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Theories of Flight [Audio CD]

Simon Morden
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks; Unabridged Audiobook edition (1 Aug 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1407487868
  • ISBN-13: 978-1407487861
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Gateshead-based Dr Simon Morden trained as a planetary geologist, realised he was never going to get into space, and decided to write about it instead. His writing career includes an eclectic mix of short stories, novellas and novels which blend science fiction, fantasy and horror, a five-year stint as an editor for the British Science Fiction Association, a judge for the Arthur C Clarke Awards, and regular speaking engagements at the Greenbelt arts festival.

Simon has written eight novels and novellas. The wonderfully tentacular Another War (2005), was shortlisted for a World Fantasy Award, and 2007 saw the publication of The Lost Art, which was shortlisted for the Catalyst Award. The first three books starring everybody's favourite sweary Russian scientist, Samuil Petrovitch (Equations of Life, Theories of Flight, Degrees of Freedom) were published in three months of each other in 2011, and collectively won the Philip K Dick Award - the fourth Petrovitch, The Curve of the Earth, was published in 2013.

In a departure to the usual high-tech mayhem, 2014 sees the arrival of Arcanum, a massive (and epic) alternate-history fantasy, which not only has flaming letters on the cover, but the story inside is "enthralling", "intelligent", "impeccably rendered" (Kirkus), and "engrossing", "satisfying" and "leaving the reader craving for more (Publishers' Weekly). Which is nice.

Product Description

Samuil Petrovitch has a lot of secrets. For starters, he's keeping a sentient computer program on a secret server farm - the same program that nearly destroyed the Metrozone. Now the people of the OutZone want what the citizens of the Metrozone have- and then they want to burn it to the ground. Petrovitch is sure these events are connected. Someone is trying to kill him and they'll stop at nothing to do it...

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I read this in one sitting 21 May 2011
By nvh65
Format:Paperback
I picked up 'Equations of Life' in a certain high street bookshop as the third book in a 2 for 3 offer with no great expectations.

The gun motif with the '1' in it had me puzzled at first over whether or not it actually was science fiction and the cover wasn't a great indicator. In the event I found that I enjoyed the book hugely and promptly ordered the rest of the trilogy on Amazon (I want the third one NOW). I read Theories of Flight in one sitting.

The bones of the plot don't sound hugely original at first assessment but there are enough details and touches that the little devices flow well and just work. A lot of genre fiction like this comes across as either working too hard or trying to cram too much in. There is a lot going on for sure and trying to explain the entirety of the book makes it sound very complicated but it works.

There are several threads from the activities of the supporting characters to advancements in science and the street politics of a dystopian England that are skilfully combined to make the story and the characters very three dimensional.

The writing style is sparse and the protagonist is superbly realised as a multilayered, complicated individual without the noir clichés that usually mark the norm.

Simon Morden has surprised me - if like me you're slightly put off by the hackneyed image the setting evokes prepare to be pleasantly surprised.

Whether the post apocalypse thing is your bag or not this is a well crafted and properly thought out novel that had me engrossed. The setting and the situation are integral to the story without being the story and I like that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining second book in the trilogy 26 Aug 2011
Format:Paperback
Samuil Petrovich has just invented anti-gravity and should be having one of the best days of his life. He is now married to Maddy the ex-nun and they are both trying to make life better in a newly broken Metrozone, but Petrovich has been keeping secrets from everyone, including Maddy and they are about to blow up in his face when the CIA comes to town determined to find them out whatever the cost.

This book is just as action packed as the first book in the series. However the world focus is now on London because it's frightened the world's lone superpower, the USA into thinking their security is compromised. Petrovich is going to find out that the Long Night of night so long ago is only a preview for the chaos that will erupt when his enemies plans come to fruition and he'll loose more than he ever imagined in the flare up.

I enjoyed this book and got through it remarkably quickly. The Metrozone is an alternate universe that diverges around the year 2000 with multiple terrorist nuclear strikes in Europe destroying much of the infrastructure there. Petrovich is a genius, but a flawed one and a really interesting character. Because these are single point of view books they really bring him into focus and I don't get the feeling that this is a place marker in this series. It has been nice for a change to have a full trilogy available to read in a short space like this and I've already started on the final book in the series Degrees of Freedom (Metrozone) and I know I'll miss Sam's adventures once it is over.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Anarchy in the UK 19 July 2011
By Quicksilver TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
The first Metrozone novel Equations of Life introduced the likeable, genius-physicist-cum-action-hero Sam Petrovitch. The novel was a hi-octane romp through a dystopian London, featuring many famous landmarks as you've never imagined them. 'Theories of Flight' runs almost directly on from the events of its predecessor, and is packed with the same fast action and one liners, that made volume one such an entertaining read.

