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The Whale Song Translation: Maui's Brainy Humpbacks Battle The Threat of Navy Sonar (English Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Howard Steven Pines
3.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)

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  • Länge: 286 Seiten
  • Sprache: Englisch
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Excerpt from "The Whale Song Translation":

“What’s wrong?” said Andrew. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
Seema raised an arm in slow motion, like a mime, and pointed at the monitor. As the whale squealed through the speakers, the Speakeasy translated its vocalizations into familiar shapes, embedded in a very unfamiliar setting.
“If you’re seeing what I’m seeing,” Andrew gulped, “please tell me I’m not crazy.”

In the spirit of "War of the Whales," Carl Sagan’s "Contact" and Stephen Spielberg’s "Close Encounters," speech scientist Howard Steven Pines’ science and fiction thriller takes whale language research to a whole new realm: the excitement of first contact and the recognition of the intelligence, dignity, and wisdom of another earthly species.

When the Navy’s controversial sonar experiments begin to destroy Maui’s whales, an unlikely hero holds the key to their preservation. Inspired by his mentor’s paradigm-busting challenge to open a communications channel with other big-brained species, acoustics professor David Dmitri begins analyzing the songs of humpback whales. The quest to decode their mysterious language leads him to an astonishing revelation. With more proof, Dmitri realizes he could rally public opinion and stanch the bloodshed. But as his team prepares to launch a voyage of discovery in the Straits of Lahaina, others are determined to stop him—whatever the consequences.

Built on fascinating, cutting-edge science, Part I of The Torch of Prometheus trilogy delivers thought-provoking “breakthroughs” about language and intelligence in the realm of earth’s other big-brained beings, and explores the intertwined existential crises of humans and whales.

"The Whale Song Translation" . . . A visionary tale of marine mammal protectionism . . . A voyage of discovery, to Neptune and beyond.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

The moment I realized computers could solve math problems at the "speed of light," I was hooked. My career passion for software engineering began during the seventies energy crisis as an alternative energy research scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. However, it wasn't until I'd joined a startup company specializing in digital voice products that I discovered my true calling. My writing is informed by a twenty-five-year Silicon Valley software engineering career that's led to five patents in wireless voice technology. In the adaptation of voice and modem algorithms for communication devices, I became fascinated by the theoretical and physical foundations of speech. I was amazed to recognize the connection between the natural process that created spoken language and the design of cell phone technology-they had both found the solution predicted by a fundamental law of communications. The realization of this convergence is the inspiration for my fictional trilogy-in-progress, The Torch of Prometheus. The Whale Song Translation is the first installment of the trilogy. The idea for the book's "Speakeasy" speech-therapy system is based on a speech-modulated, shape-writing prototype I developed and demonstrated at the Fremont campus of the California School for the Deaf in 1985. My understanding that human speech evolved into a process of shape-writing and shape-matching generated the interspecies communication experiment at the core of the novel. To learn more about the underlying principles common to speech, language, and whale songs and, if my time permits, maybe even a demo of the shape-writing app featured in the book, visit This book's inspiration was spawned the moment I first thrilled to a humpback rocketing from the deep blue sea. I was ultimately compelled to tell this story when, during a "recreational" analysis session of a humpback whale song recording, I grokked the intriguing implications of waveforms eerily similar to frequency-modulated human speech. Born in Los Angeles and a lifelong Californian, I have a love affair with the Pacific Ocean that is steeped in childhood summers playing in the waves. Entranced by Northern California's coastline, beaches, and migrating whales, I currently shuttle between the scenic bay and coastal communities of El Cerrito and Mendocino. Maui is a favorite vacation getaway destination, and the inspirational setting of my debut novel and its forthcoming sequel.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 879 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 286 Seiten
  • Verlag: Pacific Reefs Publishing (4. Oktober 2013)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B00FO8JQA8
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
  • Erweiterte Schriftfunktion: Aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen
3.0 von 5 Sternen Wie kann man mit Walen reden? 14. November 2014
Von Tamara
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Die Situation als solche hat mich an dem Buch interessiert. Es war spannend zu verfolgen, wie sie das Problem lösen versuchen und wo die Probleme liegen.
Andererseits kann man merken, dass der Autor selber Wissenschaftler ist. Die Sprache (vor allem in Original) ist schwer, es gibt viele Begriffe, mit denen man als Normalsterblicher nichts anfangen kann. Entweder sucht man dann nach Erklärungen oder Übersetzungen (was lange dauert und den Lesefluss beeinflusst) oder man überfliegt die Teile und konzentriert sich auf "Aktion". Ich habe beides versucht, keins funktionierte für mich so zufriedenstellend, dass ich das Buch genoss. Vor allem das Überfliegen war teilweise schwer, weil man doch irgendwie etwas verpasste.
Die Charaktere fand ich teilweise zu positiv oder zu negativ, ich hatte den Eindruck, dass es um die nicht wirklich geht, es ging für mich zu viel um das Wissenschaftliche und moralische hinter dem Buch.
Ich konnte mich zwischen 2 und 3 Sternen nicht entscheiden, aber da ich das Buch bis Ende geschafft habe, gibt es doch 3.
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.0 von 5 Sternen  144 Rezensionen
30 von 32 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting story but not my style 28. März 2014
Von Geeky guy - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
I like the premise, I like the characters, I like the plot. The story could make for an interesting movie. But the writing style is way too descriptive for me. This is not a person who follows Strunk and White. I have to say, though, that the author does talk about his helpful editors, who helped him _reduce_ the level of descriptiveness. So he was aware of his tendency, and, to his credit, did something about it, but it just wasn't enough for me. I find it interesting that so many of the other reviewers don't mind this. At least one other reviewer has the same problem though. Which camp will you fall into? Read a sample and decide before you buy.

