Rating: R for violence, language, sexual situations.
I’ve had Singularity in my iTunes queue for probably at least a year. Part of the reason I hadn’t listened was the length. It’s a big book clocking in at 48 eps, and some of those episodes are pretty long. Also, the first couple of episodes lean pretty heavily on the science in the science fiction, making it a hard story to just jump right into. However, I decided I needed to clean my queue before I started looking for new podcasts and Singularity was at the top of the list.
So, on to the review.
Synopsis: What if the cataclysmic Tunguska explosion of 1908 was caused, not by a meteor or a comet, but by a microscopic black hole?
What if that fantastic object – smaller than an atom, older than the stars, heavier than a mountain – is still down there, orbiting deep inside the earth, slowly consuming the planet?
What if only a rookie government agent and an uncannily-insightful consultant stand between a renegade Russian billionaire and his plans to use the black hole to change history – or end it?
What if it’s all true? (synopsis stolen from Podiobooks.com)
Production: The production is a straight forward affair. There is no The Story so Far. There are no trailers for other podcasts. There is solely an opening piece of music that is repeated for the closing and the author reading in between. I don’t remember hearing any obvious miscues or repeated lines. It is a clean production with all audio at the same level and nothing to distract from the story. Singularity is a perfect case of “less is more” in terms of production. You don’t have to do much, if what you do is done well.
Cast: Singularity is a self read by the author. Mr. Desmedt is an interesting reader in that I found the narrated parts a bit stilted and perhaps dry, but the dialogue flows very well, and he does a variety of accents MUCH better than I could ever dream of. I’m not saying they all sound like the accent might actually sound like, but it is obvious what he is emulating and he is very consistent. I enjoyed the reading very much once I got involved in the story.
Story: This story, once you get involved, is a very engaging and well done story. It is 2 parts science and 2 parts fiction blended very well. The main characters are likable but also very human and have their faults. The story relies heavily on science, but the science is provided in layman’s terms that make it easy to enjoy.
Verdict: I really loved Singularity and was constantly looking for more opportunities to listen to it. If you’re a lover of good science fiction that has nothing to do with spaceships or aliens but instead relies on current technologies and earth bound situations, you owe it to yourself to listen to Singularity. Mr. Desmedt has also provided a companion podcast that delves into the science. I haven’t listened to that one, and am neither recommending or not recommending it.
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. Desmedt, and other than this story, I don’t know if he’s ever written anything, though I hope he continues to, because this was a very enjoyable read.