Have you ever looked up at the night sky and thought to yourself, wow, that is a whole lot of stars, and then followed almost immediately, the thought follows: wow, that is a whole lot of void. A lot of stars, but mostly void. If you have, then the free podcast Welcome to Night Vale is probably something you’re going to need to check out. Seriously though – because if we don’t get more listeners, the City Council will feed me to bloodthirsty librarians.
Are Old Woman Josie’s angels actually angels? Yes. Is there really a faceless old woman who lives in your home and uses your Wi-Fi? Yes. Is Carlos, beautiful Carlos with his perfect hair, really perfect? Yes. Should you listen to the City Council and not under any circumstances approach the dog park? Yes. Welcome to Night Vale is word building at its finest.
The podcast takes the form of a radio show and our host is Cecil Baldwin. His voice acting is spot-on, going from serious newscaster to squealing cat fanboy with ease. You will probably fall a bit in love with him as he recounts the news, announcements and advertisements from around this science-defying town where time acts differently.
This is all very well, you might be thinking, but what about queer representation? We have that in our lovely host, Cecil. But what about POC representation? The perfect Carlos. And there is some brilliant slamming of culture appropriation when Cecil speaks of the Apache Tracker, a white guy in a plastic feather headdress who is a ‘racist jerk’. He actually said he uses Indian Magics. Can you believe that? What an asshole.
Night Vale is funny, creepy, creative and brilliant. And you probably like cats, yeah? How about cats that are stuck in the men’s bathroom floating feet above the floor? I’m sure you’d like those.
You can find Welcome to Night Vale on iTunes or go to Common Place Books to find out more.
(Originally published in Wordly: Space Edition, DUSA)