Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

Mostly Void, Partially Stars, by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

Second paragraph of third episode, “Station Management”:
The Night Vale Business Association is proud to announce the new Night Vale Stadium, next to the Night Vale Harbor and Waterfront Recreation Area. The stadium will be able to seat fifty thousand, but will be closed all nights of the year except November 10, for the annual Parade of the Mysterious Hooded Figures, in which all of our favorite ominous hooded figures — the one that lurks under the slide in the Night Vale Elementary playground, the ones that meet regularly in The Dog Park, and the one that will occasionally openly steal babies, and for a reason no one can understand, we all stand by and let him do it — all of them will be parading proudly through Night Vale Stadium. I tell you, with these new facilities, it promises to be quite a spectacle. And then it promises to be a vast, dark, and echoey space for the other meaningless 364 days of the year.
The scripts of the first 25 episodes of Welcome to Night Vale, the cult podcast's first year, with also the first stage show. The printed page is of course no substitute for the mellow tones of Cecil Baldwin delivering the words directly to our ears, but has the minor advantages that you can savour the text at your leisure and not worry about losing the next line due to laughing too much. Each episode is topped by a note from one of the creators, usually Fink or Craynor but with contributions from others as well. Really, it speaks for itself, and rathe than write more I'm just going to reproduce some of my own favourite lines, starting with the moment in episode 1 when we first realise that this is going to be seriously weird:
The City Council announces the opening of a new Dog Park at the corner of Earl and Somerset, 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 fence is electrified and highly dangerous. Try not to look at the Dog Park, and especially do not look for any period of time at the Hooded Figures. The Dog Park will not harm you.
Followed soon after, in the same episode, by:
And now a brief public service announcement.
Alligators: can they kill your children?
Yes.
More pithily, from episode 3:
Monday would like you to leave it alone. It’s not its fault that you are emotionally unprepared for your professional lives.
Skipping ahead to episode 24:
Here’s a public service message to all the children in our audience:
Children, the night sky may seem like a scary thing sometimes. And it is. It’s a very scary thing.
Look at the stars, twinkling silently. They are so far away that none of us will ever get to even the closest one. They are dead-eyed sigils of our own failures against distance and mortality. And behind them, just the void. That nothingness that is everything, that everything that is nothing.
Even the blinking light of an airplane streaking across it does not seem to assuage the tiniest bit of its blackness – like throwing a single stray ember into the depths of a vast arctic ocean.
And what if the void is not as void as we thought? What could be coming towards us out of the distance? Insentient asteroid with a chance trajectory? Sentient beings with a malicious trajectory? What good could come of this? What good, children, could come of any of this?
Fear the night sky, children, and sleep tight in your beds, and the inadequate shelters of blankets and parental love.
Sleep sound, children.
This has been our Children's Fun Fact Science Corner.
You can get it here, but you should probably listen to the podcast first.

This was my top unread book acquired in 2016. Next on that pile is Roger Zelazny's The Dawn of Amber, by John Gregory Betancourt, which I fear I will not enjoy as much.
Tags: bookblog 2021, welcome to night vale
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