Friday, 16 November 2012

Scott Sigler's 'Infected' and Contagious' Podcast Review

Sam Loomis: You mean the Podcast I heard tonight wasn't about Mrs. Bates?
Sheriff Al Chambers: Now wait a minute, Sam, are you sure you heard a Podcast?
Sam Loomis: Yes! In the house behind the motel! I called and I pounded, but I couldn‘t stop listening to it.
Sheriff Al Chambers: You mean to tell me you heard Norman Bates' Podcast?
Lila Crane: It had to be, because Arbogast said so too. And the young man wouldn't let him listen to it because it was too sick.
Sheriff Al Chambers: Well, if the Podcast up there is about Mrs. Bates...then who's that podcast about that’s buried out in Greenlawn Cemetery?

If YOU happen to know who the buried podcast is about, or you have a good idea or suggestion for a Podcast you would like us to review, dig it up and we’ll prod at it for a while with sticks. However…if you DO know where there is a good Podcast and we find out you didn’t tell us….well, we have a shower curtain with YOUR name on it.

Today we are going to be looking at some of the full (and fully horrific) audio-novels that are out there. Today’s particular little beauties come from a place called and can be located on iTunes, Zune and most podcast downloaders. Again, these audio-books are free, but each one WILL ask you if you fancy making a donation. If you can, please do so, it keeps this nice little industry alive and, with the majority of these audio-books, at least 75% of the cash donated goes to the author or the producer of the podcast. 

Scott Sigler is a one man podcast production machine and is primarily known for his Science-Fiction/Horror. The nice thing about Sigler is that ALL of his sci-fi/horror is infused with masses of blood, guts, splattered faces and broken body parts. There ARE three of them that are totally Gridiron/Sci-fi (Soon to be four) and I will not be reviewing them here because it’s a rather specialist niche and, even though the on-field action involves death, mutilations and destruction, they are not exactly Horror as such. The rest of them? Well, I’ve listened to two of the full length novels and, believe me, I WILL be listening to the rest.
Sigler also has the distinction of writing and narrating the very first podcast only novel and is a New York Times bestselling author.

INFECTED by Scott Sigler (22 Episodes - 12hrs - 660MB)

Former American footballer Perry ‘The Beast’ Dawsey can no-longer play football. The grand dreams that he had are gone. In trouble with the law on a regular basis, the violence that he learned straight from his brutal fathers hands still coursing through him without any outlet, he now has a job that works only his mind. He is a volcano that is ready to blow. Then come the spores.

Drifting down from the sky, microscopic in scope, they affix themselves to hapless humans and start to grow. And they grow. And they grow. And then they open their eyes!

Others that are infected go mad. They kill themselves. They slaughter their own families in an orgy of violence. The govt. agents sent to locate the infected are baffled and even the doctors and scientists that back them cannot make head nor tail of the rapidly decomposing corpses that are recovered. And what are the Blue triangles that are found on each of them? Is this a man-made assault or just natures way of fighting back against mankind?

Well, man-mountain Perry Dawsey is about to discover all about the blue triangles. He will discover that they do not just open their eyes, they are also telepathic and, if he is not driven mad like so many others, then they wish to control him….that is until they are ready to hatch free.

The battle is now on. Perry Dawsey verses his infection. The fate of the whole world could depend upon the outcome and, when it comes right down to it, will Dawsey actually use those Chicken-bone cutting scissors?

It’s grim. It’s gory. It’s a genuine thrill ride. I admit that I’ve become a little jaded of late. The same old plot lines with the same old creatures. (Yes Zombies, don’t moan at me because it IS you I’m pointing at). This is a little something that is radically different. The whole plot of the blue triangles is slowly revealed throughout the rest of the book but it is the detail of the personal struggle between Perry and his infection that really captures the imagination. 

It was very early in the podcast that the ‘Something Magical’ happened. That Something Magical’ of course being the moment when you stop thinking of the character as just that, a character, and start to genuinely care about what happens to those you are now thinking of as real people. I genuinely began to care about Perry. To me, he was real, and I was sad when the podcast finally came to an end. That alone should tell you about how well written and narrated this particular podcast is.

Well done, Scott Sigler. An utterly fantastic podcast.  Rating:- 5/5

CONTAGIOUS by Scott Sigler  (26 Episodes - 16hrs - 875MB)

WARNING- Spoiler alert………The creatures from Infected are still drifting in from space, still landing in their spore form and still growing on, and in, the general populous. Something has changed though. That something is a man called Perry Dawsey and his Not-Strictly-Sanctioned approach to the prevention of the creatures attempted take over. Although now cleared of infection, Perry can still hear the little monsters in his head talking to each other and, as his utterly barbaric slaughter of a whole infected family goes to show, he is taking absolutely no prisoners.

The creatures finally figure out what is going wrong and, proving that they are not just a natural occurrence once and for all, they suitably change tactics. Tactics that show both just how smart they really are AND just how contemptuous of the human race they are. Tactics that very much look like they are going to make mankind an extinct species very, very quickly. That is if they can just avoid the Boogie-man; Perry Dawsey. When the new-style infected ‘Chosen one’ and Dawsey finally come head to head in the last few chapters it is, to say the least, explosive.

Both beautifully written and narrated by the author, the gore content of the second book in the series is taken way off the scale in both its breadth and its horribly delicious detail. I have to admit, at times I lost my way as to who was whom. This was due to the fact that sometimes the characters names come too thick and fast and, as Scott Sigler is but one man doing all of the voices, differentiating between which ‘Voice’ is which character becomes quite difficult at times. The only other grumble I have about this podcast is the into/outro music. It is fine in its own right and, as a song, I have nothing against it in particular. However, when you have the same song blasted at you every Half hour/Forty-five minutes, it does tend to get a trifle irritating. 

On the whole though, as with all of Siglers work, it is very worth while, highly imaginative and well worth a listen.  Rating:- 4/5

Pandemic is going to be the third book in the Infected/Contagious series and is being worked on at this moment in time. Scott believes it will be ready for summer 2013 and, hopefully (as far as I am concerned) will be released as a podcast slightly after that.

Frankly it is well worth a visit to Scott Siglers website as there are a plethora of articles and works. Many of which are available as podcasts. So if, like me, you enjoy the two podcasts already recommended, then I can also thoroughly recommend ’Earthcore’ and ‘Ancestor’.

For more items go to Scott Sigler Podiobooks or visit

Peter G Staff. (Pod-Master General)

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