Greetings, Earthlings! Let’s talk about Craig Alanson's brainchild, "Expeditionary Force: Columbus Day," where space meets comedy in a cosmic collision of epic proportions. Add to its excellence, the amazing narration of “His Brayness,” R.C. Bray, and you have a downright masterpiece.
From the very first chapter, Alanson crafts a narrative that blends the thrill of an interstellar showdown with the kind of humor that makes your ribs ache. Imagine trying to have a serious conversation while your favorite stand-up comedian is intermittently hijacking the microphone. That's the vibe.
Captain Joe Bishop, our hero, stumbles into an otherworldly conflict that makes the whole "wrong place, wrong time" mantra seem mundane. Earth, meet the merry band of aliens—some delightful, some downright diabolical. The banter between Bishop and the an AI who calls himself, “Skippy the Magnificent” is the heart and soul of the book.
Skippy, the omniscient and humorously condescending artificial intelligence, is the peanut gallery we didn't know we needed in the universe. His witty remarks and hilarious observations turn what could have been a space opera into a sidesplitting comedy hour. Imagine C-3PO with a PhD in sarcasm and a penchant for interstellar mischief.
"Humans are adorable. You’re like clever little monkeys slowly discovering how to play with fire."
Without giving too much away, let's just say that Skippy's sense of humor becomes a lifeline in the vast expanse of the cosmos.
I came across the Expeditionary Force Series by following the award-nominated narrator, R.C. Bray, from book to book. Not only does he have a rich voice, he is a true voice actor. As I expected, he nailed it. I’d say this is his best work so far, and he has a ton of top-notch sci-fi audiobooks on the digital shelves. His ability to infuse each character with a distinct personality, especially Skippy's mix of exasperation and cosmic superiority, adds layers of dimension to an already stellar performance. His drops every punchline perfectly, then melds into a tense moment perfectly.
Joe Bishop, a grunt in the off-world United Nations Expeditionary Force, discovers that the mysterious alien artifact, which turns out to be an alien artificial intelligence with amazing abilities. Enter Skippy “The Magnificent,” otherwise known as the asshole AI. As Bishop and a “Merry Band of Pirates” steal an alien ship and learn to trust each other as they pursue separate ambitions, one to discover secrets of his past and the other to save mankind.
The banter takes a backseat as the crew faces a perilous journey into the unknown, encountering hostile extraterrestrial forces that challenge the crew’s understanding of reality. Major Spoiler: As the final chapters unfold and save the Earth, listeners are left in suspense, pondering the cosmic implications of the crew's decisions and the uncertain future that awaits them in subsequent expeditions.
What makes Columbus Day a standout in the sci-fi genre is its ability to deliver high-stakes space drama without taking itself too seriously. The juxtaposition of thrilling space battles and Skippy's sardonic commentary creates a dynamic that keeps listeners hooked and chuckling simultaneously.
Whether you're a seasoned sci-fi enthusiast or a rookie hitching a ride on the cosmic comedy express, this audiobook promises an intergalactic joyride that leaves you simultaneously on the edge of your seat and rolling on the floor laughing.
In the vast galaxy of audiobooks, "Expeditionary Force: Columbus Day" stands out like a supernova. Alanson's narrative prowess, Skippy's cosmic charm, and Bray's narratorial finesse combine to create an experience that transcends the boundaries of sci-fi and comedy. It's a tale where laughter echoes through the cosmos, proving that even in the face of interstellar chaos, a good joke is the universal constant.
As always, I appreciate your support of self-publishing and indie authors. In the name of putting myself out there, here are a few of my works.