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If you’ve ever wondered what it was like in the so-called olden days when families gathered around the radio to listen to the latest adventures of Amos ‘n’ Andy and Little Orphan Annie or whatever, then you may want to check out the best fiction podcasts. Radio drama is alive and well! It has just taken a slightly different form in the 21st century.
Plus, when your eyes glaze over after too many movie marathons and British Bake-Off binges, fiction podcasts are also a perfect antidote. You can close your eyes, press play, and get transported into a made-up world without risking a migraine. Or you can master the multi-task and binge one of these stories while folding laundry, doing dishes, or working from home. I’m much more likely to clean if I have something to listen to and distract me. There are all kinds of genres represented in fiction podcasts, too, ranging from mystery to comedy, thriller, and even musical.
So while gathering around your phone is less romantic than the radio sets of old, these fiction podcasts aim to immerse you the old-fashioned way with nothing more than a small group of actors, music, sound effects, and a good story…
“Welcome to Night Vale”
This cult hit tells the story of a town experiencing mysterious supernatural events, in the form of what sounds like a regular local radio show.
Kiersey Clemmons stars in this radio drama about a soldier suffering from PTSD who finds a mysterious cassette tape that belonged to her grandfather.
This noir podcast has the three Cs: comedy, crime, and Christmas!
Miss going to plays? The Public Theater turned their planned Shakespeare in the Park production of Richard II, starring Andre Holland, into a podcast!
This fiction podcast aims to capture the ears of true crime fanatics as a woman tries to find out what happened to a town that disappeared.
“The Declaration of Love”
Eight playwrights were commissioned to create this mini-series that’s all about love, whether it’s swoony and romantic or heartwarming and familial. If you want something more longform, Artist Soapbox also has an adaptation of Chekhov’s The Seagull called “The New Colossus.”
“The Dark Tome”
If you loved Lovecraft Country on HBO, you have to listen to this supernatural YA fiction podcast about a misfit named Cassie who finds a portal to other worlds.
“Voyage to the Stars”
A bunch of quirky characters are lost in space and not nearly competent enough to get themselves back home… but they’re trying, bless their hearts.
This true crime (fiction) podcast is immersive. The listener is tasked with figuring out whodunnit, which makes this pod a must listen.
“The Amelia Project”
This fiction podcast is a dark comedy about an agency that fakes people’s deaths. How fun is that!?
“The Adventure Zone”
This spin-off of “My Brother, My Brother, And Me” isn’t as much of a radio play as these other fiction podcasts. It’s essentially the podcasting brothers playing role-playing games, and listening to that is essentially like listening to a story being told.
I shouldn’t need to tell you anything more about this podcast than the fact that Oscar Isaac is in it. Nevertheless, this famous podcast is a thriller about a caseworker at a military facility. It was actually adapted into a series starring Julia Roberts! But… the podcast… has Oscar Isaac.
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