Sorry that this was published twice, I had too many
I was tempted to make a reference to Clarence and title this “The 5th Annual Best of Audio Fiction Podcasts.” hoping that one person would respond with, “Well it’s not annual, this is the first year that we’ve done this.” I decided that the next best thing was to explain it in the introduction. You’re welcome. Now, before we can get to the actual list, we have to go over a few things first:
- This is my list of 50 audio fiction podcasts that made an impact on me in 2018—which means it’s going to be built with my own bias. It means I had to listen to the show, like the genre, and find something in it that really stuck with me. This list isn’t just a way to highlight some great audio fiction podcasts, but also to tell you about what resonated with me personally.
- There are categories, but probably not ones that you are used to unless you have been with me from the start. In that case, you should expect this list to be a bit different. Originally, I intended to have five categories and select ten podcasts for each category. That didn’t work out so I just decided to say fuck it and make fun categories.
- I will probably never do a list like this again unless I decide to just list them and call it a day
Now with that out of the way, lets get on to the list! Enjoy!
Girl in Space
Fantastic sound design, great dialogue, and a girl who loves her bugs and cheese, what’s not to love about Girl in Space? Also, I’m convinced that Sarah Rhea Werner is the reincarnation of Mr. Rogers.
A story told from two different perspectives and from different starting points. I really love experimental storytelling and Janus Descending‘s experiment paid off.
If you played Mass Effect and you wondered what Dr. Chakwas’ storyline would’ve been, then you should totally listen to Space Ward. The sound design and the voice acting is phenomenal.
We Fix Space Junk
Student loans are terrifying, I submitted myself to my father’s will to avoid becoming entangled in them. They follow you and spread like a particularly infectious disease. We Fix Space Junk is what happens when student loan companies gather more power than they should ever have.
It took so long for me to finally listen to Aftershocks, but only because I am perpetually behind on my listening. As soon as I began episode one, I had to continue listening until I finished it. And now I am sad because it’s over, I will never be satisfied.
“Alex, you really chose a podcast who’s monster is a “bugman” that’s really what you are saying is the best?”
Now look here you shit, people think the mothman is creepy. Suspend your disbelief and listen to a well-told spooky story.
I Am in Eskew
If I was in the habit of giving out grades, I Am in Eskew would get an A++. I have gagged while listening because I could feel the horrors of Eskew.
You know after Hilda, I don’t think I can be afraid of tomte, but dammit if I don’t love me a story with folklore.
I have a weakness for folklore, with that out of the way we can get into why I have included Olive Hill. I was continuously surprised by the twists this story took, and that rarely happens. I can usually guess the exact lines characters will say, especially in horror, so to be constantly surprised was a wonderful experience.
I enjoy horror, and it’s always nice when it’s a very slow burn that builds up the suspense. Station Blue allows you to experience the isolation that Matthew Leeds feels in the empty station in Antarctica.
Is it cliche to mention H. H. Holmes when talking about horror? Whatever, I enjoy all the macabre tales that there are about murder buildings. The Hotel is a story that Holmes would love to own.
The Magnus Archives
I have been slowly working my way through The Magnus Archives and damn do they do weird horror well.
You know that a horror podcast is incredible when the intro gets your heart racing.
The White Vault
The White Vault always makes me think of the Dyatlov Pass incident and I get goosebumps. There is just something extremely terrifying about being isolated in a blizzard.
Wrong Station makes me feel like I’m around a campfire and listening to spooky stories waiting for someone to scream. I get filled with all that spooky goodness and am tempted to say “OOOOoooo” and wiggle my fingers when the episodes end.
I still cannot believe that 2298 came out at the beginning of 2018, it seriously seems like it was a million years ago. Who knew that we would be so intrigued by a single voice.
Adventures in New America
Honestly, I’ve been trying to come up with something in my own words, but their description is just so delightful I’m just going to use it: “Adventures in New America is the first sci-fi, political satire, Afrofuturistic buddy comedy, serialized for New Americans in a new and desperate time.”
I often get a bit queasy when listening to true crime podcasts especially investigative true crime podcasts. Arden shows us that these stories aren’t just stories, but people’s lives.
Boom should probably be moved to the FEELS category, but I mostly felt anger. I usually don’t scream at characters in a podcast, but I got really involved in the story and couldn’t help myself.
I really love badass women, and Congeria has a very badass woman. It also has fantastic acting and sound design. I got sucked into the story in the first five minutes.
Gal Pals Present: Overkill
Overkill explores the afterlife in such a delightful way. Also, I want to get a pink Ouija board now and I hate pink.
This new season of Greater Boston is packed with so much emotion, it’s unbelievable. I am still not over the whole Dimitri and Fake Nica interaction.
Here Be Dragons
The ocean is just as fascinating as space, and when you add Jordan Cobb into the mix, well you get an amazing podcast.
Joseph is a masterpiece of sound design. I am constantly impressed by the podcast is an experience.
Our Fair City
Our Fair City finally came to an end this year and it ended strong. We heard as Hart Life rose to power, crumbled, and then something new took its place. All you need is Hart Life.
Season two of Palimpsest is about the fae and holy hell is it a good story.
A mysterious project run by a computer, nothing sketchy about that at all.
Super Ordinary is too real at times. The voice actors are so talented and bring the characters to life.
I almost left this off my list because of Panoply shutting its doors, I really love The Walk. I actually had the app a few years ago, and was excited that it was a podcast because my lazy ass couldn’t be bothered to continue walking.
