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Good Listening: Metamor City

Hello Everybody! The temperature has finally decreased to the point I can use my higher brain functions again. The Netherlands have been unseasonably hot these last few weeks; seriously sapping my will to do anything but flee to an air conditioned cafe and drink cold beer.

Recently work has taken a turn for the drudgery. The latest batch of experiments are all done but all the data needed to be processed and entered into the computer. Two solid weeks of data entry. Don’t worry, I survived the ordeal. I kept my brain busy thanks to several free podiobooks I found on web. In about two weeks I went through about six novels worth of them, sometimes staying later at the office to finish a chapter. Podiobooks are basically audiobooks that are sliced into 30 to 60 minute chunks and published to web, usually for free.

The first one to claim my brain was Metamor City by Chris Lester. How to describe it. Okay take a D&D world, in that world is a cursed castle that changes anyone who stays there into either a child, an animal hybrid or a sex craved member of the opposite sex. Nobody wants to live there, but the castle is vital to defense of the realms from the forces of evil, so folks had go and take their chances. Got that in your head? Okay good, now throw yourself a thousand years into the future, the castle has grown into a thriving four-layered metropolis composed of millions of souls, supported by equal levels of technology and magic with the old curse now a choice. Think the pot is full now? We’re not done. Toss in a polyamorous psychic collective and vampires that have a bit of humanity in them but don’t sparkle. This is a kitchen sink fantasy and you know what? It works. It works because Lester has crafted a large cast of believable and interesting characters who deal (or don’t) with the card that have been given.

The metamor city podcast feed on itunes currently contains about ten short stories, two novellas and one HUUGE novel, clocking in at over thirty hours of audio if you listen to all the intros and outros. All the stories are narrated by Lester but all the character voices are preformed by separate voice actors and combined with sound effects. The end result is more a kin to a radio serial than a traditional audiobook. It great listening. The novel, Making the Cut, is the gem of the batch and Lester’s writing kept my ears glued to the headphones once I hit chapter 25ish. The ending is like watching a slow motion train wreck, you cannot look away.

Highly recommended, you will find something to love about Metamor City.

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