I continue to suck at space capitalism on Mars. Just too dang focused on being nice (I don’t use any of the sabotage actions) and maintain a sustainable debt-free foundation. Even being the robot workforce only helped a little.
I like the Welcome to Night Vale podcast. Or, at least, in general I do. The last nine or so episodes have left me a little wanting. However, that’s still over 100 episodes of good atmospheric cosmic horror/humor. Lovecraft without the pessimism might be the best way to explain the general feel I enjoy. My birthday was recent and one of the things I asked for and got was the first Welcome to Night Vale novel. Which came out in… 2015 I think? Around then. Figured I like the podcast and the book is written by the two people who write the podcast. So, if I like the podcast I should like the book, yes? Well, apparently not. Though in hindsight I should have suspected. The problems I have with the podcast episodes I’ve disliked are all when the writers try to do more long-form storytelling instead of brief slices and abstract vignettes.
I’m very sad that I did not enjoy this book. To the point that I didn’t quite make it to the halfway point before I gave up. Even though I try not to force myself through books I don’t like just to finish them, it’s still a rare thing. This story was just, well, a story hasn’t actually happened yet. It’s been half a book of atmospheric scene setting. It’s the podcast, but instead of little slices and bits and pieces to evoke a bigger weirder world it’s the same thing stretched out to follow two specific characters around. With text-excepts from the radio show that the podcast consists of.
It really shows how much of the podcast entertainment is the guy who does the main voice. He puts so much into the radio host character that gives everything an extra bit of life. The same thing on the page just isn’t as good. The same thing, stretched out way too long in text form just bores me. It’s trying to be weird but the first half of the book is describing a bare-bones basic relationship between a single mother and her teenage son. Oh, and the other character that is literally carrying around the plot of the book and just wants to get rid of it so she can get back to her life. That’s it. Half of the book and nothing has actually happened.
So, I’d recommend trying this one out in the library before buying it. I still think I might give the second Night Vale novel a shot. It sounded like it would be less podcast-as-text.