3/29/14 Fixed typo. Guess I need an editor :)
23 von 25 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A Whale of a Tale. 11. Dezember 2013
Von Nicholas Young - Veröffentlicht auf
This book is a story of the triumphs and travails that accompany the thought-provoking scientific and communication breakthroughs in understanding the language of humpback whales off the coast of Maui. At the same time, it raises awareness of the fact that many whales and dolphins are being harmed by offshore Navy sonar testing annually, a phenomenon reflected in the cover art.

One of the strengths of this book is the character development. One of the protagonists, Dmitri, is rather gung-ho and anxious with respect to the whales, owing to the fact that he's an acoustics professor. Greg, his good friend and colleague, is comparatively easygoing and lighthearted. Together, the two characters' personalities complement each other nicely, particularly in the first half of the book.

The supporting characters are unique without stealing too much from the plot. Throw in a potential love interest and the threat of forces conspiring to prevent the protagonists from attaining their goal, and this book makes for an entertaining read.

That being said, at times, the text can feel like paragraphs from a textbook, especially if the reader, like myself, is not too familiar with linguistics. While this is not inherently a bad thing, I did struggle to read through a few portions of the book, but I learned something unique about the principles that shaped the evolution of language.

The author has done a great job of crafting a story that brings the relationship between humans and humpbacks to the forefront. I can't wait to read what happens next to Greg and Dmitri!
11 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting story 7. April 2014
Von Rosier - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
A very fun read, with the story taking precedence over character development. The author developed an intriguing thesis, then used enough scientific background to make the story appear plausible. The plot is drawn right from current headlines and is appealing from an ecological standpoint as well as from an animal behavior slant. I very much enjoyed and look forward to futures tales from this author. The reason it didn't get 5 stars is that some of the character interaction was a bit stilted and occasionally irritating. The bad guys twirled their mustaches perhaps a bit much and made their actions a bit predictable. The good storytelling overcame that minor objection.
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen What an incredible movie this will make ! 19. März 2014
Von EDUARDO - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
The discoveries are amazing , a real adventure. The descriptions painted by the author took me there to Maui , my favorite place in the world . Although I could not fully understand some of the dialogue between the characters , they are the real deal . A team of scientists capable of making discoveries that will change the course of mankind, and at the same time , down to earth , enjoying and respecting the wonders of our planet . I could both relate to them and respect their gifted intellect far beyond my understanding. The novel is science fiction now but could be fact in the future . I have always been in awe of whales and dolphins. This novel has taken my understanding and amazement of Cetaceans to a higher place. This author has not just written a novel to entertain us . He has written this with purpose and passion . He is not just a writer but a scientist himself , a champion for the planet , setting out to discover a bridge of communication between ourselves and the rest of the animal kingdom. While pondering the existence of other forms of higher intelligence out in space, we have missed the mark. Get ready, put on your scuba gear and dive into the crystal blue waters of Maui to ask the question , "take me to your leader ". I will anxiously await The Whale Song Translation coming to the big screen !
8 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen Would make a better book without the storyline. 28. Oktober 2014
Von BL834 - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
[ Obviously this originally started as a GoodReads review, thus Mr. Price's comment of my "extensive review list" but I'm cross-posting on Amazon. ]

The synopsis mildly intrigued me. The author bio gives an impression of an intelligent, well-educated man. What could go wrong?

