All hail the glow cloud as the weird and wonderful town of Night Vale brings itself to fine literature.
Creators Fink and Cranor offer fans of their (oc)cult podcast Welcome to Night Vale a fantastic addition with a stand-alone tale of the mysterious desert town that also offers loyal listeners some interesting clues about the nature of the place. Readers who are unfamiliar with the podcast shouldn’t be put off—they still get an eccentric thriller with a specific sense of humor that mimics the omnipresent spookiness of Twin Peaks. Artist Kate Leth, who collaborates on the podcast, once described the project this way: “It’s like Stephen King and Neil Gaiman started building a town in The Sims and then just…left it running. For years.” Fortunately, the writers are firmly confident in their creation. “Look, life is stressful,” the book tells us. “This is true everywhere. But life in Night Vale is more stressful. There are things lurking in the shadows. Not the projections of a worried mind, but literal Things, lurking, literally, in shadows. Conspiracies are hidden in every storefront, under every street, and floating in helicopters above. And with all that there is still the bland tragedy of life.” The main plot largely centers on two characters and their search for a hidden city. Perpetually 19-year-old Jackie Fierro runs the local pawn shop and is perplexed when A Man in a Tan Jacket gives her a note reading simply “King City.” Meanwhile, PTA mom Diane Crayton loses her teenage son and must join forces with Jackie to find this mysterious place. It’s all pretty far out there on the weird-ometer, but the novel is definitely as addictive as its source material. The book also pays fan service by punctuating its chapters with original broadcasts by Night Vale narrator Cecil Gershwin Palmer and cameos by fan favorites like Old Woman Josie, Carlos the sexy scientist, and the aforementioned Glow Cloud.
A delightfully bonkers media crossover that will make an incredible audiobook.