Friday, May 17, 2024

The Audio File: The Truth: Part 1

Where do I even start with this one? This is another review that has been long overdue. Perhaps a bit too overdue. This one was a true cornerstone of the audio drama community. Doubly so for those of us on the anthology side of things. It is still kind of surreal that they are actually gone. But we aren’t here to mourn their passing, but to celebrate their life. What else is there for me to say? I’m Sam McDonald, and today we’re taking a look at The Truth

The Truth is an anthology of nearly 200 episodes spanning a wide variety of genres. It billed itself as movies for the ears, and it certainly lived up to that description. Now, it is true that quite a few audio dramas fit that description, but you have to consider the context that The Truth occurred in. The first episode of The Truth premiered way back in 2011. The indie audio drama community was still very much in its infancy. Fiction podcasts tended to be short story readings like StarShipSofa or Lightspeed Magazine. If you were lucky, you might get something like The Drabblecast, with music and sound-effects added to the mix. The Truth was a full-cast show, performed rather than read, and with immersive sound-effects and music.

The Truth was an anthology in the purest sense of the word. Each episode was a new present to unwrap. It spanned multiple genres and styles. The early years did tend to be a bit more experimental in terms of material. I had the opportunity to chat with series creator Jonathan Mitchell. Jonathan described these early episodes as scenes rather than stories. True, they are certainly shorter than later episodes, but that’s hardly a bad thing. Each of them was like a snapshot into a different life, and they were certainly memorable snapshots. I’m not the only one who is of this opinion. Many episodes from this era of The Truth were featured on various programs such as All Things Considered, Weekend America, Planet Money, This American Life, and Studio 360. Eventually, the need to pay the bills came knocking. So, the episodes began to favor longer stories in order to provide more space for ad breaks. Now, some people say this was the era when The Truth went into decline. Personally, I strongly disagree. There were still many quality episodes being produced.

The real decline, ironically, was around the time The Truth celebrated its tenth anniversary. Well, maybe not entirely ironically. I have noticed that many anthology podcasts tend to start going stale around the ten year mark. It was at this point the misses started to outnumber the hit. Now, to be fair, there were still a few diamonds in the rough. That being said, it was clear that the writers’ well of inspiration was starting to run dry. The episodes also increasingly had the same feel to them. The decline of The Truth didn’t come with a bang, but with a whimper.

It is certainly sad that the curtain has finally fallen on The Truth. No show can last forever. Eventually, if you smolder well past your time, you will see a steady decline in quality. In the immortal words of Harvey Dent, you either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain. I certainly hope that The Truth is always remember for what it was, rather than the decline it saw during its final season.

And that, my friends, is what this review is all about. We are going to celebrate The Truth in all its myriad ways. From those early “snapshots of a life” episodes, to the more full-length episodes. We will also look at a few less than stellar episodes. They can make for a good teaching moment about what not to do.

Now, a bit of clarification before we move forwards. I’m doing what I did with my review of Campfire Radio Theatre. I’m going to give it a good start, and then periodically update it with more reviews. Anthologies always take more out of me than serialized shows do. I have to analyze and weigh the merits of each individual episode. This can take a fair bit of time, and you might imagine. I will also not be reviewing the episodes in chronological order. One of the beauties of anthologies is that you can listen to the episodes in any order that you please. As such, I apply the same principle to this review.

With all of that being said, I’m Sam McDonald, and this is The Audiophile’s review of The Truth.

The first episode we’re taking a look at is “Moon Graffiti.” We start things off with an alternate history piece about the Apollo 11 mission. In this story, The Eagle comes in for a crash landing on the Moon. The lander’s capsule is damaged in such a way that it can’t launch into orbit. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are stranded on the Moon until their oxygen runs out. After that, they will go down in history as the first men to die on the Moon. They take their remaining time to chat and muse about the nature of life and mortality.

This was the very first episode of The Truth ever, and they certainly started out of the gate strong. As you might imagine, the alternate history premise piqued my interest. This scenario was very much a concern during the real Apollo 11 mission. In fact, President Richard Nixon had a speech prepared just in case Armstrong and Aldrin became stranded on the Moon. The speech is actually read at the very end of the episode. The actor sounds nothing like Nixon, but he certainly captures the emotion of the speech. Ironically, there was a memorial to the victims of the Apollo 1 fire included with the other equipment on the lander.

What would it be like to experience such a stroke of bad luck? You are stranded hundreds of thousands of miles from home with no hope of rescue. You can see death slowly, but surely, creeping towards you. I try my best not to think too much about death, but the thought proves rather intrusive. I don’t know how I would like to die, as I would very much not like to die at all. But I’m also keenly aware that the reaper will claim me sooner or later.

Yeah, there are a lot of implications on how such a disaster would impact the Space Race. However, this episode is presented as a very intimate story about two men complimenting their own imminent mortality. I am of the opinion that this was absolutely the right move.

“Moon Graffiti” was an excellent start for The Truth.

Our next episode is “Eat Cake.” It follows a woman named Elizabeth who is participating in her favorite Valentines Day tradition: baking a coconut cake for herself and going to a movie of her choice. It's been a thing with her ever since she broke-up with her boyfriend a few years ago. She's just received a phone call from a mysterious man named Brian. Apparently, he calls random people in hopes of having someone to talk to. He's sweet, if a tad socially awkward. So, they decide to meet at the movies.

So, what's the trick? Where is the twist? No trick here, and no twist either. Brian really is exactly what he seems to be. He's a genuinely kind-hearted guy, and he and Elizabeth have a great time. They initially hit it off over their shared love of coconut cake. Elizabeth's former boyfriend didn't like coconut cake, so she rarely got to eat it. A true pity; not enough people appreciate coconut cake. Still, at least she has Brian now.

What else can I say? “Eat Cake” is really cute and I utterly adore it.

The third episode we’ll be looking at is “That’s Democracy.” Jeffery Mohr is a high school social studies teacher. He’s going through a rough patch in his life. Still. he’s determined to give his students an excellent lesson on Direct Democracy vs Representative Democracy. He has brought a gun with him to class. He challenges the students to elect a representative. This representative will select one person in the class to kill. The students will have the opportunity to debate and persuade the representative about who to pick. They must choose wisely. For if the students fail to pick someone, Mr. Mohr will kill them all, and then kill himself.

