I’m quite happy to announce that Episode 8 of my science fiction story podcast, The Valley of Forever, went live last night. This episode is titled simply “December.” Listen to it on your favorite podcast platform: Podomatic, iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn.com, and Stitcher. I know many of you fans have apps that download new episodes automatically, so chances are you probably already know that there’s a new episode.
As you know, the format of The Valley of Forever is a series of messages recorded by the protagonist, Marcus, to his estranged son, Alex. In Episode 8, Marcus goes back to Christmastime 1994 to explain how he fell in love with Alex’s mother, Alyce. There are, naturally, complications! The couple, both students at the University of Texas, bond while studying intensively for final exams, and then take off impulsively for Mexico. This segment finally involves the first real appearance of the character Dale, who was mentioned briefly in Episode 1, and around whom much of the rest of the story will focus. But who is Dale, and how does he cross Marcus and Alyce’s path in Mexico? What’s the “earworm?” And what’s the strange fascination with Palenque? Find out in Episode 8!
Although the character of Marcus is not based on me, I’ve drawn upon some of my own experience, as I have before, to flesh out some of the details. There’s a brief bit in this episode where the character describes what it’s like to take a law school final exam. This is as accurate as I can make it. Law school is rarely portrayed in fiction–The Paper Chase is probably the best example of it–so I thought it’d be an interesting angle to include.
I want to give a special shout-out to Robert Horvat, frequent contributor to this blog, who gave me a link to a free music clip site I hadn’t heard of before. The haunting “earworm” theme that appears at the beginning of this episode is a composite, created by me from these royalty free clips, and I think it’s pretty effective. Thanks Robert!
I consider Episode 8 a significant milestone. Someone on Twitter told me a while ago that most podcasts don’t get past the seventh episode. Thus, we’ve already outlasted many others. I keep hearing from fans who have become hooked on the show, so thanks very much for your support!