Podcasts. They’re a thing now, right? Well, for those of you that are more on trend than I am. But even I have delved into the world of the podcast, courtesy of a couple of Waterstones booksellers.
**SPOILER FREE POST**
The guys recommended to me a podcast called Welcome to Night Vale, on the basis that I was a fan of stories set in the weird and wonderful worlds of fantasy type books. They pitched it to me as a bunch of short episodes of wacky stories set in one American town, mostly unrelated to each other, but with the occasional continuing thread. They told me it’s set up as a radio show, and the presenter has the most golden voice in the world, and the weather section is… well, they chose not to spoil anything for me.
So I gave it a try. And in three weeks I’d listened to over 40 episodes.
Welcome to Night Vale is a ‘twice-monthly podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events.’
This description gives you a pretty good sense of what Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor were going for in creating Night Vale, the town where every conspiracy theory is real. And the booksellers were right: the narrator, Cecil Baldwin, has a truly gorgeous voice. Some really funky stuff happens in Night Vale, and everyone in town is kinda used to it, so it just becomes part of the regular broadcasting, and that’s a big part of where the show gets it sense of humour from: making the extraordinary ordinary.
Every episode, the podcast also showcases a song from (what I assume is) a small-time artist, which is really cool of them, to help the artist find a wider audience. That, along with the ‘word from our sponsor’ section, are frequently my favourite features. And of course, Khoshekh.
See below for a list of some of my favourite episodes so far, if you fancied looking up the show and giving it a try. I’d love to hear what you think of it if you do.
Turn on your radio and hide…
♦ Episode 43 – VISITOR
♦ Episode 7 – HISTORY WEEK
♦ Episode 29 – SUBWAY
♦ Episode 33 – CASSETTE
♦ Episode 22 – THE WHISPERING FOREST
◊ SPECIAL MENTION ◊
Episode 13 – A STORY ABOUT YOU