Valentin & the Widow

Andrew Wheeler is producing a fiction series, Valentin & the Widow. It’s a … podcast? Audiobook? Old-style radio drama? It’s in serial form, with excellent production values, and is available on iTunes, RSS, and the Tumblr page linked to above.

Wheeler says, “I write Valentin & The Widow, a 1920s pulp adventure serial in which a feisty young English widow and her burly gay Russian valet travel around the world dismantling her late husband’s evil and oppressive secret society.” That’s so right. I’m on the first episode, and it is delightful. It is a romp of adventure and derring-do.

Moreover … moreover, Wheeler is remaining within-genre (1920s pulp adventure radio drama) and using the tropes of that genre (eugenics, racial superiority, superweapons, cultural imperialsim, fascism) in ways that are not problematic. I am liking this, and I hope he continues to make it work.

I’ve seen Valentin & the Widow recommended here are there for a while, and kept meaning to get around to it. Maybe you are doing the same thing. I urge you, strongly, to get around to it a bit faster. This is a story for people who love Peter Wimsy, Phryne Fisher, and Mary Russell. This is a story for those who love the 1920s world-wide cold war of fascist vs. socialist. This is a story for those who love the books of Edgar Rice Burroughs and H. Rider Haggard and just wish they weren’t quite so racist and misogynist. This is a story for people who understand that women, queers, and people of color have always been a part of history, however much the dominant narrative has erased.

It’s an audiobook. It’s a serial. It’s easy to subscribe to using typical podcatchers.

Valentin & the Widow. I highly recommend it.

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