Listen free for 30 days

1 credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
The Plus Catalogue—listen all you want to thousands of Audible Originals, podcasts, and audiobooks.
$14.95 a month plus applicable taxes after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy Now for $42.97

Buy Now for $42.97

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Tax where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Anathem, Reamde, and Cryptonomicon comes an exciting and thought-provoking science fiction epic - a grand story of annihilation and survival spanning five thousand years.

What would happen if the world were ending?

A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.

But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain....

Five thousand years later, their progeny - seven distinct races now three billion strong - embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown...to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.

A writer of dazzling genius and imaginative vision, Neal Stephenson combines science, philosophy, technology, psychology, and literature in a magnificent work of speculative fiction that offers a portrait of a future that is both extraordinary and eerily recognizable. As he did in Anathem, Cryptonomicon, the Baroque Cycle, and Reamde, Stephenson explores some of our biggest ideas and perplexing challenges in a breathtaking saga that is daring, engrossing, and altogether brilliant.

©2015 Neal Stephenson (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What listeners say about Seveneves

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    290
  • 4 Stars
    152
  • 3 Stars
    59
  • 2 Stars
    16
  • 1 Stars
    8
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    298
  • 4 Stars
    123
  • 3 Stars
    38
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    10
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    263
  • 4 Stars
    133
  • 3 Stars
    47
  • 2 Stars
    22
  • 1 Stars
    14

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great novel, only somewhat held back by narration

A solid tale that I've read and am now listening to after getting an itch to relive the story. The first 2/3 are really solid, the latter 3rd is a bit... different, however it is rather interesting as most stories of the like would leave a cliffhanger ending unexplored or a followup novel.

The main weakness here is one that is common to many audiobooks: having the narrator portray the other gender and the narrator doing so, unfortunately, quite poorly. Some narrators, few thus far I've found, can do both male and female characters quite well; most however can not, but I'll not blame the narrator in these cases (it seems like a darned tough job to do after all) but rather the one(s) who made the decision to do not bring in at least one other voice actor to portray some of the major characters to make it a bit more of an ensemble or duo performance piece rather than a simple solo narration. In this case the narrator does an excellent job producing a recognisable voice for most of the characters (and really nails it for this female forward cast I must add), but non-american accents and male characters sound, for lack of a better description, rather cheesy. However, this work is fairly female (and american) forward, so for most of the book it is a solid performance.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Interesting idea which almost worked

This book reads like The Stand in space.

It poses some interesting ideas... But the logic has too many holes to be considered serious science fiction. Also, the gender politics is too in your face, being a mix of 1950s stereotype and 1960s Women's Studies hangups.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Annoying to read, Disappointing

It was a fine psudo-realistic sci-fi novel until it became senslessly political, not-enjoyable to read.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • JT
  • 2022-06-08

Just couldn't get into it

I think there's a solid concept here worth exploring but this novel fails in the execution. I really wanted to like it because Snow Crash was just so amazing - but this is not in the same ballpark; not even the same sport. It's also hard not to notice the author is essentially just using this as a platform to virtue signal to the reader (listener) about their current political beliefs. The first few instances were forgivable but it quickly becomes very abrasive since it does not advance the plot or any character development. Rather, it distracts from the story and turns the characters into one dimensional caricatures.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

a good read sprinkled with some complaints

I very much wish the third act was removed and then given it's own book. it felt like an extended prologue with characters and stakes I was not invested in and as soon as you start to it ends. I guess it's a good complaint to have but it's also frustrating

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Interesting concept but flawed execution

This book could've been great, but it really isn't. I have 5 more hours to go, and it has become a chore. The book starts off ok, but quickly deteriorates into a laundry list of scientific terms that fail to hold the listener's attention. Its neglect of common sense is really quite annoying too

[Spoilers ahead!!!]

For example, how do the remaining humans manufacture stuff like electronics, tools, appliances , etc. without factories or skilled workers? How do the seven eves raise so many kids with no help, while also carrying out research AND being pregnant at the same time? Who cares for their medical needs if there is no doctor present?
Anyway, some of this logic is really bizarre, but a good concept overall.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Don't do it

32 hours I'll never get back. You know how books are either character driven or plot driven... well this book is neither. It spends 90% of the time describing mundane technical details of everything. And the characters all act in totally unrealistic and emotionless ways. You have to accept unrealistic things in a sci-fi but people still have to act like people.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Racism and idiocy everywhere

The first thing I want to mention is the audio performance and sound design. Both are great, the audio is crisp and the narrators are great. honestly they are wasted on a book like this.

