wrongtrainrighttime: (Default)
Wrong Train, Right Time ([personal profile] wrongtrainrighttime) wrote2017-04-15 11:32 am

Mostly Void, Partially Stars: Welcome to Night Vale, Vol. 1 by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor

Fink, Joseph and Jeffrey Cranor. Mostly Void, Partially Stars: Welcome to Night Vale Episodes, Vol. 1. Harper Perennial, 2016.

This book was a hard fish to review. I don't follow Welcome to Night Vale right now, but when I did actively follow it, I listened to those early episodes so many times that they've worn a groove into my mind. I could not read these scripts without hearing them in Cecil Baldwin's voice. I still listen to the occasional back episode when I need something to soothe me to sleep.

We've got a history, Welcome to Night Vale and me.

The book was a lot smaller than I thought it would be. I was surprised when I saw it in person for the first time -- I'd been imagining some kind of enormous hardcover prestige format. Instead, it's of a size with the larger sort of novel, not too thick. Perfect for carting around in a bag for some casual reading. Maybe I just happened upon a paperback edition.

Knowing the episodes as well as I do, and also knowing that the episodes are still available largely for free, the draw of the book was, really, to own the episodes in some form. And in that, it succeeds admirably. Each episode script has a short preface from one of the writers, and sometimes the actors weigh in on an episode of particular relevance to them. It's quite similar to what you see in some short story anthologies, where author commentary is added to each story, each one a gentle reminiscence about the story, how they got mixed up in this crazy thing, or whatever else comes to mind. It's a fun time.

The illustrations of Jessica Hayworth are also amazing. One per episode, some of them quite large, each one a delicate confection of black lines giving shape to each horror of the episode. Sometimes they're illustrations of something in the episode, sometimes they're more abstract -- but each one really adds to the atmosphere and beauty of the book.

In conclusion, a good book. I can't recommend it very well because... Well, I'm way too close to WTNV, I can't be objective about it at all, I can't see if this book would do as well through the eyes of a non-fan. But it's a beautiful artifact, a lovely memento of the podcast I did and still love dearly, and I'm glad that I have it.