- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 10 hours and 33 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Brilliance Audio
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 28 May 2013
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00D1I7CYU
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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Damocles Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
There's a lot to like about Damocles, but most of the good start is stacked up at the start. There's a credible scenario for humans seeking interstellar contact, and a practical spacecraft which sounds up to the job with plenty of nifty concepts like its living walls and power crystal (which is just as bit as cranky as the dilithium crystals of the original Enterprise...). Sadly, we don't get to spend too much time in space before the crew have arrived at one of their target planets, which is populated by people-a-bit-like-us, only wider and slower, who happen to be at a similar stage of evolution with an internet, graphic comics and underachieving, lovestruck geeks.
Then the pace slows down quite a bit as we meander through the gradual process of establishing communication, learning language, tripping up over cultural differences and forming meaningful relationships across the biggest barrier imaginable.
The story is told from two perspectives, one character from each species, sometimes replaying scenes from each angle.Read more ›
There are some very interesting aspects to this story. It is alternatively told from the perspective of Meg, the linguistics expert from the mission and Loul, one of the Dideto who has a particular interest in aliens and correctly forecast their arrival to apparent derision. These two establish quite a close relationship and Loul relates his feelings on meeting this strange alien with her elongated limbs and face and large, watery eyes. It is quite a departure for humans are viewed as and described as the, possibly hostile and certainly weird aliens.
However, following the powerful first couple of chapters, the story does move at a very sedate pace for quite a while as the two races, who have no common language, work by trial and error to establish some sort of method of communicating. It does seem rather surprising that Earth, apparently now so advanced, has not worked out a more efficient protocol for establishing language. The main interest is in the charm of the interaction between Meg and Loul, who clearly have a lot of empathetic response to each other, without being able to verbally express it. Later the story does gather a little pace with the result that the final segment is probably more interesting than what preceded it.
All in all a story which involves the reader, but which, perhaps, does not live up to its initial promise. However, it is an interesting scenario and a worthwhile read.
Add to this the fact that Didet's society came across as some kind of remote US colony, so similar was the culture, suspension of disbelief was stretched to snapping point. It smacked of lazy writing, which is a shame when the premise was such an intriguing one.
I don't very often leave such a negative review but I have to say that sadly I'm just glad I bought this via an offer because I'd have been very annoyed if I'd spent more than 99p on it.
The Sword of Damocles has come to mean that we don't really know what someone else's life is like and we can't judge from external signs - we would have to step into that person's shoes to really know. And probably also that it's not actually that great at the top of the heap.
So to the novel that Redling has named 'Damocles'. I can see why - the two main characters' relationship survives on the edge of a very sharp sword; one incautious move and devastation could result. Also, each culture has little to no idea (but lots of imaginative assumptions) about the other and being given a small chance to experience each other's cultures does lead to some sort of a rapport and understanding.
The novel is set at some point in the future when humans from Earth have been 'terraforming' and inhabiting planets and have the technology for deep space travel. 'Damocles' is the name of a deep space craft with a crew of 6 (3 of each) all of whom are specialists in something to do with either the craft or with what happens when they encounter alien life; eg scientific research and communication.
The 'Damocles' has been sent to find a far distant planet which may hold the ancestors of the human race. The narration is cleverly divided between 2 omniscient narrators following the experiences of 2 characters; Meg and Loul.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
a good read with an interesting slant on Aliens. People from Earth arrive on a planet with intelligent beings and of course are classed as aliens.Published 1 month ago by John McGoldrick
Very enjoyable sci-fi, which although not a space opera keeps entertaining, character building and drawing you in to the end.Published 3 months ago by Kindle Customer
I struggled through this, i found the action very slow, and the characters dullPublished 5 months ago by P. J. Woodroffe
Most of this book revolves aroubd the interaction of Meg, an earthling and Loul Pell, a native of the planet she visits. Read morePublished 8 months ago by R. Bell
I'm not usually an 'alien' reader, but this kept me turning the page & I liked the storyline and the characters. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Mabbyloo
It is a long time since I have read any Science Fiction but I am glad that I downloaded this book to my Kindle Fire. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Quintus
Very interesting premis. Humans as the aliens. Thoroughly enjoyable book.Published 8 months ago by Gemma Kinne
Really enjoyed this book. Great idea, great premise that develops in all sorts of interesting ways.Published 8 months ago by Est1958
The first time a science fiction book has held me, other than Dr Who. I liked it. Well written. Fine.Published 10 months ago by Prudence