Friday, December 07, 2012

CLONE REDEMPTION TO GO AUDIO



Maybe I am sorely misinterpreting the cover art for the Graphic Audio recording of The Clone Redemption.   I see this cover as Wayson Harris seeing devastation and dealing with the blood on his hands.

Of the novels in this series, I have long considered book four, The Clone Elite, my favorite.  That notion has been challenged as Graphic Audio has re-released the books.  As they moved on through the series, I came to realize that it was book seven, The Clone Redemption, that I looked forward to the most.

Okay, let me be the first to say that: A) The critical reception for Redemption was not as warm as  it was for other books; B) The final battle hinges on a malfunction that many readers did not accept; and C) The Avatari were not fleshed out in a way that many readers wanted.

As the author, I was actually quite pleased with the decisive element in the final battle, especially because the groundwork for that plot twist was laid out two books in advance.  Now, about my not fleshing out the Avatari... guilty as charged.  I liked them as a cosmic threat, but judging from what the critics and some readers have said, there is plenty of disagreement.

The things I like about Redemption run deep for me.  I like the sense of urgency throughout the novel.  Harris and company have Avatari at their back, destroying humanity an entire planet at a time.  They have the U.A. blocking their way, attacking with ships they can barely defeat.  Looking back, the unrelenting pace makes this novel one of my favorites, but it the quiet moments of which I am most proud.

Whenever I think of Redemption, the first scene that comes to mind is Harris and Freeman having a quiet chat about the destruction of an unevacuated planet.  Harris confesses to Freeman that he no cannot conceive of a God who would let entire planets burn.  Freeman answers with a depth of thought I had never before associated with him.

The other scenes that remain vivid in my mind are the scene in which Harris says goodbye to Ava (I know.  I know.  A lot of you never liked Ava in the first place.) and the Kamikaze ceremony Yoshi Yamashiro performs near the end of the book.  I also liked the final scene with the SEALs.

I think all of those scenes should translate well to the audio drama format that Graphic Audio favors.

47 comments:

naens said...

harris is so awesome he can shoot bullets out of his hands. im sorry, but that was what i saw at first. freem shoots thermonuclear warheads, i assume. :P

Steven L. Kent said...

Maybe he caught the bullet with his hand... perhaps not quite as successfully as he had hoped.

naens said...

perhaps. i choose to believe the former. ^_^

JenMo said...

I admit to not being a fan of the graphic audio covers. I thought maybe I was just too partial to the originals, but I loved the new British versions.

I thought the tech fail was perfect and had been alluded to previously. Though the Avatari are a conundrum for me. I didn't realize until I listened to the first book, but didn't Morgan Atkins have some sort of understanding with them?

Steven L. Kent said...

Yes. That was what he claimed.

Steven L. Kent said...

JenMo, I think the Graphic Audio covers do an excellent job of conveying action, excitement, and in this case, drama. They are a bit Leroy Neiman compared to Christian McGrath's Rembrandt.

naens said...

yeah, if the avatari are automated defenses of a dead race, how could atkins make a deal? and what are they doing in the center of the milky wat? btw i like the mcgrath covers the best :D like the british too

Steven L. Kent said...

Excellent question. We have seen the Avatari manifest themselves as scientists, miners, soldiers, and aircraft. Perhaps Morgan Atkins ran into a different manifestation of their remote technology.

JenMo said...

A diplomat avatar?

Steven L. Kent said...

I do not think I would go that far, but the Avatari on New Copenhagen were solid and never made a sound. Clearly Atkins was able to communicate on some level because his ships used Avatari technology and his adopted homeworld existed because of the same.

naens said...

but why would they just be hanging in the galactic eye until atkins came along and THEN threaten to conquer humanity? perhaps its better if we dont know as it adds still more mystique to the avatari; that they are so ancient and foreign as to be unknowable. :P

Steven L. Kent said...

It's always a joy when your readers give you an out.

naens said...

isnt it just. :P no prob mr. kent. and i would prefer for the plot of one of my favorite series to make sense. :D

Steven L. Kent said...

Thanks, Naens.

naens said...

by the way the forever war came yesterday, along with an interesting book called the peshawar lancers. i look forward to reading it tonight. ^_^

Steven L. Kent said...

Can't wait to see what you think of The Forever War.

Aaron Spuler said...

