Imagine a world where magic has developed alongside technology. A world where the fabric of a city is maintained not only by gravity and physics, but also by magic. That’s the world that Metamor City is situated in.
It’s also a city where the police chief is a wolverine, the chief medical examiner is a vampire (her ‘special’ attributes make her outstanding at her job), and where the normal people are called ‘mundies’, for ‘mundanes’, having no special skills or attributes. Mundies, and a potentially unlimited range of mythical and fantastic creatures live cheek by fang together, and in general manage to get along OK. But where there’s tension and conflict, usually between races (if that’s the right word), then that’s where the interest lies for the fiction.
It’s a city full of potential for the exploration of many themes, and one which the author, Chris Lester, exploits to great advantage. The Metamor City podcast is a thorough, in depth look at the characters and events of this fantastic metropolis. Lester’s style isn’t about fast moving action. The mix of short and long stories take their time to explain, explore, dissect, discover. The motivations of characters are important here, and there will be dwelling on detail if Lester feels it necessary to create a believable world – which it is.
The focus of the stories is the city itself, and all the rich variety that it contains, rather than a particular character. Stories are told from different perspectives, and characters could be major, minor, or absent from one story to the next.
The first few podcasts are narrated (well) by individuals, and then change to a cast who speak for each character, whilst Lester retains his role as the linking narrator. The quality is superb, with the ‘acting’ only a whisker away from full professional, and with nothing left to be desired from the production, and integration of music and sound effects. These sounds always add to the dramatic effect, unlike many podcasts (and, indeed, professional productions), where they can be intrusive, typically due to excessive volume or inappropriate material (cue very lengthy sound effect of footsteps).
If you want fast paced action, this isn’t for you. But if, like me, you hunger for great storytelling, great production, and a setting full of potential, then you’ll want to put this podcast high on your list of priorities.
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Posted by Nick Gassman