Metafiction is an audio play in the Kaldor City series. Written by Alan Stevens and Fiona Moore, it takes the form of a dialogue between Iago and Justina, who is interviewing him about his background on the orders of Uvanov.
Publisher's summary Edit
"A reputation? What as? A bunch of crooks, killers and mindlessly destructive psychopaths?"
Company Chairholder Uvanov has tasked his personal assistant Justina with finding out everything she can about the mysterious assassin Kaston Iago. But is his tale of criminality, revolutions, galactic war, and mindless violence, the truth... or some kind of strange space-operatic fantasy?
First performed as a short stage play at the Sci-Fi London Film Festival in 2011, "Kaldor City: Metafiction" is a must-hear for all fans of the series, answering the question of who Kaston Iago really is.
to be added
- Iago is apparently a member of the Assassin's Guild. Company Security have no record of any such organisation. The Assassin's code is not to reveal to any details about the Guild.
- Kaldor is a colony planet of Earth.
- Iago was born on Earth. Justina is unfamiliar with the planet, as are presumably most people in Kaldor City. Iago likens Kaldor to Earth in the sense that it's a closed minded xenophobic society around which it's convinced the universe revolves.
- On Kaldor, the usual protocol when it comes to Bank Fraud is for the guilty party to be bailed out with taxpayers' money, with the banker returning to work after a decent interval. According to Iago, this is usually the situation on Earth too.
- Iago postulates that the single greatest failing of the human race is the desire to be subjugated, freeing one from the tyranny of choice.
- The Federation had 12 battlefleets crewed by highly trained professional killers.
- The story was made available only as a download from www.kaldorcity.com. An alternate ending to this play was also made available with the purchase of 'The Time Waster', humorously linking the Kaldor City series to 'The Time Waster', an otherwise unrelated Magic Bullet Production.
- The title of the story, meaning a fiction in which the author self-consciously alludes to the story's artificially, refers to the idea that Kaston Iago might in fact be Kerr Avon from Blake's 7, and as such the story plays with the listener's expectation of this. (See notes section in AUDIO: Occam's Razor for additional reasons as to why this might be so.)
- The final seconds of the story can be interpreted as a 'breaking of the fourth wall'. This is supported by AUDIO: The Prisoner in which both stories feature characters seemingly aware they are part of a fictional world.
- It is mentioned that Iago has recently become part of Uvanov's personal staff, which places the events of this story between AUDIO: Occam's Razor and AUDIO: Death's Head. However, due to the nature of this story, it is also possible that it is in fact taking place within the Fendahl gestalt, as per AUDIO: The Prisoner and AUDIO: Storm Mine. This possibility is alluded to in Justina and Iago's discussion as to whether the human race is part of some cosmic plan being thought up by a divine and omnipresent being, post-foreshadowing the emergence of the Fendahl in AUDIO: Checkmate.
- Uvanov recently made a proposal to the company board concerning the opening up of trade links between Kaldor and other colony worlds. (This would seemingly help reconcile the continuity of the Kaldor City series with AUDIO: Robophobia in which Kaldor City has a massive interstellar robot trade; as the plot of AUDIO: Occam's Razor is dependent on the notion that Kaldor City has no contact with other worlds).
- Iago mentions "the great illusion". In AUDIO: Death's Head Iago and Carnell both make reference to a great illusion. A prominent theme of the series is the nature of reality and fiction.