I'm so disappointed in this book. The second sci-fi book in a row that really fails to deliver on the typical sci-fi wishes of a more interesting and less socially problematic future. Space Sci-Fi is meant to be about the new frontier, growing up as a species and being better.

On initial reading/listening the first two parts of the book seem to be fairly well done, if not extremely frustrating due to all of the stupid decisions made by supposedly intelligent individuals.

But then you get near the end of part two and you realize the entire thesis is extremely racist, which when thinking back on parts one and two seems glaringly obvious once you have that initial epiphany.

The entirety of part three is about proving the thesis that racism isn't wrong but actually an inherent part of human nature, which is just completely absurd.

I was annoyed for most of the entirety of the book because of how stupid essentially every decision made by every character was. I honestly want to refund it, but I just refunded another book right before this, so I feel kind of bad.

Haven't even finished part three yet. I'm like 1/3 through it and I seriously don't want to finish.

I was super excited because of the audio length, I love long books. now I'm dreading the last 7.5 hours.

spoilers below:

5000 freaking years starting from a gene pool of 7 people would literally erase race. Full Stop. The idea that the 7 people had their children, completely discouraged intermingling to the point that each of their children would develop into noticeably different races is just absurd. It lacks any real scientific thought. The gene messing that would have happened in the first few generations would be almost completely, if not entirely gone, after 5000 years of life and intermingling.

Also any intelligent person would've immediately put the potus back in her ship and scuttled it. But I guess that would've meant the writer would've needed to use good writing to create tension and conflict instead of relying on stupidity and racism.

1 person found this helpful

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

Story suffers from poor dialogue and aggravating narration.

The over all story is very interesting but the pace is far too slow. The dialogue between characters is horrid and the terrible accents and voices put on by the narrator make the book next to impossible to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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

I cannot stand the voices

I am only a couple hours in and I cannot stand the voices the reader is using between characters... Very distracting. Poorly executed.

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Josh Mitchell
  • 2015-05-30

Odd narrator choice

Is there anything you would change about this book?

This is a tough one to rate. There are long stretches of the book that are fascinating and fast moving. And there are stretches that feel even longer that are dishwater dull. Stephenson is usually able to keep technical discussions interesting -- Cryptonomicon, for example, deals with heavily complex subjects but doesn't get boring. Seveneves does.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Mary Robinette Kowal and Will Damron ?

Not sure about who I'd have read it instead, but Ms. Kowal made some very strange choices for main characters' voices. The producer/recording engineer/whoever was sitting in the booth also wasn't paying close attention--there are more than the usual number of garbled and mispronounced words. I get it; it's a long book. But this is not anywhere close to the best of all possible recordings.

312 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kurt Schwoppe
  • 2017-06-08

So Much Potential

Let me start by saying that up until Part 3, Seveneves was pegging my Top 10 books of all-time. While I first thought the premise was implausible, Stephenson starting working the technology and I gradually became entranced. He has a no holds barred writing style, and the storyline was filled with a continuous “Science the shit out of this” attitude made famous by “The Martian”. As the implausible became plausible, the main characters came to life as they struggled to make this happen. By the time Part 2 ended, I was at the edge of my seat simply amazed by what had taken place. But then it all went wrong.

The jump from Part 2 to Part 3 was simply too big. The emotional connections made to the main characters were lost. The eager anticipation as to what happens next was lost. And ultimately, the storyline was lost. Stephenson tried to tie everything back together, but the gap-filling backstory was too minimal to be satisfying, and a new level of fantastical science fiction reenergized the implausibility meter. The result was a less than compelling storyline filled with characters you cared nothing about.

The detailed application of advanced technology is what I love best about Stephenson’s books. In this regard “Seveneves” does this well at first, but then goes off the deep end. He’s a tremendous writer who is fearless at exploring new boundaries. But Part 3 should be a separate book, and its replacement needs to continue the excellent storyline developed in the first two sections. That is the story that I wanted to hear.

