Staff Reviews

Welcome to Night Vale


What do you get when you combine the dysfunctional politics of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, the creepiness of The X-Files, and the cheerful banality of Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon? Welcome to Night Vale, a podcast that issues from a lost desert town where the paranormal is normal and the city council urges citizens: "If you see something, say nothing and drink to forget."

The podcast isn't overtly political, but there's a lot for a libertarian to love. In one early episode, a mysterious "glow cloud" hovers over the town, raining dead armadillos and other small animals.

Cecil, the newsreader, offers this typical report: "One death has already been attributed to the glow cloud. But listen, it's probably nothing. If we had to shut down the town for every mysterious event that at least one death could be attributed to, we'd never have time to do anything, right? That's what the Sheriff's Secret Police are saying, and I agree."