Podcast Review #70: Eden

Title: Eden
Author: Phil Rossi
Genre: Science Fiction/Horror
Released: 11 February 2009 – 16 April 2009
Located: Podiob1ooksiTunes
Formats Available: podcast only
Rating: R for violence, adult situations

Nothing I’m listening to currently ended this week, and I wasn’t able to finish a completed story in time to review, so it was time to pull one from the vault. Having realized that I had never reviewed Mr. Rossi’s Eden, I have decided to rectify that.

So, on to the review.

Synopsis: The tree is beautiful and they call her Eden. Her branches reach for the stars. She is like all other trees on planet Earth save for her enormous size. Still, she has leaves and she has bark. She turns sunlight into life. But this tree does not sprout from the dirt. Eden fills the sky, high in orbit above the blue expanse of Uranus. There she changes humanity’s very concept of extraterrestrial life. Dr. Malcolm Green is sent to Eden to audit a science team studying this extraordinary tree from the dark confines of space station Lola. But with unexplainable accidents plaguing the team, tensions are mounting between scientists and custodial staff. Is there a future for this project and Lola? Only Malcolm Green can make that call. From the second he sets foot on Lola, Malcolm’s own future becomes at stake. He soon finds that love, friendship, and his own mortality tremble like a leaf at the sound of Eden’s call. (Stolen from Podiobooks.com)

Production: By the time Eden was produced, Mr. Rossi had all ready provided us with Crescent and his anthology, Notes from the Vault. Having these previous works under his belt, producing Eden was probably fairly easy for him as he follows much the same formula. As with Mr. Rossi’s other works, the audio is clean. There are limited audio effects that enhance the mood of the story. I can’t recall a single instance of being distracted from the story.

Grade: A

Cast: Eden is a straight read. Everyone has their own preference when it comes to straight read versus casted stories. I go back and forth depending on the story and/or the author. Mr. Rossi does a very good job of reading his own material and his voice seems just sly enough to be a bit creepy. Perfect for this kind of story.

Grade: A-

Story: Eden is a novella and a fairly short one at that. There isn’t a lot of character building and the story itself demands immediate suspension of belief. This is not to say Mr. Rossi does not provide motivations for his characters or back story. He does. But he is obviously sharing with us a moment of their story, not their entire story. For Rossi this is a bit different but he does it adequately and in a way that makes sense to me.

Grade: B

Verdict: I found Eden to be much like one of the better episodes of The Twilight Zone or perhaps The Outer Limits. It is short, quick to the conclusion, and maybe somewhat without a point. This is not a criticism. I quite enjoyed the shows mentioned above and I have no problem with stories/podcasts that are similar. Harvey is far and away my favorite story by Mr. Rossi. Eden is my second.

Disclosure: I have followed Mr. Rossi on Twitter for quite some time. Mr. Rossi has tweeted much less in recent times and I suspect is quite busy between his many endeavors.

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