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  • Emergency Skin

  • Forward collection
  • Written by: N. K. Jemisin
  • Narrated by: Jason Isaacs
  • Length: 1 hr and 4 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (58 ratings)

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Emergency Skin

Written by: N. K. Jemisin
Narrated by: Jason Isaacs
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Publisher's Summary

2020 Audie Award Winner for Best Science Fiction

Audible narration by Jason Isaacs (Star Trek: Discovery)

What will become of our self-destructed planet? The answer shatters all expectations in this subversive speculation from the Hugo Award - winning author of the Broken Earth trilogy.

An explorer returns to gather information from a climate-ravaged Earth that his ancestors, and others among the planet’s finest, fled centuries ago. The mission comes with a warning: A graveyard world awaits him. But so do those left behind - hopeless and unbeautiful wastes of humanity who should have died out ages ago. After all this time, there’s no telling how they’ve devolved. Steel yourself, soldier. Get in. Get out. And try not to stare.

N. K. Jemisin’s Emergency Skin is part of Forward, a collection of six stories of the near and far future from out-of-this-world authors. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single thought-provoking sitting.

©2019 N. K. Jemisin (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What the critics say

Emergency Skin, by the award(s)-winning Jemisin, is part of a sensational project called Forward, which brings together six writers, each telling a story about Earth’s imagined future.” --Spine Magazine

“Narrator Jason Isaac’s voice is the perfect mix of insistent, pedantic, and scornful…This brief but clever tale is truly best enjoyed on audio.” (AudioFile - Earphones Award Winner)

“The tale is a fascinating experiment in story structure…Thoughtful and interactive.” (LOCUS)

  “This is exactly how I like my techno-anxiety…Happy bingeing!” (Audible, an October Editors Pick)  

What listeners say about Emergency Skin

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome little sci-fi

It's really good. As a sci-fi story it has interesting and evocative ideas, a compelling concept, and the narration is strong. It's worth the listen and packs a lot into the short length while still providing a satisfying arc.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Terrrible book - boring and crude

The best social critiques embed themselves in an interesting story or though experiment. Instead, Jemisin writes a crude, predictable and uninsightful world where everyone is a caricature.

The story is uninspired, it does not challenge or make you think, and is immediately predictable once you understand the tone.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Brilliant, absolutely brilliant

Hard hitting speculative science fiction, of a future that isn’t at all hard to imagine since that’s where we’re headed. Access to Space will be dominated by the ultra-wealthy who will chose to save themselves, hoard resources, and abandon Earth and it’s inhabitants to the mess the ultra-wealthy created. Which leaves the poor, the marginalized, and the global south to clean up the mess that they, for the most part, didn’t create. It’s also completely believable that some of those colonies would adopt eugenics and fascism and an enforced rigid racial-class system.

I love this novella because there’s hope within it. That even if the billionaires and executives and board members of resource extraction companies, tech companies, industrial agriculture, fast fashion brands, etc, and the high-level politicians and the “worthy” abandon us here, we may genuinely be better off because they are the the ones who stand in the way of adopting and implementing policies to avert our impending disaster and improve the quality of life of *everyone*. Without the obstructionists, we may actually have a real chance.

It’s short, it makes you think, Jemisin masterfully and organically introduces you to an entirely different culture and world-view without it feeling like exposition, highly recommended.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Short but good.

This story will pop up in my head now and then. I liked the narrator as well.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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PERFECTION

I will admit there's a part of me that is inherently curious as to what happens next but this ending was perfect. I love open-ended stories that are left to your interpretation because it means that the story stays with you and you tend to find yourself constantly thinking about it. 10/10

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great Story

A little blunt on the equality messaging, but I enjoyed it (and the equality messaging). With more distinct voices (from the voice actor), it would have been clearer at times.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful Novella - is it fable or warning ...

From the start, especially if you like SciFi you almost immediately know where this is going, but the take on it is so well done.

This short story will deftly (albeit not always subtley) deal with climate change, elitism, misogyny and racism. The main protagonist is a voice I needed to hear, but it is a struggle - and that is where the tale is so well done.

All this, and marvellously narrated by Jason Issacs.

This audio was less than a cheap cup of joe, and was so worth the paltry amount I spent.

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