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Sucker for a good story? Here’s 36 of the world’s best fiction podcasts

Homer’s Iliad. Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings. Rowling’s Harry Potter. The world’s obsession for fiction dates back to the Bronze Age and has only picked up steam ever since.

Wonderfully, too, our relationship with a good story has had its vows renewed over the past decade with the emergence of the fiction genre of podcasting.

To celebrate great storytelling finding new life on the audio airwaves, we’ve found the world’s best fiction podcasts and counted down the top 36. To contribute to the discussion around this list, and tell us if you think we missed one, visit this PodChat to join the conversation.

36. Marscorp

36. Marscorp (best fiction podcasts)

First released in 2017, and split into two series (the second one a spin-off of the first) Marscorp is funny, riveting and downright eccentric. A British product of the Definitely Human production company, the show centers on events taking place in the early 2070s — after the first human colony was established on Mars, E.L. Hob is sent to the planet to oversee its terraforming.

Marscorp comes in at number 36 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

35. Uncanny County

35. Uncanny County (best fiction podcasts)

The writing and acting team behind Uncanny County bring the world a freshly dark and peculiar paranormal audio play each month. Wonderfully acted and flawlessly produced, the show’s creative team deserves high praise for their ability to continuously create new worlds of mystery and mayhem.

Uncanny County comes in at number 35 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

34. Sayer

34. Sayer (best fiction podcasts)

Masterfully written, produced and voiced by Adam Bash, Sayer is a sci fi chronicle of life on Earth’s second, man-made moon, Typhon. Sayer is an artificial intelligence built to program humans to adapt to their new lunar home, and more than 60 episodes cover the new world, and Sayer’s efforts to maintain and save it.

Sayer comes in at number 34 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

33. Small Town Horror

33. small town horror (best fiction podcasts)

First released in 2016, Small Town Horror has now evolved into three seasons. The simple premise of the show revolves around a video diary Ryan Jennings made in the late nineties about the shocking and frightful mysteries that took place in his hometown of Crayton, Minnesota. When he returns home 18 years later, Ryan’s past is there to haunt him.

Small Town Horror comes in at number 33 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

32. The Lift, An Audio Drama

32. the list, an audio drama (best fiction podcasts)

The Lift  is a fictional horror podcast with almost 50 episodes spanning three seasons. The series centers around a mysterious girl, Victoria, the lift operator in a dilapidated old manor, who guides the protagonists of each instalment through a journey of their own haunting discoveries.

The Lift, An Audio Drama comes in at number 32 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

31. Our Fair City

31. our fair city (best fiction podcasts)

In a post-apocalyptic world, survival is optional. In Our Fair City, survival is the name of the game and it takes place in a labyrinth of caves and tunnels underground a destroyed city. With more than 170 episodes released since 2012, the riveting sci fi series was composed by a team of Chicago theatre veterans headed by Eleanor Hyde, Clayton Faits and Jeffrey Gardner.

Our Fair City comes in at number 31 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

30. Wooden Overcoats

30. wooden overcoats (best fiction podcasts)

The Funn siblings, Rudyard and Antigone, run their family’s dwindling funeral parlor on the island of Piffling free of any competition, until they learn of their faultless new nemesis, Eric Chapman. Episodes of the quirky British comedy, Wooden Overcoats, have been in circulation since 2015 and see the Funns scheme their way into defeating their newfound competition.

Wooden Overcoats comes in at number 30 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

29. The Archers

29. the archers (best fiction podcasts)

If you like the idea of reclining back at night with a hot tea on a bottomless sofa, completely enthralled by an old timely audio drama, then The Archers is what you need. Produced masterfully by the BBC, the continuing series was launched in the 1950s and is the longest-running radio soap opera of all time. With new episodes daily, the show covers the intertwining lives, events and plotlines that emerge from the fictional rural town of Ambridge.

