Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Jailhouse Rock

A two part podcast story published by Variant Frequencies. Jailhouse Rock Part 1 and Jailhouse Rock Part 2. Written by James P. Hogan. Narrated by Rick Stringer. Voice acting by Will Hoffacker, Phil Rossi, Jan Dalton, Jack Ward, Lonnie Ezell, Ciaran O’Carroll, Neil Stringer, and Nobilis.

High above the stormy southern hemisphere of Mars, a routine cargo transport has turned into a high-stakes standoff between Skyguard soldiers and vicious mercenaries turned thieves.

This is the story of a formative moment in the early career of a new space gallant called Knight. Still wet behind the ears, Knight finds himself an unwitting victim of a mercenary troupe hi-jacking the weapons cargo he was accompanying. However, mercenaries find out that Knight has a level of daring and resourcefulness that is bound to make their plans go astray. All alone, without any weapons - what can Knight do?

This podcast story features engaging voice acting and convincing sound effects to evoke a spectacular sense of space adventure at its best. It is all about daring, quick wits and enormous cojones, chutzpah, sisu. There is no swearing, no gore, no aliens. I could imagine this story in the Firefly universe, or even Babylon 5 because both shows have a somewhat similar sense of cowboys in space.

I would very much like to see this story to continue into a larger adventure. As a short story, the focus was more on action rather than character building. Don't get me wrong, the characterisation of the protagonist was excellent, but I didn't feel like I got to know him very well. I didn't get the opportunity to care about him for reasons other than the fact that he was all alone against overwhelming odds.

I give this a solid 8 out of 10, and recommend it for any space adventure fan. I was hooked from the beginning of part 1 and gritting my teeth at the end of it when I realised I would have to wait for part 2.

One last comment: the title of the story is a sly pun which you won't get until the end of the story!

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