Podcast Review #90: Last Man Home

Title: Last Man Home
Author: John Mierau
Genre: Science Fiction
Released: 1 July 2009 – 22 July 2009 – podiobooks, 28 June 2011 – 11 July 2011 – iTunes
Located: Author’s SiteiTunesPodiobooks
Formats Available: Podcast and ebook

Rating: PG 13 for Violence

Not long ago, Review 85 to be exact, I reviewed John Mierau’s Enemy Lines. I enjoyed it and had no problem recommending it to those that were interested in a good science fiction story. After Enemy Lines was complete, I stayed subscribed to Mr. Mierau’s feed and he continued to drop regular pieces of entertainment in the feed. Recently a new story, Last Man Home recently dropped into the feed, and I felt it was worthy of its own review. With Enemy Lines, I believe Mr. Mierau might have had one of the longest stories yet reviewed. With Last Man Home, I’m almost positive he has the shortest.

So, on to the review.

Synopsis:

What happens when the survivors of long-dead Lieutenant Tom Callahan’s squad meet for their annual reunion – and one of the Alotans they spent years killing shows up. An alien going by the name of… Tom Callahan.

“I sprayed a mouthful of beer all over Teddy and Gris when the Bug stepped into the Wildlife Tavern. I wasn’t alone. Rows of grizzled backwoodsmen wore their neighbor’s drinks as the first Alotan they’d ever seen lumbered back to our table. Things like that just didn’t happen in Ladysmith, Quebec (population 1,400).” (Stolen from the author’s site)

Production: John Mierau previously received rather high marks for production, and if anything he only improves that here. I believe I caught one repeated line, but that could have been simply the way the story was written as well . The production is kept to a minimum with no sound effects, and a simple (but very nice, uncredited) guitar rif to open and close the story with. The story is very short with a total length of less than an hour and a half, and I definitely feel like the decision to make the production minimalistic was the right choice.

Grade: A

Cast: Mr. Mierau does this as a strait forward self read. He does a very nice job with it. I would be surprised if there are more than ten voices total, and only four voice or five voices are greatly recurring. He does a fine job of keeping these voices straight and reads them very well.

Grade: A

Story: The synopsis does a descent job of providing a clue on whether you’ll enjoy this story or not. This is a good story and Mr. Mierau tells it in the first person. As stated before, when not done well, I really don’t like first person. Thankfully, Mr. Mierau does it very well.

Grade: A

Verdict: I liked Last Man Home. If you’re a fan of science fiction, and you have an hour and half to spare, I would recommend that you go ahead and give this story a listen.

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: As stated previously, I do follow Mr. Mierau on Twitter and converse with him on a regular basis. I will be trying to get an interview from him for the audio version of this review.

Comment Pages

There are 5 Comments to "Podcast Review #90: Last Man Home"

  • I listened to “Last Man Home” and I really liked it. I’m not sure that the story would work in a full novel, but is great in this long short story/short novella format.

    A full John Mierau story in 90mins means a “must check out”. John seems to be enjoying writing a variety of different stories, so if you happen to not like this one, there are others you probably will.

  • Nobilis Reed says:

    You’ve got links here to “Black Shadow”… Fix please?

  • Sue says:

    I absolutely loved this story and plan on listening again. John’s writing is tight and crisp with both humor and poignancy. The production was very well done. And, yes, he did have one repeated line which was a big improvement from Enemy Lines which had at least one per episode (my only criticism of that story). I have a short list of Must-Listen-To podcasters and John is on it.

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