The Penumbra Podcast

78 EpisodesProduced by Sophie Kaner and Kevin VibertWebsite

At the Penumbra, you might follow Juno Steel, a brooding, sharp-witted private eye on Mars, as he tangles with an elusive homme fatale, tracks dangerous artifacts of an ancient alien civilization, and faces his three greatest fears: heights, blood, and relationships. Or you might enter the world of … read more

78 Episodes | 2016 - 2019

Sophie has a new show! Check out Edges Podcast, coming August 5th!

July 22nd, 2019

12:17

Announcing Sophie Kaner's brand-new podcast, Edges, a nonfiction interview show where Sophie asks nine real people to tell her stories about love that changed their lives. You can subscribe to the show at

Two big announcements from Sophie and Kevin!

June 19th, 2019

4:30

Sophie and Kevin have some exciting news to share with you all! For more upcoming information, make sure to follow us on Twitter (@thepenumbrapod), …

Season 2 Q&A

May 23rd, 2019

1:33:34

This is the audio of our first live Q&A, streamed on Youtube in May of 2019! Join Kevin, Sophie, Noah, and a bunch of fans as we answer questions …

2.41: Second Citadel -- The Battle at World's End (Part 6)

March 19th, 2019

36:13

And so they fell straight down to Hell,

And battled ‘til the end.

(Trigger warnings can be found at the bottom of this episode description.)

We are currently in the process of creating and supplying transcripts for …

2.40: Second Citadel -- The Battle at World's End (Part 5)

March 12th, 2019

22:27

The Cliffside yawned behind them, yet

No mercy did they lend.

For even where no life would dare,

they battled at World’s End.

(Trigger warnings …

2.39: Second Citadel -- The Battle at World's End (Part 4)

March 5th, 2019

32:41

So to the West, the lifeless West,

The troubadour did trot;

Through boughs of burning red and gold

‘Twas solitude she sought.

(Trigger warnings …

2.38: Second Citadel -- The Battle at World's End (Part 3)

February 26th, 2019

22:20

Old Silver-Eyes stopped dead and spoke:

“But this cannot be true;

For I know nothing of my past

Save this, our endless duel.”

(Trigger warnings can be found at the bottom of this episode description.)

Want …

2.37: Second Citadel -- The Battle at World's End (Part Two)

February 19th, 2019

22:19

When, “Clash!” the iron thundered, lo,

“Have at thee!” the reply;

and ‘neath the leaves, the forest’s eaves,

she heard their battle-cry.

(Trigger warnings can be found at the bottom of this episode description.)

2.36: Second Citadel -- The Battle at World's End (Part One)

February 12th, 2019

24:46

Two giants bearing broken swords

Stood by a river’s bend

Whose water fell straight down to Hell:

They battled at World’s End.

Welcome to the Penumbra, dear Traveler. We hope you enjoy your journey.

(Trigger …

2.35: Juno Steel and the Soul of the People (Part 2)

January 29th, 2019

43:18

ERROR. ERROR.

IF TOWER.DAMAGE == CRITICAL THEN

THEN

THEN

ERROR: NO PROTOCOL FOUND.

SCANNING USER.JUNOSTEEL.MEMORIES() FOR SUGGESTED PROTOCOL

SCANNING...

SCANNING...

(Trigger warnings can be found at the bottom …

2.34: Juno Steel and the Soul of the People (Part 1)

January 15th, 2019

43:23

Welcome home, Juno Steel.

(Trigger warnings can be found at the bottom of this episode description.)

On staff at the Penumbra:

Kat Buckingham -- Head of Merchandise and Outreach

Alice Chuang -- Head of Design

New Year's Special: Second Citadel -- The Frozen King of Flame

December 31st, 2018

43:12

A blow of the hunting-horn. A battlecry. Boots that crash through snow and ice, the crackling of open flame, the bellow of an ancient, timeless beast of the frozen tundra.

They call him Old Cinder, the Frozen King of …

2.33: Second Citadel -- The Hallowed Halls of Helicoid (Part Two)

December 4th, 2018

38:39

The creatures which thrive at the end of the world are enough to make even the bravest knight's skin crawl. Massive slugs of sentient slime and nightmare-guards to a fortress beneath a sea where nothing survives walk …

2.32: Second Citadel -- The Hallowed Halls of Helicoid (Part One)

November 20th, 2018

34:01

Two paths wind beneath Judge Helicoid's monstrous courtroom: two paths containing different players in this game, different tricks and traps and treacheries. All they share is this:

A destination. Fort Terminus, the …

2.31: Juno Steel and the Man of the Future (Part 2)

November 6th, 2018

45:22

Give up control.