A lot of people say “That’s Democracy” is the best episode of The Truth. I’m not sure if that is the case. There’s simply too many great episodes to choose from. However, it is certainly one of the most memorable episodes. The episode started off as a part of a Halloween episode that The Truth made for PRX. However, due to the rise in high profile school shootings, PRX got cold feet about the plot. However, the team behind The Truth didn’t want their hard work to go to waste. And it was thanks to that hard work that we got an excellent episode.

In a way, this episode is about the classic thought experiment of The Trolly Problem. Of course, it is easy to act moral when everything is hypothetical. It is quite another story when the knife’s literally at your throat. Or the gun at your head, in this case. I’m a bit reminded of the classic Twilight Zone episode “The Shelter.” It isn’t as well known as other classics, such as “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street”, but it is very much worth looking into. It hits on many of the same themes as “That’s Democracy.”

“That’s Democracy” is also notable for having been adapted into a short film. It is the only episode of The Truth to hold this distinction. The short film follows the plot of the episode almost exactly, baring a couple minor differences. It is an excellent short film. It was certainly interesting to see an audio drama be adapted into a different medium.

No matter the medium, “That’s Democracy” is very much worth experiencing. If you haven’t done so already, of course.

Next up, we have “Do You Have a Minute for Equality?” This episode follows a young woman named Kate. She’s a professional activist of a sort. She goes around collecting donations for various social causes. And yet she doesn’t really give too much thought at the causes themselves. One day, while collecting donations, she meets a prosthodontist named Arnold. He doesn’t have any money right now, but he’ll be sure to give her a big donation if she comes to his house. What could possibly go wrong?

I have many social causes I feel strongly about. I admit I could be a bit of a firebrand in my younger days. And yet, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve also grown more cynical towards activists. Particularly, those who make a career of being professional activists. I sometimes feel such people do fare more to harm the causes they claim to support. I also often feel there are those who are only in it for the attention. That, or so they can claim unearned moral superiority over others.

Kate claims to be fighting for voters' rights, but is totally unfamiliar with the major cases relating to that cause. To their credit, the writers certainly make Kate flawed, but not a strawwoman. I will say, however, that I felt that the ending was darkly comedic in a way. Suppose I related to Arnold somewhat. Oh, and remember that Halloween special I mentioned earlier? Well, “Do You Have a Minute for Equality?” was one of the segments included in that special. And don’t worry, we shall get to the other segments in due time.

No, I don’t have a minute for equality. But I do have a minute to say that we’re four-for-four when it comes to great episodes of The Truth.

For our fifth outing, we have “Brain Chemistry.” This one follows a man named Richard. He was cryogenically preserved, but he’s been revived. The future isn’t quite what he expected. Oh, climate change is a bit of an issue, but the people are nice enough. Unfortunately, Richard, and others like him, could only be revived as a brain in a jar. He spends his days as an exhibit in a museum. He tells visitors, usually kids on field trips, about what the 21st Century was like. One day, he meets another cryonically preserved brain named Casey. Richard hasn’t had much to look forward to in a long time, but Casey lights up his world. They might be a couple of brains in jars, but they’ve got serious chemistry.

We already discussed how I often have morbid thoughts about death. I have entertained the idea of cryogenics as a way to cheat death. It sounds nice in theory, but is there any hope that it could actually work? I’d like to think so, and yet I can’t help but feel that is far too optimistic. Still, I suppose you never know. What would it be like to awaken in a brave new world of the future? There are many people who choose only to have their heads frozen. The thinking is that future science will be able to provide entirely new bodies for them. Of course, what if the future isn’t a better place? Even if not dystopian, perhaps the future is different in a way you might find enjoyable.

I do value my mind, but I’m not sure if I could handle being a brain in a jar. It is nice to take a stroll around the neighborhood every now and again. It is especially hard on Richard. He used to be a mountain climber. Still, any hardship is easier to shoulder when you have people you love and care about you.

The ending was absolutely fantastic. I won’t give it away, but I loved how Richard gains a new perspective on life. The ending where he asks the kids to tell him about their lives, rather than the other way round, and the way the music was woven in so beautifully. It was just such a wonderful ending.

And yet I’d be lying if I said this episode wasn’t somewhat tainted for me. The Truth wanted to do something special during their tenth anniversary. So, they allowed listeners to audition to be interviewed about an episode they loved. I picked “Brain Chemistry” because it was the first episode of The Truth that I ever listened to. I poured my heart out in the application. There were only five slots, but I was selected. I did my best to be extra sure I was prepared for my interview with Jonathan Mitchell. We had a really good time chatting, but wouldn’t you know it, Jonathan forgot to press record. So, we had to do the whole thing all over again. I was mentally exhausted from giving it my all, and as a result, I sounded like a total dumbass the second time round. But I was assured that all was well. So, I patiently waited for the big day to come. It felt like I was going to get some validation for helping to promote quality audio dramas.

Alas, this was not to be. The big day came, and I received an email. The Truth couldn’t make my interview work, but they hoped I understood. I was crestfallen, but I listened to the episode…which featured five interviews. Apparently, Jonathan had done seven interviews. It would seem there was a lack of planning with the tenth anniversary special. He says he wanted to include them all, but he wanted things to flow well. And if that meant cutting interviews, then so be it. In his view, it would be no different than cutting an actor’s scene from an episode. 

Well, in my view, I felt like The Truth was spitting in my face, and didn’t even have the decency to call it rain. But I bit my tongue, and wished everyone a happy tenth anniversary. But I’m not holding my tongue anymore. I would expect a certain degree of professionalism, or at the very least planning, from an audio drama like The Truth.

Look, I get that Jonathan was probably being sincere. I get that he had good intentions, but you know what they say about the road to Hell. What The Truth did was an absolutely shitty thing to do. Especially how they waited til the day of to let me know. It didn’t completely ruin The Truth for me, but it was still a pretty serious black mark against them. If there was a possibility that the interview would be cut, well, you should have been more upfront about that. You could have at least tried to schedule a do-over. Just saying.

Well, anyway, let’s move right along.

The next episode is “Fish Girl.” It follows a girl named Win who has the ability to talk to fish. She befriends a porcupine pufferfish named Jane. Jane lives at an aquarium store, but longs to see the ocean. Win can’t do that, but she can take her down to the pond. Safely in a plastic bag, of course. It’s sure to be the adventure of a lifetime for them both.

