Podcast Review #77: Fables of the Flying City

Title: Fables of the Flying City
Author: Jared Axelrod
Genre: Steampunk flying adventure
Released: 30 May 2010 – 6 April 2011
Located: Author’s Site, iTunes
Formats Available: podcast
Rating: PG-13 for some violence

Fables of the Flying City had been on my radar since I heard Balticon buzzing about it (via twitter) last year. Of course, then I completely forgot about it until Mainframe (Richard Green) had the author, Jared Axelrod, on his wonderful interview show, Geek Out with Mainframe. I then forgot about it again (seriously, I’m simply terrible sometimes) until I asked Richard to remind me to subscribe. The act of asking someone else to remind me naturally caused me to remember and I subscribed.

So, on to the review.


Ashe, a young woman from the streets of the flying city of Amperstam learns what it takes to be a member of the Aerial Guard, and finds herself at war with an invading empire and the rulers of the city she has sworn to protect!

Fables of the Flying City is written by Jared Axelrod, with illustrations by Steve Walker and Natalie Kelly. (stolen from author’s site)

Production: Mr. Axelrod, early on shows that he’s not too worried about production and talks to his listeners about different setups he’s experimenting with. These eps are short, often in the range between five and ten minutes. It isn’t unusual for Mr. Axelrod to give his listeners as much metatalk as there is story. Since most of the metatalk I found informative or amusing, I didn’t mind. However, I personally prefer this metatalk to come AFTER the story, but that is only my personal preference.

Grade: C

Cast: Mr. Axelrod does a nice job of self reading most of the story. He has a guest reader for several episodes, but the story is always a single voice. I liked Mr. Axelrod’s readings. He has an infectious quality to his voice that makes your root for his heroine. I preferred his voice to his guests, but again, that is probably just my preference. All were easily understood and read the parts well.

Grade: B

Story: Fables of the Flying City is going to be a graphic novel. This podcast that Mr. Axelrod has provided is actually the prequel to that graphic novel. Having said that, this prequel stands on its own and does what any good prequel should do: makes you care about the characters that will be moving on.

Grade: A

Verdict: I truly enjoyed Fables of the Flying City. It is the first story that I’ve heard that I would classify as true steampunk and not a story with steampunk elements. The characters drive the story and your imagination is used (appropriately) to fill in some of the technology. I always looked forward to hearing the latest episode of Fables of the Flying City and I think you will to. I am very anxious for the graphic novel to make its way into my hands.

Don’t forget, if you send an audio comment to me at Odin1eye at viewfromvalhalla dot com, I’ll include it in the podcast version of this episode next weekend.

Disclosure: I do follow Mr. Axelrod on Twitter and find him quite the intelligent tweeter. I don’t converse with him often or at length. I was not offered a free copy of the graphic novel for review (grinding teeth) or anything else in return for this review.

Comment Pages

There are 8 Comments to "Podcast Review #77: Fables of the Flying City"

  • I really enjoyed “Fables of the Flying City” season 1. In a lot of ways the story is a bit loose in the overall structure, but each episode (or episode “group”) is tight and works together to paint a very compelling story.

    This is part of a larger saga that will involve at least one graphic novel and another podcast season. I am looking forward to both of these very much and hopefully more.

    I enjoyed Jared’s chatter before the episodes, but I think a lot of listeners would enjoy a Podiobooks.com style version with just the story.

    • odin1eye says:

      Thanks RIchard! I agree, some will undoubtedly prefer the Podiobooks style story only adaptation, but Jared carries the one sided banter quite well and what would have bothered me elsewhere didn’t bother me here.


  • Scott Roche says:

    I can’t believe I beat you to a review. 😉

    • odin1eye says:

      Yes.. You did.. lol… It was a choice between Hidden Institute and Fables, HI finished about a week ahead, so I went with it first. I PURPOSEFULLY didn’t look at yours yet, because I wanted to finish mine first.. I’ll be checking yours out today.

  • Giving it a shot. Just an fyi – the author’s web site link it missing the .com.

  • Thomas says:

    It has taken me sometime to comment here. I started Flying City with enthusiasm and anticipation. after the first half dozen or so episodes I quit listening. the short eps with all the chatter BEFORE the story was a killer. now that it is complete i will restart it. I really enjoyed the story and the action and the drama and the steampunkness and… well you get the point. i just couldn’t deal with waiting that amount of time between eps, with so little story in each, with so much talk BEFORE the story. I have enjoyed everything Mr. Axelrod has put out that i have heard.

    • odin1eye says:

      LOL.. I can understand that well. I also admit to letting a little backlogue create before diving in.. he’s just too dang good at the cliffhangering to not to.

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