Over on Hollow Earth Radio tonight at 8 pm, local author Steve Arntson will try something new: He'll be reading his soon-to-be-released young adult novel The Wikkeling live with musical accompaniment on the air. Tonight's reading will last for an hour, and he'll be back for three more episodes. At the end of all four Fridays, he will have read the entire book. It's a combination of old radio serial adventures and the audiobook experience.

Full disclosure: I was in a writing group with Arntson for three years, so I've read and commented on various iterations of The Wikkeling as it came together. I haven't yet read the final, to-be-published edition, but I greatly enjoyed the book in all its drafts; Arntson is a smart, clever writer, and you could tell even in the earliest drafts that he was on to something special. The book is set in a dystopian future where safety is the most important idea of all, and it features the great creepy elements that make young adult literature such a tingly joy to read: Scary, shadowy figures; magical worlds that are hidden inside drab, everyday places; the occasional talking animal; and the frightening, true sense that adults have no idea what's really going on.

The Facebook group for the reading series is here. The book will be published next month. Arntson is in a couple of bands and he knows a lot of great musicians; this experiment should be a lot of fun.