Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Hello, Listeners…

By Levena Lindahl

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a small southwestern town where the sun is hot, the moon is beautiful, and mysterious lights are seen over the Arbys?  If you have, you might be a fan of Welcome to Night Vale, a popular podcast series set in the town of Night Vale where all the conspiracy theories are true. 

I love this podcast; it is like a community radio show as done by a conspiracy driven H.P. Lovecraft.  It started in 2012, and releases an episode the 1st and 15th of every month.  Listeners learn about the town through Cecil, our very unreliable narrator.  There is a mayor with many powers, the Town Council, the Sherriff’s Secret Police, and many other memorable characters.  The wonderful thing about this town is that weird stuff happens, and people just go on with their lives because they are used to it.

Night Vale, in addition to podcasts, has also done live shows, and this year I was lucky enough to go to one such show in downtown Charleston.  It was amazing to see so many people who were in to the same, rather weird and nerdy, thing gathered in one place to enjoy a show.  Kind of like old radio dramas, it was fascinating to see how people interacted with the people on stage, and how the audience affected them. 

Then on October 20th, a book set in Night Vale was published, and if this sounds like something you would be interested in, I really recommend it. Cecil isn’t the focus of this work, and it really expands the world of Night Vale, letting the reader see other parts that might not have been focused on in the podcast. 

Welcome to Night Vale is a wonderful series that embraces the weird and the unusual and just runs with it.  At 77 episodes and counting, one can only hope that it continues on for years to come.  (And remember, stay away from the dog park.)


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