Audible and general audiobook recommendations


You specifically asked why I didn’t recommend Ghost, so I told you why I don’t recommend Ghost. I wasn’t trying to talk you into reading his stuff, I was trying to make sure you (or anyone else tempted to read the series) would know what the books is about. It’s fine if you don’t want to read his books, and I can certainly imagine someone reading Ghost and swearing off reading any of his works ever again.

I’m pretty sure my first John Ringo book was March Upcountry, which is quite good and not at all like Ghost. But if you don’t want to read any of his stuff, I think that’s totally fine. And if you want to take the principled stance that no one should read his stuff, I can’t really argue with that. I think March Upcountry (aka Prince Roger) is quite good for Military SciFi and Under a Graveyard Sky is a really well done Zombie and rebuilding civilization series. I ended up reading Ghost after I had read a lot of his “normal” works, and as I said, I don’t recommend it, although I do think his other “non-purguing demons” stuff is very well done.


You know the Ancillary series reminds me a little of Expeditionary Force series by Craig Alanson. This series is definitely is greater than the some of its parts.

It also involves a band of human survivors that stumble on to a AI that is rude and snarky and unpredictable but also nearly omniscient, and fly around space in a captured ship trying to save humanity with the AI sometimes working against them or making things worse. The writing can be silly at times, but damn If I don’t laugh out loud despite that as the interplay between the characters will be something I will remember to my rocking chair days and chuckle at.

The narrator R. C. Bray is excellent! He really brings the characters to life and feels like you are listening to a full cast production at times. The audio version actually makes the series BETTER! :)

John Ringo’s Ghost series IS the series I was talking about…and its the one to avoid! Some of his other work is excellent IF you like military sci-fi. IF its Sci-fi space opera you are lookign for, Id pass oh him and suggest the Honor Harrington series. If you haven’t already read that. I think EVERY Sci-fi fan has…lol


I think more likely that I want to look at his books some more. To be honest I am running out of audible books and he is popular.

But I worry he isn’t a good person. You know what I mean? I mean in my opinion. So I am reluctant to dive whole hog into a big John Ringo series. Even if he has some great novels down.


I read all of those Expeditionary Series with == what’s that ai’s name? “Skippy”? lol. If I have it wrong forgive me.

Yes but ancillary justice was a classic piece of sci fi. Just amazing. The other two follow ups were fine but the first one was – sublime.

RC Bray is the bestess. Tom should have him on playing some crazy game.


Yep! Skippy! If you haven’t heard the audio version of it…you owe it to yourself to give it a listen! Very fun, I picked up another audio book JUST because he read it. :)


Yeap I think I am caught up on that series. BTW why doesn’t audible link a new series novel? We should be able to just say “ok this series I want to know” — but I have to still look for new additions to a series.


Ancillary Justice though …. now that is a fantastic book. Hugo/nebula award winner and it is clear why.


Yeah… amazon DOES send emails for series you’ve read…but I auto delete those though. They definitely need that as a feature upgraded into their recommendations tab,

Yes about time i reread Ancillary Justice its been…5 years since I read the first one. lol


Just FYI David and I am sure you meant something different …. Ancillary Justice is the first one. Hugo/Nebula award winning novel. It may have even won the Arthur C. Clarke award.


Ydejin you have convinced me to grab one of his books and listen. Mach Upcountry it is.


It’s a legitimate concern. And there’s always a chance he’ll let his demons out into his other books.

Are there specific genre’s of books you’re interested in? I mean if you just want “any audio book recommendations” for example, I highly recommend Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey / Maturin books which start with Master and Commander. Although I don’t think they really hit their stride until their third book HMS Surprise.

This is a book series about a Naval Captain and his companion who is a Naval Doctor (and Natural Philosopher, e.g., Biologist) during the Napoleanic era. The New York Times Book Review says that they are “the best historical novels ever written”.

If you’re specifically looking for military SciFi. Ringo is one of the bigger authors out there. Although if you haven’t read David Weber’s stuff I’ll agree with @David2, it’s generally very good.

If you liked Expeditionary Forces, You could try Marco Kloos’s books. They’re fairly comparable IMO. My brother loves them. I’ve read maybe the first three before I gave out. Another roughly comparable series is Christopher Nutall’s The Empire’s Corp books. Although Nutall has a very obnoxious political commentary writeup at the end of each of his books where he talks about his own political views (he supports Trump). Unfortunately I think a lot of (most?) military SciFi writers are right-wing.

I’ve enjoyed some of the Starfire series by Steve White and David Weber. I haven’t gone through all of them. They are very focused on SciFi combat and have their origins in a board game which does unfortunately show through very obviously in the technology and weapons available — but they’ve got some pretty decent space combat (I’ve gone through 1, 3 and 4).


