Fables of the Flying City
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May 17, 2011 @ 11:46am

View from Valhalla – Podcast Review #77: Fables of the Flying City

Title: Fables of the Flying City
Author: Jared Axelrod
Genre: Steampunk flying adventure
Released: 30 May 2010 – 6 April 2011
Located: Author’s Site, iTunes
Formats Available: podcast
Rating: PG-13 for some violence

Fables of the Flying City had been on my radar since I heard Balticon buzzing about it (via twitter) last year. Of course, then I completely forgot about it until Mainframe (Richard Green) had the author, Jared Axelrod, on his wonderful interview show, Geek Out with Mainframe. I then forgot about it again (seriously, I’m simply terrible sometimes) until I asked Richard to remind me to subscribe. The act of asking someone else to remind me naturally caused me to remember and I subscribed.

So, on to the review.


Ashe, a young woman from the streets of the flying city of Amperstam learns what it takes to be a member of the Aerial Guard, and finds herself at war with an invading empire and the rulers of the city she has sworn to protect!

Fables of the Flying City is written by Jared Axelrod, with illustrations by Steve Walker and Natalie Kelly. (stolen from author’s site)

Production: Mr. Axelrod, early on shows that he’s not too worried about production and talks to his listeners about different setups he’s experimenting with. These eps are short, often in the range between five and ten minutes. It isn’t unusual for Mr. Axelrod to give his listeners as much metatalk as there is story. Since most of the metatalk I found informative or amusing, I didn’t mind. However, I personally prefer this metatalk to come AFTER the story, but that is only my personal preference.

Grade: C

Cast: Mr. Axelrod does a nice job of self reading most of the story. He has a guest reader for several episodes, but the story is always a single voice. I liked Mr. Axelrod’s readings. He has an infectious quality to his voice that makes your root for his heroine. I preferred his voice to his guests, but again, that is probably just my preference. All were easily understood and read the parts well.

Grade: B

Story: Fables of the Flying City is going to be a graphic novel. This podcast that Mr. Axelrod has provided is actually the prequel to that graphic novel. Having said that, this prequel stands on its own and does what any good prequel should do: makes you care about the characters that will be moving on.

Grade: A

Verdict: I truly enjoyed Fables of the Flying City. It is the first story that I’ve heard that I would classify as true steampunk and not a story with steampunk elements. The characters drive the story and your imagination is used (appropriately) to fill in some of the technology. I always looked forward to hearing the latest episode of Fables of the Flying City and I think you will to. I am very anxious for the graphic novel to make its way into my hands.

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.

Disclosure: I do follow Mr. Axelrod on Twitter and find him quite the intelligent tweeter. I don’t converse with him often or at length. I was not offered a free copy of the graphic novel for review (grinding teeth) or anything else in return for this review.

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