Many of you know that I work as an edutainer at the Shreveport Aquarium. I inform and entertain the public about the animals; especially the touch pool animals. As it happens, we also have porcupine pufferfish. His name is Potato, and he is very cute. We also have a green spotted pufferfish named Bean. He is also extremely cute, if a bit shy. As such, this episode has become entertaining in a whole new way. I loved how real fish fact got woven into the story. Pufferfish have extremely powerful jaws, and can snap snail shells and clam shells in half like crackers. And yes, most fish will happily eat themselves into obesity if given the opportunity. Also, Eddie the store owner is right, don’t tap the glass. It sounds very loud to the fish. I admit that I don’t have the ability to understand fish. However, I do often talk to the fish as though they were people. That’s pretty common among aquarium workers.

Now, “Fish Girl” is all in good fun. However, I should point out that, in real life, it is important not to anthropomorphize animals. Don’t worry, the fish you see in aquariums are not longing to be in the wild. In fact, they have no clue they aren’t in the wild, and are most likely being well cared for. Their biggest concern is about what’s for lunch. I only mention this due to having dealt with my share of loony animal rights activists while on the job. It’s an occupational hazard, but thankfully they tend to be few and far between.

This was an episode that has gotten even better with age. It is also one that I happily recommend.

Our seventh episode is “Mall Santa.” It follows a longtime mall Santa named Al. He's growing increasingly disillusioned with the cheeriness of the holidays. However, he's about to have an encounter with an amateur Santa that just might help him rediscover the magic of Christmas.

It is cliche, but true, that giving is better than receiving. There is a certain magic that can be found in helping your fellow man. This magic isn't exclusive to the holidays. It can be found any time of the year. I think that's really the take away from this story. You don't have to move mountains to make the world a better place. Spare some time for those who need someone to talk to, and perhaps could use a few kind words.

This episode might be Christmas themed, but it plays well no matter the time of year.

Like I said before, this is just the initial foundation. I will be returning periodically to review more episodes of The Truth. In fact, I think I’ll have to split things off into a part two. So, be on the lookout for that at some point. But until then, I hope you have enjoyed our little look at The Truth. I certainly hope I’ve inspired you to check it out. It was movies for the ears, it was a shining star to other anthologies, it was a tapestry of genres. Above all else, it was The Truth, and it will be missed.

I think that should do it from me for now. I will see you guys next time.

Monday, February 26, 2024

The Audio File: Blum

Audio dramas can be found all over the world. I’ve always been particularly interested in what the audio drama community outside the Anglosphere is like. Unfortunately, the only language I speak is English, and this can be a major stumbling block. However, sometimes I get lucky, and the stars align just right. And by that, I mean a non-English audio drama gets re-released in English. Such was the case with the audio drama we’ll be reviewing today. We’re taking a look at Blum

Blum follows a university student named Emma Clark. She has traveled to Switzerland to research an artist named Ursula Blum. Ursula Blum was a painter who lived during the early 20th Century. However, she was also a composer, and dedicated her life to researching the possibility of using music for healing. She was involved in a lot of esoteric groups and secret societies. In particular, Blum was intrigued by the concept of the Music of the Spheres. Emma isn’t the first person to research Ursula Blum. Five years ago, another student named Clara Torres disappeared while researching Blum. Emma is determined to find out what happened to Clara. She’ll also do whatever it takes to discover Ursula Blum’s secrets.

I had known about Blum for quite some time. As is often the case, it first got on my radar when I was pursuing the r/audiodrama subreddit. I was intrigued, but then I saw that it was only available in Spanish. Blum is produced by the Spanish audio drama production company El Extraordinario. However, there was a potential silver lining. If it made the weekly roundup list, then maybe, just maybe, an English version might arrive someday. Time passed, but eventually my faith was rewarded. However, I got tied up with requested reviews, so I couldn’t listen right away. But then I finally got a gap in my schedule.

I share what I’ve been listening to every other Sunday on the Twitter feed for my own audio drama, The Books of Thoth. Naturally, one Sunday I mentioned I had listened to Blum. El Extraordinario was happy to hear this, and I promised them I would give a full-length proper review of Blum when I have a chance. And so, here we are now.

I have a degree in history. I spent my freshman year at a liberal arts college. It didn’t work out, but eventually I found myself at LSUS, where things turned out better. I bring this up, because Blum really tapped into that feeling of being a liberal arts major. The liberal arts are fairly interdisciplinary. History, music, art, literature, philosophy; no matter your major, you’ll get a bit of everything eventually. So, like the protagonist of a Marcel Proust novel, I felt enveloped by a strong sense of remembrance for my own days in university.

The scenes at St. Gallen’s Monastery were particularly fun. Learning about the musical notions that medieval monks used took me back to my days in Music Appreciation and Music Theory. Though, I also admit I got excited because one of the segments in Agent of Byzantium took place at St. Gallen.

Blum is quite possibly one of the best tourist ads for Switzerland I have ever encountered. I really wanted to go visit Switzerland after I listened to Blum. This, of course, is very much by design. Blum was commissioned by Switzerland Tourism in hopes of attracting more visitors for Switzerland. However, it never felt like I was listening to an ad, or any sort of product placement. It is very clear to me that series creators Manuel Bartual and Carmen Pacheco have a deep, and genuine, love for Switzerland and Swiss culture. That love is stitched into every aspect of Blum, and the audio drama is all the better for it.

But that’s not the only area where love shines through. This is, ironically, felt the most in scenes where sounds are absent. There was clearly a great amount of care put into the sound design of Blum. Emma often finds herself in various museum galleries. There is a certain ambiance to these scenes in how they are quiet in a specific way. I have spent much of my life exploring museums and art galleries. As such, I’m well acquainted with the sounds of such buildings. These scenes were recorded in actual galleries to properly capture this ambiance.

But, of course, Blum is certainly no slouch on the other end of the spectrum. One of my favorite scenes is in the first episode. Emma talks about how music and religion have been intertwined for centuries. We get a montage of music being using in religious ceremonies from around the world. It was a very well crafted sequence; felt like something out of a non-fiction podcast. On that note, Blum really nailed the true crime investigation vibe. Each episode opens and closes with a bit of classical piano music. There’s also a few more bit of classical music liberally sprinkled through the audio drama.

I must also take a moment to praise the voice acting. Emma’s voice actress did an especially good job. There were a couple time she pounced certain words more along the lines of British English, even though Emma is supposed to be American. Make me wonder if the voice actress might not be American. But if that is the case, she did an absolutely amazing job of maintaining the accent. Come to think of it, Clara was pretty much the only Spanish character in the entire podcast. I wonder if, perhaps, Emma was from Spain in the original Spanish version of Blum. Whatever the case, it never felt like anything had be lost in translation. There was clearly effort put in to ensure the English version of Blum would live up to its Spanish predecessor.

