Reviews: Welcome To Night Vale

Incredibly vivid Lovecraftian horror for the post-Information Age

Do newscasters exist? Where do they get their stories, besides fever dreams, clairvoyant scrying and the occasional prophecy? Sometimes we see pictures of them "on the scene", or in a war torn country, but the vast majority of information we receive in daily life is alienated from its context. Does this food cause cancer? Do vaccines cause autism? Is the moon made out of cheese, or gunpowder? Maybe, who can possibly say?

In the second millennium, there is no need to worry about Cthulhu or Nyarlathotep, we have Exxon-Mobile and Google and Amazon and Mc Donalds and Whole Foods. We have corporate sponsors that murder so that they can make a profit, we have people that are so privileged that once they inherit their political dynasties, they can lazily destroy hundreds of thousands of lives in a far away country because said entitled manbabies are scared of terrorists (or freedom fighters, more accurately).

Is the "Vague, Yet Menacing, Government Agency" on our side? Are they enemies, or allies? In a confused, abstract world such as ours, it doesn't matter: they are both and neither; "mu".

Our neoliberal, postglobalized world is more absurd than anyone can say, Lovecraft only saw the top of the iceberg, because he lived before the Internet or other truly mass media memeculture vectors.

Welcome to Night Vale is a New Take on Horror

Welcome to Night Vale is a new take on horror. While not relying on visuals, it has a way of making you think. That is scary enough in its own right. But, there's more. Paranoia Fuel and Nightmare Fuel alike, Night Vale's got it. If you're looking for something spooky, yet philosophical - and a bit gay - Welcome to Night Vale is the podcast for you.

Simply, One of the Best

Night Vale is not just the best podcast around. It's probably one of the finest works of modern media around right now.

Welcome to Night Vale’s appeal is based on its combination of non-visual media and reliance on fan involvement. Mystery is a lost art in storytelling. We live in the Spoiler Age, where we peak into the presents to see the surprise. Night Vale does not even give us presents. It tells us a story, and leaves the main details out, making us draw our own conclusions of what is happening or how it will end. The spirit of this narrative is the intentional omission of detail. The writers compose a story for a non-visual medium and do not even tell their vision for the story or its inhabitants and the audience must work with what they are given. The story is to be followed like a jigsaw puzzle. Several pieces are given, but the big picture is intentionally obscured and kept secret. Every detail in this podcast down to the words or the musical Weather becomes important at some point in the narrative. When the puzzle is finished, gaze upon it, and you will be in awe at how such a mastrpiece could unfold from mere fragments. We are being narrated the story, rather than reading it ourselves. Thus, we must insert ourselves into the story and gather our own conclusions from what we hear. The podcast rewards repeated listens based on the way we hear things. We will miss things when being relayed information, so we need to have things run by us again. The podcast is always right there. The more we hear a part, the more it sticks and we are transported into the world of Night Vale. However long we stay depends on our level of enjoyment for the series.