Podcast Review #29: Cybrosis

Title: Cybrosis
Author: P.C. Haring
Genre: Science Fiction
Released: 1 January 2010 – 14 May 2010
Located: Author’s SiteiTunes
Formats available: podcast only
Rating: PG-13 for violence and a bit of language (always listen before sharing with your family, we might have different views)

This has been a very busy spring. I’m having a hard time remembering what was going on January 1st. I believe I was ramping up to listen to Nathan Lowell’s highly anticipated Ravenwood when a heretofore unheard of podcast, Cybrosis, was brought to my attention. I might be able to lay the blame with Richard Green (a.k.a Mainframe) or perhaps Thomas Reed (a.k.a. trreed) but I might just as easily stumbled up on it on my own. Regardless, the author, P.C. Haring was a name I was familiar with from my Twitter circle (@pcharing). He seemed like a good enough bloke, and there are really few scifi productions in the podiofiction realm at the moment, so I decided to give it a shot.

So, on to the review.

Synopsis: Cybrosis is a cyberpunk action adventure novel filled with conspiracies, betrayals, and surprises. When a simple mission goes wrong, CNSCP Agent Ciris finds herself falling through a rabbit hole and into a conspiracy that threatens everything she knows about the cybernetic technology that keeps her alive. (Stolen and mashed up from iTunes and the author’s site.)

Production: I don’t know what Mr. Haring does for a living (I think he’s mentioned accounting, believe it or not (tax seasons over… lay off the poor guy)), but this production really is top notch. He makes appropriate use of consistently good production techniques and has paid attention to his mentors.

Several production notes. I have said previously that I was going to stop mentioning the story so far except when I had something to add to previous statements. This is one of those times.

Mr. Haring did something I haven’t heard before. He had guest voices introduce the episode (which was nice), but then had a consistent voice presence for TSSF. While I haven’t changed positions on the use of the device, I really liked this way of going about it. This is an example of good production. Repetition lets the audience know what is coming and draws us in from the very beginning.

Secondly, though Mr. Haring is far from the first podcaster to do this, I always appreciate the added touch of redoing the lead in on the final episode to signify the final episode. It just seems to me to be a mark of pride on the creators part that I can’t help noticing. Podcasters, I don’t know if I’m alone, but I DO notice these things.

Cast: The cast from Cybrosis, which truly is a full audiodrama (not the silly 3 or more people stipulation either -poke poke) has a cast that most first time podcasters would kill for. However, I will say that I had never heard Heather Welliver in the lead role before, and she truly and honestly nailed it. Her star is on the rise folks, and you heard her in Cybrosis early on.

Story: Cybrosis starts out with a high adrenaline chase scene and never backs down. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard a work of podiofiction that kept the pulse pounding rate going through as much of the story as Cybrosis did. If you mainline this one, the twenty episodes are going to fly by.

Verdict: Cybrosis is a great science fiction podcast that should have great and long lasting appeal. It isn’t “high art” perhaps, but it is great fun and would make a great summer blockbuster movie. I always looked forward to the weekly drops (which happened very regularly and according to schedule) and will miss having this one in my feed.

Unless you’re philosophically opposed to fun, cyborgs, splosions or strong female characters, stop hesitating and go subscribe. Now.

Disclosure: I have never met P.C. Haring, although I do follow him on Twitter. I was not asked to provide this review. Mr. Haring DID  ask me a question about mix levels early on, but that was the only input I ever provided during the release, other than an occasional “hurray”.

Comment Pages

There are 16 Comments to "Podcast Review #29: Cybrosis"

  • Great review. I too really enjoyed this show and I’m surprised it’s the first production work he’s done. The cast was great and keeping to the release schedule really did make it a weekly event for me!

    • odin1eye says:

      I’m so glad you liked it. I completely understand life intruding and making it difficult for an author to release on schedule and rarely complain about it. However, when someone adheres to that schedule it really does enhance the listening pleasure.

      • The reason why he was able to keep the schedule is because he essentially had the story and other elements except for his chatter done before he put the first episode up. (P.C. – correct me if I got this wrong). This is just one of the ways he took extra-care into this project.

