Jillian Meehan ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Anyone hanging out near the dog park lately—which the city council would like to remind everyone to never do—may have heard the hooded figures gossiping about the new book that’s hitting stands this fall.
Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, creators of everyone’s favorite NPR-meets-Twilight-Zone podcast, Welcome to Night Vale, are teaming up with Harper Perennial to publish a spin-off book, coming out October 20. Harper Perennial is an imprint of HarperCollins that publishes paperback reprints and originals like Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist and Yannick Murphy’s This Is the Water.
For the uninitiated, Welcome to Night Vale is a twenty- to thirty-minute podcast that updates twice a month in the style of a community radio show, complete with local news, traffic reports, and musical breaks known as “the weather.”
The show is hosted in a small town called Night Vale, which, according to the pilot episode, is “a friendly desert town where the sun is hot, the moon is beautiful, and mysterious lights pass overhead while everyone pretends to sleep.”
WTNV has a variety of interesting characters—like Cecil Baldwin, the radio show’s host; Carlos, a scientist and Cecil’s boyfriend; John Peters, the farmer; and intern Dana—who all have a lot of love for their strange, and often horrifying, town. Now these characters will appear in print.
Fink first announced the book deal in the latest episode of WTNV on March 15, saying, “I have genuinely never been this excited about news in my life.”
“It’s gonna have all the characters and weird atmosphere that you want from Night Vale with a brand-new story that explores parts of Night Vale that we just haven’t been able to get into with the podcast,” he said.
The official WTNV Twitter account revealed the book’s cover—designed by Rob Wilson, who also designed WTNV’s logo—a day later.
Welcome to Night Vale: The Novel will be available as a hardcover, a large-print paperback, an e-book, and an audiobook narrated by none other than Cecil Baldwin, the soothing voice of Night Vale’s community radio station.
Those who haven’t been keeping up with WTNV are welcome to join the party, too! Although it is based on the podcast, Fink clarified on Twitter that “the book is for anyone, whether they have heard a single episode of Night Vale or not.”
The story will, of course, take place in Night Vale, where “ghosts, angels, aliens, and government conspiracies are all commonplace parts of everyday life.” While some familiar characters will appear, like the man in the tan jacket, the book will mostly focus on delving into the lives of Jackie Fierro, Night Vale’s pawn shop owner, and Diane Crayton, the PTA treasurer.
Welcome to Night Vale: The Novel is available for preorder from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, the HarperCollins website, and other booksellers listed on the official WTNV website, Commonplace Books. The book currently ranks as seventeenth on Amazon’s best sellers list for horror fiction, fortieth for science fiction, and number 315 overall.
Long-time WTNV listeners, casual fans, and newcomers alike are sure to find this book entertaining, thoughtful, and just the right amount of unusual.