In summary, this book was totally worth one credit and I thought the first 2/3s was brilliant. I will definitely continue to buy and read Stephenson's books. I'm just sad for what this book could have been. And for those who criticize the narration, the only I can say is get over it. My experience is that woman have a tougher time doing men's voices. But it's mind over matter - if you don't mind, it doesn't matter. It was correct to have the first two sections narrated by a woman.

234 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Verbalsoup
  • 2015-05-24

Almost unlistenable

What didn’t you like about Mary Robinette Kowal and Will Damron ’s performance?

Terrible narration. Really grim. She can't do accents or male voices without sounding like she's mocking them. All the men sound like pompous douchebags and they all have the same uncomfortable faux british accent. If the story wasn't so fantastic i would have stopped listening within the first hour. As it is, after three hours I'm on the fence.

216 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Charlie's Mom
  • 2016-02-14

If you liked THE MARTIAN.....

What made the experience of listening to Seveneves the most enjoyable?

I liked the science. It seemed researched and thorough and plausible. And fascinating. Got me interested. Some sections are less riveting, but they play into a general feeling of the book being thorough and comprehensive.

What other book might you compare Seveneves to and why?

Well, for me it is a good follow up to THE MARTIAN. Science oriented with modern day humans looking to current technology for solutions to thorny problems.

Would you be willing to try another one of Mary Robinette Kowal and Will Damron ’s performances?

I would avoid Ms. Kowal like the plague. I have never encountered a stranger narrator choice. Her sections of omniscient narrtion are perfectly good - a bit robotic, but it works. But her "voices" are preposterous and distracting. How the author could have okayed this narrator is beyond me. Every male character sounds like he is participating in a bad community theater production of a Gilbert and Sullivan musical. She can't do a British accent without making everyone sound like Colonel Fudgewiggens. Which really destroys all men as romantic creatures. Her accent work is appalling. I really can't say enough- every voice - male and female is distracting and aritificial. She needs to receive a cease and desist order NOW. It's a shame because she reads the narrative well. She should just skip voices altogether. Nod to them, so to speak, without attempting to do them. I almost want people to listen just to be amazed.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Well to the narrator, yes. I gasped and continue to gasp every time a new accent arrives.

Any additional comments?

I think I have made my point.

146 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • C. Hartmann
  • 2015-05-20

This is my "Six Star" Choice for 2015

First, this is a great book. Great performances as well.

Consider the quandary of being Neal Stephenson. You have written several of the longest, most complex and most bleeding-edge books of the past 20 years. There are characters and ideas so abstract that perhaps only three or four other writers are in your league now: Peter F. Hamilton (Void Series), Dan Simmons (Hyperion), Alastair Reynolds (Revelation Space Trilogy, Terminal World), Richard K. Morgan (Altered Carbon) and most recently Charles Stross. (Halting State and Rule 34.)

In 1992, Snow Crash mixed cyberpunk, memetics and Sumerian myths against a virtual landscape. 1995's Diamond Age was steampunk before it existed and wildly imaginative. Reamde and Cryptonomicon were as detailed and complex as books can be; some of the best writing ever -- and that is not limited to Sci-Fi. I'm not even sure they were Sci-Fi.

So now it is now. What is it like to be him and read the gushing of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic books that are neither clever nor visionary? I think that he thought two things here: (1) I can do better, and infuse this concept with actual ideas, and (2) crap, I HAVE GOT to write a more accessible book -- one that you don't have to have a masters degree in history or math to get through the initial chapters. (I think this is what happened with Hamilton in Great North Road as well.)

Voila ! A book that anyone can get into from page one. A book that starts from almost a tribute to a 1960's/Heinlein sensibility and slowly draws the reader into a more complex story without either historical or scientific prerequisite courses. I hope and believe that this book, though not Baroque in complexity, will allow more people to read this author -- to appreciate good ideas and a clever vision. To everyone (including myself) who wants an eventual post-Cryptonomicon tome-epic....this may not be it, but I don't think it was intended to be that book.

For what it is....it is just right. Its is a great, fun read.

124 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Cara
  • 2015-06-01

My first ever Audible.com refund.