I enjoyed The Forever War but thought that Haldeman really dropped the ball with the two sequels (Forever Peace, Forever Free).

Steven L. Kent said...

I love Haldeman's grasp of science and his ability to work it into his fiction.

naens said...

i heard those books are actually unrelated to the forever war.

Steven L. Kent said...

That is actually my understanding as well.

naens said...

Last night i finished the Forever War, it totally blew me away! the plot was amazing and it was fascinating to see Earth evolve over the centuries, and the ending was startling and bittersweet. thanks for recommending the book. Of course i have just as much respect for your books as well.

Steven L. Kent said...

Naens, you should know that all of his time dilation calculations were scientifically accurate. It is an amazing book, one of the finest science fiction efforts of all time.

naens said...

yes i knew of time dilation, it was cool how he incorporated real physics into the battles. also apparently forever free is a direct sequel.

naens said...

next im going to read the peshawar lancers which i ordered with this book. i'll tell if it's good. ^_^

JenMo said...

I just added another book to my wish list.

Joshua Tamasovich said...

So I just finished Clone Redemption last night after work...

The politics of the officers of the E.M.N. is just down right brutal. Harris forming and leading the Praetorian Guard was a good idea; him at the top protecting the emperor. If the “Emperor” screws up…et tu Brute.

While reading about the Japanese and the SEALs going for broke to destroy the Avatari home world, I kept thinking…did they destroy that planet or not; the end cleared that up. The same goes with the Japanese Colony, did they make it or not? From all of the planets the Shin Nippon Fleet probed, everything seemed to be old ruins of a greater technology then what the U.A. had. Makes me think the Avatari either moved on to a different galaxy…borrowing from another sci-fi book I read…may have moved onto another realm of existence.

The idea of the SEAL’s “coffins” was interesting but one of them destroying an entire planet, that thing must have a massive power source! The SEAL’s dialog is pretty funny at times, especially about the death poem. The request for the kamikaze ceremony was pretty classy.

The Battle on Earth was epic. I was worried that it would be a repeat senerio when the Marines took the building (run out the back and blow it up) but the idea of trapping everyone inside was awesome. I had a sneaking suspicion that the snow would work on the shields. Harris losing his shit on the platform was crazy and it seems like the battle reflex is getting the best of him. The fight in the building and the attack down the stairs was intense.

I was able to download Clone Sedition before I headed out to sea…can’t wait to see where it goes from Redemption.

Steven L. Kent said...

I am so glad you liked the book. For me, Redemption was an important book. When I wrote it, I was absolutely convinced it would be the final book.

Joshua Tamasovich said...

For a final book, Clone Redemption had a great ending that left me wondering as well as asking some new questions.

Steven L. Kent said...

I really wanted to do books about the Japanese colony, but that does not seem to be in the works.

naens said...

are we going to see more of the japanese colony in the remaining harris books? by the way i highly recommend reading the peshawar lancers, an interesting book and a great change of pace. the first chapter was challenging for me because of all the slang, but you get used to it. I'm also planning to read forever free. hope your holidays have been good so far.

Steven L. Kent said...

The slang angle reminds me of one of my all-time favorite novels--A Clockwork Orange.

Joshua Tamasovich said...

A story about the Japanese Colony would be pretty interesting because they are pretty much isolated unless the self-broadcasting ships were to go to their aid to either evacuate or re-supply the colony.

Up to now, I have seen Harris’s reflex getting more extreme. Based on the history from the last “batch” of liberator clones in the Galactic Eye, it looks like the older the Liberator clone gets, the more likely that the clone will become addicted to the combat reflex. If Harris were to lose his shit around Freemen, I could see Freeman putting Harris down.

I do not see too much coming from the E.M.N. The reason being that if the clones were to settle on Earth, I could see some resistance groups forming from the natural-born humans and all they would have to do is try and go for the clone death reflex on massive proportions using mass media; like giant billboards with pictures “You are a CLONE”.

As for the Avatari, I think they were long dead when Morgan Atkins made “peace” with them and that, like Doctorow, Atkins did not engage them. Morgan Atkins then probably did some reverse engineering from the old ruins found on other planets to further his exploits. What the Japanese destroyed (or might have destroyed) might have been the source of the Avatari that Harris has been fighting with

Did the Japanese destroy that planet?

