar will take this title up with little issue. For the reluctant reader, tv shows and film enthusiast who enjoy anthologies like Black Mirror, Twilight Zone, Lore, or films like The Forever Tree, To Catch a Dream, Raising Dion, and an Oversimplification of her Beauty. Video games fans of fantasy and science fiction titles like Borderlands, Skyrim, Resident Evil 5, Final Fantasy VII and XIII, Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, and Dragon Age: Inquisition will find that characters, stories, and narrations appealing.
Stronger, Faster and More Beautiful Arwen Elys Dayton; Narrated by Michael Crouch, Karissa Vacker, Brittany Pressley
Publication Date: December 4, 2018
In this novel, Dayton provides six narratives featuring different young adult protagonists at different times and in different places on Earth all seeking, in their own way, the answer to the question “How can the humans be perfect?” Each narrative explores how humanity seeks to best death and aging, create superior genes, and embrace different definitions of what it is to be “human.” Each narrative contains a self-encompassing story within its own chapter, but Dayton weaves a corresponding thread through all of them from beginning to end. The first chapter occurs relatively soon after our current time, while the last chapter happens centuries from now.
The narrators for each story truly capture the urgency, awe, angst, and anger of all the characters they enact and portray. This enables the listener to truly question what it means to be “human” and what they would do in the same or similar situations. The narrators capture Dayton’s eerie message of these futures as not far-fetched through convincing credibility and overall relatability of voice and tone, ensnaring the reader into believing these situations could happen…someday.
Readers who enjoy Dayton’s work will definitely enjoy her newest addition. Fans of science fiction stories featuring technology, perfecting the human form, and interconnecting narratives like Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, The Uglies series by Scott Westerfield, Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds, and 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson will enjoy this title. For the reluctant reader, tv shows and film enthusiast who enjoy sci-fi and dystopian anthologies like Black Mirror, Twilight Zone, Westworld, Love Death, and Robots, Sense8 or dystopian films like Gattaca, Cloud Atlas, Mr. Nobody, and Babylon A.D. Video games fans of science fiction titles like Borderlands, Bioshock, Metal Gears series, Deus Ex: Human Revolution and the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 will happily jump at the chance to read a genetic dystopia featuring variations on human body modification.