I've read some terrible books, this one takes the cake. There is very little story, the majority is less fun than your longest most boring advanced science course in college. I really tried to like it, but eventually was just wishing for the apocalypse to really happen. On the plus side, you could turn it into a drinking game. Take a shot each time you hear the word "exponential".

120 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-08-24

great idea - poor execution

The premise for this book is amazing, but the characters are flat, the scientific explanations are showy and usually unnecessary, and the metaphors are condescending to the reader. I listened to the whole thing hoping it would pay off, I don't think it did.

113 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • G. Careaga
  • 2015-05-24

Bad production values

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I am only a couple of hours into it but the recording quality and narration are distractions.

Would you be willing to try another book from Neal Stephenson? Why or why not?

I usually enjoy reading Stephenson. This is the first of his I have tried as an audiobook. I'd be reluctant to try another Brilliance Audio production if this performance is representative.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

First, the recording has a tinny quality to it that is off-putting. Second, the narrator so far (MRK) has poor dialog skills with respect to switching gender and using a British accent. Her regular narration is pleasant enough and I would be enjoying the story more so far if she had stuck to that voice when doing dialog.

Was Seveneves worth the listening time?

It remains to be seen. I am sticking with it so far.

100 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Madeleine
  • 2015-05-23

Good hard sci-fi with a human touch

Seveneves will rightly take its place in the sci-fi cannon as one of the best post-apocalyptic novels written. From the demolition of the moon, the abandonment of earth, settlement in space and the troubling re-claiming of earth, Stephenson's saga gives the hard sci-fi lover exactly what they crave in terms of exquisitely researched, cogently fictionalized detail of space-flight, orbital physics, and planetary geology while, at the same time, providing with fans of soft, social science-fiction with a nuanced glimpse into the personal, socio-political and even genetic and epigenetic ramifications of an apocalypse. Some may quibble about the science, or Stephenson's extrapolations, but no one can accuse him of not having expended serious levels of effort in gaming out all the possibilities.

That being said, Seveneves does suffer slightly from some long, dry bits of character introspection and some divergences that could have benefitted from an editor's pen. Nor can anyone accuse Stephenson of attempting much in the way of artfulness when it comes to the prose. But on the whole, it is a competently told story. Structurally, it might have benefitted from some timeline insertions. The first two thirds of the novel chronicles the expanded space-station's survivors landing on a suitable chunk of the fractured moon and then jumps five thousand years into the future, when the ancestors of those early exiles return to a revitalized earth. Although an attempt is made to fill in the gulf with some rather telling flashbacks in the third part, it does suffer a little from some rather blatant info-dumps that occur a little too conveniently to hide their necessity.

Seveneves provide the reader with some strong characters at both the beginning and in the later part of the story. One cannot accuse Stephenson of producing characters with great psychological depth, but neither can he be accused of producing altogether cardboard heroes or villains. Its fair to say that, sometimes, the choice of which characters he chooses to provide rounded portraits for are not always as narratively satisfying as they could be.

Stephenson takes on some very interesting social themes, from the uses, abuses and limits of power to the consequences of directed genetic manipulation. He also does a good job of extrapolating on the evolution of connectivity, social media and the part narrative plays in shaping our expectations of the future as well as the way we look at our histories.

If I had to put my finger on what prompted me to leave off a star from what, in all fairness, is a pretty magnificent book, it was the ending. It is an iconically satisfying hollywood ending in which all major threads are almost too neatly tied up. And, of course, we are left with the tease of a whole parallel survival saga to be satisfied in a sequel

None of my criticisms should put you off reading this novel if you're a fan of hard sci-fi or post-apocalyptic fiction. Its structural and narrative flaws don't outweigh its merit as one of the very best treatments of the end of world scenario.

Narration: the female narrator's attempt at regional and foreign accents poor and sometimes a little frustrating, but it wasn't enough to put me off listening.

98 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kalia Kinser
  • 2015-06-29

What happened to the end of the story?!?

This book was very interesting with great characters and plot. It's super long and you really get into it. However you get towards the end and all this development is still happening and bam it just ends. Maybe I missed somewhere that this was going to be a series. But if not this book ends like the author was tired of writing so he just quit. Hopefully it is a series and I'm just stupid.

79 people found this helpful