In the last installment of Stuff I Think You’ll Like, I talked about my favorite podcast, The Black Tapes. This time I’m talking about it’s kid brother, a spin-off of sorts hosted by Nic Silver, whom Black Tapes listeners will recognize as Alex’s senior producer on that podcast.
Tanis is presented to us initially as Nic’s pet side project, in which he’s tracking down information on an obscure myth that’s captured both his attention and his imagination. He’s seen references to Tanis in sources as seemingly disparate and unrelated as obscure scifi short stories, the writings of prominent occult leaders and cryptic personal ads. His main objective is to answer the simple question: what, exactly, is Tanis?
That innocent question takes Nick down a road to a Lovecraftian nightmare world filled with eldritch locations that make no sense according to the natural order, shady corporations, a creepy cult, people losing their ever loving minds and even an elder god or two.
Tanis reminds me a lot of LOST. Specifically, the mystery of the island. What is it? Why is it so weird? What’s up with the polar bears and black smoke? Why does every answer only raise more questions? It’s that kind of mystery. It also reminds me a lot of House of Leaves, the horror novel by Mark Danielewski about a faux documentary about a mysterious house that’s bigger on the inside — and not in a fun time-traveling blue box kind of way. If you like either of those things, or if you’re a fan of Lovecraft’s Cthulu mythos and/or of The Black Tapes, I’m pretty sure you’ll like Tanis.
Tanis is currently about halfway through its third season, which means there’s plenty of binge listening available if you like that sort of thing. New episodes are added every two weeks. You can find it on iTunes and all the usual places, or listen to it on the website. If you do, be sure to come back and tell me what you think!