Fiction podcasts for first-time listeners

Coordinated by PRX, along with fiction podcasters big and small

In podcasting, fiction is still somewhat less mainstream than your typical chatcasts, news recaps, and comedy shows. This month, many podcast networks are releasing their own new contributions to the audio drama podcast space. This speaks to the power of the genre and its cult-like following from listeners hungry to hear about a world somewhat (and sometimes not at all) like ours.

We think there’s something for everyone in fiction. Fiction podcasts give listeners the opportunity to explore a new place, to escape or get lost, in the same way we immerse ourselves in, then devour, novels. The wide range of shows in this collection span horror, romance, sci-fi, and musicals with adventurous, historical, political, and comedic narratives. We focused on podcasts that serve as good introductions to audio drama from podcasting teams and solo creators all over the world.

Get thrilled with fiction and enjoy discovering your new favorite show!

View, follow, and listen to this whole collection of shows on RadioPublic, available on iOS and Android.

The Horror of Dolores Roach (Gimlet)

Dolores recounts her grotesque tale of Eat or Be Eaten, her macabre urban legend of love, betrayal, weed, gentrification, cannibalism, and survival of the fittest.

The Truth (Radiotopia)

The Off Season is a brand new four-part audio drama from The Truth, a timely and compelling thriller about how the world enables and nurtures toxic men.

Dreamboy (Night Vale Presents)

Set over a few flickering nights in Cleveland, Dreamboy is a blockbuster cinema-style mystery from Night Vale Presents about dreams, unexplained deaths, relentless change, and the parts of ourselves that we wish other people knew to look for.

Adventures in New America (Night Vale Presents)

The first sci-fi, Afrofuturistic, political satire, buddy comedy, serialized for New Americans in a new and desperate time is the second Night Vale Presents fiction production debuting this fall.

Wolverine: The Long Night (Marvel and Stitcher)

Following a string of mysterious deaths in Alaska, investigators soon learn there’s more going on than meets the eye in this comic book adaptation.

The Big Loop (Paul Bae)

This show is “stories of finite beings in an infinite universe” because every story makes listeners contemplate their place in existence and what it means. Each episode explores the strange, the wonderful, the terrifying and the heartbreaking.

Mission to Zyxx (AudioBoom)

A science fiction sitcom following a team of ambassadors as they attempt to establish diplomatic relations with planets in the remote and chaotic Zyxx quadrant.

Greater Boston (Alexander Danner & Jeff Van Dreason)

An ongoing drama set in an alternate reality, where residents of a past/future Boston work together to enact a radical plan: to create a new municipality of the Red Line.

Limetown (Two-Up and Endeavor Audio)

Reporter Lia Haddock asks, What happened to the missing people from Limetown? The long awaited, much-anticipated season two begins on October 31.

Steal the Stars (Mac Rogers and Macmillan)

A noir science fiction thriller: forbidden love, a crashed UFO an alien body, and an impossible heist.

Bronzeville (AudioHQ and Josh Olson)

A historical fiction look at the lives of lottery game baseball players in a self-sustaining African-American community of Chicago.

Girl in Space (Sarah Rhea Warner)

The audio diary of a lone girl on a spaceship, with only a computer and a potentially ominous light in the distance that’s slowly coming closer for companionship.

Boom (Observer Pictures, Faith McQuinn)

This crime thriller is an investigation of a lost love, a mysterious murder, and recovery from trauma.

Love and Luck (Passer Vulpes, Erin Kyan and Lee Davis-Thalbourne)

A queer romance, told mostly via slice of life voicemail messages.

The Far Meridian (The Whisperforge, Eli Barraza)

The view from the lighthouse looks different every day, which makes things difficult for the agoraphobic woman who lives there to search for her brother.

Kalila Stormfire’s Economical Magick Services (Lisette Álvarez)

Witch Kalila Stormfire specializes in supernatural aliments and juggles complex clients as she builds her new business.

The Shadows (CBC and Kaitlin Prest)

A story about the anatomy of a relationship: a crush, a choice, a resentment, and an end. It questions love and monogamy – a perfect listen if you loved The Heart from Radiotopia.

Marsfall (Amity Bros, Erik Saras, Dan Lovely, Sam Boase-Miller)

Marsfall follows some of the earliest colonists to settle on Mars in the year 2047,and each episode continues the story from a different character’s perspective. Led by their fearless commander Jacki O’Rania, and assisted by the colonial artificial intelligence unit ANDI, they strive to make a home on the Red Planet while exploring its deeper mysteries. Balancing tension and humor, this sci-fi audio drama reinvents the radio play for the twenty-first century.

Point Mystic (Christopher Reynaga and Marguerite Croft)

Enter the magical realism in a hidden town through paranormal investigative journalists searching for stories behind the mysterious and unexplained.

Wolf 359 (Kinda Evil Genius, Gabriel Urbina)

One part space-faring adventure, one part character drama, and one part absurdist sitcom.

The Bright Sessions (Lauren Shippen)

A peek into Dr. Bright’s therapy sessions for the strange and unusual.

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This article was researched in part by Ely Fernandez-Collins and Ma’ayan Plaut, content strategist and podcast librarian at RadioPublic.

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