Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang

  • by Kate Wilhelm
  • Narrated by Anna Fields
  • 7 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When the first warm breeze of Doomsday came wafting over the Shenandoah Valley, the Sumners were ready. Using their enormous wealth, the family had forged an isolated post-holocaust citadel. Their descendants would have everything they needed to raise food and do the scientific research necessary for survival. But the family was soon plagued by sterility, and the creation of clones offered the only answer. And then that final pocket of human civilization lost the very human spirit it was meant to preserve as man and mannequin turned on one another.Sweeping, dramatic, rich with humanity and rigorous in its science, Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang is widely regarded as a high point of both humanistic and hard science fiction. It won science fiction's Hugo Award and Locus Award on its first publication and is as compelling today as it was then.


What the Critics Say

Hugo Award winner, Best Novel, 1977
"The best novel about cloning written to date." (Locus)
"One of the best treatments of cloning in SF." (New Encyclopedia of Science Fiction)
"Kate Wilhelm's cautionary message comes through loud and clear." (New York Times)


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great read!

I loved this book. Kate Wilhelm writes a very readable book and Anna Fields (aka Kate Fleming, recently deceased and a great loss to audio) does a great job narrating. Considering the story won a Hugo back in the mid-70s, the theme (human caused environmental disaster and cloning) is current and relevant. If you're looking for a good story to get lost in for a few hours and you like sci fi, this book is worth your time.
Read full review

- Jack

Pretty Average

While the story does manage to avoid a lot of the "dated-ness" common in late 70's science fiction, isn't overly moralistic and didn't swing into detailed gratuitous "sexual liberation"... (it is there, just not excessively graphic as it might have been) it's really just an average story with no big surprises, a bit slow in places, okay in others.

The reader does a fair/ok job - it does sound odd having a woman try to speak like a man but it's not so bad that the story becomes unlistenable. Most of the time you can just ignore how silly it sounds when the narrator deepens her voice. (There have been other audiobooks where the narration was so bad that I couldn't finish the story, this is not the case here.)

All in all - it's nothing to write home about, but it's an okay listen if you've got nothing better to listen to, or you want to hear an okay science fiction/post-holocaust story.

(And, as an aside, while the topics are the same, "The Road", as suggested by an earlier reviewer, is VERY different from this story...)

Read full review

- crazybatcow "I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-21-2007
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.