The problem with second novels in this type of series, is that the author has revealed most of his best ideas in book 1. The characters are introduced, the bulk of the world building is done, and the intriguing premise on which the book is based has been spelled out. All this is true of 'ToF', and it does lack the fresh feeling of reading something very different, that so thrilled in 'EoL'. Still, one can't complain about an author sticking to a winning formula. The story is fast and strong; preposterous, yes, but certainly entertaining. Ideas fizz off the page; the amount of technical innovations does occasionally threaten to overwhelm, but Morden manages to hold it all together. By not over-explaining the technology in his novel the author keeps his plot moving fast.

In this volume Morden expands on Petrovitch's very personal moral code. This, combined with musings on the nature of advanced AI, give the novel some substance, without which it would be little more than a schlock gun-fest. 'Theories of Flight' is a worthy successor to 'EoL' and with several tantalising threads left untied volume 3 promises much. I'm sure Morden and Petrovitch will deliver.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carry on Petrovic 1 May 2011
By IAN CAMERON-MOWAT VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Pandering to my weakness for instant gratification and by the magic of Kindle and One-Click, Amazon has already sent me the sequel to 'Equations of Life'.

The story so far: In book one, Petrovic arrives (name probably altered to protect the guilty).
He is a cyberpunk living in a post apocalyptic London from Russia on a student visa. He is a genius, but also verging on the psychopathic. Did I mention that his heart is shot and he suffers periodic cardiac arrests? A single act of kindness results in making enemies of the Yakusa, the Russian Mafia, the police, the Church and the local militia. A thrill-a-minute, page-turning tale follows in which, pausing only to discover the Theory of Everything, he manages to defeat, elude or make friends with his enemies. What more can fate hold?

Book two certainly manages to avoid the usual trouble with trilogies with the pace sagging in the middle. First-something nice happens to Petrovic! He falls in love, marries and gets a new mechanical heart! Now that he doesn't have to collapse so often, he has time to invent antigravity, Artificial Intelligence and a black-hole generator. As before, this is his undoing. England north of Watford Gap revolts and invades the south, trapping his wife. Foreign powers decide he is dangerous and send assassins to kill him and missiles to destroy London. The pace doesn't let up as he finds his better self, attempts to protect London, save his wife and stay alive. With his Amazonian wife and his AI friend, three are stronger than one, but this is still a nail-biter, verging more towards Military SF than before in its intensity.

Excellent read again even if I would prefer a gentler place for my escapism. Don't the next generation ever ease up?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars More adventurous frollicking through a post apocalyptic London -...
Book 2 of series follows pretty much the same pattern as the first. Samuil (now a Professor) manages to find solutions to the equations of life and uses them to almost rescue his... Read more
Published 3 months ago by EvilEdna
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
Iloved this series - cannot recommend it highly enough. Clever and action-packed. Do yourself a favour and just get the trilogy - you'll buy it anyway. More please Mr. Morden.
Published 11 months ago by sf_hound
3.0 out of 5 stars We're out of explosives and only have theoretical physics left
Still and enjoyable read, Theories of flight has Petrovich become a physics celbrity. But he is concerned about someone trapped in the East End of London and sets out to the... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Robert
3.0 out of 5 stars good read, but nothing too special - nice fast food to enjoy and...
Not a bad read at all, however, the second and third volume do not fulfill the promise of the fist one, as they are a little bit tedious and lengthy. Read more
Published on 1 May 2012 by MB
3.0 out of 5 stars three books, three stars
I'm giving this same review for all three Merozone books, which I read in succession. They're entertaining enough, and the writing is quite competent, but didn't leave me... Read more
Published on 23 April 2012 by hydroencephalitis
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Series
I was pleasantly surprised by the first book and this one doesn't disappoint either, a really good series well worth reading.
Published on 10 Mar 2012 by Mr. A. Hirons
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-written YA neo-pulp
*** Note: this is a review of the three volumes of the trilogy: it was first published at sciencefiction.com. Read more
Published on 1 Oct 2011 by Nigel Seel
2.0 out of 5 stars not very good.
This is not a very good book. I would not advise paying any money for it. Apparently TOF is part of a trilogy - I did not know this when i bought it (was one of those buy X get Y... Read more
Published on 9 Sep 2011 by Mr. M. Walsh
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