Rating: R for violence, language, sexual situations.
I recently completed a review with Richard Green’s wonderful Geek Out with Mainframe podcast, where Richard surmised that I had probably run out of my original slush pile of listened to podcasts. For the most part, I have, but there remain a couple that I listened to early on and have never reviewed. I remembered being entertained by Number One with a Bullet, so decided to relisten and give it a review.
So, on to the review.
When the world’s top ten hitmen compete in a last man standing, winner take all contest for over $100 million dollars, the only rule is to stay alive. And for retired assassin Johnny Dane, getting out of the business doesn’t mean getting out of the game.
Welcome to the world of high-priced hitmen and the sport they’ve been thrust into. Dane, one of the top ten best killers has been notoriously absent from the contest, much to the dismay of the wealthy men and women betting on him to win. Having left the life, he’s disappeared to an oceanfront hideaway and has vowed never to return. But when the game finds him and threatens the only woman he’s ever loved, this killer realizes the only way out is to get back in. (Stolen from the author’s site)
Production: This story is an old one. It is one of the earlier works of podiofiction reaching all the way back to 2006. That being the case, it is a pretty good listen. The production quality is pretty high, though a bit inconsistent at times. The story so far is firmly in effect and the author includes gratuitous emails sent in praise of the story and author at the end of every ep.
Cast: First time ever that I’ve had to state that this podcast is both a self read and a full cast. It starts out as a full cast and continues happily along its way, when suddenly the author begins to do a self read. One of the dangers of too much metatalk, in my opinion, is that some listeners (me included) might not end up listening all the way through and might miss reasons such as this. However, the abrupt change really throws the story for a loop.
Story: A simplistic story where the hero is forced into a life left behind in order to save the love of his life. Told in present tense in the form of a [rejected] movie script. Number One with a Bullet did win a Parsec in 2007 for Best Non Speculative Novel.
Verdict: Back in 2006 early 2007, podcast fiction was still in its infancy. There weren’t nearly as many stories to listen to. Maybe that is what enabled me to enjoy this story at that time. However, listening to it now, it almost seems like it would work better as a parody of an action story as every scene if full of bombast. The fight and chase scenes are unbelievable, and I don’t mean that in a good way. The hand to hand combat scenes lead me to believe that author has never taken a martial arts class. The chase scene between a Porsche 911 and a Hummer are a physicists nightmare. I did recommend another story by this author, Transistor Radio. I would gladly listen to it again and wished I had rather than give Bullet another try.
Shameless plug: 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 (or when I receive it). You can also leave voicemail, for this or any other story, at the Valhalla Hotline simply by calling 956-307-ODIN (6346)
Disclosure: I’ve never met Mr. Nemcoff. I don’t know if he’s on twitter. I’ve never conversed with him and I’d still take a Porsche over a Hummer any day.