by Matthew William
There is a certain elegance in knowing what you’re good at and then delivering just that; not trying to do too much or stretching yourself too thin. Like a singer that knows their range and nails a simple song within that range.
The 5 episode mini-series, Main Street Mythology presented by Newton’s Dark Room, is fine a lesson in doing just that. A few narrators, reading short stories in a shared world that are spiced up with a bit of background music.
That’s the whole show. And I’ll tell you what, everything comes together nicely.
The premise for the story is quite simple: “What if our world was built by a pantheon of gods instead of people?” So the cities, the clocks, even the satellites in this setting were created by deities. There are immortals that overlook the trash, the streetlights, the internet; keeping watch over their domains and making sure everything runs smoothly.
These fables are brought to life by one of three narrators, Eleiece Krawiec (who has narrated for Escape Pod), Robert Ready (who does work as an audiobook narrator) and Mike Emling, and all are excellent, grounding this fanciful world and giving the podcast a professional sound.
The stories are accompanied by an original score from La Troienne. The mystical soundtrack provides an otherworldly ambiance to the tales, and the music does a tremendous job of adding to the immersion without ever being distracting.
The whole show is brought together by Talon Stradley; a writer, musician, and audio producer based out of Long Beach, California.
There’s not really an overarching plot to the narrative and that’s okay, you’re here for the worldbuilding. Each vignette runs 5-10 minutes long and is a story about a certain god or a certain event and everything weaves together to form a really cool quilt of a shared world.
The production team, Newton’s Dark Room, is even sort of a character in itself. Their description is kept a little enigmatic, adding to the mystique.
“An otherworldly artist collective based out of Calisland. Our collection of unique members scour countryside and cosmiverse to bring you the best in multi-media storytelling.”
All in all, this is a great podcast to listen to if your in the mood for a bit of escapism and enjoy worldbuilding. I listened to it while driving and it was a relaxing experience. I kept on coming back for more peaks into the world of this show.
Newton’s Dark Room has done a great job of creating a simple fiction podcast. And in a world where so many stories are packed to the gills with action and high stakes, it’s refreshing to have a show that simply brings you to another world and keeps you entertained.
That in itself is pretty ambitious.