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The Creepy (And Funny) World Of ‘Welcome To Night Vale’

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Photo credit: Welcome to Night Vale

A logo for the podcast "Welcome to Night Vale."

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Photo credit: Harper Perennial

The book cover for "The Great Glowing Coils of the Universe" by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, creator and co-writer of the podcast "Welcome to Night Vale."

Night Vale is a dreamlike, desert town full of conspiracies, a mysterious glowing cloud and monstrous librarians.

The fictional town is the brainchild of Joseph Fink, creator of the podcast “Welcome to Night Vale.” Fans have downloaded episodes of the show more than 100 million times, following along as the town’s community radio station reveals more about Night Vale current events.

The show debuted in 2012, and started its first episode with a dire warning:

“The City Council announces the opening of a new Dog Park at the corner of Earl and Summerset, near the Ralphs. They would like to remind everyone that dogs are not allowed in the Dog Park. People are not allowed in the Dog Park. It is possible you will see hooded figures in the Dog Park. Do not approach them. Do not approach the Dog Park.”

The show is meant to be both scary and funny, according to Fink.

“It feels like a good way to approach life, in that life is often a little bit of both,” he said.

The show’s popularity has led to touring live shows, a novel and now a two volume collection of scripts from its first two years: "Mostly Void, Partially Stars" and "The Great Glowing Coils of the Universe." Fink and co-writer Jeffrey Cranor will speak at Mysterious Galaxy on Wednesday at 7 p.m. about the new books.

Fink said that after nearly 100 episodes, there’s still no end in sight.

“It’s not like a mystery that has a specific ending that we have mapped out, but it is a community of characters that at this point have really developed quite a history and a weight to them,” Fink said. “The show can’t go forever; eventually we’ll die. In the meantime, we have no plans to end it nor any plans on what that ending would look like.”

Fink joins KPBS Midday Edition on Wednesday to share his inspirations and why Night Vale's regular weather forecast is always a piece of music.


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