Questioning What We Know of Earth’s Past and Future

Written by Francisca Goldsmith on Thursday, July 16, 2020

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In Week 12 of SYNC 2020, we turn our attention to how questioning what we believe we understand can lead us to more accurate truths. This week’s pair of free audiobooks explores the history and future of our Earth’s inhabitants using different literary approaches. Both are performed by full casts.


From L. A. Theatre Works, the recorded stage play of Fake, by Eric Simonson, gives listeners access to the real 20th-century hoax that had scientists and journalists both trying to argue that the Piltdown Man skull found in a field was the genuine article. Starring Kate Arrington, Coburn Goss, Alan Wilder, and Frank Guinan as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this drama is one in the “Relativity” Series featuring science-themed plays, with major funding provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, bridging science and the arts in the modern world.

Paired with this relatively short drama is one of the longer audiobooks we’ve ever offered SYNC listeners.  Science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson’s imagined 22rd-century in New York 2140 is provided by Hachette Audio. Nine actors assume the roles of the nine characters from whom we learn about a very possible future: Golden Voice narrators Suzanne Toren and Robin Miles are joined by popular and talented SYNC narrators Michael Crouch, Peter Ganim, Jay Snyder, Caitlin Kelly, Ryan Vincent Anderson, Christopher Ryan Grant, and Robert Blumenfeld. They all lend depth and verisimilitude to the inhabitants of the skyscraper apartment building where a couple of boys, a lawyer, a detective, rooftop coders, and others shelter during a time when New York may, indeed, wash away.

Could the events in these two audiobooks happen differently if you were telling their stories? Questioning events is a great way to lean into writing your own plot. Remember you have 98 years to listen to all 26 free audiobooks you could collect during this SYNC season, lots of time to hear how these stories are told and consider other twists and turns they might also take as your knowledge of the world changes, too.

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