That's what the thing that looks like Mick says to do. And in a year like the one Juno Steel has had, with the past, present, and …

ANNOUNCEMENT: Voting Contest #3

November 3rd, 2018

1:35

Our final voting contest for US listeners opens on Election Day, November 6! All three of our contests will remain open until the end of the day on November 8, and you are encouraged to submit entries to all of them. …

2.30: Juno Steel and the Man of the Future (Part 1)

October 23rd, 2018

43:07

Ramses O'Flaherty has been a busy man in recent days. A brand new way of life doesn't build itself, after all -- and before you can ever build it, …

2.29: Second Citadel -- The Spiral Sage (Part 2)

October 9th, 2018

49:55

Legends say that far north of the Second Citadel, close to the Northern edge of the world itself, lives the Spiral Sage. They say he is a powerful …

2.28: Second Citadel -- The Spiral Sage (Part 1)

September 25th, 2018

30:11

Far, far to the north of the Second Citadel lies the Terminus, a sacred or magical ocean (depending on who you ask), a place of power where world-changing things happen... and where monsters bicker for order and …

2.27: Juno Steel and the Long Way Home (Part 2)

September 11th, 2018

37:41

Down in the sewers, home seems like a distant memory. It's even more distant for Detective Steel now, because even aboveground home doesn't feel like home anymore. Hyperion City has changed. Even its sewers have …

2.26: Juno Steel and the Long Way Home (Part 1)

August 28th, 2018

36:44

Where is everybody?

That's the question that dogs Juno Steel now. He has bigger things to handle, he knows. Loose ends to tie up, old betrayals to …

2.25: Second Citadel -- The Sportive Nymphs (Part 2)

July 31st, 2018

41:49

Well, the boy-knights have definitely learned one thing about Nymphs: Nymphs LOVE Sport.

And at first, the boys loved Sport too... until it became clear that this was less …

2.24: Second Citadel -- The Sportive Nymphs (Part 1)

July 10th, 2018

45:51

What's more knightly than rescuing a Damsel? Doing it better than all the other knights, of course... especially if those other knights are really, really annoying.

Sir Marc and Sir Damien do not like each other at …

2.23: Juno Steel and the Monster's Reflection (Part 3)

June 26th, 2018

55:01

He tunes the radio, sorts through static for answers. Only questions, clean and clear: can one child really ruin the lives of his entire family?

A ghost-sound, like a voice; then, gone.

Why did he have to stay with …

2.22: Juno Steel and the Monster's Reflection (Part 2)

June 5th, 2018

25:23

"You did it in one day. One choice. When you let him in, when you let the hero rob us blind without taking a thing."

That's how Sarah Steel justified the murder of Benzaiten Steel, twenty-one years ago. But the day she …

2.21: Juno Steel and the Monster's Reflection (Part 1)

May 22nd, 2018

30:52

Today we journey within. Within the sands of Mars, to the clinic of Hanataba; within the Theia Spectrum and its labyrinthine connections; within the mind; within the past itself.

Try to throw away the past if you like, …

2.20: Second Citadel -- The Moonlit Hermit (Part 2)

May 8th, 2018

55:19

Subject: the Keep of Titan's Blooms. Symptoms: spreading petrification; irritability; musical inclinations. Suggested treatment: cooperation with its …

2.19: Second Citadel -- The Moonlit Hermit (Part 1)

April 24th, 2018

51:59

Deep in the Swamp of Titan's Blooms stands a towering plant with no equal in the Second Citadel. It is in parts tree, fern, beanstalk, and a single gigantic flower -- and it is the Keep from which Lord Arum watches over …

2.18: Juno Steel and the Time Gone By (Part 2)

April 10th, 2018

44:57

People bury a great deal beneath these Martian sands: bodies and secrets and even entire cities. But some things refuse to stay buried long – like the past. Those we thought lost, hoped lost, but never gone for good.

