The Failed Cities Monologues

The Failed Cities Monologues


In a hardboiled dystopian future, one major American city has been divided in two. Separated by much more than a river, one side is an unfinished technological marvel populated by mega-skyscrapers where the wealthy live, work, and play. The other is a forsaken wasteland where order is strictly maintained by a rogue group of cleric soldiers known as the street preachers. But this dichotomy is about to change. Slowly, quietly, clandestine forces are working to undermine the small piece of redemption the street preachers have brought to their concrete flocks. In the face of watching their second chance crumble to dust, some will fight to stop it. Others will kill to make it happen.


A bold experiment in podcast fiction, The Failed Cities Monologues are told from the shifting perspectives of the characters who inhabit this world, twisted noir archetypes and cyberpunk warriors. Their lives and their stories are linked together by conspiracy, fate… and blood.

The Players
Ethan – Street Preacher
Sterne – Pit Fighter & Pulp Writer
Truck – Fast Drivin’, Knife Wieldin’
Feral Twins – Death for Hire
Klimenko – Reluctant Detective
D’Anger – Deadly Beauty, Deadly Brains
The Maven – Back Alley Mediator

Get the whole story now on Podiobooks! Also available on iTunes. Or on Podcast Pickle

The Failed Cities: Hath a Darkness

The Failed Cites: Hath a Darkness

As a special gift to all our listeners this holiday season, Variant Frequencies is happy to present THE FAILED CITIES: HATH A DARKNESS, an exclusive 10,000-word eChapbook written by Matt Wallace and available as a free .PDF download.


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  1. Gillsing
    May 31st, 2007 | 6:07 pm

    I haven’t listened to that many podcast novels, but I’m pretty sure the ones I have listened to are some of the best around (Sigler’s and Hutchins’ stuff for instance). This one beats them all though. All those different points of view are wonderfully executed, and the characters are all very interesting. I guess it helped that I also have a thing for hardboiled, dystopian futures? Just can’t have enough of those.

  2. June 1st, 2007 | 7:53 am

    Thanks for the comment Gillsing. That is very high praise. We are big fans of both Sigler and Hutchins. They are also both great guys who have been very supportive of us.


  3. David
    June 20th, 2007 | 8:05 pm

    Loved the Failed Cities Monologues, one of the best stories I’ve heard in months. I only wish their was a text version available for download. Since the podiobook is available for free, I was wondering if you could post the text or make that available for download somewhere?

    Keep up the good work.

  4. June 20th, 2007 | 9:11 pm

    David! Thanks for the kind words, man. I mean that. I wish more of our listeners would stop by and shout out.

    I am dutifully working on getting the Failed Cities in print and on a bookstore shelf near you (I’m all about this penniless bohemian existence us podcast fiction authors maintain, but eventually I’m gonna have to pay some bills). As for the text on-line, I’m not averse to a free .PDF. We’ll see. You think if I hook it up you can get about 30,000 of your friends to download it at the same time?

  5. Ed
    June 26th, 2007 | 1:11 am

    Just wanted to say, great story. Best thing since I finished the last of the Sin City series.

    Read David’s comment, and he’s right, I’d love to download the text too.

  6. David
    July 1st, 2007 | 2:32 am

    30000 might be a little bit much, but I definitely have some friends who’d love to get their hands on a pdf file if you’d offer one. Heard about the new book and it’s next on my list.

    Keep up the good work man!

  7. July 18th, 2007 | 1:18 am

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  8. Rafala
    July 19th, 2007 | 10:06 am

    The Failed Cities is certainly one of the darkest,hardest hitting stories I’ve come across. Damned fine work–and it makes a writer like me very jealous I didn’t come up with it!

    VF did their usual kickin’ production, too.

