Podcast Review #27: Earthcore

Title: Earthcore
Author: Scott Sigler
Genre: Science Fiction/Horror
Released: 25 March 2005 – 26 November 2005
Located: iTunes, Podiobooks
Formats Available: podcast only at this time
Rating: As is true for all Sigler stories, this is an adult only ride.

One of the first author’s I found when I started listening to podio fiction was Scott Sigler. I’ve listened to all of his podcast fiction, some with a greater interest than others. The stuff of his I’ve liked, I’ve really really liked, the others, meh. (The plaid tanks will soon be rolling down my street, I know. Oh well, truth is truth.)

Having previously reviewed Tee Morris’s Billibub Baddings and the Case of the Singing Sword, and Mark Jeffrey’s Max Quick The Pocket and the Pendant, I decided it was about time to include the third jewel in the triple crown of founding stories and let everyone know what I think about Scott Sigler’s Earthcore. I often forget that Earthcore was Sigler’s entry into podcasting, because I listened to Ancestor first. A fact which I have had to be corrected on more than once.

So, on to the review.

Synopsis: Deep below a desolate Utah mountain lies the largest platinum deposit ever discovered. A billion-dollar find, it waits for any company that can drill a world’s record, three-mile-deep mine shaft. EarthCore is the company with the technology, the resources and the guts to go after the mother lode. Young executive Connell Kirkland is the company’s driving force, pushing himself and those around him to uncover the massive treasure.

But at three miles below the surface, where the rocks are so hot they burn bare skin, something has been waiting for centuries. Waiting … and guarding. Kirkland and EarthCore are about to find out firsthand why this treasure has never been unearthed.

Production: if you have ever listened to a Sigler story, I’ll simply say this one, even though the first, really isn’t much different. He does a straight read while giving each character a unique voice and keeps everything very easy to listen to. I realized a while back that, for me, if you’re not going to do a full cast podcast audiodrama, Sigler is the man to emulate. (If you disagree, feel free to share your favorite.) I really believe Sigler captures the essence behind “less is more” with his production in Earthcore.

Cast: The cast is huge for this story, just as it is for all Scott Sigler novels. I can hear you now, “WAIT.. what are you talking about, Scott always does a straight read!” Yup, you’re right, and Earthcore is a straight read too with only Mr. Sigler behind the mic. However, I figure when you’re the FDO™, you are in actuality a cast of millions. Unfortunately, in Mr. Sigler’s world, all women sound remarkably similar and very manly (Still, better than I could do). Another realization for me. When I listen to a single voice podcast, I prefer characters to have as different of a sound as the author can give them naturally as opposed to electronically manipulating those same voices. Even if they do sound like Sigler’s women. (Don’t know FDO™? Give any of Mr. Sigler’s stories a listen, and you will.)

Story: Earthcore is by no means my favorite story. It isn’t even my favorite Sigler story. However, it is a decent story that kept me interested and and kept me guessing until the end. I will also say that if you’re an observant listener, you’ll definitely see some crossover among Mr. Sigler’s stories. Something I personally enjoy. Especially since you must be an observant listener.

Verdict: I enjoyed Earthcore enough to recommend it. Mr. Sigler was still very much an emerging author when he released Earthcore. That being said, I prefer it over the Infected books. (Yes, I said it. Disagree? Why?)

If I’m correct in my recollections, I believe Earthcore had initially been picked up to be published, but then through buy outs and consolidations missed it’s release. This is truly sad, because it is a much better story than most of books ive read in the genre. I know I’m not the first to make this comparrison, bu if you enjoy the works of Michael Crichton, I suggest you give Mr. Sigler’s Earthcore a try.

Disclosure: I do not follow Mr. Sigler on Twitter (@scottsigler), although I’m sure many of you would chastise me for this. I did not receive anything as recompense for this review, nor was I asked to make it.

~ by odin1eye on 3 May, 2010.

14 Responses to “Podcast Review #27: Earthcore”

  1. Nice review! I have a problem with claustrophobia so that puts this story close to the top of my favorites list.

    As for a cast of thousands you aren’t kidding! One thing I love about Scotts podcasts is the character voices he creates/uses, yes even the womens! Its been said His womens voices are to die for; once you hear them you wanna kill yourself! But that is being said with much respect and humor. Actually that’s what make’s Scotts podcasts unique and fun.

    Earthcore was published by Dragon Moon Press but is no longer being printed. It can still be found on Amazon every once in a while when someone decides to sell their copy.

    • Thanks for the comment Pons! I can well see how claustrophobia would make earthcore even creepier.

      I appreciate your providing your thoughts. You make some very good points. Thanks again.

  2. Earthcore isn’t my favorite. You can tell it’s one of his first. I will say though upon reflection that you may be right about it in relation to the Infected books. There is at least a likable character or two. Personally I prefer Ancestor and The Rookie.

  3. I have not listened to any of Sigler’s podcasts yet, but I have read the Infected books. Great review, and I will definitely consider adding Earthcore to my ever growing list of podcast fiction. Thanks for the review!

    • That ever growing list of podiofiction. We all have one. Hope we never catch up. 😉

  4. Earthcore was the second podiobook I listened to, after 7th son. I enjoyed it, although I noticed the exact same thing about the female voices, something which I believe Sigler has improved a bit later. I’d say I liked Ancestor a bit more.

    On the other hand, I think I’m in a small minority of the podiobooks audience who likes Infected the best out of Scott’s books. I never listened to it, I just bought the hardcover and read it. It is one of the most compelling horror thrillers I’ve ever read. Rarely have I ever experienced an author get inside a character’s head so effectively in this kind of book. And while I think Contagious has slightly more polished writing and is a bit more of a straight thriller (thus appealing to a wider audience), I think Scott’s gritty raw and writing style was at its best in Infected.

    But to each his own, no? I think every podiobook fan should listen to Earthcore, just to hear the first effort from one of the man who helped define the medium.

    • Thanks for the comment Ed! I think everyone has a favorite Sigler story. For me it is Ancestor and the Rookie. They simply speak to me. That being said, Earthcore was awesome and I really did enjoy it very much. It also made me realize never to get attached to any character in Sigler’s universe.

      • Yep, definitely never get attached to any character! I love that about Sigler. I have always liked killing off main characters, but I’ve been told that most readers don’t like it, so what I do is have more than one main character and figure I can kill one of them off somewhere along the way.

        I’d say Ancestor is my second favorite after Infected, but I’ll know for sure when I get to read it in print, which is a different experience than listening. One of these days I gotta listen to Noctournal also.

  5. Sigler has a way of sucking you in and keeping hold of you till your raw with emotion and exhausted with anticipation. I have listened to all of his books and other fiction. He is not everyone’s cup og tea, but he does know how to hold your attention. he is not my favorite writer, but he is my favorite horror writer. Even at his worst he holds you attention. of his books, i think the rookie is his best so far, but the crypt might just out do it once it hits the interwebs. i agree with your review, odin and look forward to more

    • Thanks for the comment Thomas! I agree, Sigler is probably one of my very favorite horror writers.

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