Imagine H. P. Lovecraft writing Garrison Keillor’s “News from Lake Wobegon,” set in a little town in the desert Southwest somewhere near Area 51 – a town where all conspiracy theories are real – and you’ve got the general gist of the immensely popular podcast Welcome to Night Vale. Recurring characters include such eldritch entities as a five-headed dragon, the Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home and the Mighty Glow Cloud, who gets elected president of the Night Vale School Board via mass hypnotism. Meg Bashwiner, who portrays Deb, “a sentient patch of haze with a stereotypical Minnesota accent,” as well as a character known as the Proverb Lady, joins the biweekly podcast’s creators, Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, at 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 15 at the Morton Memorial Library in Rhinecliff.
A novel based on the series, also titled Welcome to Night Vale, became a New York Times best-seller. Last week, the scripts for the podcast’s first two seasons were published by Harper Perennial under the titles Mostly Void, Partially Stars: Welcome to Night Vale Episodes, Volume 1 (with a foreword by Cory Doctorow) and The Great Glowing Coils of the Universe: Welcome to Night Vale Episodes, Volume 2 (with a foreword by Maureen Johnson). Next Thursday’s presentation by Fink, Cranor and Bashwiner will include a question-and-answer session and a book-signing session.
Space is limited, so tickets are required for this event sponsored by Oblong Books & Music. (If you’re still hesitating, remind yourself that Douglas Adams’s classic Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series of novels started out as scripts for a BBC radio show.) A $20 single ticket includes a copy of Volume 1, and a pair of tickets cost $40 and includes both volumes. To order, visit www.oblongbooks.com/event/welcome-to-night-vale or www.eventbrite.com/e/joseph-fink-jeffrey-cranor-welcome-to-night-vale-tickets-26636252749?ref=ebtnebtckt. The Morton Memorial Library is located at 82 Kelly Street in Rhinecliff.