The Valley of Forever podcast is still going! It was amazing to me to look back over the episodes and realize that the first one went live on March 6, almost seven months ago. Yesterday I posted Episode 15, titled “The Ravine.” Those of you who are following the podcast–it’s a story in serial format–should know where to find it on the various platforms: Podomatic, iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn.com, or Stitcher.
In episode 15, the narrator and main character, Marcus, returns to his own story, narrating to his estranged son Alex the strange story of his life. Having fled the United States and his previous identity, Marcus finds himself in Central America. His efforts to blend in and disappear in some obscure corner of the world lead him to begin impersonating a priest charged with building a school and hospital on the distant South Pacific island of Taveuni, which lies along the 180th meridian that separates one day from the next. Once he establishes himself there Marcus makes an eerie discovery that demonstrates how nothing is coincidental, and the arc of his life begins to resemble that of the mysterious time-traveler Dale.
The concept of Taveuni, which is a real island in the country of Fiji, has been in The Valley of Forever since the very earliest conceptions of the story. In fact, Episode 15 directly references events mentioned in my 2011 short story “The Antimeridian”–which is free on Amazon, by the way–and it is part of why I’ve conceived of The Valley of Forever as sort of a sequel to “The Antimeridian,” though you need not have read that story to understand this one. The notion of an island where it’s Sunday on one side of an imaginary line and Monday on the other has always fascinated me. It fascinated my favorite author, Umberto Eco, too; his 1994 novel The Island of the Day Before deals with a similar concept.
If you enjoy The Valley of Forever, please pass it on! I’m thinking seriously of releasing the original novel on which the podcast is based, which has never been published before, on Amazon Kindle once the podcast finishes…and we’re getting into the home stretches! Thanks to all the listeners for their support.