Crashing Heaven

  • by Al Robertson
  • Narrated by Thomas Judd
  • 12 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A diamond-hard, visionary new SF thriller. Nailed-down cyberpunk a la William Gibson for the 21st century meets the vivid dark futures of Al Reynolds in this extraordinary debut novel.
With Earth abandoned, humanity resides on Station, an industrialised asteroid run by the sentient corporations of the Pantheon. Under their leadership a war has been raging against the Totality - ex-Pantheon AIs gone rogue.
With the war over, Jack Forster and his sidekick, Hugo Fist, a virtual puppet tied to Jack's mind and created to destroy the Totality, have returned home.
Labelled a traitor for surrendering to the Totality, all Jack wants is to clear his name, but when he discovers two old friends have died under suspicious circumstances he also wants answers. Soon he and Fist are embroiled in a conspiracy that threatens not only their future but all of humanity's.
,p>But with Fist's software licence about to expire, taking Jack's life with it, can they bring down the real traitors before their time runs out?

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

AIs as a rogue nation

Crashing Heaven is Al Roberston's debut novel. Set in a far future, artificial intelligences (AIs) run humanity, essentially replacing religion as humans align with the particular entities associated with their line of work or entertainment. Termed the Pantheon, the tale begins at the conclusion of a solar system wide war with a different AI cabal, the Totality, Jack a soldier, but former forensic accountant, who had surrendered to the Totality is repatriated back to Pantheon and proceeds to reinvigorate the murder investigation that instigated his current state. What he stumbles upon is crime, corruption, and manipulation on a grand scale, necessitating an assault on the Pantheon stronghold known as Heaven.

The sci-fi elements are mainly centered around digital / electronic / virtual reality, that comes off as William Gibson squared. AIs dominate the landscape with a blurring of the lines between human and machine intelligence. Even the deceased remain as digital versions known as "fetches" while virtual reality is seamlessly integrated with real space to create whole new environments. The dominance of AIs is taken for granted, but the underlying theme is that even AIs can succumb to petty, human foibles and turning important decision over to the new "gods" is no recipe for success.

The narration is excellent with a good range of voices and solid pacing.
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- Michael G Kurilla

Not As Advertised

This work was advertised as a “diamond-hard, visionary new SF thriller.” The work is not as described. It was more a fantasy tale with puppets and faeries overlaid with a skin of sci-fi techno babble of the computer programming sort. So we hear about such improbables as a “digital breeze”. Because the author is a Brit, we get all this up-to-the-second sounding techno babble, but the characters still use “torches” to light their way around dark places. No rules seem to govern events; things just happened. The writing describes rather than demonstrates and that is a very flat way to present a story. Characters were not believable and I found it hard to develop an interest in them, especially in the annoying Pinocchio character. The book’s reader is no Frank Muller. This reader has an annoying habit is separating the dialogue from its cue, to wit: “Look out!” - [pause] – “he shouted.” About half way through, I began to wonder why I was listening to the work, which never happens for me with a well-written novel. If you crave “diamond-hard, visionary” SF, then listen to “The Diamond Age” by Neal Stephenson or “Altered Carbon” by Robert K. Morgan or “The Ascendant” by Drew Chapman, all available from Audible.
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- JCL "Live near Yosemite National Park. Listen to Audible books while hiking."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-18-2015
  • Publisher: Audible Studios