        • odin1eye says:

          Extra little touches make such a huge difference in the overall product. Thanks for the info!

          • P.C. Haring says:

            You’re spot on, Mainframe. It’s part of the reason I took as much time as I did with production before Ep1 went live. I wanted to guarantee that short of my being in a hospital bed somewhere, I’d be able to release on schedule.

          • odin1eye says:

            Attention to detail. And it shows.

  • Cybrosis is one of those podcasts on my short list of podiobooks by new authors that I recommend. My “elevator pitch” for this story is “The Bionic Woman done right!”. That being said it is definitely more cyberpunk and less 6 Million Dollar Man. But Cybrosis isn’t so heavy cyberpunk that it isn’t accessible.

    The voice cast is wonderful. Though most are experienced voice actors, there are some interesting changeups in their performances for their fans. Heather Welliver does great in the lead role – so much so, that I was a little intimidated. Fortunately she also voices the delightful Maggie Griffen in “The Empress Sword”, so I am now less fearful that she might brandish arm cannons in real life. Christiana Ellis has a more restrained supporting role and her performance matches it well. She plays the best partner you could have backing you up in a fight and Ms. Ellis voices the nuances to a “T”. Chuck Tomasi is a long time podcaster, but I think this was his first time voice acting a major character like this – and he brings his “A”-game to the table. If his time permits, I hope we will hear more voice acting from one of the best fictional and real life tech geeks!

    Rich Sigfrit has awesome range and plays the villain very well. Some of the best moments in the productions are scenes with just Heather, Christiana, and Rich. George Hrab has a delightfully golden voice that somehow he manages to make gruff and smooth at the same time (How?, I have no idea). His character is the boss and we know it from the performance; but he is not playing a bully and his performance handles chewing out to apology (or as close as his character gets to it) equally well.

    But even the most talented voice cast can’t save a bad story and bad dialog. This is no problem at all, as the freshman effort of P.C. Harring has none of these problems. Harring knocks it out of the park in this first at bat, and I foresee great things in his future.

    From listening to Haring in the feedback episodes, it is clear that P.C. is very thoughtful about his writing process and makes a great effort to learn all the right lessons from the best of the podiobook authors who have preceded him. At the same time, he knows when to let go and let the action and the story take him where it needs to go.

    I look forward Haring’s next podcast novel; because as excellent this one is, I get the feeling that P.C. Haring is only going to get better.

    • odin1eye says:

      Richard, I really should just hand over this site to you… If I ever need a week off, you’ll be getting a call. Spot on man. Thanks!

  • Jeff Hite says:

    having never been a fan of any genre that calls it self *.punk, this sounds very interesting and worth a shot. Thank you for the great review as always.
    One thing I have to say, being that I am a podcast hoarder (I don’t listen until they are done, Damn you Holyfield!) your reviews are a great way to point me to things that I might enjoy without having to worry about them not being done. Thanks

    • odin1eye says:

      Give this one a shot. I think after a bit of parental prelistening, you might even approve this one for the minivan. Thanks for the comment!

      • Jeff Hite says:

        I will keep that in mind. Thank you. I am always looking for things to list to with the kids in the car. They Keep asking for Space Casey. I think Tumbler will be next for them, and I will give this one a listen and see what I think.

  • P.C. Haring says:

    Odin – Thanks so much for the awesome review! I’m glad you enjoyed the podcast and truly appreciate the kind words.

    • odin1eye says:

      Thank you for creating such great content. It really was a joy to hear such a great story done so very well.

  • Katharina says:

    I am a voice snob. A voice can make or break a podiobook for me. There are times where I am hoping for a dead tree version…

    This is not the case here. Although I wouldn’t fully support each and every single casting choice P.C. made, I thoroughly enjoy listen to his narration. If he is phonebook-material I will decide further on in the book.

    With Sci-Fi not being my favorite genre of all time, it feels so natural in this book that I didn’t really mind.

    Thank you again for the great review!

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