Podcast Review #98: Marco and the Red Granny

 

Title: Marco and the Red Granny
Author: Mur Lafferty
Genre: Science Fiction
Released: 8 Feb 2011 – 25 Feb 2011
Located:PodibooksiTunes
Formats Available: Podcast, eb00k
Rating:; PG13: Violence

I’ve listened to a lot of podiobooks. A lot of them. Ms. Lafferty is one of the biggest names in podcast fiction. She’s earned that place by right of her efforts and commitment to providing a well told tale. I previously, (review 9) reviewed her novel Playing for Keeps. I’ve listened to most of the rest of her works as well, so when I recently discovered her novella, Marco and the Red Granny, I gave it a listen.

So, on to the review.

Synopsis: By bringing back the patronage system, a new alien species has transformed the moon into the new artistic center of the universe, and Sally Ride Lunar Base soon gains the nickname “Mollywood.” These aliens can do amazing things with art and the senses, allowing a painting, for example, to stimulate other senses than simply sight. When someone asks a starlet, “Who are you wearing?” she could as easily say “J.K. Rowling” as she could “Gucci.”

Every creative person in the world wishes for a patronage. It’s quite competitive.

Marco wanted one, once. But then his girlfriend got one and shuttled off to Mollywood for fame and fortune, and Marco stayed home, waiting for his own patron. After several years, he gave up entirely. His career faltered. His agent dumped him. And then, one morning, he gets a call. At last he has a patron, at last the aliens want him. But he’s about to find out that an artistic patronage isn’t what it was in the good old days, and that the only friend he’s made, a tiny old woman who’s the star of a blood sports reality series called The Most Dangerous Game, has secrets of her own. (Stolen from iTunes)

Production: Although this story is written by Ms. Lafferty it is read and produced by someone other than the author. I’ve never quite understood why some authors go this route. I’m sure there is a plethora of solid reasons for doing it, but when you have the talent and experience Ms. Lafferty has, I was surprised to find her not at the helm of this one. That being said, the narrator and, I assume, producer is Devo Spice. Mr. Spice did a very nice job with the production. The sound quality is consistent and nothing really jarred me out of the moment. There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles, other than another musical sequence by Beatnik Turtle.

Grade: B+

Cast: As previously stated, this story is narrated by Devo Spice. He does an adequate job of reading the story and provides vocals that never make it difficult to understand the point of view of the character that is speaking. While I was a bit disappointed that Ms. Lafferty wasn’t reading, I wasn’t disappointed with Mr. Spice.

Grade: B+

Story: Marco and the Red Granny starts out light hearted and almost comedic in many ways. As the story progresses, it becomes a bit of something else. Social conscience? Political? Perhaps. Perhaps something else as well. Regardless, it stays within the boundaries Ms. Lafferty sets out. There is no shark jumping here.

Grade: A-

Verdict: I liked Marco and the Red Granny quite a bit. I think most fans of Ms. Lafferty would agree, more importantly, I think most people would agree. This story is a novella is over relatively quickly, but it is long enough to have developed a decent plot and it kept me sufficiently entertained throughout.

Disclaimer: I have never met Ms. Lafferty. I have never tweeted with Ms. Lafferty. In fact, she doesn’t follow me, nor I her. I should probably correct that. I know she can be found on Twitter: @MightyMur. I have listened to many of her stories and am beholding to her for her participation in the podiofiction community.

Comment Pages

There are 2 Comments to "Podcast Review #98: Marco and the Red Granny"

  • TerminusVox says:

    I think Marco and the Red Granny may be a “break-out” story for Mur Lafferty. She has been a remains one of my favorite voices in the podosphere. ‘Marco’ is something altogether different than what she’s written before and shows real growth in her art.

    I think I understand why she chose to out-source the narration of this story. For one, it is written as a first person account from a male character’s point of view and for another, I believe Ms. Lafferty wanted a different ‘tone’ than that for which she is known. Lafferty has female angst down but having said that I think the choice of having a different voice for Marco gives an automatic separation from her other characters.

    The world building is handled with a subtle and deft hand. The idea of the future of patronage is interesting and frightening. The guilds are fascinating, intriguing. There’s so much implied and if given the wherewithal to pursue it I think this universe could be richly mined.

    I have met Ms Laffery and frankly I’m afraid I went a bit fanboy on her. I’m always interested to hear what she’s written.

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