Somewhere, beyond the sea

Modes Of Thought In Anterran Literature logo

Modes Of Thought In Anterran Literature review

Production company – Wolf At The Door

Rating – 5 Brains

This was another show that I have pinched from a subreddit post by someone else. What can I say? Reddit has been invluable recently in getting new podcasts on my radar. It was mentioned in the same breath as Forbidden Cassettes, which I loved, and Edict Zero FIS, which I hated. So much so that that is probably the only mention of it you will ever hear from me.

With its intriguing artwork, and even more intriguing episode info, I wasn’t sure exactly what I was in for as I pressed play on episode one. To say I wasn’t expecting what I got was something of an understatement.

So what’s it about?

Modes Of Thought In Anterran Literature, is a university course at Harbridge University covering the discoveries at an ancient submerged city off the coast of China. Artefacts recovered from there date to over 68,000 BCE, and show a remarkably advanced and highly literate society that would rival any of the great ancient civilizations. In fact, the Anterran civilization seems to have been the precursor to all the great keystones of our ancient history.

The lectures by Professor [REDACTED] cover all of the areas of Anterran life. Every inch of the city walls were covered in carved writing, so there is a great wealth of information that is slowly and steadily being translated. Unfortunately the Chinese government has been hindering the process somewhat, but the processor has enough information to make a university course. We join the course as the second year begins.

The validity of the course is up for debate. There are rumours among the students that the whole thing is a hoax created by the professor. Stories of his drink problem, and lack of any real evidence make the course a bit of a novelty with the students. The question is though, is just how real is Anterra?

Is it any good?

I can’t think of a podcast that has ever captured me like this one has. Before the first episode had finished, I knew this was something special. I have just finished the last episode, and that feeling hasn’t diminished at all. It all just seems so real.

I can’t find fault with a single thing here. The world building is incredible, yet very very believable. The acting is top notch. Usually there will be one character who lets the side down, or one inconsistency with the sound design, but not here. Don’t ask me who the actors are, I don’t know. There is no credits list on the website. The mask, as it were, never slips. Although the actor playing the professor reminds me so much of a young Bill Murray. I’m sorry, but it’s like a parallel universe where Peter Venkman paid attention in school and wasn’t a slacker!

Then we have the immersion. There are too many podcasts to mention that use buzzwords like “binaural recording” and to “be careful because sounds might appear to be behind you” yadda yadda yadda. Here though, I have lost count of the times that I have had to take my headphones out because I’m not sure if I’m hearing something in the podcast or not (it’s always in the podcast).

Final thoughts

What you have, is a slow burn mystery. Something like M.R. James meets The Magnus Archives. There’s a bit of a Lovecraftian feel here too, not in the cliché way that you know by now I can’t stand, or even the way I like. The whole ancient city reminds me of At The Mountains Of Madness, or more of Dagon. Not that you will find any cosmic horror here, but it certainly reaches Into the uncanny. 

I love the fact it is so understated. There’s no real action, no real horror, just a very weird story told in a very believable way. I think I’ll probably go back through it all again, and research the many real world historical references mentioned. To write something like this, there must be more to it, mustn’t there?

This is, hands down, the best audio drama podcast I’ve ever heard. Sometimes I will give a show a top rating, overlooking some niggling detail, but there is no need here. The show is flawless.

You can get Modes Of Thought In Anterran Literature here:


For more great reviews, I recommend GreatPods

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