2.17: Juno Steel and the Time Gone By (Part 1)

March 27th, 2018

36:47

I do suggest you reconsider this particular destination, Traveler. Most places on Mars are dangerous, but the desert holds threats no human can …

The Rita Minute 3: Happy Birthday, Mista Steel!

December 24th, 2017

20:05

It's December 24th, and you know what that means: it's Mista Steel's birthday, and it's up to Rita to make it the best birthday ever in a star-studded special that includes both of Juno's friends and some people who are …

Season 2.1 Q&A: Fan Questions Answered!

December 6th, 2017

1:24:56

Sophie and Kevin are assembled by special guest star and elected guru of our Tumblr fandom to answer questions about how these stories are written, their perspective on diverse perspectives within the show, whether …

Surprise! Announcements: Midseason Plans, Merch Plots, and Future Schemes

November 25th, 2017

5:23

Sophie and Kevin gather around the festive nondenominational tree to unwrap some exciting announcements. Includes info on the start of the next half-season, merch updates, a midseason Q&A, a special surprise, what …

2.16: Juno Steel and the Promised Land (Part 3)

November 14th, 2017

53:56

If you had asked Erin Marshall D’Arc, the Free Dome was supposed to be for everyone. Anyone who wanted a home away from the War, she said, could have …

2.15: Juno Steel and the Promised Land (Part 2)

October 24th, 2017

44:40

This case was supposed to be simple. Go into the Old Subway system, figure out what Mayor Pereyra is trying to get, stop them from getting it, then go home to a parade and a new world order. But now three days have …

2.14: Juno Steel and the Promised Land (Part 1)

October 10th, 2017

36:02

The story goes that two hundred years ago, when the War was at its most brutal, Erin Marshall D’Arc made the most important discovery in Martian history… and never shared it with anyone.

An election always makes itself …

2.13: Second Citadel--Lady of the Lake

September 26th, 2017

59:16

Special threats deserve special measures, and Queen Mira of the Second Citadel is a master of special measures. Enter Sir Caroline: a free radical …

2.12: Juno Steel and the Stolen City (Part 2)

September 12th, 2017

45:02

Late at night in the Museum of Colonized History, just a few short days before the election that will decide the fate of Hyperion City, Juno Steel is …

2.11: Juno Steel and the Stolen City (Part 1)

August 29th, 2017

39:55

“Look for a woman with one ear outside the First Museum of Colonized History in Hyperion City.”

That’s what the notice said to Yasmin Swift, both …

2.10: Second Citadel -- The Treacherous Heart

August 15th, 2017

35:24

On the third morning of the Festival of the Three, Sir Marc knew nothing of Sir Damien’s duels with the Lord of the Swamp. Sir Marc’s problems lay closer to his heart – or brain, as the case may be.

Because Sir Marc's …

8/1/2017 Announcements: Merch store and Patreon and Podcasts, Oh My!

August 1st, 2017

14:43

Your favorite queers Sophie and Kevin get together to update y’all on some exciting developments for The Penumbra Podcast, wile you with donation bonuses, make some special announcements, and learn a few lessons along …

2.09: Juno Steel and the Dragon's Den (Part 2)

July 18th, 2017

40:14

Illusions run wild in Polaris Park, whether they be holograms or robotics or secrets and lies. But here's something that's not illusory: Juno and …

2.08: Juno Steel and the Dragon's Den (Part 1)

July 4th, 2017

38:11

Someone is out to kill Ramses O'Flaherty -- and whoever they are, they should be here. A killer called this home, but it isn't any kind of home …

2.07: Second Citadel - Knight of the Crown, Lord of the Swamp (Part 2)

June 20th, 2017

28:30

On the second night of the Festival of the Three, Sir Damien the knight will be dueling on Lord Arum the monster’s terms: in a forest of tricks and …

2.06: Second Citadel - Knight of the Crown, Lord of the Swamp (Part 1)

June 6th, 2017

26:57

The Festival of the Three is the most important day of the year in the Second Citadel – or the most important three days, as the case may be. Battles and music and drink run free in Citadel’s square, and nearly every …

2.05: Juno Steel and the Lesson Learned (Part 2)

May 23rd, 2017

38:05

Mick Mercury is a walking disaster, and appropriately enough, he’s picked a disaster of a case to drop in on. In his attempt to prevent a murder, Juno Steel’s added two potential victims: Mick Mercury… and himself.