  9. July 22nd, 2007 | 6:33 pm

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  10. August 28th, 2007 | 10:34 am

    Hey, check out this review of The Failed Cities Monologues:

  11. December 19th, 2007 | 11:59 am

    […] to podiobook fans everywhere. Click on the picture at left to get a free PDF with stories from the Failed Cities Monologues, written by this gigantic award-winning douchebag named Matt Wallace. Seriously, if you […]

  12. keirgrey
    January 17th, 2008 | 11:49 am

    I am about half way through this story, Matt. It’s outstanding. Managed to grip my attention from the first chapter and hasn’t let go. I love the cyberpunk/end of civilization feel to the whole book.


  13. March 7th, 2008 | 7:06 pm

    […] such an amazingly good podcast, as I’ve been a big fan of them since I got hooked by “the Failed Cities Monologes“.  You owe to yourself to not only check them out, but subscribe to their feed.  It’s […]

  14. June 24th, 2008 | 9:28 am

    […] This episode is directed by the shows creator and producer Earl Newton and written by Matt Wallace author of the fantastic podiobook, The Failed Cities Monologues. […]

  15. November 25th, 2008 | 2:06 am

    […] this week, I’ve started digging into Matt Wallace’s Failed Cities Monologues. These are stories set in a dystopian future, in a city divided along class lines, and with a very […]

  16. December 9th, 2008 | 10:38 am

    […] script (pdf) for Stranger Things: Episode 4: Latchkeepers written by Matt Wallace notably writer of The Failed Cities Monolouges and directed by Earl […]

  17. john farish
    January 21st, 2009 | 9:41 pm

    I have been meaning to comment on this story for a while now and let me say it’s excellent. Your characters are great and the way you managed to weave the story between the various and complex points of view is done far better than I’ve seen other people pull off.

  18. January 22nd, 2009 | 7:35 am

    Thanks for the comment John. We are happy that you liked The Failed Cities Monologues. Stay will us, there will be more in the future.

  19. Wayne
    February 26th, 2009 | 12:44 am

    This story was recomended to me by a friend and I am so glad I listened to it. I loved all the characters and the way each of their respective lives played into one anothers. I hope to hear more from you.

  20. February 26th, 2009 | 7:21 am

    Thanks Wayne, and please thank your friend for recommending us.

  21. Hieng Lam
    May 10th, 2009 | 8:51 pm

    great story. I reccomended this to my sister, classmates and anyone who’d talk to me about audio books.
    Question: Would a man clutch at his chest if a broom stick was shoved that deep in?

  22. May 25th, 2009 | 10:56 am

    […] The Failed City Monologues is a pulp fiction that takes place in a city that is two cities, as you can see from the synopsis above.  I almost stopped listening to this book after the first chapter, because it just didn’t grab me, but I’m glad I stuck it out.  This turned out to be among the top of the podiobooks I’ve ever listened to.  The different voice actors bring the characters to life, and the way each of the characters’ lives intertwine is masterfully executed.  The book covers several story lines that all tie into one larger plot, though certain aspects of each one are unique to each character in the book.  After all was said and done I was left wanting more, as each of the characters had left some kind of imprint on me, leaving me wanting more backstory, more adventures.  Highly recommended. Post a comment | Trackback URI […]

  23. September 25th, 2009 | 12:47 pm

    […] former pro wrestler and wordsmith behind many Parsec-winning short stories and the brilliant Failed Cities Monologues. Now, I want Matt to succeed. I want Matt to get book deals and money and groupies and hookers and […]

  24. Laura
    February 28th, 2011 | 2:17 pm

    I’m most of the way thru this podcast, and do enjoy the story thru the different characters. I am also a Sigler and Hutchinson fan and glad to see that these podiobooks can propel you to success (ok, I consider getting published AND being able to sell your books a success…regardless of income levels). I wish the same for you as well. You have a great story line and present it well thru the podcast. Thank you for “putting it out there”.

    Once request…I’d LOVE to see what the Feral sister looks like. Have any of your fans drawn her up?

  25. February 28th, 2011 | 2:21 pm

    Hey Laura, thanks for the great comments. A couple of our fans showed up at Dragon*Con dressed as the Feral Twins. You can see their photos here:

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