Meet the galaxy’s unluckiest outlaws.
Carl Ramsey is an ex-Earth Navy fighter pilot turned con man. His ship, the Mobius, is home to a ragtag crew of misfits and refugees looking to score a big payday but more often just scratching to pay for fuel. The crew consists of his ex-wife (and pilot), a drunkard, four-handed mechanic, a xeno-predator with the disposition of a 120kg housecat, and the galaxy’s most-wanted wizard.
Along the way, the Mobius crew crosses paths with the Black Ocean’s vilest scum, from pirate fleets to criminal syndicates, and most law-abiding scum, including Earth Interstellar Enhanced Investigative Organization, ARGO high command, and the Convocation of Wizards.
Time and again, riches lie just out of reach, because for all the talents Carl Ramsey and his crew possess, they’ve also got an outlaw’s greatest weakness: a conscience.
Galaxy Outlaws is a collection of all 16 Black Ocean missions chronicling the adventures of the starship Mobius and her crew, along with six short stories. This series is the perfect cure for the Firefly Season 2 blues. It’s what you’d get if The Orville took place on Serenity, or if Star Wars had wizards instead of Jedi.
Author: J.S. Morin
Narrator: Mikael Naramore
Publisher: Magical Scrivener Press
Run Time: 85 hours 6 mins
Audio Release Date: 22/02/2018
My Rating of ‘Black Ocean’: 5 out of 5
This really is one of those ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ kind of deals. The cover looks like it was done with some strange Photoshop and Word Art mash-up. But the story between the covers …sublime. Better than sublime, even. With almost 500 ratings on Audible as of this writing, it has an average score of 4.8 out of 5 … so yea, pretty good stuff. I can only assume the 0.2 they were missing off the five is because of the cover.
Black Ocean was, quite easily, one of the greatest audio books I have ever listened to. Out of the 151 titles in my audio library this quite easily ranks in the top three. Not only is it a greatly enjoyable and incredibly fun bit of sci-fi, there’s a lot of it! A real lot of it. Eighty-five hours of space opera goodness for one credit. It’s the first time I felt like I was stealing from audible! Far too much value for so little given in their direction.
The narration was so perfect it’s hard to describe how perfect it was. Every character, even the female voices (something I often find lacking with a male narrator) were pretty much flawless. Heck, at times I forgot it was a man voicing Esper. She sounded more feminine than some of the women I know. My one negative from the narrator is when, before every new story, he says ‘Galaxy Outlaws’ as he says it such a strange, cringe-worthy way.
The characters were just oozing character and the voices given just had them leaping off the page/out of the speakers and into real life. Unlike some audio books I have listened to, there was genuine emotion behind Naramore’s performance. Whatever he was paid for lending his talents to this audio book, it was not enough.
As is freely admitted by the author in the author’s note at the end, this is essentially his wanting to write something that fills the void left by Firefly. I’ve never seen the show and, to be honest, did not enjoy the film, but what J.S. Morin has created is something that can be enjoyed by fans and non-fans alike. I’d also say it is perfect for anyone who isn’t sure if the Science Fiction genre is for them as the technology used isn’t too ‘in-depth’. It’s just what the doctor ordered for easy listening at work.
To say it is straight-up science fiction is a bit of s disservice what with the element of magic that flows throughout. It’s mostly science fiction with a touch of fantasy. In this world, wizards are a real thing and when they work their magic, all technology around them fries. Which makes it an interesting thing to have a wizard as part of a star ship’s crew.
The eighty-five hours spans all sixteen of the Mobius missions and six short stories in which Carl Ramsay and his crew of outlaw misfits do their level best to pull off some jobs and get out the other side a little richer. With the crew including such things as a priestess, a crotchety old wizard and a warrior humanoid cat-person, there is plenty of diversity and mass amounts of character to explore. At the end of the audio book every character left me feeling like I was saying goodbye to friends rather than just finishing a bit of entertainment.
I know I said earlier that the author said he did this because he missed Firefly, and that’s probably why I think what I am about to say…but damn! This would make one heck of a TV series.
I am both tempted and put off to listen to the next series that follows on. Tempted because of how much I enjoyed this one and how upset I was when that eighty-fifth hour came to a close. But put off for much the same reason. I love this one so much that I don’t know if a carry-on could live up to how much I loved this. I’d hate to feel let down in anyway by a story told in a universe I’d come to adore.