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This piece was made as part of Acast’s Audio Fiction Week. You can find out more about Audio Fiction Week at acast.com/audiofictionweek, or via #AcastAudioFictionWeek on social.
Pacific S. Obidiah is a powerhouse in fiction podcasting. Founder of Midnight Disease Productions — a small team dedicated to creating immersive fiction podcasts like Lake Clarity, Out of Place, and SCP Archives — and Podcast Manager for the horror website Bloody Disgusting, Obidiah has the pulse of the fiction audio space in a way few other creators do.
And their insight as the Acast team has been putting together Audio Fiction Week has been invaluable. In this blog, Obidiah gives readers the inside scoop — and the indies listeners should keep an ear out for.
I like podcasts because they’re friends for your ears. I love fiction podcasts because they can transform simple errands into incredible adventures. There is something deeply powerful about aural storytelling, and its ability to transport listeners to new lands.
I’ve been listening to fiction podcasts for almost half of my life! When I was first introduced to fiction podcasts, they were still crammed into the “Arts” genre on Apple Podcasts. There were the few well-known shows like The Bright Sessions, Limetown, and The NoSleep Podcast, but finding new fiction shows was always hard. My most reliable source was a friend of a friend who stumbled upon some new podcast I’d never heard of before.
Now, fiction podcasts are becoming one of the quickest growing, most engaging genres on the market. As big studios like Netflix, Marvel and DC begin to move into the space, it’s important to look at the indies. Folks who are creating unique ideas and giving marginalized communities a place in the space.
Below are some of my favorite shows of 2020/21. Each is as unique and engaging as the last.
Serial, Eight Episodes — Wrightwood Studios.
Nearly a decade ago a giant meteor crashed down on Detroit, killing hundreds and displacing thousands due to radiation. Now, the city is still recovering, but many questions remain unanswered. A vlogger, Bianca Diaz, returns to Meteor City to talk to the inhabitants and get their stories. Meteor City is the perfect blend of alternate history sci-fi and touching personal stories.
Plus, Meteor City recently raised over $7,000 on IndieGoGo to produce a second season, making now the perfect time to binge the entire first season!
Anthology, 12 Episodes — Tal Minear.
If you’re an avid fiction podcasts listener, you might recognize the name Tal Minear. If you don’t, they’re one of the best sound designers currently creating! And SDITE proves that Tal’s talents don’t start and stop with sound design! Writer, Director, Editor, Artist. Tal is a creative force to be reckoned with.
The premise behind SDITE is simple. In each episode someone dies in an elevator — it’s guaranteed to happen! But everything else — who’s in the elevator, why, and where they’re going — changes every episode. From Superheroes to Hot Wheels, each episode is unique. It’s a clever idea with incredible execution and deserves to be at the top of your list.
Serial, 17 Episodes, — Good Pointe Podcasts.
Part treasure-hunt, part paranormal docu-drama, The Subjective Truth follows Graham Anderson (Addison Peacock) and her investigation into missing podcaster Buddha Kline. Kline was last seen attempting to find the legendary Forrest Fenn Treasure. When his wife returned without him, suspicions began to grow. It’s up to Graham Anderson to uncover The Subjective Truth!
This show is set apart by its incredible cast, and gripping storytelling. It’s the perfect show to listen to this Fall!
Serial, Seven Episodes — No Such Thing Production.
Written by and starring Jordan Cobb, Primordial Deep is an incredible sci-fi thriller. When the body of a long-extinct sea creature washes up on the shores of Coney Island, Marine Biologist Dr Morgan is given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: investigate the sudden, strange resurgence of a prehistoric creature.
Masterfully written, it’s hard not to binge through this entire show! Each episode provides an engaging glimpse into a much bigger mystery.
Anthology, Seven Episodes — Long Story Short Productions.
The world is ending (or so it seems). Each episode of Zero Hours takes you to a different era, 99 years apart, and introduces you to the people staring down entropy. Individually, these episodes are beautiful snapshots. Together, they are something else entirely.
Created by the incredible team behind shows like Wolf 359 and Unseen, this show brings some of fiction podcasts’ best actors and writers right to your ears.
Serial, 11 Episodes — Yhane Smith.
Based on the life of “Numbers Queen” Madame Stephanie St. Clair, Harlem Queen is an amazing audio adventure that blends fact and fiction into an all-engaging story. Offering a unique peek into the Harlem Renaissance, and the almost unbelievable life of Stephanie St. Clair.
Each episode is a bite-sized masterpiece. Yhane has put together an incredible team of actors that truly bring this period piece to life!
Serial, 15 Episodes — Harlan Guthrie.
Arkham Investigator Arthur Lester must solve the mystery surrounding him, and the curious curse he carries. The show begins as Arthur awakes to the sound of a mysterious voice — one that tells him who and where he is. It’s best to go into Malevolent cold and experience this chilling and thrilling show in all its gory glory.
Headphones strongly encouraged.
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