As a rule I don’t mention what I listen to, and a large part of that is down to the fact that I mainly listen to The Great Courses’ lecture series: not much to say to that. I listen to them while I walk to and from work, or when I go somewhere alone, and so they take a great long time to finish.
This time after finishing a lecture series I decided to listen to some fiction, though, and the choice fell on Scalzi’s short story The Dispatcher. It had been sitting on my Audible account for some while, and it was encouragingly short – only two hours and 20 minutes long.
The Dispatcher is told in first person, and it soon becomes obvious that it is a dispatcher telling his story, as he saw it when it happened. Beyond the basic premise – that one day people who got murdered returned to life, popping up again stark naked in another place, most often their home – it is not so much science fiction as it is a mystery. It takes place against a Chicago backdrop, were a dispatcher, James Albert, has been reported missing. The detective on the case, Nona Langdon, recruits our storyteller Tony Valdez, dispatcher and colleague of Albert to the investigation. Together they unravel what turns out to be an inventive way of revenge murder, meanwhile showing the reader what a world in which people only stay dead if they suicide would look like.
The story was witty, funny, and well paced. No doubt Zachary Quinto’s performance of it contributed to the over all impression – job well done!
I will definitely listen to The Dispatcher again if I find myself in need of good fun entertainment during for example a flight.