Podcast Review #125: The Mask of Inanna

Title: The Mask of Inanna
Author: Alicia E. Goranson
Genre: Darkish Fantasy
Released: 21 February 2012
Located: iTunesPodiobooks
Formats Available: Podcast only

Rating: PG for violence

As I’ve noted here before, my introduction to all things podcast was through my finding Old Time Radio shows in podcast form. I love Old Time Radio. I love podcasts. So when I stumbled upon The Mask of Inanna at Podiobooks.com and read that here was a work of podiofiction about an OTR show and cast, I immediately downloaded and began to listen.

So, on to the review.

Synopsis: The world isn’t kind to dreamers.

Like any boy of the radio era, Leonard Allen dreamed of hitting big in New York and Hollywood; to write or host that one big show that would make everyone notice. Even after he had his chance at both, that dream still burns inside him. He’s always been able to spark the divine somewhere in his work. And he’s been noticed.

He doesn’t know the lengths people will go to take advantage of such gifts. So when the mysterious David Lewis asked him finish his classic radio drama “After Dark” after a half-century from a pirate radio station in a New England lighthouse, Len didn’t realize it wasn’t as simple as that. The truth is that Lewis served a more powerful entity than even public opinion: the goddess Inanna, Sumerian patron of love and war both.

Sometimes, a god wants a sacrifice. Sometimes, a god wants praise and devotion. But the most fickle, and the most dangerous, are those who demand a show.

Journey into the creative mind of award-winning author Alicia Goranson, as she explores the nature of power and those who covet it in a genre-busting work that blends classic fifties radio drama, tense, paranoia-fueled thrillers, and the intimate knowledge born of a career working behind-the-scenes in the performing arts. Marvel at a stunning collection of award-winning stage actors, the Post-Meridian Players, as they provide the voice and heart to a cast of over thirty. Follow Allen and Lewis as their ideological conflict threatens to consume their friends and family, a battle neither can yield.

Is magic simply a tool, or a living thing to be respected? Does man have a right to make demands of the gods? What lengths would you go to for the power to protect what you love? Whatever you believe, don’t get caught out After Dark, in THE MASK OF INANNA.

Production: Wow. I don’t know if I’ve ever listened to a work of podcast fiction with a cast this large. If I have, it was by Dan Sawyer. This is radio theatre at its finest. This is audio drama. There is no narrator. There is no need. This is Decoder Ring Theater without the humour. (Not a typo.. I WANT the u there.) The Mask of Inanna is produced by Alicia Goranson. It is a feast for the ears. Simply, the production is as good as it comes.

Grade: A+

Cast: This is a very large cast that goes by the name of The Post-Meridian Radio Players. I’m guessing they’re all professional or semi-professional actors/actresses. I’ve never heard of them before, but their mic presence was amazing. Each actor voiced his character with aplomb and created a tableau awash with colorful voices to delight the ears.

Grade: A+

Story: The Mask of Inanna is good. It’s very good. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a quibble or two with it though. First of all, due to the nature of the story, it is told in a rotating pattern of flashbacks and present day. I’ve always hated this device with a passion. I’d MUCH rather have the back story told at the beginning and then give me a “jump” to the current story line. However, I do understand why it was necessary with Mask and I can’t say that it was too much of a detriment to the story. Also, when certain effects are used on some of the supernatural characters, I felt the audio might have been a bit shrill. Small complaints in a work this big.

Grade: A-

Verdict: I do recommend that you give The Mask of Inanna a listen. It is quite a different type of podcast than most of what you will hear on Podiobooks.com. I’m guessing the majority of my readers/listeners will greatly enjoy it. Let me know!

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: To be honest, I’d never even heard of anyone connected with The Mask of Inanna before giving this story a listen. However, I will be looking for these names in the future. Nothing was offered or accepted in return for this review.

Comment Pages

There are 12 Comments to "Podcast Review #125: The Mask of Inanna"

  • Thomas says:

    If you recommend, as always, I will listen. Never heard of this one, glad you found it.

  • I was able to interview Alicia Goranson for Podioracket.com and had a great time with her! I had gotten familir with the podcast before so I could sound as if I knew what I was asking and knew I was lucky to be the one who was asked to do the interview. Since I have listened and was in awe the whole story.
    First, the production is as close to perfect as I have ever heard and I love Decoder Ring Theater. Alicia wrote, produced, directed and edited this production. One part of it took over a month to edit!
    Second, as I listened to the podcast and was taken from one time to the next and from the island to California or wherever, as an author I was amazed at every corner. I would love to sit at Alicia’s knee for a year or so, just so some of her brilliance could drip off on me.
    Third, listen to the After Dark short stories and see if they are familiar. Alicia told me a secret about them, they are bible stories! I could tell what they were for almost all of htem, but wow….. I am still amazed and so glad I was able to talk to her and get to know this wonderful author with a big heart and bigger sense of humour….. (Yes, there is a bit of humour here. I mean…SpeedBump? LOL )

    • odin1eye says:

      I haven’t listened to the interview yet, and won’t for a bit longer because I don’t like to know much before I do my own 4 questions, but I’m looking forward to the listen! As always, thanks Arlene!

  • Julia Lunetta says:

    So glad you enjoyed the show! You may also enjoy Second Shift. A number of us who’ve worked on Mask worked previously on 2S.

    Enjoy!

    Julia Lunetta
    Mr. Oboler in MoI, Arkahn & Winged Herald in 2S

  • Thank you so much for this review! We’ve forwarded it to the entire cast and I know they’ll be thrilled to read it.

  • Katherine Bryant says:

    Thanks for your glowing review! We had a lot of fun doing the show, and I’m glad to know people are enjoying it.

    Katherine
    (Jessie McAllister)

  • Neil Marsh says:

    As the creator and executive producer of The Mask of Inanna, I would also like to thank you for such a glowing review. The cast and crew are thrilled by it and have been sharing it all over Facebook and G+!

    The Post-Meridian Radio Players (pmrp.org) are primarily a live performance troupe and Mask is our first extensive foray into studio production. Live shows are more immediate in their gratification and help to get our name out there, but studio productions are less ephemeral and can allow you to do more complex storytelling. I’m really grateful for Alicia’s enthusiasm and determination in getting Mask out there for everyone to hear!

    I also want to echo Julia Lunetta’s recommendation of Second Shift, produced by Blue Sky Red Entertainent. I don’t think Mask would have happened without my experience working on 2S. The writing, acting and post-production are excellent, particularly in the second season, and many of the actors from 2S make appearances throughout Mask. My one caveat is that you give it time. When the show started production in 2005, virtually no one involved had any experience making a production like it. But as the first season progresses, it all gets tighter and more refined. Once you hit the second season, all the stops come out and it becomes epic. It’s well worth downloading and listening to all 29 episodes (plus some extra goodies).

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