Catching Up on the News from Night Vale

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Note: this article was also published on SciFi4Me.com

If you’re a fan of the Welcome to Night Vale podcast, you’re no doubt already aware that they’ve expanded beyond Night Vale.

Back in January, the two co-creators, Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, announced that they were creating a podcast network, wherein they plan on producing more podcasts under the Night Vale umbrella (but not necessarily in the Night Vale universe). According to the Night Vale Presents website, it’s mission is to “encourage new, independent podcasting from writers and artists who haven’t worked in the format before.”

The first, Alice Isn’t Dead, finished up its 10 episode first season in July. Co-written by Fink and Jasika Nicole (who is also the narrator of the podcast), it follows the story of the search for the Alice of the title. Obviously inspired by the touring of the Welcome to Night Vale team, the tale of a truck driver in search of her wife is — like Welcome to Night Vale — more than it seems. Part two is scheduled for release in 2017.

In June, the next podcast started up, and just finished it’s first ‘chapter’ on October 24. Within the Wires is presented as a series of relaxation cassettes (complete with a side A and side B), being listened to by someone in some sort of institution. Written by Jeffrey Cranor and Janina Matthewson and performed by Mattewson, the full story of why the person is in the institute and their relationship to the narrator of the cassettes spins out at a leisurely pace that traps you in its slowness.

Then, in late September, they announced their latest venture, The Orbiting Human Circus (of the Air). Written and created by Julian Koster and co-directed and developed by Ellie Heyman, it sounds like the most ambitious project yet. The plot is about a live radio variety show broadcast from the top of the Eiffel Tower, and will star Night Vale narrator Cecil Baldwin, as well as John Cameron Mitchell (theatre peeps will recognize the name as the co-writer and star of Hedwig and the Angry Inch), Tim Robbins, and Mandy Patinkin, among others. The first episode was released October 12, and will update every other Wednesday.

Finally, in April, the Night Vale site finally announced the title and release of the two additional books I wrote about back in January. Mostly Void, Partially Stars and The Great Glowing Coils of the Universe are transcripts of season 1 and season 2 respectively. But it’s more than that — Cranor and Fink also include commentary on the episodes and artwork. They just wrapped up a book tour for these, and both books can be purchased at the Night Vale website.

For more information on any of these podcasts, visit Night Vale Presents.