Podcast Review #104: Beneath


originally published October 24, 2011

Title: Beneath
Author: Jeremy Robinson
Genre: Science Fiction
Released: 7 February 2010 – 22 April 2010
Located: iTunesPodiobooksAuthor’s Site
Formats Available: dead tree, podcast, ebook

Occasionally, I simply go to Podiobooks.com and browse through the stories looking for something I’ve never heard. This might not be the best lead in for a story, but the truth is the truth. Browsing the racks is exactly how I stumbled across Jeremy Robinson’s Beneath. It sounded, from the synopsis, like a story that would be quite enjoyable.

So, on to the review.

Synopsis:  Three thousand years after a chunk of iron the size of Khufu’s pyramid collides with Europa, Jupiter’s sixth moon, an asteroid borne of the collision crashes into Earth’s Arctic ice shelf carrying extraterrestrial microbial life. The first man to come into contact with the microbes hears voices—and then dies.

After determining the meteorite originated from Europa, the Global Exploratory Corporation sends oceanographer and biologist, Kathy Connelly, and her crew to the moon aboard the Surveyor, an experimental spacecraft. They are charged with the task of melting through miles of ice to the hidden ocean beneath, where the search for alien microorganisms begins. But a startling discovery awaits them on the surface of Europa.

Life.

Vast fields of red, plant-like organisms fill the cracks crisscrossing the moon’s surface, surviving on nutrients welling up from the waters below. Intoxicated by thoughts of what might lie beneath, Connelly and her crew activate the Thermal Exploratory System and melt through the ice—toward a world that does not want to be found, toward a force that will do anything to make sure they never leave.

They search for life. They find death.(stolen from podiobooks.com)

Production: Beneath is put together quite well. I enjoyed listening to the story. The audio was neither to loud nor to quiet. The quality of the recording was better than average and the editing was well done. Sometimes, it is best to just not notice the production. That means it didn’t interfere with the story. This is the case with Beneath.

Grade: B+

Cast: Beneath is a self read podcast with voice work provided by Jeffrey Kafer. I’m unfamiliar with Mr. Kafer’s work, but after having heard him in this story, I would not be reluctant to call upon him if I needed any voice acting done. He sells the characters without going overboard. The reading was fluid and his reading voice was mellifluous. Both greatly enhanced the story.

Grade: A-

Story: When I started listening to Beneath, I was really hoping for a scary space horror story. What I got instead was an episode of The X Files. Not that that is bad, but it wasn’t what I was expecting. The creatures could have been truly scary, or evil, or just malevolent in their pursuit of their own survival. (Minor spoiler ahead) Instead what I got was a sentient race just wanting to be left alone. Again, this is far from bad, it just wasn’t what I expected.

Grade: B+

Verdict: If you like a good science fiction story that will keep you guessing, Beneath will most likely fit that bill for you. However, if you’re looking to be a bit spooked and for a story that you best not listen to in the dark, keep looking, there is nothing for you here.

Disclaimer: I’ve never met Mr. Robinson, nor do I follow him on Twitter (to my knowledge). I have never discussed this story with anyone and received nothing in the way of remuneration for this review.

~ by odin1eye on 14 January, 2020.

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