Okay, I want to choose my words carefully for this next part. I want to make sure nobody misconstrues what I’m saying here. Blum reminds me very much of a Dan Brown novel, and I absolutely mean that as a compliment. Look, I’m aware that Dan Brown has a bit of a bad reputation. Yes, he often gets pretty significant facts wrong in his novels, and maybe his novel aren’t exactly high literature. But that man knows how to write a page-turner. If nothing else, he got me interested in the various artists he mentions in his books. Another big appeal of his books is that, for lack of a better way of putting it, they are travel porn. They are often filled with loving descriptions of various European cities. I always wanted to travel and see the world, and Dan Brown’s novel let me indulge those fantasies. Thankfully, I did eventually get to visit Italy, and I even got to see all the places mentioned in Angels & Demons when I was in Rome.

Blum evokes that same sense of wanderlust with its lovingly detailed descriptions of Swiss cities. It also incorporates art and classical music into a plot about solving a mystery. However, unlike Mr. Brown, the writers stayed true to actual facts and history. So, you get all the good parts of a Dan Brown novel, in audio format, but none of the downsides. For example, Ursula Blum is an entirely fictional character. However, she was inspired by several real life artists and musicians.

Speaking of the mystery, just what is the Music of the Spheres? We have known since Ancient Greece that all music can be converted into mathematics. But what about the reverse? Can math be turned into music? There have been attempts to translate the orbits of the planets into music. Under the Ptolemaic Model, the planets were believed to occupy different celestial spheres, hence the name Music of the Spheres. But what if it goes deeper than that. What if there is a music written into reality itself? This appears to have been the opinion of Ursula Blum and the various esoteric groups she belonged to.

Okay, now comes the part where we have to get into spoilers. So, turn back now if you don’t want any of that.

Last chance, you sure you want to continue?

If everyone who wants out is gone, let’s get into it.

So, as Blum progressed there were hints dropped that Emma was poking into things better left alone. I got some cosmic horror vibes. Perhaps there was something Lovecraftian afoot? Would it turn out to be something that mortal minds weren’t meant to comprehend? Something that would drive Emma into madness?

Well, I suppose that it is a matter of perspective.

You see, Emma does uncover the music Ursula Blum had been researching. It turns out to be incredibly beautiful. So beautiful that it makes Emma feel as though she is flying. So beautiful she can see the connection that binds everything together. So beautiful that she completely fails to notice that she jumped out a window.

I was reminded of my own short story “Chain Reaction.” It is about a man who goes crazy and starts a religion based around rollercoasters. He has a very similar experience where the rollercoaster god shows him the connections that bind all things together. The rollercoaster explains that it can’t show him this too long, or he might forget to eat and drink.

Well, as they say, great minds think alike. I thought the big reveal was very well executed. I liked the way it explored that concept of pantheism. It is the idea that everything within the universe contains a spark of divinity. Or, to put it another way, that the universe itself is God.

Blum was an absolute joy to listen to from start to finish. It appealed to my inner liberal arts major. It was like taking an auditory vacation to Switzerland. It was a great introduction to the world of Spanish audio drama. I cannot recommend it enough. You should listen to it as soon as possible.

I certainly hope this means we might see more El Extraordinario audio dramas getting translated into English. I also hope we might see audio dramas from other parts of the world getting translated. Perhaps, even some English audio dramas getting translated into foreign languages. But whatever the future holds, I’m glad that the world of audio drama is ever expanding. It is great to see more countries joining the party.

Well, I think that should do it from me for now. I will see you guys next time.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

The Books of Thoth: Starshot

The second episode of my audio drama anthology The Books of Thoth is here. It is titled “Starshot.” 

A fleet of alien space probes enter the night sky. But this is not our sky, and the probes are from Earth. A scientist from Alpha Centauri studies the probes aboard a space station. What will the scientist discover about their place in the universe?

A big thank you to Angela Yih for performing this episode. Be sure to listen to her audio drama Residents of Proserpina Park, if you haven’t done so already. You guys should know by now how much I love Residents of Proserpina Park. So, I was awesome to have Angel as part of The Books of Thoth.

What I wanted to do with “Starshot” is tell a story of First Contact between humanity and extraterrestrials, but from the perspective of the aliens. I wanted it to be hopeful and optimistic. Where the aliens are looking for a friend amidst the darkness, just like humanity is.

The title is a reference to Breakthrough Starshot. It is an proposed space mission to send a series of probes, via solar sail, to Alpha Centauri. It would take between 20-30 year, plus an additional four years for any messages from the probes to reach Earth. Hundreds of probes would initially be launched, with most being lost along the way due to collisions with interstellar dust and other debris. But, hopefully, a lucky few would survive the journey across the ebon sea. Pictures and/or video from another star? Now there’s a thought.

I also attempted to answer the question of the Fermi Paradox. That is, if the universe is so big, where’s all the alien. Perhaps they are in the same boat as us. Advanced enough to wonder who’s out there, but not advanced enough to initiate significant contact. Perhaps it is only just now that intelligent life has finally evolved in the universe. I suppose they would make a kind of sense. Look how long it took for intelligent life to evolve on Earth. Well, intelligent as we define it, anyway.

I wanted to evoke the feelings of wonder and frustration from archeology. Especially with regards to civilizations where we have yet to translate their languages such as the Minoans or the Indus Valley Civilization. I suppose that makes the protagonist a xenoarcheologist.

Still, that isn’t to say you can’t find at least some meaning. Even if it wasn’t the kind you were initially looking for. So, I wanted the story to end with a sense of awe and wonder. With the feeling the the universe is so much bigger, and isn’t that great?

But most of all, I hope that all of you enjoy “Starshot.” I kind of rushed this one so I could get it out before Christmas and New Year’s. It is a bit more low-key than my previous episode, “Paleontology Conference” was. But I felt Starshot was a very personal, intimate sort of story, and it didn’t need as many bells and whistles. And hey, we got some nice music to listen to along the way.

You can listen to The Books of Thoth on your podcast platform of choice. 

Thursday, January 18, 2024

The Audio File: Campfire Radio Theatre

Hmm, how do I begin this one? This has been a long time coming. I definitely should have gotten to this one a lot sooner than I did. That’s certainly a recurring theme on this blog. This one was a major part of my journey into the world of audio drama. So, without further ado, here it is at long last. We’re taking a look at Campfire Radio Theatre.