Within the Wires
Has Within the Wires had a bad season yet? I love the framing device and how the story is being told as a secret.
I listened to Alba Salix so many times in 2018, and I will be listening to it just as much in 2019. It’s just delightful.
I almost want to say that if Bjork was a podcast, she’d be Archive 81. The way that they use sound to tell a story is fascinating.
Magic, demons, unicorns, cursing sphinx, monsters, dark lord, elves, and goblins are all in this wonderful podcast.
We all want to be boned by Chris Hemsworth, okay I want that to happen. However, Thor could not get it because Thor is an ass. I don’t trust people who shine. Jarnsaxa knows what I’m talking about. *Ignoring that Thor did get it in that case, but she knows now*
Kalila Stormfire’s Economical Magick Services
Magic and so much feels. Kalila Stormfire’s Economical Magick Services has left me sobbing more than once.
Love and Luck
It’s rare that I ever say that something is too sweet, but it has been known to happen. I can’t marathon listen to Love and Luck because it will cause me to melt into an Alex puddle never to regain my shape.
Fall of the House of Sunshine
Who would’ve thought that I would love a musical podcast about teeth? The songs are catchy and the story is morbidly hilarious.
Mission to Zyxx
I really enjoy improv and as you already know, I also love space. So Mission to Zyxx is a perfect combination.
I can’t believe that my favorite character’s name is Buddy Nutters… That should tell you how good the show is, that I didn’t shut it down when I learned that.
The Amelia Project
As someone who constantly wishes to disappear, I am so mad that The Amelia Project is fiction, or is it?
How is Mischa Stanton so good at sound design? They are a master. ars PARADOXICA is a wild trip through time. Also hell yeah lady scientists.
The Tales of Sage and Savant
Another check for lady scientists is The Tales of Sage and Savant. The history packed into each episode is slightly overwhelming and what I want in a steampunk science fiction podcast.
King Falls AM
This podcast began in 2015 and has had a slow buildup of emotions that now in 2019, I don’t know how much more I can take. I just want Sammy to be happy.
The Big Loop
I honestly don’t know whether I should love or hate Paul Bae because so many episodes of The Big Loop have made me want to crawl into a hole and die, but I keep coming back for more. It’s that Bae magic.
The Blood Crow Stories
It took me an entire year to listen to season two after the first season ripped my heart out, stomped on it, and then set it on fire.
The Bright Sessions
The Bright Sessions got me through some dark moments, it got me through 2017 and 2018 so there was no way that it was going to be left off this list.
The Far Meridian
Eli Barraza is a genius and an incredible voice actor. I have a lot of social anxiety so I relate to Peri so much and just want to hug her.
On a Dark, Cold Night
I am still slightly torn with including On a Dark, Cold Night in this category instead of FEELS because I have full on ugly cried from happiness and sadness. However, the overall feel is very relaxing so here we are.
I’m not sure if I can ever meet Ian McQuown in person, I just feel like I’d embarrass myself because I find his voice to be so freaking precious. I want to hug every character that he plays and Feston Pyxis is no different.
If you can listen to Tropical Moon without humming or singing the intro then I am impressed by your discipline because I cannot. This podcast just puts me in such a good mood.
Did you know that I was going to somehow sneak in a few more podcasts?
20 Sided Stories
Let’s Go Eevee came out this year and I couldn’t stop laughing because I just kept thinking about burning down Viridian Forest and punching Blue in the dick.
It has sea monsters, a giant bridge, fantastic acting, and great sound design.
The Earth Collective
That voice tho. But really, I just cannot get enough of this podcast. I am overcome by the need to know more about the collective.
The End of Time & Other Bothers
I need me some fairy cakes. The End of Time & Other Bothers is what I want when I listen to actual play podcasts.
Coup De Grace
The story of Coup De Grace makes up for the issues that I have with the sound.
Did you know that I love musicals? Do you know what I love more than musicals? Queer shit! And Going Lowbrow has both of those things.
In Her Burning
In Her Burning is a very powerful tale about finding your way. I just love everything about it.
It Makes a Sound
I love the music in It Makes a Sound, it also makes me think of my grandmother.
Join the Party
The “Labor Party” arc is incredible especially with how they handled a cast member needing to step away for their own wellbeing. I adore these people and this podcast.
ANDI, there’s a lot more, but let’s be real. I love ANDI and would die for him.
The acting and sound design are wonderful in Tides, it also makes my lil science heart smile.
So there were only a few episodes in 2018, which is why I didn’t include this in the actual list. But That finale made it impossible for me to leave it off the list completely.
I cannot get enough of Timestorm, I love everything about it. My only problem is that I don’t have 50 more episodes to listen to… maybe I’ll figure out how to travel into the future to listen to more.
Traffic Therapy reminds me of when I was younger and I would watch SNL and Mad TV. Just full of those silly little sketches that would give you a good laugh.
Welcome to Tinsel Town
I will be listening to this every single year around Christmas. It reminds me of all the adorable cartoons I used to watch as a kid.
This was actually more than 50, but I have such a hard time narrowing them all down, also 2018 has been like a million years long so I forgot that many podcasts came out in 2018. Thankfully there were quite a few podcasts that missed the 2018 requirement, otherwise, this list would be twice as long. I hope you discovered some new podcasts to listen to, I know that there are many that came out in 2018 that I still haven’t gotten to, but I’m working my way through the backlog.
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