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Aurora

Lu par : Ali Ahn
Durée : 16 h et 56 min
4,7 out of 5 stars (3 notations)

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Description

Our voyage from Earth began generations ago. Now we approach our destination. A new home. Aurora.

Brilliantly imagined and beautifully told, Aurora is the work of a writer at the height of his powers.

©2015 Kim Stanley Robinson (P)2015 Hachette Audio

Ce que les auditeurs disent de Aurora

Notations
Global
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Interprétation
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Histoire
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Il n'y a pas encore de critique disponible pour ce titre.
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  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Terence Blake
  • 29/07/2015

NO STARSHIP, NO CRY

This is a very involving story, and very intelligent writing. The narrator is excellent, and makes the book even more enjoyable.

Supposedly “hard-science” sf: hard for the accurate description of the constraints of space travel, but it also contains "soft-science" elements that add a lot of interest to the story. Perhaps it should be called “speculative fiction” in the sense of half science fiction and half philo-fiction. I had never read any of Kim Stanley Robinson’s books before AURORA, and I think that it a good introduction to his work. I have now begun reading RED MARS and I am already coming across many of the same concepts that AURORA develops in more concentrated form. The range of knowledge mobilised in this novel is encyclopaedic, but I never found the story dull. I would distinguish the pace of the action, which was sometimes slow, from the pace of the invention (action, ideas, and style) which is always engrossing. So I found the novel enjoyable and thought-provoking, and never slow-moving.

The text is multi-layered: a hard science attempt to spell out concretely what voyage to a “nearby” solar system in a generational ship would be like; a more philosophical reflection on the mysteries of consciousness, the self, and free will; an exploration of the human propensity for “living in ideas” and making bad choices based on fantasy or ideology, a deployment of biological and ecological science beyond the mere fascination with technological prowess; a vision of human thinking and behavior as determined by errors and biases that cognitive science is only now beginning to understand.

The whole story is a science-inspired deconstruction of the fantasy of traveling to the stars, by taking that fantasy literally. Yet the story is metaphorical too: the starship is a prison, and our own ideas are a prison. The novel seeks to establish that what Robinson calls the “technological sublime” does not take us outside of our (mental and physical) prison, but just transports it elsewhere. The whole book is a plea for the use of science as enrichment of our present life rather than as escapism, into some beyond.

Robinson wants to enlarge our scientific vision: he tries to be encyclopedic, and to break with the hegemony of physics and technology in our thinking and imagination. So he includes not just hard physics, but also biology, sociology, systems thinking, philosophy of mind and of language, and cognitive science. Factoring in these considerations gives a very different approach to the generational starship than was customary in classical, physics-obsessed science fiction. This makes the book a stimulating and powerful read.

However, in AURORA politics suffers, as it is subordinated to Robinson’s reflections on biology and cognitive science. This scientistic explanation of human behaviour generates what some people decry as the “pessimism” or the "conservatism" of the vision embodied in the book. I do not think that this vision is pessimistic or conservative. Technological realism is not pessimism, even if it obliges us to relinquish a fantasy we cherish. Ecological responsibility is not conservatism, even if it obliges us to evaluate actions in terms of sustainability. Ultimately the book does not reduce, but enlarges and enriches.

2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Tezby
  • 22/10/2019

Unusual choices, hyper detailed, epic...