Welcome, friend. Have a seat by the fire. Make yourself comfortable. Campfire Radio Theatre is a horror anthology audio drama created by John Ballentine. I first became aware of it when Jordan Harbour mentioned Campfire Radio Theatre on an episode of his podcast Twilight Histories. I figured that Campfire Radio Theatre must be good if Jordan was recommending it. Sure enough, I discovered a wonderful horror anthology. Campfire Radio Theatre is proof that good things come to those who wait. What it lacks in frequency of uploads it more than make up for in quality. John Ballentine has assembled a very talented team of voice actors. Keven Hartnell, the series composer, always produces some excellent spooky music. And, of course, the writing is almost always fantastic.

So, a bit about how I’m going to approach this review. I’m not actually going to review all of the episodes in one go. I’m going to treat this as though I were reviewing an audio drama such as The Program Audio Series or The TEMP. I will give it a good start, and then periodically update it with more reviews. Anthologies always take more out of me than serialized shows do. I have to analyze and weigh the merits of each individual episode. This can take a fair bit of time, and you might imagine. I will also not be reviewing the episodes in chronological order. One of the beauties of anthologies is that you can listen to the episodes in any order that you please. As such, I apply the same principle to this review.

Now that we've got all of the housekeeping out of the way, let’s start the review in earnest.

The first episode that we’ll be looking at is “Death and Alchemy.” This episode takes place in London during the Victorian Era. We follow a scientist who has developed a serum that he claims can restore the dead to life. He wishes to test the serum on the corpse of a recently deceased girl. He is sure that this experiment will put him in the history books. Little does he know how terribly correct he is, but not for the reasons he thinks.

This was the very first episode of Campfire Radio Theatre I ever listened to. Jordan Harbour recommended this episode in particular. John Ballentine returned the favor and ran a promo for Twilight Histories at the end of the episode. “Death and Alchemy” is based on the short story “The Doctor in the Dungeon” by Patrick Moody. I quite enjoyed this episode, so I’ll have to track down the original short story. “Death and Alchemy” really captures that feeling of a gothic horror story from the Victorian Era. The horror coming from a scientist probing into things man was not meant to know. 

Getting to see a zombie apocalypse unleashed upon Victorian Britain was certainly fun. I’m an alternate history enthusiast, and this episode certainly appealed to that side of me. I also liked how it drew a bit upon real history as well. Real medical schools in the Victorian Era often acquired corpses, via illicit means, for their dissection classes. There was quite a lucrative trade in grave robbing.

All in all, and excellent introduction to Campfire Radio Theatre.

Next up, we’re taking a look at “The Dentist.” This episode follows a woman named Sandra who has become a dental assistant for a dentist named Dr. Stewart. He offers his services at a very reasonable rate. In fact, he’s still the most popular dentist in town. But there’s something a bit odd about him. Dr. Stewart always insists on using gas to relax his patients for their procedures. All of his patients seem a bit off after they’ve received their procedures. The secretary is also very secretive about patient files. Dr. Stewart is hiding something, but what could it be?

This episode is another adaptation. Specifically, it was adapted from the episode of the same name from the Canadian radio series Nightfall. It was a horror anthology from the CBC that ran during the 1980s. You can find all the episodes on YouTube, and I certainly recommend that you do. Nightfall is an excellent series, and I’m glad that Campfire Radio Theatre introduced it to me. This episode was an extremely faithful adaption. I listened to the Nightfall version, but I think I prefer the Campfire Radio Theatre version. Not that the Nightfall version was bad, but I found myself comparing the performances to the Campfire Radio Theatre version. 

Again, they weren’t bad, I was just used to the Campfire Radio Theatre version. John Ballentine actually got permission from Bill Gray, the writer of the Nightfall episode, to adapt “The Dentist.” I personally don’t consider dentists to be scary, but I know that many people do. Still, the big revelation of the episode certainly managed to send a chill down my spine. It was also lovely to hear Julie Hoverson from 19 Nocturne Boulevard as Eveline the receptionist.

Another excellent adaptation, and another excellent episode.

For our third offering we’re examining “Demon Eyes.” We follow an FBI special agent named Sara Gowan. She must locate the victims of a serial killer named Wesley Morrow. Morrow is slated to be executed soon, and Sara is racing against the clock. However, Morrow has given Sara a pair of glasses, but not just any glasses. These glasses allow those who wear them to see the demons that walk among us disguised as humans.

This was the first episode of Campfire Radio Theatre ever produced. It was certainly a strong start to the audio drama. John Ballentine has admitted to being a big fan of John Carpenter. I bring this up because I can definitely see some influences from the movie They Live in this episode. Still, John Ballentine manages to put his own spin on things. For example, there isn’t really any commentary on social issues like consumerism. And the antagonists are demons, not aliens. Then there was the big reveal at the end of the episode…which would be major spoilers if I were to talk about that. I will say that I did not see it coming, but I absolutely loved it.

We have bowled a turkey as far as great episodes of Campfire Radio Theatre.

Our fourth fearsome offering is “The Rites of Autumn.” We follow a grandfather teaching his grandson all about various Halloween festivities and traditions. It starts off innocently enough, but there’s clearly something sinister lurking just beneath the surface.

This one is kind of hard to talk about without spoiling the ending. True to the title, this one does have a very autumnal feel to it. Makes for good listening during the Halloween season. Then again, so does the rest of Campfire Radio Theatre. The actor who played the grandpa did a fantastic job. You could tell there was something sinister about him, but he never tips his hand until the big reveal. Although, during the pumpkin carving scene, I certainly had a feeling that knife was going to be carving more than just pumpkins. Oh, and be sure to stick around after the credits. There’s a fun little gag segment at the very end, along with a very catchy song. Not much more spoiler-free stuff to add here. Well, beyond to say give this one a listen.

Our fifth freighting episode is “The War of the Worlds.” This one adapts H.G. Wells’ classic novel, but with Campfire Radio Theatre’s own unique twist. It takes the form of a series of cellphone recordings. We follow a young lady as she tries to survive the Martian invasion of Earth, and avoid their dreadful war machines. She thinks that she has found temporary refuge from the invaders. Little does she know that aliens aren’t the terrors she should be looking out for.

