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Publisher's Summary

Lewis Shiner's stunning science fiction debut

After the world's governments collapsed, the corporations took control. Houston's Pulsystems has sent an expedition to the lost Martian colony of Frontera to search for survivors, but Reese, aging hero of the US space program, knows better. The colonists are not only alive; they have discovered a secret so devastating that the new rulers of Earth will stop at nothing to own it. But none of them have reckoned with Kane, tortured veteran of the corporate wars, whose hallucinatory voices are urging him to complete an ancient cycle of heroism and alter the destiny of the human race.

©1984 Lewis Shiner (P)2014 Blackstone Audio

What listeners say about Frontera

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

Fantastic spot-on sf of Mars and our own Earth

This one's really fantastic. Shiner’s 1980s debut novel, right in there with Neuromancer and Bruce Sterling and the others of the cyberpunk movement with which he was a big part, and with a real solid hard sf space mission to Mars element as well, finally in audio. I think I've finally found an audiobook that I can point to when someone asks about "Hey I liked this book The Martian what else you got?" It’s a lot, lot more f'ed up than The Martian; bigger cast (there’s the titular Mars colony) and a couple decades into a further, weirder future with cyberpunk influences (brain implant tech, corporations, genetic drift, psychedelic drugs, …). I’m a huge, huge, raving Lew Shiner fan, and Rudnicki is one of my favorites, and both he and Gabrielle de Cuir are fantastic on this one, as always. This one's aged uncannily well, as Shiner's extrapolations (crumbling Soviet Union fragmenting, collapse of US government space program and rise of private space interests) hit the bullseye all too well.

11 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Mars needs women! ( Still ! )

What did you like best about Frontera? What did you like least?

Best...the performance by both readers but especially Gabrielle. She rocks this book. Goodness, owns the emotions, the intensity ( and there is that! ) and the story.
Least is the wimpy ending, but that is subjective.

Would you recommend Frontera to your friends? Why or why not?

I would for the performances alone.

What about Gabrielle de Cuir and Stefan Rudnicki ’s performance did you like?

This story is relatively derivative, and is dated in it's technology. That said, these 2 performers bring it to life, and the characters they inhabit ( esp. Gabrielle's ) walk through the listeners lives. Stunningly good.

Could you see Frontera being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Nah. Too derivative, and too dated.

Any additional comments?

All that said, a wonderful offering. Stefan is Mr. Mars, and his companion seems to be along for the journey. If you like Mars oriented SciFi with amazing reading, get this. Highly recommended, for the genre!

5 people found this helpful

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Doesn't hold together

Lewis Shiner's Frontera is an 80's era tale that hasn't aged well. At some future time, colonization of Mars has begun, but the Earth has since degenerated, and corporations have taken over. While the general assumption is that the Mars colony died out, they are alive and a few people on Earth know about it. At the same time, the Mars colony has not only survived but has managed to advance physics by about a century and possesses an inexhaustible fuel supply with transportation potential, all developed by genius children (in a cave in secret). An evil Earth CEO gets wind of the project and mounts a rescue mission to Mars, but the Russians are in hot pursuit. Meanwhile the Mars colony is run by a megalomaniacal nut job who tries to play each group off one another. Typical cold war shenanigans ensue, but in the end, it's unclear what has happened.

Shiner attempts to inject quite an array of sci-fi elements that in the end don't work very well. The chip implantation for brain control is poorly executed (Greek dreams). The Martian colonists are barely holding on and suffer radiation illness, but they also have genius children who leapfrog known science and develop technology that clearly is beyond what their limited settlement can actually support (like building a time machine out of rubber bands and paper clips). There's too much double crossing and no one is ever sure of motives. And one individual is sent to Barnard's star, no questions asked. All the interrelationships just make for confusion.

The narration is adequate, but the shift in perspective with two narrators was a bit jarring.

2 people found this helpful

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Well done production

This is an extremely well done story. The plot is captivating and unique. Professional narration.

1 person found this helpful

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Great great great

I don’t know if the dual-narrator experiment worked exactly, but both narrators are excellent so it doesn’t exactly “fail” either. The story is fantastic and the solid writing holds it up though out. Highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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Pornographic

I am no prude and I enjoy an active, healthy sex life. However, I don't live vicariously and I don't need to be entertained by someone else's made up story of a beautiful, personal & private relationship. I just want to listen to an entertaining story, not have someone else's sex story forced on me. Can't we keep entertainment and bodily function separate? Have we run out of good story tellers who can tell a intriguing story without moral bankruptcy?

1 person found this helpful

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Solid hard Sci-Fi in need of an editor

I liked this book well enough but wanted to like it more. It occurred to me early on that the book was in need of an editor to a significant degree.


The authors skill with prose is very good and once he surprised me with a unique and beautiful metaphor.  The story itself was interesting but it seemed that the book was simply incomplete and it made so many jumps as to appear  disjointed and maybe even comic book-like.


The dual narrators were good and I liked the way that he told the story from the point of view of different characters from one chapter to the next but the characters didn't seem to be completely formed to me and therefore not entirely believable.


As a lifelong fan of sci fi this book wasn't a waste of time but I don't think that I will bother with this author again.

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not worth buying

I struggled to finish this audiobook. The man's breathing was extremely distracting. The woman's delivery was alright. The story barely holds.
It was funny to hear about Cuernavaca because I was there when I heard the book.

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Better than average

Narrator does a fine job of bringing this otherwise so-so story to life. Was entertained most of the time, and didn't regret listening, but I won't give it another whirl anytime soon.

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I guess it was okay

it didn't really hold my interest. I think it was okay, but I don't really remember the story as anything more than background noise

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Profile Image for Gary Sereno
  • Gary Sereno
  • 09-25-17

Writen with a movie and sequels in mind ?

Not quite sure what to comment on this one.
The concept sounds interesting.
The narration at first feels weird, but once you're used to it, it does work well.
The story. The story, well it feels forced, it feels as if it was written in a way to make it easy to transition to the big screen, and it was written in such a way as several sequels could be spun off. As a result it just doesn't work for me.

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