@KristiGaines Note everything I’ve listed in the last post, except for Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin, I would say is decent if you want genre SciFi, but isn’t really top notch stuff. I’ll have to think of what other Military SciFi I can think of — most of the stuff I listed is stuff I’ve gone through since I started using Audible, but there may be other stuff I can think of, that I read pre-Audible, but which may be available on Audible now.

Are there other genres you like? I really enjoy David Weber’s Safehold series. Although it’s only kind of SciFi. It’s really more Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court stuff (same as March Upcountry) but with much less SciFi in it.

Are you interested in Fantasy as well? I could go through my Audible lists for that as well. Audible says I have 360 books in my library :-o


@ydejin, yes the Looking glass series started as a alien invasion like the Legacy of the Aldenata series. However future books basically turns a space adventure…which I also felt was weird at the time. Then I got into it as it turned into a much more interesting story about away missions Star Trekesque style. I ended up enjoying the series quite a bit.

I agree that Marco Kloos’s Frontline series is a good read. Actually just got through it!

I read several of Christopher Nutall’s books, mainly his invasion of earth stuff and found it dry and boring…I didn’t know his politics but didn’t like him before then.

@KristiGaines, Sorry it was late my response was poorly worded, yes I read the first book almost 5 years ago. Thinking of reading it again…I cant even remember the rest of the series anymore to be honest.


So I picked up Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology in a desperate attempt to find something my girlfriend might like. That didn’t work, but I started listening myself and then had the revelation that my kids might enjoy it. We listened to it together over a couple of weeks on the way to and from school. They loved it! Gaiman is one of the very few authors who is also an excellent narrator. He’s also a very gentle writer–even when describing the horrific things that can occur in myths, he couches them in gentle language and undercuts them with a bit of humor, so the whole thing has a soft landing for my 8 and 11 year old, without redacting the events of the myths.

Once that was done, I wanted to keep listening with them, so I picked up Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. This book opens with the knife murder of a toddler’s whole family, but again Gaiman treats it so gently that the horror doesn’t penetrate. I’m listening to the full cast version of the book, which is good so far, but I kind of wish I’d gone with Gaiman’s own narration. But again, the kids are enthralled.


Just finished up Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed by Ben Rich. Ben Rich was in charge of the Lockheed Skunk Works from 1975-1991 and worked at the Skunk Works starting in 1954 under it’s first director Kelly Johnson.

The book recounts the development and operational history of the F-117 Stealth Fighter, U-2 Spyplane, and the SR-71 Blackbird. While it’s primarily the recollections of Ben Rich, it does include lengthy sections quoting pilots, engineers, Air Force officers, and quite a few Secretary of Defenses.

I really enjoyed it. Very well done. Strongly recommended to anyone that loves aircraft and aviation.


I am listening to “Blindsight” by Peter Watts. I am not recommending it yet. But it is … interesting. I would like to discuss this more. I may check if it’s in novels for 2018.


ydejin I plan on picking that up. I know a lot more about the U-2 and SR-71 than I do the F-117, but is it a progression to that point? I have two credits on audible and will grab this.


@KristiGaines it isn’t exactly chronological. It actually starts with the F-117. That was the first project the Skunk Works did with Ben Rich at the helm. It then goes back and recounts the U-2 followed by the SR-71. Ben Rich was at Skunk Works and worked on both these projects, but was not in charge for them. I think the sections from U-2 onward, is more or less chronological. There’s a bit of discussion as to what happens after the F-117 and It also covers a bunch of smaller minor projects, such as a remote spy drone they developed back in 1964 that was actually deployed but had some issues. But I’d say 90% of the book is F-117, U-2, SR-71.

Ben Rich is best known for the F-117 and in fact Senator Bob Dole referred to him as “The Father of Stealth” in a speech at the Senate after Rich died. So that’s probably why they start off with that.

The book goes fairly in depth into all three projects and talks about a wide range of items. For example, covering where ideas came from, how different tests went, the crazy stuff they had to go through to get the SR-71 to not completely overheat at Mach 3, and political and funding issues. There’s quite a bit of depth and stories on all three aircraft.


Y I will grab this and listen and comment more.

I would like to see the stealth development, over the last 30 years. Plus I would like to know how stealth aviation succeeded in the various conflicts we (as a US citizen) got ourselves into.

I recall clearly as a young lass having my father telling me about F-One-11’s (how he pronounced it). I am curious as how they played a part in all this. (“all this” meaning the general air war that we conducted over the last 40 years)

Dad was a Buff pilot btw and didn’t particularly care for F-111’s.


We did discuss Blindsight pretty thoroughly in the 2018 Book Thread starting around here, but I want to say that we also talked about it in another thread somewhere…