This episode really surprised me. I was not sure how John Ballentine was going to pull-off “The War of the Worlds” in only thirty-seven minutes. John took the right approach here. This isn’t a straight adaptation of The War of the Worlds. Rather, it is a story that happens to be set in that particular world, for lack of a better way of putting it. I also really loved the angle this episode went with. Sure, the Martians are a threat, but it is your fellow humans that you really have to watch out for. The War of the Worlds has been a big part of the audio drama world ever since Orson Wells’ famous broadcast back in 1938. That is why October 30th is World Audio Drama Day. I’m glad to see Campfire Radio Theatre paying its own homage to that famous broadcast.

This episode was certainly a pleasant surprise. It is also certainly one you should listen to.

The sixth episode that we’ll be examining is “Monster’s Game.” It follows a young man named Rob who has been struggling with schizophrenia. He has been listening to true crime podcasts, with Monster’s Game being his favorite. However, he’s been hearing something strange lately. There’s a voice in his headphones calling itself Mathias, and it claims it can save Rob’s sanity. There’s just one small catch: Rob has to commit murders, particularly strangulations, under the guidance of Mathias. Is Rob just hallucinating, or might Mathias be more than just a voice in Rob’s head?

Ah, so we’re getting metafictional with this one. Sometimes it can be hard to remember that the voices in my head from podcasts have faces that go with them. In a way, this episode almost seemed to be about what happens when those parasocial relationships go a bit too far. Well, there is also the wrinkle of the main character’s mental illness. It was kind of funny, I kept thinking about how everything reminded me of Son of Sam. Then, the characters all started talking about Son of Sam. I also sense themes about true crime podcasts. Specifically, the ethics of them, and the questions how far some podcasters are willing to go for a good story. 

Of course, I’m hardly a true crime aficionado. So, I can’t comment on this particular aspect too much. Also, this episode was kind of retroactively amusing. Rob is voiced by Bobby Gaglini, who is now far more famous as Will and Otto from Spaceships. Don’t worry, this does not undercut his performance in the slightest. “Monster’s Game” is another winner.

Our seventh dervish delight is “Desecrate.” It follows Jen, Brent, and Holly. Jen and Holly have been best friends since childhood, and Brent is Holly’s boyfriend. Holly is into all things occult, and wants to contact the spirit of Philomena Tillman; a woman accused of witchcraft. Holly plans on doing this using an ouija board in the graveyard Philomena is buried in. She hopes to uncover the truth behind Philomena’s story. However, Jen and Brent have a few secrets of their own. They’ve been having an affair, and they fear that Holly will find out. Specifically, how she will react.

This one is a little hard to review. Oh, it is an excellent episode, make no mistake of that. However, this is really one of those episodes it is best to go into knowing as little as possible. There are a lot of twists, turns, and revelations in this one. I will say that all of the actors did a fantastic job. The actress who played Holly did a particularly good job. Holly is described as being Goth Barbie, and certainly sounds the part. There’s some other bits of acting I could mention, but that’s getting into spoilers. The point is, “Desecrate” is another excellent episode. You should listen to it as soon as possible.

Our eighth aural offering is “The Master’s Hungry Children.” This one is set in Romania during World War II. We follow a group of Nazi soldiers who have arrived in a rural Romanian village. The villagers are wary, but not because of the Nazis. They speak of movement in the shadows, and creatures that stalk in the night. In particular, the villagers warn of one known as The Master, and his vicious children. The Nazis scoff it of as merely the ramblings of ignorant peasants. However, it soon becomes clear that these are no mere superstitions. The Nazis will soon come face to face with vampires.

I get the feeling that some people might not like this episode. It does have a certain campy quality to it. The set-up of Vampires vs. Nazis sounds like something out of a B-Movie. But you know what? I like B-Movies, I like vampires, and I enjoy camp. It was fun to have an episode set during World War II. Also, the actors make the smart choice to play the premise completely straight. This episode, despite its B-Movie feel, certainly had way better writing than a typical B-Movie. “The Master’s Hungry Children” won’t be to every listener’s liking. However, I enjoyed it quite a bit, and I encourage you to give it a try as well.

And so that is every episode of Campfire Radio Theatre that I have reviewed thus far. Like I said, this isn’t meant to be a comprehensive list. I wanted to start us off with a good foundation, and I will periodically review more episodes as the mood strikes me. I hope that it is clear by now that Campfire Radio Theatre is a frighteningly fantastic horror anthology audio drama. John Ballentine and his team have created something special. Proof that good things truly do come to those who wait. I certainly hope that you will give Campfire Radio Theatre a listen as soon as possible.

Well, I think that should do it from me for now. I will see you guys next time.

Friday, December 8, 2023

Flag of the Union of Sovereign Republics

This is the flag of the Union of Sovereign Republics. It comes from a world where the government of the Soviet Union discovered the plot by hardline Communist Party members to stage a coup. The leaders of the planned coup were arrested, and this meant that the New Union Treaty was signed into law. The Soviet Union reorganized itself into the Union of Soviet Sovereign Republics. The first wave of reforms were somewhat modest, but they allowed for capitalism, and investments from foreign businesses, to make inroads to the USSR. This provided a much needed shot in the arm to the Soviet economy. This led to a weakening of the independence movements among the constituent republics of the USSR.

Economic reforms soon lead to political reforms. Genuine opposition parties were allowed to run starting in the late 1990s. This led to a weakening of the Supreme Soviet, and by the mid 2000s, the USSR had transitioned into a full democracy. Its name officially changed to the Union of Sovereign Republic to better reflect this new nature. Thus, the Cold War came to a somewhat anticlimactic end.

The Union of Sovereign Republics emphasizes devolution of powers. The national government handles matters of international diplomacy and national defense. Meanwhile, the constituent republics are given considerable leeway. They can declare their own official languages, establish their own educational systems, establish their own legislative assemblies, and pass their own internal laws. The national constitution also holds all constituent republics to be equal, and protects the rights of minority groups. The USR is working towards redressing the grievances the Soviet Union committed against non-Russian ethnic groups.

Relations between the USR and the USA are fairly friendly and cordial. The two nations have increasingly collaborated over the years. For example, they collaborated on a joint manned mission to the Moon in 2015. Surprisingly, there’s even talk have having the USR join NATO. However, that’s on hold at the moment.

China has not fared well in the 21st Century. The Chinese economy is in shambles. Western businesses never really invested in China. Most international production facilities are instead located in the USR and India. China is plagued by political unrest, and government crackdowns are increasingly common. China relied on Russia to keep America in check. However, the increasing closeness of the USR to America has sent Chinese leaders into a panic. The USR and USA are watching China with increased wariness, particularly after China’s invasion of Vietnam in 2019.

