Emergency Skin: Forward collection

Emergency Skin: Forward collection Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

4.2 out of 5 stars 3,098 ratings

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Product details

Listening Length 1 hour and 4 minutes
Author N. K. Jemisin
Narrator Jason Isaacs
Whispersync for Voice Ready
Audible.com Release Date September 17, 2019
Publisher Amazon Original Stories
Program Type Audiobook
Version Unabridged
Language English
ASIN B07X7HG6GW
Best Sellers Rank #11,639 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
#41 in Science Fiction Anthologies & Short Stories
#75 in Science Fiction Anthologies (Books)
#96 in Dystopian Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)

Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
3,098 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 19, 2022
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on January 16, 2023
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on January 6, 2023
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on March 1, 2020
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4.0 out of 5 stars Give Me Some Skin
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on March 1, 2020
Imagine having skin that is immortal. Impossible, you say!

Well, maybe not so fast. The premise of NK Jemisin’s 2019 “Emergency Skin”, a short story in the Amazon Forward Collection devoted to exploring how technology might affect human development and behavior, delves into this idea. And there is a basis in fact for this notion.

In 1951 scientists unexpectedly found certain human cells could be grown in a lab and replicate without dying after a set number of divisions, even though separate from the African-American donor, Henrietta Lacks, who had died. Generally, human cells lasted at most a few days. These were named the “HeLa” cells using the first two letters of her names and would be used by Jonas Salk in the development of his polio vaccine.

Set in a future the tale opens when an offshoot of the human race has moved to a distant planet. A traveler acting as a scout is returning to Earth, or Tellus, to acquire HeLa skin cultures. The scout is accompanied by the consensus consciousness of the new planet Founders through whom most of the action is narrated.

Presumably the scout is enclosed in some kind of composite skin – sort of like a cell wall - while traveling but able to “initiate emergency-skin fabrication” when needed.

As might be expected, this trip moves through unexpected discoveries and explanations for the missing results of past journeys from the distant planet.

The story development is mainly dialogue with no descriptive passages, adding a disembodied weightless quality to the quest. For me this approach got confusing at times and took some work to track who was speaking with the main narrator. I am still little unsure how the story ended.

That said, learning about HeLa cells was fascinating and certainly worth the price of admission.

(If interested, here are links to my Amazon reviews for other Forward Collection short stories:

Amor Towles’ “You Have Arrived at your Destination”:
https://www.amazon.com/review/R3I9Q3EY81DYTF/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8

Veronica Roth’s “Ark”: https://www.amazon.com/review/R1BH20S06203HK/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8

Paul Tremblay’s “The Last Conversation”: https://www.amazon.com/review/R2Q3HWY0SCW9R5/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8

Blake Crouch’s “Summer Frost”: https://www.amazon.com/review/R2Q3XD351WUGT9/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8

Andy Weir’s “Randomize”: https://www.amazon.com/review/R314XTTT53LDYH/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8)
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8 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 6, 2022
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on November 16, 2022
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 8, 2020
8 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Norma Miles
4.0 out of 5 stars "The babble of the rabble."
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on February 4, 2021
One person found this helpful
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Emilia
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant science fiction
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on July 12, 2022
Victor
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Story, But Delivery Not To My Taste
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on February 19, 2020
5 people found this helpful
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Ralston
2.0 out of 5 stars Hmmmm
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on September 12, 2020
4 people found this helpful
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Ms. E. Blankson
5.0 out of 5 stars A delight to read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on January 30, 2022