10 Podcasts for Fans of Speculative Literature
Since discovering the joys of audiobooks, my enjoyment of non-music audio productions has moved to the world of podcasts. Many people think that podcasts are dedicated to discussions or reviews. Admittedly, I was one of those people, but then, I asked myself: “Why wouldn’t this be the perfect format for storytelling?” I have found quite a few I enjoy and this seem like the perfect time to write about since it’s Audio Month. (You might as well get used to me using the phrase “Audio Month” in posts for the rest of this month.)
There are quite a few apps out there to use to listen to podcasts on your Android device. I’m using BeyondPod, which has a lite (read: free) version and a paid version that adds more features. It can also sync up across devices including syncing with iOS devices. Podcast Republic is another great free Android option that includes push notifications, something I wish BeyondPod had. On iOS, the staple is the Podcasts app. However, BeyondPod is also another option, especially useful for the device syncing feature I mentioned earlier, and the one I use on iOS devices too.
Apologies to any Windows Phone or Blackberry users. I’m not sure what apps are available for you to use to listen to these podcasts. I don’t use either device for me to test any apps out. I’m thinking the built in media players will work, but may not work as well as a listener would want. All About Windows Phone has a nice article that compiles a comprehensive list of podcast apps. Again, remember, I’ve tested none of these and can offer no opinion. Blackberry users, I’m sorry. I tried to find something for you, but didn’t get many hits and the ones I did get were years old.
However, many of these podcasts can be listened to online or downloaded for your pleasure if other options don’t work out or if you just want to listen on another device that plays mp3s or on your computer .
I’m probably the last person to not hear about Night Vale until recently. It’s a chuckle-worthy “radio news show” where the narrator delivers the news and the strange goings-on in Night Vale with such a deadpan voice, which makes it funnier, next to the narrator’s obsession with a lab intern named Carlos.
Thank you for your attention. Please go back to thinking of other things while we continue to monitor you.
— Night Vale podcast (@NightValeRadio) February 17, 2015
I don’t know how the book format will work out with this, but I’d love to give it a try out of curiosity.
This series follow the Vampire, Underwood, who has been taken care of for years by the Flinch family. Underwood falls into some kind of vampire coma for 50 years and when he decides to wake up he faces resistance from the new Flinch to be his helper. Doesn’t stop Flinch from being sucked into adventure anyway. Vampires are crafty like that.
I hate zombies. I hate zombies. I hate zombies. I do. I’m not scared of them. You’d be hard pressed to find any horror story that scares me. I just don’t find most zombie stories particularly compelling. However, I like stories that follow characterization and the idea that the real monsters may not be the living dead, but someone just like you.This story does that. It may not be the most innovative thing about a band of survivors clinging to each other, but it’s a compelling listen all the same.
Mercedes Lackey was a VERY big fan of the now defunct MMO City of Heroes, which happened to be my favorite MMO, as well. Anyway, Mercedes Lackey has admitted that much of the inspiration for this series comes from her gaming sessions on City of Heroes, which was a superhero/villain game that was comic bookish in nature. I think that’s an awesome thing to do. I can hear the influence and imagine the scenes from my own gaming memories while listening to this. It’s kitschy, but fun. This story takes place is modern day Atlanta where superheroes and villains represent the best and worst of humanity. My only real complaint? It had to be fucking Nazis, didn’t it? Ah, well. Need to get back into these soon.
This is an online collection of horror stories from many authors, and they take the time to warn readers of disturbing situations that may be in these stories. It’s easy to just listen to one and three hours later, you’re still listening after you said you’d stop at one. The intro song Bloodletting on the Kiss by Anders Manga is pretty awesome, too.
You all know that I have a troubled affair with speculative YA fiction. However, I’ve found myself largely satisfied with this podcast, which focuses on YA speculative fiction. I think this short format is useful for these stories because they don’t have time to throw much literary detritus at us. They have to get to the heart of the story.
Journey Into… is more genre inclusive than the others mentioned, but still has a heavy slant toward speculative fiction. They rebroadcast old radio dramas on their show as well as bringing in newer writers and content. They even include the old Batman and Superman radio dramas and the latest news in various fandom like discussing the Star Wars cartoons. They also discuss various other topics such as spoiler etiquette.
We Are Not Alone is a podcast run by a sketch comedy group who thought that science fiction of the 1950s was great. They credit the 50s for so many of the science fiction tropes we have today. They take those tropes and lead listeners to a hilarious science fiction story. They also feature some horror, but anything they feature will always a comedic take on it.
Zombies, Run! isn’t to much a podcast as it a fitness app that promotes walking, jogging, or running–whatever your pace. This has a story for its listeners. You’re the new Runner 5 after their previous one dies. You get to meet a whole cast of characters in your new home. They send you on supply runs and chat with you during intervals. You can theoretically listen to the episodes without doing any exercise, but you feel so acccomplished after completing a mission. During the non-talking bits, you can listen to music or an audiobook, or watch shows if you decide to do this from home on a treadmill or elliptical.
I think the description this page sums up the story well: “An anthology show where featured shorts are heard through the lens of lessons in a futuristic post-apocalypse.” The stories range from supehero to militaristic stories to stories that touch a more human chord in people.
These next few podcasts aren’t speculative, though they might deal with some speculative themes, but they’re still worth a listen.
Despite the name, this Podcast is all-inclusive, but I would be lying to you if I didn’t tell you that the some views expressed are from an African-American point of view. She’s talked to people like Cree Summers (well know VA from many kids’ shows as well as the hippie Freddie on It’s A Different World). It’s a great perspective into the world of black geek culture and shows that we’re not boxed in by our race. She’s also fun to talk to/listen in general about fandom. Also, get on Twitter and get involved in her discussions about television, movies, and Shakespare!
A weekly podcast that discusses the most recent episodes of Game of Thones. They talk very candidly about the show. I can’t agree with everything they say, but I appreciate having other ways of looking at larger scenes. I’m a thoughtful thinker, which is why my reviews end up so long, because my reviews seem more like an essay or critique. But I’m a thoughtful listener, as well, and this affects me just as much as the book counterpart.
This is initially the podcast that really got me listening to podcasts. The Moth features true, monumental lives of people in their own voice. It speaks on subjects like racism, a man faced with the moral decision of ending his mother’s pain and letting her go or fighting for her, and a lost love found 60 years after their first meeting. Some are humorous. Some are serious. But all have impacted the speakers’ lives somehow.
This is speculative in any way, shape, or form. It’s the story about the disappearance and murder of high school senior, Hae Min Lee. Her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was sentenced in her murder and this podcast is not going to give you a definitive answer. However, while I am certainly not the person to argue guilt or innocence in this story because all the players involved seemed to have some stake in the game. I’m absolutely sure they’re hiding something, not jut about Hae’s death, but other aspects of their lives that led to her death. This is a very captivating true crime story. One of my only complaints is that I feel Hae is secondary to her own story, and I don’t blame her parents for not wanting to be involved in this circus. Adnan was granted a trial to review his case this past may after spending more than ten years behind bars. I will applaud Sarah Koeing, who you could tell had an obvious slant toward trusting with Adnan, she always tried to present her arguments with a counter argument that reflected on his character, too. Adnan’s sister has started a podcast called Undisclosed that I plan to listen to soon.