I have not started The Clone Sedition yet…took a little break to read about some guys stomping around in the Amazon looking for a missing scientist that might have made contact with this mythical tribe…bugs and blow darts kind of book…eh…

Steven L. Kent said...

Yes, sir. The universe is now officially been de-Avataried

naens said...

now in 10,000 years time the japanese will have the same problem with earth.... and it will happen all over again. xD

Joshua Tamasovich said...

Its good to see the Avatari have been destroyed because those guys were damn near indestructible.

The Japanese are going to have it a lot harder then Earth due to the planets surface.

Hopefully, the Japanese colony brought down enough sake with them to the surface until the ecosystem gets back into swing. Humans have not had too much luck constructing a work force. The manufactured work force seems to trip off line and kill everything so, if the Japanese happen to survive the planet and themselves, they should get into robotics and build some androids with some built in rules….wait….those revolt and kill everything too….awww….

I looked up the Peshawar Lancers and the next time I’m on terra firma, I will get that for the ol’ e-reader. I read Infection not too long ago about some mystery disease that is infecting people on Earth. The book is pretty good quick read but let me warn you, it is pretty gory….

Steven L. Kent said...

You folks never fail to impress me.

naens said...

*bows*

naens said...

So i finished Forever Free about two weeks ago... it is a strange book. emphasis on strange. It's good, but the Forever War was incredible. Forever Free has a few flaws and a somewhat puzzling storyline, but some of this i think can be forgiven due to the stories ultimate drive.

Joshua Tamasovich said...

Forever War was an excellent book and I did not know there was a sequel. If you have not read Old Man’s War by John Scalzi, I would recommend that or Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse) by James S Corey; some hard-hitting sci-fi. I am currently a quarter of the way through The Clone Sedition and think I will start Long Live the Champion.

naens said...

Thanks for the books. ^_^ I'd also try the peshawar lancers if your up for an alternate history. once you get past the first chapter you can understand the slang.

Michael M. Jones said...

I just had to drop in and say hi.
I read the first few books of this series when they first came out, and greatly enjoyed them. For whatever reason (I'm bad with keeping up with series) I stopped somewhere around book four. I got the books, but never got around to reading them.

And then Graphic Audio, which is hands-down my all-time favorite producer of audio books, started putting out the Clone books, and I had to pick them up, knowing that if anyone could do a kick-ass job of translating the action and adventure and balls-out awesome into audio form, it would be them.

And I haven't been disappointed in the least. I got through book six just before Christmas, and was frustrated because I really, really wanted book seven to see what happened. Unfortunately, it wasn't available, so I "Settled" for the newest of the John Zakour audio releases instead (awesome in a different way). Naturally, the very next day, Clone Redemption was available. So now I'm listening to it. (I had a brief moment of personal dilemma: wait for audiobook or just read the paperback...)

Long story short: You made the right choice going with GA for your adaptation needs, and I've thoroughly enjoyed the series. Here's hoping that we don't have too long until Clone Sedition is available.

Steven L. Kent said...

Michael, Working with Graphic Audio has been a blast. Ken Jackson is as brilliant a director and brilliant audio director as well as a great actor. (He is the voice of Wayson Harris.)
What do you think of Elliot Dash as the voice of Freeman. He owns the role in my head.

Michael M. Jones said...

Steven -
I'd say that all of the voices were spot on. Although I was a little thrown off at first by the voice(s) used for Illych and the SEALs, that combination of smarm and danger came to grow on me. Freeman definitely worked for me.

(And of course, the "family" of actors used by GA meant that I kept hearing familiar, welcome voices, ones I often associate with other roles.)

I've rarely encountered a GA production I didn't love. :)

Steven L. Kent said...

Very much agreed on all accounts. The guy who played Illych was creepy, and it took me a while to warm up on him as well.

Chalk that down as interpretation. It was not what I expected, but I grew to appreciate it.

naens said...

i still have my character voices in my head because i've only listened to previews, but i've also accepted the GA voice of harris. its a bit of a paradox i guees. :P

Steven L. Kent said...

It took me a long time to adjust to Ken Jackson as the voice of Harris. I like his inflection from the start, but the voice took longer than, say, Elliot Dash as Ray Freeman.

Of course, I did not readily except Daniel Craig as James Bond, either... not before I saw the movies.

naens said...

you never know.