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Publisher's Summary

Nearly 100,000 years after first contact with the machines that dominate the universe, only a few hundred humans survive. Trapped on Snowglade, a barren world near the center of the galaxy, Killeen and his child, Toby, of the Bishop Trib,e are primitive scavengers, homeless and hunted by the ruling “mechs”. Then suddenly, a strange cosmic entity – neither organic nor cybernetic or living matter – reaches out from a black hole to speak with Killeen. But can the fallen descendent of starfarers understand this being in time - and seize his only chance to save his family and mankind from final annihilation?

©1987 Abbenford Associates (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Great Sky River

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

No More Nigel!

This is the third novel in Gregory Benford's Galactic Center series. In book two, we left Nigel as he was rushing towards Galactic Center. We left Warren in an underwater haven built by the Skimmers, as the Swarmers continued with their dirty work of destroying life on earth. We were given a glimpse of the mechs and an understanding of their agenda. Now in Great Sky River, we see what has become of mankind in a far distant future. This is the world that was described in Benford's novella, A Hunger for the Infinite, the reason I started listening to this series in the first place.

Humans live in tribal families and lead nomadic lives on the planet Snowglade. We understand that the humans once lived in beautiful citadels and were somewhat tolerated by the mech population, until something changed and citadels were destroyed and the humans viciously hunted. The planet's climate has been changed by the mechs, from the lush and green world implied by the name Snowglade, to a dry and harsh environment suited to mechs and dangerous to humans. The Bishop family is constantly on the run, looting mech factories for food and parts. All humans have robotic enhancements and implants to help them survive. "Aspects" are the memories and personalities of fallen comrades, which can be stored in chip form and inserted into the back of the neck. Family Bishop values their Aspects and relies on the knowledge and experiences of their ancestors to stay alive.

Killeen Bishop is the new hero and faces off against the Mantis, the extremely creepy mech that harvests humans and creates artistic monstrosities for enjoyment. We see a small glimpse of Nigel, knowing that he must have passed this way on his journey to Galactic Center. Killeen finds the initials N.W. on a beautiful structure built by humans.

This story is thrilling and intense, and completely different from the two previous books. We learn what has become of humanity after mechs take over the universe. This is what I was waiting for when I started the series and I'm so glad I hung in there!

5 people found this helpful

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A great addition to the series

Where does Great Sky River rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's among the best

What was one of the most memorable moments of Great Sky River?

the discovery of the Taj Mahal

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

They captured the characters' personalities and moods well

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The speech about human destiny and dignity near the end

Any additional comments?

Great book!

1 person found this helpful

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I'm fan of spaceopera, & hard sci-fi. But......

I just can't get into the characters.

While there seems to be I real effort at some character development, I just can't find myself wanting to continue to read or listen when the human race is clearly heading for the crapper, and is actually been there for quite a while.

if I wanted to have nothing but bad news, with no escape, and no hope, then I'd read some depressing horror.

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Loved it.

Read this book when I was much younger and was reaquainted with it on audio book. it is one of my favorites. funny thing is that it's the middle of the storyline. now I have to get the rest.

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Couldn't finish it

I just can't finish listening to this. And I think it's really the weird, fake speech the characters are using. The setup and story is, as far as I got, also really, really boring. Definitely a purchase I regret and, since the series has been going downhill, the last book I will buy from the series.

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  • Sweet Cliff
  • 05-10-22

Decent

Good book, light spoilers so keep that in mind. I wish Benford gave the chandelier humans more credit when it came to a bunch of robots showing up and terraforming the planet, maybe I've been reading too much war hammer but I was shocked when the humies didn't murder the mechs on sight, or any time during the many years it takes to terraform a planet; especially when it started spoiling their crop yields.

I also wish there was a better description of mech combat/the weapons used but this isn't a deal breaker and I found myself mostly satisfied on that front regardless.

All in all this is a solid read and would have been mindblowing back in the day when it released, even now it stands up to today's modern sci-fi. As a genre I wish hard sci-fi was more popular but I can understand why people go for the Star Wars style space opera stuff.

Nice addition to the series (I skipped 1 and 2 because f all that.) I'm excited to get onto Tides of Light which I read a while ago but want to brush up on because I remember it was heavy, and then find out where these lunatics end up after all that.

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  • Katarzyna
  • 04-06-17

Slow start but getting really good in time.

Slow start but getting really good in time. Enjoyed it. Getting next part for sure.