I became aware of this project wrong-way-to (found the Twitter feed, which led to the podcast, which led to the site), so bear with me whilst I try to string things together with something approaching coherence.
Commonplace Books is, as nearly as I can tell from their less-than-pellucid Who We Are page, a sort of artists’ collective which leverages the internet to help artists find a wider audience. Their first effort was A Commonplace Book of the Weird, a collection of stories done in the style of H.P. Lovecraft (also on Kindle).
They’ve recently started a podcast:
Welcome to Night Vale is a twice-monthly podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events.
Turn on your radio and hide.
You can see their list of past episodes here, which sound highly entertaining. A couple of my favorites are, “A protest against the removal of the Shape In Grove Park That No One Acknowledges Or Speaks About. Plus, changes to the school curriculum, a growing tarantula problem in town, and musical auditions!” and “The search for a dangerous fugitive finally comes to an end, but he’s gaining some unexpected popularity. Plus, what to do about those noisy sunsets, City Council rejects ‘breath entitlements,’ and more issues with Santa Claus at the Night Vale mall.”
And the podcast has its own darkly hilarious Twitter feed. A sample of their tweets:
When a person dies and no one will miss them, the mourning is assigned to a random human. This is why you sometimes just feel sad.
St Patrick drove the snakes from Ireland. No one knows where he put them. He knows. He lays his hand lightly on the latch. Not yet. Not yet.
The mayor, in a press conference today, said only “BLOOD”. No follow-up questions were asked, but all reporters chanted “BLOOD” in unison
Fun science fact: If you look deep into a deer’s eyes without blinking, you become a deer. This is how they breed.
Missing: dog. Black, obsidian. 22,000 lbs. Buried deep under the earth. Likes coptic script and pyramids. Last seen by early humans.
Mandatory fire drill this afternoon. When you hear the siren, burn as many things as you can.
A man wearing red pajamas who carries around a handwritten list of children’s names will break into your home tomorrow night.
Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog there is a weird dark staircase. Been walking down it for years. Help
No one knows what will happen when they die. And only a small secret society knows what will happen when you die.
In summary, these guys seem to be right up our collective alley and are definitely worth checking out.