My podcast The Valley of Forever has started to gain some popularity, and for anyone just tuning into the series there’s a new episode–number three, titled “The Tornado of 4:21.” Indeed, the podcast is now appearing on numerous outlets. You can find it at Podomatic, where it’s hosted, but The Valley of Forever is also available on iTunes, on Google Play, on TuneIn.com, and now, just in the past few days, on Stitcher. So whatever your preferred platform is, you should be able to find it!
Episode 3 is probably the best episode so far. In the story, narrator Marcus Windom, a survivor of a catastrophic ship fire, continues telling his odd life story to his estranged son. This time he recalls an incident that occurred when he was in high school in the Midwest in the year 1988. Thrown together unexpectedly with a potential love interest while seeking cover from a frightening tornado outbreak, Marcus encounters for the first time the strange grasshopper-like monster, known as Hieroglyphus, that he later believes is somehow associated with the mysterious “time-gate.” Though an unusual self-contained story, “The Tornado of 4:21” is but another piece of a larger whole, which involves a fundamental rethinking of the whole concept of time.
This episode is a very personal one for me. While the “Hieroglyphus” creature and the time shifts are of course science fiction, the bulk of this episode is based on a real incident I experienced–the Omaha/Council Bluffs Tornado of 1988, which I did an article on three years ago on the occasion of its 25th anniversary. Being able to work this very vivid incident from my own life into my fiction–it’s not in the written version of The Valley of Forever–was very gratifying and made it all the more vivid. Writing and recording this episode, I think the podcast has really hit its stride, and the momentum will carry over into episodes 4 and 5, both of which are already written.
I should also acknowledge the ever-growing circle of friends who have been contributing to The Valley of Forever. This episode features, in a cameo appearance as a news announcer in the year 1988, science fiction and comic book artist Mike Luoma, who has his own podcast, GlowInTheDarkRadio, and has written a number of books (some of which he reads on his podcast). Big thanks to Mike for taking part. The Valley of Forever theme by George Kay is becoming increasingly haunting to me; George himself pops up in Episode 2 as a European news announcer. Lesley Ann Fogle, though not hear in episode 3, has provided some great narration and will return again as the series goes on. Please check out their stuff!
The series is only going to get better as it goes along. Keep listening, sharing, liking, etc.–I appreciate it! Now, if you haven’t heard episode 3 yet, get to it!