Synopsis: FETIDUS: The Damned Heir by James Durham is the first sci-fi/horror novel and original music score set in the grim and fetid alleyways of a post-apocalyptic Washington, DC, circa 2034. In this first novel, Art Blanchard, a jaded Washington lobbyist who works for The Foundation for the Ethical Treatment of the Innocently Damned, Undead and Supernatural (FETIDUS), takes up the blackmail case of a mysterious woman, which leads him on a twisted adventure filled with noir-humor, suspense and horror.
Production: James does audio production for a living. He’s also a musician and composer. It shows in every bit of this podcast. He won a Parsec for it and it was deserved, even though at the time he won it, it had not yet finished. Fetidus seems not so much produced as sculpted. The music and sound effects accentuated every bit of the story.
Cast: Fetidus uses a full voice cast. Most of the people involved are pros, possibly all. As such, they do a marvelous job with their various roles.
Story: This is a modern noir. There’s a healthy dose of violence and sex, though the former is more explicit than the latter. There’s a lot going on here and in that sense it’s perhaps more complicated than its cinematic predecessors. Of course he injected vampires, zombies, and a horrific apocalypse into it as well. Taken all together there are times when it almost seems like too much. It’s easy to get overloaded with plot threads in addition to the world building that he’s done here. If you’re looking for a straight forward romp, this ain’t it. It also gets really, REALLY dark and there are times where the violence is a bit too much for my taste.
Verdict: I heartily endorse this podcast. In case it’s not obvious I think it’s one of the top ones out there and it earned the Parsec. Odin rightly dinged it for it’s release schedule, since it did go through a reboot. There are good reasons for that that I won’t go into since they’re immaterial now. You as a new listener have the benefit of all the episodes being out there for your consumption. If you’re into noir and zombies I’m frankly surprised you haven’t already listened to it!
Grade: Solid A