The Penumbra Podcast

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Name: The Penumbra Podcast
Abbreviation(s): TPP
Creator: Sophie Kaner, Kevin Vibert
Date(s): March 18, 2016 - present
Medium: podcast
Country of Origin: US
External Links: Penumbra Podcast episodes
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The Penumbra Podcast (or simply The Penumbra) is a fiction / audio drama podcast by co-creators Sophie Kaner and Kevin Vibert with a large fandom.

The Canon

The Penumbra began as a queer anthology series but by the end of its first season had resolved into a podcast that serializes two unrelated, alternating audio dramas: Juno Steel and The Second Citadel. In the words of the creators themselves,

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 the Second Citadel, where the merciless Sir Caroline must corral a team of emotionally distraught all-male knights to defend their city against mind-manipulating monsters...even the ones they’ve fallen in love with.[1]

Juno Steel and The Second Citadel are often categorized as two separate fandoms for the purposes of exchanges and other fandom events, with the Juno Steel side of the fandom having far more fanworks on AO3 and elsewhere. Each series does, however, have an active fandom and there is a large overlap in fans.

Juno Steel

The Juno Steel series is a science fiction neo-noir audio drama following the adventures of its titular character, Juno Steel, a PI operating on Mars in the corrupt Hyperion City.

The Second Citadel

The Second Citadel is a high fantasy tale with no fixed protagonist, instead following a disparate group of knights, would-be-knights, an herbalist, and some monsters working to protect their kingdom.

Fan Activity

Popular Characters

Juno Steel Series

  • Juno Steel - The nonbinary, bisexual private investigator, title character, and protagonist. TPTB have described Juno as a deconstruction of old-school noir PI tropes; he is a bit of a disaster. Along with Peter Nureyev, Juno is one of the fandom's most popular characters and half of the juggernaut canon ship.
  • Peter Nureyev - Juno Steel's homme fatal, an elusive super-thief who has a new fake identity each time he appears. Frequently referred to by only his surname, Nureyev, in both canon and fandom.
  • Rita - Juno Steel's secretary and friend, and the star of a large number of gen fanworks.

Second Citadel Series

  • Sir Damien - A knight who has his bisexual awakening at the proverbial hands of Lord Arum, a monster he believes he should kill. He is a popular character and part of fandom's (and canon's) slow burn OT3. along with Lord Arum and Rilla.
  • Lord Arum - A sexy lizard monster who is the object of Sir Damien's troubled and Rilla's less-troubled affections.
  • Amaryllis, a.k.a. Rilla - An herbalist, and Sir Damien's fiancee. She and Lord Arum develop feelings for one another after she is captured by him.

Notable Ships

Common Tropes

  • Everyone Is Queer - Or a variation thereof, as this is a basic assumption of the canon and not only a trope in fandom.
  • Identity Porn - There are a lot of fake identities and undercover shenanigans in the Juno Steel series.



Links and Resources


  1. ^ The Penumbra's official website (accessed on January 14, 2021) (archive link)