Isaac Steele and the Forever Man

Isaac Steele and the Forever Man

Read Time: 2 Minutes

“Isaac Steele and the Forever Man,” written and narrated by Daniel Rigby, is a bonkers ride through a cosmos where bureaucratic chaos meets outlandish adventure. I read a few reviews before going into this one, and the one thing I think that sold me on it was a review that mentioned mixing “Nineteen Eighty-Four” with “Idiocracy,” along with frequent comparisons to “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.”

That last one always irritates me because of how overused it is. I can see some comparison with the absurdist and tongue-in-cheek style of humour, but I think the “Idiocracy” comparison is a good one. Humanity, even with its expansion to the stars and Great Britain taking over basically the entire universe, has experienced a lot of dumbing down.

I’m often wary of books narrated by their authors. I’ve lost count of how many interesting-sounding audiobooks I’ve passed by after listening to their samples. Narration isn’t something everyone can do, and often self-narration is where this becomes most obvious.

Not so in this case, as Rigby is a successful actor and comedian who obviously knows how to speak clearly with great comedic timing. The dual role of author and narrator allows Rigby to infuse the story with the mannerisms of the characters as he wrote them.

Beyond the comparisons I’ve already mentioned, it’s also like a parody of gritty noir detective stories. The titular Isaac Steele works for the Department of Clarification—a branch of the government of Greatest Britain. Britain has basically taken over the universe, or at least its bureaucracy has.

After saving the known universe in the opening chapter, Steele has a bit of a blank cheque or get-out-of-jail-free type of situation. Frequently abusing booze and drugs to get through the day, he somehow stumbles through and finds success along the way.

Steele’s investigations take him across alien worlds, hazardous radiation-filled wastelands, and even beyond the discovered universe, even though he’s told explicitly not to investigate.

Overall, it’s a light-hearted science-fiction adventure that’s not afraid to poke fun at all the usual tropes. Good character development, a dizzying array of insane supporting characters and situations, and generally a fun, easy audiobook. I knocked this over in two sittings, and then only because my earbuds needed recharging halfway through.

At the time of writing, it’s available free with Audible Plus, so grab it while you can!


Humorous, Aliens, Male Narrator, First-Person, Noir Sci-Fi
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