The Far Meridian by Eli Barraza

The Far Meridian is the second audio drama produced by The Whisperforge, the team behind ars Paradoxica. It’s created, written, and acted by Eli Barraza.

The Far Meridian follows Hisperia (Peri), an agoraphobic young women who lives in a lighthouse. Each night, a mystical fog rolls in to surround the lighthouse, and in the morning Peri is in a new location somewhere in the world. Peri has to overcome her fear of the outside and explore the world beyond her lighthouse. The first season follows her from location to location—including swamps, deserts, suburbs, and even Mars—as she looks for her missing brother, Horace.

We, along with Peri, are introduced to new characters each episode. Each of these encounters with a stranger is beautifully intimate, often revolving around a raw emotion. Audio has always been an intimate medium, and The Far Meridian tells a deeply emotional and introspective story that is perfectly suited to audio fiction.

Fans of ars Paradoxica should note that this is a sharp deviation in both genre and tone. Where ars was science fiction with an intricate plot, The Far Meridian is magical realism presented almost as a series of character studies rather than an overarching story. Which, to be fair, is not entirely true; Peri is always searching for her missing brother, and a new supporting character is introduced halfway through the first season to serve as both a foil to Peri and proactive driver of the plot.

Each episode evokes a specific feeling or emotion, connected by the common theme of moving forward and finding one’s place in the world. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself moved to tears at times. And if you are familiar with any sort of anxiety involving people or public places, I suspect you’ll find in Peri a protagonist you can easily identify with.

I’d also say The Far Meridian falls firmly within the nebulous genre of Hopepunk. Both Peri and the people she encounters on her journey are struggling to find themselves, heal from past trauma, and move forward with their lives. Things are often incredibly tough, but they keep working toward a better future for themselves and their loved ones.

The Far Meridian is an intimate, beautifully crafted piece of audio fiction that will strike a chord with anyone struggling to overcome anxiety or find their place in society. It somehow managed to hit me with emotional gut punches and fill me with hope at the same time. The story often meanders on its way through a loosely defined plot, but the characters kept me listening eagerly.

The Far Meridian is a free magic realism audio drama created by Eli Barraza and The Whisperforge. This audio drama is available through iTunes or wherever you find podcasts. Check out its website for more information or listen to the trailer right now:

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