I took a leap of faith and started listening to Tanis. 

Tanis is from the same creative group that brought us the Black Tapes. The ones with no legitimate ending. It takes place in the same world as well.

I might be setting myself up for another unsatisfactory ending. But I’ve heard that the story is fantastic. And they’re still making episodes, so there’s hope. 

So, let’s go on this ride together, shall we?

And it’s been a ride so far.

Tanis is about a mysterious city that seems to vanish for years and then appear somewhere completely different. Some people think it’s a place of magic and healing. Some people say it’s Hell itself. Whatever it is, Nic Silver wants to learn more about it. 

This story plays hard into real-world elements. It all starts with a short story written by Jack Parsons called Where’s Tanis.

Jack Parsons is really real and really crazy. Like, doing sex magic with L Ron Hubbard in the desert trying to bring about the end of the world crazy. That’s not made up.

In addition to tying the mad rocket scientist into the legend of Tanis, we’ve also explored the suicide of Kurt Cobain, number channels, and the tragic story of Elisa Lam, found dead in a water tower in 2013. This also leads to a detailed explanation of the elevator game. 

By the way, if you haven’t heard of the elevator game feel free to look it up. I will neither be describing it or offering links. I don’t endorse or suggest anyone trying to play it. I know it’s not real, but I also know that only bad things can come of it. Best case scenario, you irritate people trying to use an elevator for non-weird reasons. Worst case scenario, you vanish into the Upside Down. So for liability reasons, please don’t do it.

All of these things blend well into the mystery of Tanis. It seems to call people into it and drive them mad. People who find it, either on purpose or by accident, do awful things. They hurt themselves, hurt other people. All because they found the wrong part of the forest in the Pacific Northwest. All because they found Tanis.

As Nic digs further and further into the mystery, one thing becomes clear. Some people don’t want any news of Tanis to come out. A book about Tanis was wiped off the planet. People who talk about Tanis online do so by code or on the dark web. Back in the day, they used number channels or old classified ads. Because the people who are found looking too hard for Tanis are dealt with.

Halfway through the first season, Nic has lost a contact. Her name is MeerKatnip and she’s a hacker for hire. She’s been digging hard into the Tanis mystery and is the main reason Nic has as much information as he does. He’s also sort of in love with her. The podcast is great at showing this without telling. Nic is quick to inform her when they’re talking about leaked photos of a celebrity, that he did not see them. Later, when he starts calling her MK, he’s quick to inform the audience that she asked him to call her that. 

She was pulled off the street while talking to him. 

Listening to this podcast had me feeling like a conspiracy nut. Pages on my notebook look like I’m a Lone Wolf from X-Files. Number sequences and random names all over the place with little arrows. 

Which is sort of what this podcast feels like. It weaves reality and fiction so seamlessly that it’s sometimes hard to remember that what I’m listening to isn’t real.

But it’s not real.

But is it?

No, no it’s not.

But is it?

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)