Find yourself constantly on the go? Constantly commuting without a moment to sit back and read that book you’ve been dying to tear into? You want to stick your headphones into your ears, but simply don’t have the desire to listen to any variety of music. An audiobook is out of the question because you would much prefer having the physical book in your hands, absorbing word after word with your own eyes. Your options are limited.
Podcasts are a great and fun way to toggle between your desire to read, and your obligation to your on-the-go lifestyle. Most people are familiar with some of the more common news-centric or lifestyle-centric podcasts out there, but many are yet unfamiliar audio-dramas. They are, quite literally, fiction for your ears. These podcasts are typically updated on a weekly schedule and are either serialized, or simply last a single season. Audio-dramas maintain the feeling of a bygone era prior to the advent of television, and allow us the ability to use our imaginations as much as reading a proper book.
Here are some of our favorite fiction-driven podcasts that are worth checking out if you want a spook, a thrill, and a downright compelling story to keep you going as you grow used to these frigidly cold January days.
1. Alice Isn’t Dead
Image Via Night Vale Presents
Alice Isn’t Dead is produced by Night Vale Presents, the same company that brought us Welcome to Night Vale. Alice Isn’t Dead follows a young woman whose wife mysteriously goes missing. The protagonist decides to take up a job with a trucking company seemingly tied to her wife’s disappearance, and from there all sorts of spooky and supernatural occurrences begin happening. Our protagonist finds herself spiraling into a dark world she never dreamed existed, and what began as a search for a missing loved one quickly becomes something much more than that.
Image Via TeePublic
Sayer takes place in an indiscernible future on a fictional moon labelled Typhon, a place where a vast number of humans have relocated and are taken care of by the various A.I. systems set in place. The main A.I. system is named Sayer, and he is in charge of ensuring maximum efficiency throughout the several different towers built upon the moon. The entire podcast is narrated by the title character of Sayer, and oftentimes his ability to discern between efficiency and the well-being of humans is seriously lacking and thus a lot of accidents occur. These accidents create a great deal of drama and anxiety for both the listener and the “resident” to whom Sayer is speaking. Sayer is produced by GeeklyInc.
Image Via ScruffandVigor
After the popularity of the NPR-produced podcast Serial, Two-Up Productions devised a fictional podcast under this name. Drawing upon Serial and shows like The X-Files, Limetown tells the tale of a town located in Tennessee in which over 300 people inexplicably went missing. The investigative journalist who remains our tour-guide throughout the season-long show struggles to understand this strange phenomena as the listener also attempts uncovering the truth. The show continues to play with our emotions and lets us keep guessing as to what the possible outcome of this mystery is and was.
4. Li-fe Af/ter
Image Via Player FM
This single season podcast, produced by the GE Theater, tails the misadventures of a man named Ross who works for the FBI and whose wife, Charlie, has just recently died. He is unable to cope with her untimely death, and becomes obsessed with voice messages she recorded via a fictional social media site. Through this site he is able to hear her voice over and over again. It nearly drives him mad until one day Charlie’s voice actually responds to him from the virtual beyond. What ensues is a serious trick of the mind and senses.
5. The Message
Image Via Brand Channel
The Message, also produced by the GE Theatre, is structured as an actual podcast in which our protagonist is podcasting a linguistics team attempt to decipher what seems to be an alien message received during the 1940s. The catch? Every team that has ever tried to listen to and decipher the message becomes inexplicably ill before eventual death. True to GE’s current podcasting form, this one also lasts a single season.
Feature Image Via The Independent