Time will tell what becomes of this. For now, however, the Union of Sovereign Republic enjoys economic prosperity and a high standard of living. For the first time in a long while, things are looking up for the peoples of Russia and Central Asia.

The blue doesn’t have any official meaning. Though, some take it to mean that the same blue sky is shared by all members of the Union of Sovereign Republics. It also contrasts with the red of the old Soviet flag. The eight bent poles represent the equality of all the constituent republics of the USR. The white is to offset the blue, and make the flag look a bit less like the old Soviet flag.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

The Books of Thoth: My First Foray into Audio Drama Production

I’m back with another update post, and this one is an especially big update. You see, I’ve finally done it. I have officially launched my audio drama anthology podcast The Books of Thoth.

We’re kicking things off with “Paleontology Conference.” million years in the future. Humans are extinct and squids rule the Earth. They only know us from the fossils we leave behind. What will the squids make of us?

As you might guess, The Future is Wild was a big inspiration for this episode. I blame that show for igniting my love of terrestrial cephalopods. The part where the narrator speculates about the Squibbons developing their own civilization always sparked my imagination. The All Todays segment of the book All Yesterdays was another big inspiration. I love the way it pokes fun at how our notions of prehistoric animals sometimes turn out to be very wrong. You do get some references to how our views on prehistoric animals have changed. The part where the professor mentions chordates used to be viewed as slow and lumbering, but then were viewed as active and dynamic? That was almost word-for-word how our views of dinosaurs changed over the years. And there’s a few more in-jokes if you’re paying attention for them.

A bit about where the title for the podcast came from. Thoth is the god of wisdom, writing, and magic in Egyptian Mythology. He possessed an ultimate book of spells known as the Book of Thoth. Among other things, it had spells that could enable you to speak the language of animals, restore the dead to life, and peer through the layers of reality and gaze upon the gods themselves. Thoth acted as scribe of the gods, and he’s probably written quite a few scrolls in his time. And those scrolls are bound to have some pretty good stories within them.

The Books of Thoth has been a long time coming. I’m both nervous and excited. I admit that maybe there were a few things I could have tweaked. But after a certain point, perfect becomes the enemy of good. And so, I decided to release my audio drama into the wild for all to enjoy.

A big thank you to everyone who made this episode possible. Thank you to Marnie Warner, Amy Young, Faye Holliday, Juan Cruz III, Tiffany Perdue, and Melissa Bowens for providing the voices. As well as my thanks to Geno Samuel for providing the opening narration. And to Nadine Trollip, aka Stardust-Phantom, for providing the series cover art.

The Books of Thoth is hosted on RedCricle, and you can find it on all major podcast platforms. Including, but not limited to, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, iHeart, Podcast Addict, Amazon Music, Player.FM, Audible, TuneIn, RadioPublic, Apollo Podcasts, and Goodpods. And yes, I do have transcripts available.

It hopefully won’t be too long before I have more episodes for your listening pleasure. But in the meantime, I do hope that you enjoy the inaugural episode of The Books of Thoth.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

The Audio File: Long Night in Egypt

I’ve finished most of my outstanding obligations for reviews, at least for the moment. Well, that’s going to not be the case for too long, but I do have a brief respite. As such, I am able to talk about one particular audio drama. Now, I admit I was prepared to be disappointed, but this one surprised me in the best way possible. It utilized Egyptian Mythology while remaining incredibly faithful to the original myths. So, what is this audio drama? Why, we’re taking a look at Long Night in Egypt

Long Night in Egypt follows four college students named Mo, Kayla, Jorden, and Pia. They are on vacation in Egypt to visit Mo’s aunt and uncle; a pair of renowned Egyptologists. It’s sure to be a trip filled with relaxation, visits to archeological sites, and maybe even a bit of partying. Then, Mo’s cousin Samira comes up with the idea to visit the Pyramid of Unas at night. Mo’s aunt and uncle are very firm that the Pyramid of Unas must never be entered at night. However, the students sneak into the pyramid anyway. They will soon discover that the myths and legends of Ancient Egypt might just be true after all. They will have to navigate their way thought the Egyptian underworld, and face numerous challenges, if they wish to survive their long in Egypt.

I had known about Long Night in Egypt for a while. It had the word Egypt in the title, and a pyramid on the title card. What can I say? I was sold. However, other obligations kept me from listening. Then, I got a chance to listen, and I was blown away by what I heard.

I’m a lover of mythology, but I have trouble deciding which particular mythology is my favorite. I’m reminded of what Neil Gaiman wrote in the introduction to his novel Norse Mythology. He said that picking a favorite mythology is a bit like picking a favorite cuisine. Variety is the spice of life, and your favorite often depends on what mood you’re in at the moment. However, there’s always those dishes and stories that you always come back to. Given the title of the book, it should come as no surprise that Norse Mythology is that for Neil Gaiman. But what about me? 

I always find myself returning to the gods and stories of Egyptian Mythology. I love the weird and wonderful animal-headed gods. I love reading about all of the spells and incantations Egyptian magicians created. I love the way that real Ancient Egyptian historical figures sometimes factor into the stories. I love Egyptian Mythology. The stories of Egyptian Mythology took me on magical adventures away from my mundane world.

We have had several audio dramas adapt or reinterpret Greek Mythology, but not really any takes on Egyptian Mythology. In fact, Long Night in Egypt is, thus far, the only audio drama I’ve encountered that utilizes Egyptian Mythology in a major way. Now, this was certainly an exciting discovery, but I had my apprehensions. I’ve had to endure far too many movies and television shows that played way too fast and loose with real mythology. Hey, I’m just saying. If the source material you’re incorporating is a hindrance to the story you want to tell, then perhaps you should write a different story. That, or find a mythology more agreeable to the story you want to make.

Sorry, I got a little distracted there. Getting back on track, I was cautiously optimistic, but I was fully prepared to be disappointed. I was combing through every episode with a fine-toothed comb. I was prepared to pounce at the slightest slip-up. I was particularly worried that Anubis and/or Set would be portrayed as Ancient Egyptian Satan. However, much to my pleasant surprise, I couldn’t find a single mythological misappropriation. In fact, I even learned a few things as a result of listening to Long Night in Egypt.