- Iago describes his life before he arrived in Kaldor City, in doing so he makes reference to many episodes of Blake's 7 and fills in some of the blanks from the continuity of that series. (The following is written assuming that any similarities are all a happy coincidence, the Blake's 7 episode it corresponds to is written in brackets, episodes written by Kaldor City series consultant Chris Boucher are denoted with a '*'). These include:
- Iago was once convinced of embezzlement, he defrauded the Federation bank for either five million or five hundred million. One of those sums refers to the amount he was convicted for, the other the amount he got away with. (In A2: Space Fall, the amount Avon attempted to steal from the Federation banking system was given as five million credits but later in C10: Ultraworld the amount was reported to be five hundred million credits.) He was sentenced to life on a penal planet. Fourth months into an eight month journey to the planet, Iago managed to escape from the prison ship along with two fellow prisoners when the ship became involved in a salvage operation to recover an alien spacecraft. (A2: Space Fall)
- Once in control of the alien spacecraft, Iago, along with his two comrades, set course for the penal planet to rescue additional crew members, arriving three hours later just as the prison ship was docking. (A3: Cygnus Alpha) Justina questions how the prison ship could have only taken three hours to arrive when it originally had fourth months left to its journey. Iago suspects they made a jump through negative hyperspace, but he isn't exactly sure what that means. (A humorous attempt at addressing a glaring error in Blake's 7 continuity)
- Iago's starship could travel at 'standard speed'. One standard unit is about half a time distort unit, or possibly two thirds of a time distort unit. Iago doesn't know how fast a time distort unit is, its not his field. (In Blake's 7, it was never specified what "standard speed" meant. The Federation used a "time distort" scale.)
- One of Iago's comrades said he was a revolutionary who'd been wrongly convicted. (The Blake's 7 character of 'Roj Blake'.) Although most of the prisoners he met also said they'd been wrongly convicted. Iago was seemingly the only genuine criminal there.
- Iago along with his fellow crew members:
- Liberated a group of dwarfs whose oppressor was another dwarf in a tank. (A5: The Web)
- Shut down an operation involving an enslaved population forced to mine a radioactive substance known as 'Monopasium 239'. (B4: Horizon)
- Instigated a war with an alien battlefleet from another galaxy bent on genocide resulting in the death of billions. (B13: Star One*, Blake's 7 series creator Terry Nation's original intention was for the invading force to be revealed as the Daleks)
- Stole some energy crystals from a mine which turned out to fake. (D8: Games)
- Accquired a vast amount money which turned out to worthless. (D10: Gold)
- Visited a planet whose entire surface was covered in sentient sand. (D9: Sand)
- Encountered a huge glitter-ball hanging in space containing a gigantic brain with all the knowledge of the universe. (C10: Ultraworld)
- Travelled deep into the twelfth sector and came across the people who had built their starship. There they discovered the craft had an identical sister-ship (B1: Redemption)
- Were approached by an outside party to rescue a scientist from his employer, but ended up recusing a killer robot duplicate by mistake. (D6: Headhunter)
- Found an experiment on the edge of the sixth sector to reveal the ultimate destiny of the human race. (C13: Terminal)
- Blew up their starship. (C13: Terminal)
- Caused their second ship to crash land on a planet known as Gauda Prime where they encountered their former leader. (D13: Blake*) From an in-universe perspective, Cuttin' Edge said he was born and raised on Gauda Prime. (PROSE: Prisoner of the Daleks)
- Iago believes Freedom City was blown up during the war (B11: Gambit), along with Space City. (B2: Shadow*)
- On Gauda Prime, moments after Iago's entire crew were killed, he himself was surrounded by a force of fifty heavily armed Federation Guards. (D13: Blake*) He escaped by shooting out the lights in the room. (In Blake's 7, Avon's fate is never revealed.)
- After Gauda Prime, Iago busied himself with gunrunning, taking on contract work as a mercenary, and organising the occasional revolution. (Events previously referred to in the audio Blake's 7 adventure The Logic of Empire.)
- The money Iago acquired during the bank-fraud disappeared before the war. For safe keeping, Iago arranged for the money to be transferred to a special account held aboard a space-station that had been constructed by a consortium of neutral planets which meant that technically it existed outside of normal legal jurisdiction. By accident, it was blown up. (A10: Breakdown)
- Iago also goes by the name of Frank Archer, although on some days he's known as Paul Darrow. (Frank Archer being the character Paul Darrow plays in 'The Time Waster' another audio production by Magic Bullet produced and released alongside 'Metafiction'. Anyone who purchased both plays at the same time also received a version with this alternate ending.)