Early in the book, a character instructs an AI that's guiding a generation ship to its destination that it needs to learn how to tell a story. After a few false starts, the AI gets the hang of it and the point of view switches from the humans onboard, to the AI telling the story. It's a bold and unusual choice, as the narrator slowly evolves in sophistication from basic description, through comically inept speculation on what the humans might be feeling until, towards the end of the novel, the AI has a firm grasp on the art of story telling as well as an acute self-awareness. The subtle production of this audio book, with a slight phasing on Ali Ahn's voice in the early stages of the AI's development is done very well, and then to a much more normal 'human' sounding voice. Ahn's performance is overall one of the best I've listened to, with the one minor complaint that all her male voices sound like slightly pushy teenagers [even when they are in their 80s!] That aside, this is an excellent book that takes detailed descriptions of the arcane functions of a generation ship to a new, almost absurd level. There are long disquisitions on the importance of elemental balance of soil, air and water on board, and diversions into questions of the function of machines, the techniques for deceleration, and so on. Personally, I like this kind of thing when it's well done, and for long stretches Robinson's book becomes an abstract meditative drone of detail. To Ahn's credit, she makes the prose warm and enjoyable. Many have commented on the ending of the book and, without spoiling anything, I'd simply say that while it makes thematic sense and links back to the book's opening - and the main character's emotional arc - it's also long enough to feel strangely unnecessary. Still, the descriptions at the end of the book were enough to keep me involved. High recommended.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25/09/2015

Best story and narration, I've heard in long while

I really loved this story about humans, our ambitions and frailties. Excellent and thought-provoking stuff :-)

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Pete N
  • 11/04/2020

Narration choice

The story of Aurora, to the extent I could get through it, is fascinating and compelling. But, and it's an insurmountable but, I cannot get past the narration. I have found it one-dimensional, listless and lacking in almost any characterisation. I tried it at 1.2x the speed, hoping for improvement somehow, but to no avail. For me, a potentially amazing book has been reduced to the point that I have ditched the audio and will read it instead.

  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • AG
  • 01/03/2020

Just boring

I expected listening a thrilling space story, but it was the opposite. Endless boring ravings about personal, political and sociological issues of no interest. A story that gets nowhere. Characters paper-thin. To worsen everything, the tone and rhythm of the reader seem ideal for getting children to sleep. At two thirds of the book I quit.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 14/06/2019

Surprisingly good!

A page-turner, for sure. Intelligent hard scifi, just the way I like it! What a pleasant surprise, since I didn't know what to expect.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jon
  • 18/11/2015

Hard Science Fiction

Would you try another book from Kim Stanley Robinson and/or Ali Ahn?

no

Would you recommend Aurora to your friends? Why or why not?

yes

How could the performance have been better?

The performance became very very monotonous. Trying to create the sound of a quantum computer the sound engineer has decided to add some kind of chorus effect to the voice of the narrator and this coupled with her slow monotonous tone became massively distracting and annoying as time went by.

Do you think Aurora needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No

Any additional comments?

If you like science fiction where the emphasis is on the 'science' Kim Stanley Robinson is the man for you. Every idea he comes up with has a clear scientific justification and plausibility. He must have undertaken huge amounts of research from the gravitational effects of living on a moon orbiting a large planet to the ecological effects of being ecologically isolated on a long space voyage. Science is never used to mystify or bamboozle. However all this scientific rigour comes at a price, his pacing and story telling is glacially slow and sometimes painful.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 29/11/2018

Great story let down with a terrible end

I found myself fast forwarding the ending. All the soul of the story just winked out without much fanfare, and left you on a beach with no real reason to stick around. No pay off for time invested.

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  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Markus Kirschner
  • 21/12/2016

Desillusionierter Kim Dtanley Robinson

Ich habe die Mars Trilogie und alle anderen Bücher dieses Autors gelesen und war gespannt auf dieses neue Buch. Leider kippt die Geschichte nach der Ankunft auf Aurora und der Optimismus der früheren Bücher kippt in Hoffnungslosigkeit. Die Hauptpersonen finde ich unsympathisch und nervig.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • frustshopper31
  • 22/07/2020

KSR still going strong

While the returning reader finds many of Kim Stanley Robinson's cherished strengths and recurring themes, it is both refreshing and sobering how the authors views and fictional accounts of the future have continued to evolve over the decades since the Mars trilogy. There is much here written specifically for this day and age, and while some of the earlier optimism may have been tempered, it has been reforged into strength and resilience and a quieter, more directly human struggle for a life worth living. A solid recommendation!

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • D.S.
  • 18/08/2019

One of the best sci-fi books I've ever read

A rare book that elaborates very deeply on ethical side of human progress. Also the characters aren't flat and superficial as it often the case in sci-fi.