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Permafrost

Written by: Alastair Reynolds
Narrated by: Natasha Soudek
Length: 4 hrs and 12 mins
5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A Locus Award Finalist for Best Novella

Fix the past. Save the present. Stop the future. Master of science fiction Alastair Reynolds unfolds a time-traveling climate fiction adventure in Permafrost.

2080: At a remote site on the edge of the Arctic Circle, a group of scientists, engineers, and physicians gather to gamble humanity’s future on one last-ditch experiment. Their goal: to make a tiny alteration to the past, averting a global catastrophe while at the same time leaving recorded history intact. To make the experiment work, they just need one last recruit: an ageing schoolteacher whose late mother was the foremost expert on the mathematics of paradox.

2028: A young woman goes into surgery for routine brain surgery. In the days following her operation, she begins to hear another voice in her head...an unwanted presence which seems to have a will, and a purpose, all of its own - one that will disrupt her life entirely. The only choice left to her is a simple one.

Does she resist...or become a collaborator?

©2019 Alastair Reynolds (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about Permafrost

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Charles M.
  • 2019-08-23

Not your father's SciFi!

SciFi with a huge human element an atypical hero and a heart rending finale. This tightly packed novella is MORE than worth your time.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Michael G Kurilla
  • 2019-09-30

Time travel escapades

Alastair Reynolds' Permafrost is a time travel novella that takes place in 2080 at which point environmental collapse is imminent. In an attempt to save humanity, a project is undertaken to send "pilots" back to 2028 to secure seed stocks to feed the starving remnants of the human race. Technically, a person cannot go back in time, but can connect and take over some from that time and direct actions. The goal is to secure those stocks in a location recoverable in 2080. Humanity is assisted by sophisticated AIs that appear to have their own agenda.

Reynolds employs a unique twist on time travel paradox by not actually sending anyone through time. Special preparations are needed and the pilot must go to great lengths to remain in control. At the same time, signals appear to be coming from her future suggesting that all is not well even with success.

The narration is well done with heavy Russian accents that are nevertheless quite understandable. Pacing is quick for this short offering.

6 people found this helpful

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  • A. Molnar
  • 2019-09-23

Great shorter, thought provoking listen!

Sometimes it's nice to listen to something that is shorter but exactly as long as it needs to be. If you like apocalypse and/or time travel and /or AI based science fiction... well, yeah, get a short, sweet, fresh angle on it here. No regrets and I doubt you will have any either. Easy to recommend.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anthony Lewis Aragues Jr.
  • 2019-09-23

Too short, but done well.

I really hate time stories. I only got this because I really like Alastair Reynolds.

It was done well, had a fresh approach, got me invested right when it ends.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Doug Johnson
  • 2019-11-17

good but short

another good story but very short comes together well at the end. Not sure it be worth a credit but the 8 bucks sure.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Douglas F. Couch
  • 2019-06-27

Allastair Reynolds back with another good one

Enjoyed the tight tale with the hazards of time paradox. Thought provoking so I listened twice.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Gift Card Recipient
  • 2019-06-24

Wow

Most believable time travel scenario ever! Narrator was terrific. Perhaps I missed it somewhere in there, but what did the note say in the altimeter?
Really great, highly recommended.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Annie Armstrong
  • 2019-06-19

BEST ONE YET. EXTRAORDINARY.

I am a huge fan of Mr. Reynold’s work and have listened to all his audiobooks. This is, hands down, the best one yet.... not only because the story is genius (as usual, with him)... but the narrator is brilliant. She nailed the characters and voices, and brought an intelligence and intimacy into the listening experience that absolutely blew me away. I didn’t know it was possible to be so moved by a science fiction narration, and I was. I also appreciated that they used a native Russian speaker/actress to narrate it, because it’s obvious when they don’t, and she was amazing. This is the best Alastair Reynolds audiobook yet!!!!

4 people found this helpful

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  • randall
  • 2020-08-23

Such an outstanding book!

This is an excellently imagined time travel story. Don't let the 4hr length dissuade you from purchasing it! I have read it twice and recall the story and characters frequently, due both to the author's characters and the narrator bringing life to them.

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  • Brock
  • 2020-08-19

Head spinner

Loved it... I it's a thinker as in you better concentrate to follow along,