The fictional town of Night Vale started out life in 2012 as a podcast that chronicled the life and times of the denizens of that community -- not unlike the 'real-life' fictional Lake Woebegon on public radio's A Prairie Home Companion, except quite a bit weirder.

Narrated by Cecil Palmer, Welcome to Night Vale includes local news and ads, just like Garrison Keillor did for his News From Lake Woebegon segments.

In 2015, Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel was published, and landed on the New York Times Bestseller List at #4. Authors and podcast creators Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor made it to a guest spot on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and Night Vale became a touring live show selling out 1,000 seat auditoriums in 35 states and 16 countries.

But the creators weren't finished. In January 2016, Fink and Cranor launched a podcast network, Night Vale Presents with the fictional podcasts Alice Isn't Dead, Within The Wires and The Orbiting Human Circus of the Air. In July 2017, a non-fiction series joined them: Conversations With People Who Hate Me. This fall, two new podcasts debuted, I Only Listen to the Mountain Goats and It Makes a Sound.

That brings us to Fink and Cranor's newest project, the book It Devours! A Welcome to Night Vale Novel, which hits bookstore shelves in hardcover this week.

Nilanjana Sikdar is an outsider to the town. Working for Carlos, the town’s top scientist, she relies on fact and logic as her guiding principles. But all of that is put into question when Carlos gives her a special assignment investigating a mysterious rumbling in the desert wasteland outside of town.

This investigation leads her to the Joyous Congregation of the Smiling God, and to Darryl, one of its most committed members. Caught between her beliefs in the ultimate power of science and her growing attraction to Darryl, she begins to suspect the Congregation is planning a ritual that could threaten the lives of everyone in town. Nilanjana and Darryl must search for common ground between their very different worldviews as they are faced with the Congregation’s darkest and most terrible secret.

A page-turning mystery exploring the intersections of faith and science, the growing relationship between two young people who want desperately to trust each other, and the terrifying, toothy power of the Smiling God, It Devours! will entertain both fans of Welcome to Night Vale and those discovering its extraordinary world for the first time.

Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor will be at the Woodruff Arts Center's Rich Auditorium on Thursday evening at 7 p.m. for a conversation with Myke Johns of WABE Radio about the world of Night Vale. They'll also be reading from and signing copies of It Devours! A Welcome to Night Vale Novel. Tickets for Thursday night's event are $29, and include a signed copy of the book.