So, let’s talk about all the great mythological stuff in this podcast. The main inspirations for this audio drama are The Pyramid Texts and The Egyptian Book of the Dead. The Pyramid Texts is one of the oldest surviving religious texts in the world. It is inscribed into the walls of the pyramids and burial chambers of Saqqara. And yes, that includes the Pyramid of Unas. The texts are a series of spells, incantations, hymns, and utterances that help the pharaoh to navigate the afterlife and ascend to godhood. The Egyptian Book of the Dead is much the same, but with different spells and writings. Also, the Book of the Dead was written on papyrus, not carved into stone. 

The Pyramid Texts were completed in the Old Kingdom era, while The Book of the Dead wasn’t completed until the New Kingdom era. The characters do discover inscriptions from The Book on the Dead on the walls of the Pyramid of Unas. However, they do acknowledge this discrepancy, and wave it off as The Book of the Dead being older than previously believed. The Book of the Dead does drawn heavily upon The Pyramid Texts, so, this isn’t all that implausible.

We frequently hear characters, both mortal and divine, quoting passages from both The Pyramid Texts and The Book of the Dead. Oh, and that part where Unas consumes some of the gods to increase his power? Believe it or not, that is directly from The Pyramid Texts. That particular section is even called The Cannibal Hymn. See, this is why I’m such a big advocate for being accurate to the mythological sources. Oftentimes, the actual sources are way wilder than anything a modern writer might come up with.

We also get a few fun facts about modern Egypt sprinkled in. For example, Mo has a book that was written by Ahmed Kamal. He was the first Egyptologist to actually be from Egypt. There’s also a scene where the characters are at a club, and it is offhandedly mentioned that the drinking age in Egypt is twenty-one. I looked it up, and it is indeed twenty-one, just like in America. Also, you can apparently buy alcohol in Egypt.

Long Night in Egypt is a horror audio drama, and I like the approach it took to that. Unas isn’t portrayed as some monster who is bent on world domination. The main characters were warned not to go into the Pyramid of Unas at night, and they paid the price. Granted, they probably wouldn’t have believed the real reason they were to stay away. Still, their troubles are self-inflicted because they ran foul of ancient traditions, and disrespected the pyramid. Even without the undead pharaoh and the magic, it probably wasn’t the smartest idea to go into a pyramid at night. It is bound to be dark, and you can get easily hurt if you don’t know what you’re doing.

The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there. I was particularly thinking about that during the scene in the Halls of Judgement. Ancient Egypt was a foreign culture with a foreign value system. You might consider yourself a good person by modern standards, but how well would you stack up to Ancient Egyptian standards? Though, thankfully, an important part of the Weighing of the Heart is remembering the correct incantations from The Book of the Dead. Of course, even the things the Ancient Egyptians viewed as a great reward/honor for the afterlife could be potentially unpleasant by modern standards. What do I mean by that? Oh, that would be spoilers, but let’s just say you’ll see.

On a related note, I loved how the horror comes from the characters finding themself in a story straight out of mythology. I’m a big fan of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, as well the wider Riordanverse. Yes, that includes The Kane Chronicles. Naturally, I love mythology, and I do tend to fantasize about going on urban fantasy mythology adventures. On the other hand, perhaps I should be careful about what I wish for. Such things might be fun to read about, but it might not be so fun to actually live though. Especially if you don’t have magical powers.

But hey, maybe I’d get some moments of awe between my terror. Terrifying or not, it would be kind of cool to discover that Egyptian Mythology is real. That’s why Kayla was my favorite character. She constantly geeks out over archeology and mythology. This does cause some friction with Mo during the journey through the underworld. However, all the other characters would have been seriously screwed without Kayla’s encyclopedic knowledge of The Book of the Dead. Granted, Mo is certainly no slouch either, but he does need occasional prompting and reminders. I really loved the part where Kayla geeks out over all the obscure gods in the Hall of Judgement.

And speaking of the characters, we need to talk about the voice acting. I find it endlessly amusing that Mo is voiced by Amr Kotb, but Mo’s cousin Amr is voiced by Amro Mahmoud. I was excited when I heard that Roshan Singh would be voicing Jordan. He is the creator of the audio drama Temujin, and we’ve interacted a bit on Twitter. He didn’t really have a lot to do. Jordan is kind of…I believe himbo is the term the kids say these days. Still, he did the most with what he had to work with. Alice Pollack does an amazing job capturing Kayla’s endearingly nerdy personality. Asil Moussa is clearly having a lot of fun playing Samira. 

Karim Kronfli has a brief cameo as a BBC newscaster. Always great hearing him, and amusingly, this isn’t the only Ancient Egyptian themed project he’s part of. He was also part of the voice cast for the video game Total War: Pharaoh. The music and sound effects are also really great. This is a show that’s being distributed by Realm Media. So, of course it’s going to be a cinematic audio drama. And I wouldn’t have Long Night in Egypt any other way.

Hmm, do I have critiques? Well, the image on the title card is not the Pyramid of Unas. It is the Great Pyramid of Giza, but I get why the production team did that. The Pyramid of Unas isn’t very photogenic. In fact, it kind of looks like a giant dirt mound. The Pyramids of Giza scream Ancient Egypt a lot better, and get the point across. And hey, it is a very nice looking title card regardless.

Switching gears, I’m not sure how I feel about the way Anubis was voiced. I know the voice actress. She’s the announcer from We Fix Space Junk. It would have been nice if there was an easily accessible cast list for Long Night in Egypt. Anyway, I know she tried to give Anubis an otherworldly voice, but it came across as a bit too feminine. Not what I would have gone for if I’d been casting. I got used to it, but it was a bit of a sour note in an otherwise great voice cast. The other gods had excellent voice casting

Those are really the only critiques I can think of. Long Night in Egypt was an absolutely fantastic podcast. I won’t give away the ending, but suffice it to say, there’s no way we’re getting a season two out of this. I’d be genuinely surprised if we do. On the other hand, there are a lot of other mythologies out there. There’s plenty of other myths that could be given the Long Night in Egypt treatment. Hint, hint, Violet Hour and Realm.

Long Night in Egypt was an amazing audio drama from start to finish. It really shows the great things that can be accomplished when you make the effort to be accurate to mythology. This is the Egyptian Mythology audio drama I was hoping we might have someday, and it did not disappoint in the slightest. Do yourself a favor and listen to it today. Especially if you love Egyptian Mythology or all things Ancient Egypt.

Well, I think that should do it from me for now. I will see you guys next time.