The Archers comes in at number 29 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

28. The Magnus Archives

28. the magnus archives (best fiction podcasts)

Fans of horror fiction will love the concept driving The Magnus Archives. With episodes dropping weekly, the show is produced by a London-based UK production company, Rusty Quill, and centers on the Magnus Institute, a research facility setup to explore the strange and peculiar happenings of the world.

The Magnus Archives comes in at number 28 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

27. Ars Paradoxica

27. ars paradoxica (best fiction podcasts)

Ars Paradoxica is a story of time travel. Dr. Sally Grissom opens the first episode as a physicist who is inadvertently knocked into 1943, the period of the Second World War. What ensues is a riveting story — a battle for power and a race against time for Sally to use her powers in science for good, not evil.

Ars Paradoxica comes in at number 27 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

26. Secrets, Crimes & Audiotape

26. secrets, crimes & audiotape (best fiction podcasts)

From the pioneering podcast network, Wondery, comes Secrets, Crimes & Audiotape. First released in 2016, the show is a listening refuge of riveting storytelling. With several seasons tracing individual storylines across several instalments, from crime to love to conspiracy, if you’re ever in the mood for well-told and expertly produced audio dramas, go no further.

Secrets, Crimes & Audiotape comes in at number 26 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

25. Steal The Stars

25. steal the stars (best fiction podcasts)

A joint project of Tor Labs and Gideon Media, Steal The Stars is a 14-part series set at the Quill Marine, a secure facility with a dark underbelly. Written by the award-winning writer, Mac Rogers, the series traces the workplace romance between two security officers charged with protecting the secret that lies at the heart of the mysterious facility.

Steal The Stars comes in at number 25 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

24. Darkest Night

24. darkest night (best fiction podcasts)

Imagine being trapped inside someone else’s memory, to recollect their haunted past from their own internal perspective. That’s the premise for the Darkest Night podcast, a horror mystery that immerses you, the listener, into the memory of the recently deceased to help you discover the secrets behind a person’s death.

Darkest Night comes in at number 24 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

23. The Unexplainable Disappearance Of Mars Patel

23. the unexplainable disappearance of mars patel (best fiction podcasts)

The Unexplainable Disappearance Of Mars Patel is a kids’ adventure story podcast, made for middle graders by middle grade kids. Two-times nominated for the Webby awards and a past Peabody winner, the scripted series follows eleven-year-old Mars Patel’s search for his missing friends, which leads to his own disappearance and inevitable journey into space.

The Unexplainable Disappearance Of Mars Patel comes in at number 23 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

22. Penumbra

22. the penumbra podcast (best fiction podcasts)

With 50 episodes produced and released since 2016, Penumbra primarily follows the work of a private investigator, Juno Steel, who sets out to expose the corruption and mayhem that lies beneath the surface of Hyperion City. But laced throughout the main storyline are several one-off stories that tie the whole show into a wonderful ode to great storytelling.

Penumbra comes in at number 22 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

21. Within The Wires

21. within the wires (best fiction podcasts)

From the team that brought the world Hello From The Magic Tavern comes their newest show, Within The Wires. Uniquely imaginative, each episode of the show is presented as an audio guide — in season one, the listener is an inmate in a psychiatric hospital and receives a relaxation guide; in season two, a famous artist delivers the listener museum audio guides.

Within The Wires comes in at number 21 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

20. Archive 81

20. archive 81 (best fiction podcasts)

Before his disappearance, Dan Powell is charged with cataloging the recorded interviews that make up Archive 81. What’s on the recordings? And what strange and haunting world do they uncover? Before his disappearance, Dan sent hours of audio of the Archive 81 recordings to his friend Marc Sollinger, the host of the show, who needs your help to find Dan.

Archive 81 comes in at number 20 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

19. Knifepoint Horror

19. knifepoint horror (best fiction podcasts)

Soren Narnia is a brilliant writer and has the enviable skillset of a master storyteller. His podcast, Knifepoint Horror, tells disconnected novellas of horror and mystery. Impressively, Narnia has been producing episodes since 2010, releasing more than 40 sporadically over that time, and if you’re drawn to the horror genre, you’ll find it hard not to devour all of them at once.

