Game developer and writer Mike Bithell made a name for himself with the clever mechanical heartbreak of Thomas Was Alone, the heady sci-fi ideas of Subsurface Circular and its followup Quarantine Circular (also? a surprisingly good John Wick tactics game). But now, while we wait for his next video game, he’s turned his writing chops to a new audio series.
Last week, Bithell announced that while his team is working on future game projects and development, the World Being What It Is means that their next game is a ways off at this point. But Bithell also felt compelled to share optimistic storytelling in a time of crisis—optimistic tales specifically about our shared future, on Earth and beyond the stars, as people find themselves shut away indoors.
Much as we’ve all been losing ourselves in TV shows, movies, books, and games while self-quarantining and staying inside, there are times when all you want to do is sit back and dive into a story without actually having to put all that much energy into experiencing said story. This is where podcasts come in handy.Read more
So, the writer and a host of cool collaborators, from Journey composer Austin Wintory to voice talents like iZombie’s Rahul Kohli and UK spoken-word-poet-slash-hip-hop-artist Scroobius Pip, have launched a new sci-fi audio drama called North Star Rising.
Set in the present day, North Star Rising follows two humans named Tara and Otis (Samantha Béart and Rahul Kohli) as they find themselves whisked away from their lives one late night in the UK town of Milton Keynes and onto the bridge of a seemingly brand-new starship in orbit.
Two humans find themselves on a space adventure in this six part audiobook, from the writer of Thomas Was Alone and Subsurface Circular.#northstarrisinghttps://t.co/dCnp4IJyHU pic.twitter.com/6nddTFtIlf
— Mike Bithell (North Star Rising Ep 1 out and free) (@mikeBithell) April 16, 2020
Although the pair quickly find a way to return home, their inquisitive nature gets the better of them, as they settle in and attempt to find out just why, how, and where the ship came from. It’s an interesting start—almost a little Star Trek by the way of Doctor Who—and if Bithell’s hope is to share something about the romanticization of space travel, them Tara and Otis might be in for a pretty fun adventure.
The first episode of North Star Rising is available to listen to—or read in a transcript—for free at its official website, with the second due to drop tomorrow. In lieu of charging for the series, Bithell suggests donations be made to a local food bank to help people unable to acquire food due to the novel coronavirus pandemic instead.
From the neon-drenched noir of Altered Carbon to the technophobic Black Mirror, dystopia is all over mainstream entertainment these days—and considering the current political climate, it’s easy to see why. But when was the last time you watched a utopian show or movie? Unless, like me, you’re watching Star Trek on repeat forever, it’s probably been a while since your imagination took a trip into a better world.Read more