The good: This book is obviously well researched. The plot is decent enough, if not entirely unique.

The bad: The writing. There is just no getting around it. Mr. Pine's prose ran the gamut from florid to stilted to condescending and back again.

The ugly: It appears that Mr. Pine considers me an unqualified reviewer. His note to me upon seeing my one-star rating:

" Genre mismatch? My book is first-contact, very high-tech sci&fi and I don't see anything apropos in your extensive review list? It's as if I selected a book at random, discovered it wasn't even close to a genre aligned with my interests, e.g. YA or Romance(ugh!), and then penalized the author for not meeting my expectations. Considering the circumstances and in the spirit of Goodreads community support, I don't think it's appropriate to publish a rating. "

I'm pretty confident that I'm not disappointed in "The Whale Song Translation" simply because a "first-contact, very high-tech sci&fi" novel is beyond my scope of interest. Even accepting the ludicrous assertion that readers must somehow be qualified to share their opinions of a book, I have decades worth of said qualifications. I have actually read most of the classic hard sci fi first contact novels - by Niven! Pournelle! Vinge! Clarke! Masters of the genre, all - well before I started tracking books via GoodReads.

I'm honestly offended to be asked to remove my rating just because it wasn't favorable. I do dislike some books. The reasons may vary, but the end result is the same: I state my opinion and move on. I have no industry-wide influence. I am not a literary trendsetter. I don't pretend that my ratings or reviews make a difference in any particular book's success. However, as a part of the GoodReads community I feel perfectly justified in making my ratings and reviews public.

Suck it up, Mr. Pines. Either learn from criticism or ignore it, but accept the fact that not everyone will praise your hard work.

*** Addendum: Here are a few random examples of Mr. Price's writing, straight from the book.

Dmitri brushed a hand across the leather-wrapped steering wheel. He gripped the wheel and shuttered his eyes. When the textured touch activated a region of dormant neural circuitry, he zoomed through a wormhole in his subconscious to the memory of a cold Christmas morning long ago.

. . .

While Greg asked the questions, Dmitri's own visual tracking system scanned the contours of Melanie's East-meets-West fusion features, shaped, he surmised, by the merging of Asian, Pacific, and North American genetic tectonic plates. He was pleasantly distracted by the multiple images of her movements reflected back to him from the glass and metal surfaces of the telescope.

. . .

A bobbed brunette, tastefully tattooed, and about the same age as one of his graduate students, stood in front of a wall-mounted whiteboard, semi-encircled by the desks of eight elementary-school-aged pupils. As her head arced back and forth, her shoulders swayed and her hips undulated, her hands danced a pas de deux, and her fingers embroidered an intricate web of shapes into the fabric of the air. Her deftly coordinated movements, intermingled with occasional darting gestures to drawings on the whiteboard, spoke to her students as meaningfully as any lecturer.

. . .

And a final TL;DR note: My reading tastes are wide and varied, sure, but of just the first 50 books on GoodReads' "Popular First Contact Books" list I've read 20. Alas, I did not rate them all seeing as how I read most of them prior to joining GR in 2011. Still, there's plenty of "hard sci fi" I've rated since I joined. I suppose it's not surprising Mr. Price doesn't want to wade through my 900+ list of titles to find out if I really do have an understanding of his chosen genre: in only the past MONTH I have read seventeen books ranging from silly fantasy ("Goblin Quest") to hard scifi ("The Clockwork Rocket") to the American occupation in Afghanistan ("The Watch") to post-apocalyptic dark fantasy ("Empire of Thorns" trilogy) to a deaf teen who solves a murder mystery ("The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin") to satire/memoir ("How To Be Black") to a hippie commune ("Arcadia") to formulaic mass-produced fantasy ("Fool Moon" of the Dresden Files series) to non fiction ("The Family Who Couldn't Sleep") to a literary conspiracy graphic novel ("The Unwritten") and more.

This reader READS. I can legitimately estimate that I've read between 5,000 and 7,000 novels in my lifetime, with at least a solid sampling of just about every genre out there. Exposure to that many words has given me some firm opinions about writing... and I think the writing in this novel is bad.
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