2.04: Juno Steel and the Lesson Learned (Part 1)

May 9th, 2017

45:49

Working for a man as connected as Ramses O’Flaherty means access to places nobody else gets to go… or wants to, as it turns out. Because on this case Ramses is sending Juno into the Fortezza, Hyperion City’s prison for …

2.03: Second Citadel - The Caves of Discord

April 25th, 2017

29:56

In an overgrown jungle where monsters roam free lies the Second Citadel, one of humanity’s last strongholds in a hostile, hungry world. The people of …

2.02: Juno Steel and the Kitty-Cat Caper (Part 2)

April 11th, 2017

41:21

Juno Steel’s first day back on the job has started well: he’s outnumbered, cornered, and almost certainly going to be killed any second now. Just life as usual in the PI business.

This case may be typical, but the …

2.01: Juno Steel and the Kitty-Cat Caper (Part 1)

March 28th, 2017

35:03

Detective Steel is in a slump, and Maia King might have just the case to bring him out of it. One problem: half the case is going to be figuring out what the case even is, because if Ms. King is to be believed, the …

CANON: The Full Penumbra Tour, Presented by the Concierge

March 21st, 2017

6:47

Enough Travelers asked for a full tour of the Penumbra Hotel that not even the Concierge can say no. We hope you're ready for a long haul: it's a …

BONUS: The Thief Among Us

February 21st, 2017

10:20

When Blair Rockridge, Olympus Mons trillionaire, receives a letter from a thief threatening to steal her priceless collection, she immediately calls …

BONUS: Merry Christmas, Mary Anne

December 24th, 2016

9:09

A late-night crime on Christmas Eve gets Mary Anne and Chance Sequoyah a whole lot of trouble... and a visitor that neither of them could have …

BONUS: The Rita Minute 2--The Rita Detective Agency

November 29th, 2016

9:25

A thrilling adventure in the life of Rita, Private Eye.

Welcome to the Penumbra, dear Traveler. We hope you enjoy your stay. If you miss us between …

Season 1 Q&A: Fan questions answered!

November 15th, 2016

51:17

In the wake of Season 1, Noah Simes (voice of Peter Nureyev) interviews co-creators Sophie Kaner and Kevin Vibert using questions submitted via Twitter, Tumblr, and email by YOU, the fans! How do we cast the show? What …

1.18: Juno Steel and the Final Resting Place

November 8th, 2016

46:05

In all likelihood, this is the end. The only question is: the end of how much?

The end of Juno Steel… that’s pretty likely. Alone in a Martian tomb, Peter Nureyev gone, and Miasma’s experiments drawing to a close. Juno …

1.17: Peter Nureyev and the Angel of Brahma (Part 2)

October 25th, 2016

30:14

Who is Peter Nureyev?

The question has dogged Juno Steel, Private Eye for six months now, ever since he first met that master of disguises. It doesn’t help that he changes identities like most people change clothes: …

1.16: Peter Nureyev and the Angel of Brahma (Part 1)

October 25th, 2016

25:31

Who is Peter Nureyev?

The question has dogged Juno Steel, Private Eye for six months now, ever since he first met that master of disguises. It doesn’t help that he changes identities like most people change clothes: …

BONUS: The Revenge of the Janus Beast

October 11th, 2016

8:34

In the Second Citadel's Hall of Trophies lie remnants of hundreds of monsters... and some of them are livelier than others. The head of the Janus Beast, for example: it's been here for weeks, and it's growing bored. …

1.15: Juno Steel and the Train From Nowhere (Part 2)

October 4th, 2016

42:25

Somewhere in this desert lies the greatest weapon Mars has ever seen. It’s on board the Utgard Express, a mobile lockbox that shatters the speed of sound at its slowest setting, a train that no one has ever entered… …

1.14: Juno Steel and the Train From Nowhere (Part 1)

September 20th, 2016

41:04

He arrived in the night: Peter Nureyev, the burglar who got away, the thief Juno Steel couldn’t catch.

Until he returned, things had been so simple: …

BONUS: The Rita Minute

September 6th, 2016

9:58

What does Rita do when Juno Steel, Private Eye, is out of the office? Why, everything she's not supposed to, naturally.

Welcome to the Penumbra, dear Traveler. We hope you enjoy your stay. If you miss us between …

1.13: Home

August 30th, 2016

33:08

Lily doesn’t want to move. This house is the only home she’s ever known, and she loves it – but in a few days her family is leaving, and her older …

1.12: Juno Steel and the Midnight Fox (Part 2)

August 16th, 2016

33:57

Detective Juno Steel didn’t want to end up at a party tonight – in fact, he never wants to end up at a party – but he’s not exactly in a position to turn down the invitation. Juno's client, Valles Vicky, is here, too, …

1.11: Juno Steel and the Midnight Fox (Part 1)

August 2nd, 2016

43:36

Valles Vicky’s Vixen Valley is your one-stop shop if you’re interested in fine dining, good conversation, beautiful people, and contraband from …

1.10: Second Citadel - The Head of the Janus Beast (Part 2)

July 19th, 2016

13:51

You can’t blame them for thinking the Janus Beast was dead. Most of the time when you cut a creature’s head off, it doesn’t get back up again… and it definitely doesn’t start whispering in the night about secret …

1.09: Second Citadel - The Head of the Janus Beast (Part 1)

July 5th, 2016

30:24

Sir Marc and Sir Talfryn of Second Citadel aren’t technically knights. They do all the knightly things, sure – killing monsters, saving the innocent, bickering about breakfast meats – the only problem is that the other …

1.08: Juno Steel and the Day That Wouldn't Die (Part 2)

June 21st, 2016

41:52

It’s been a day of unpleasant surprises for Detective Juno Steel. He didn't expect to spend his day off down in the sewers, that’s for sure. He didn’t expect to go back to the town he’d grown up in and run away from, …

1.07: Juno Steel and the Day That Wouldn't Die (Part 1)

June 7th, 2016

44:02

They thought they’d gotten away with it.

They were just kids when it happened. Juno Steel, Sasha Wire, and Mick Mercury – they were just kids when they did it. It was supposed to be a game, the kind kids play when …

1.06: The Coyote of the Painted Plains

May 24th, 2016

43:56

They warned her about the bandits, but Mary Anne didn’t listen. She was engaged, she said; her fiancée was moving to Crossroads, and even if Crossroads was crawling with bandits, she didn’t have much of a choice. …

1.05: Juno Steel and the Prince of Mars (Part 2)

May 10th, 2016

43:30

The Prince of Mars, the mascot of Saffron Pharmaceuticals, is the worst witness a detective could hope for. The Prince has an imagination like a …

1.04: Juno Steel and the Prince of Mars (Part 1)

April 26th, 2016

28:43

After an explosive murder case gone wrong, Detective Juno Steel is in the market for some slower work. His next client promises something quiet: a …

1.03: Shaken

April 12th, 2016

33:58

Louise Serling is a talented young painter with a bright future and promising artistic career in front of her. But Louise's family history holds a …

(Original) 1.02: Juno Steel and the Case of the Murderous Mask (Part 2)

March 29th, 2016

40:16

Detective Juno Steel is looking for a killer, and he’s in the right place. Locked in the basement of a Triad restaurant, Juno and Special Agent Rex Glass have dozens of killers to choose from – thugs and waiters and …

(Original) 1.01: Juno Steel and the Case of the Murderous Mask (Part 1)

March 18th, 2016

33:53

Hyperion City: the largest human colony on Mars. It’s home to criminals, interplanetary conspiracies, and the ruins of an ancient alien civilization… …

UPDATED 1.02: Juno Steel and the Case of the Murderous Mask UPDATE (Part 2)

March 17th, 2016

50:17

In the hunt for a crime boss's murderer, Detective Juno Steel and Agent Rex Glass have ended up somewhere very peculiar: a game show.

Well, it …

UPDATED 1.01: Juno Steel and the Case of the Murderous Mask (Part 1)

March 16th, 2016

40:46

(Note: this episode is a rewrite, recasting, and remaster of the original "Juno Steel and the Case of the Murderous Mask (Part One)," and is our recommended jumping-on point for the series. If you're curious about …

0: Teaser

March 5th, 2016

1:45

You open your eyes. You are in a hotel, clean, well-furnished, and utterly empty. An elevator hangs open before you. Outside, very far away, it is raining.

Welcome to the Penumbra. Doors open on March 18th, 2016.

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