Knifepoint Horror comes in at number 19 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

18. Bronzeville

18. bronzeville podcast (best fiction podcasts)

If you have a penchant for old-school gangster stories, you’ll fall head over heels for Bronzeville. Conceived, produced and voiced by acting heavyweights Larenz Tate and Laurence Fishburne, the series traces Jimmy Tillman, a black kid who kills a white man in self-defense, flees his home of Arkansas and ends up in Bronzeville, a town gripped by organized crime.

Bronzeville comes in at number 18 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

17. King Falls AM

17. king falls am (best fiction podcasts)

Ben and Sammy host the hit small town radio show, King Falls AM. With episodes released twice a month since 2015, the show sees the hosting pair cover the strange and peculiar events that take place in the “lonely little mountain town” of King Falls.

King Falls AM comes in at number 17 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

16. Sandra

16. sandra podcast (best fiction podcasts)

Ever been freaked out by the thought that your tech devices are actively listening to you? Sandra will confirm your worst nightmares. From Gimlet Media, Sandra is a seven part drama series that tells the story of Helen who breaks away from her old life and gains employment as a real world assistant that enables Sandra, an artificially intelligent virtual assistant to do what she does (answer every question imaginable, on demand). An easily digestible narrative, Sandra confronts some of the modern era’s great existential questions.

Sandra comes in at number 16 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

15. The Message / Lifeafter

15. the message:life after (best fiction podcasts)

Season 1 (The Message) and Season 2 (Lifeafter) of this podcast by GE Podcast Theater and Panoply take you into worlds of cryptology, extraterrestrial life, and top FBI secrets. In The Message, Nicky Tomalin works with the NSA and a team of cryptologists to decipher an alien message. In LifeAfter, while mourning the recent death of his wife, FBI clerk Ross Barnes hears something strange in the background of one her recorded messages, which sparks him to pursue a shocking discovery.

The Message / Lifeafter comes in at number 15 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

14. The Leviathan Chronicles

14. the leviathan chronicles (best fiction podcasts)

A young scientist in New York City discovers the secret that humans have been searching for since the beginning of their time on earth, and it drags her into a war amongst those who’ve known it all along. With episodes dating back to 2008, there are few more enthralling sci-fi audio adventures than The Leviathan Chronicles.

The Leviathan Chronicles comes in at number 14 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

13. The Truth

13. the truth (best fiction podcasts)

“Movie for your ears”. That’s the tagline for the podcast, The Truth, and there’s little wonder why. The show is a part of the Radiotopia podcasting network and was founded by Jonathan Mitchell and Hillary Frank. New episodes release fortnightly with a new cast of weird and wacky characters and a fresh and intriguing storyline. If you want your mind to wander and meander through some seriously rich audio storytelling, The Truth is your fix.

The Truth comes in at number 13 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

12. Deadly Manners

12. deadly manners (best fiction podcasts)

Contained to just one season spanning ten instalments, Deadly Manners is a murder mystery set during the winter of 1954. When a group of wealthy socialites get together for their annual dinner party, a snowstorm locks them inside the Billings’ grand mansion and a murderer goes to work. One-by-one the party guests disappear, prompting the survivors to work out who’s behind the killings, before they too are lost to the night.

Deadly Manners comes in at number 12 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

11. Alice Isn't Dead

11. alice isn't dead (best fiction podcasts)

From the creators of Welcome to Night Vale comes the epic audio-journey, Alice Isn’t Dead. Alice, presumed dead, waits at the end of a long and harrowing search by her truck-driver wife, who ventures to all corners of the country to find her and solve the mystery of her disappearance. What stands between the searcher and the lost is a web of darkness, murder and conspiracy that combines to make this show so irresistibly compelling.

Alice Isn’t Dead comes in at number 11 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

10. Wolf 359

10. wolf 359 (best fiction podcasts)

Seven and a half light years away, a team of astronauts occupy the U.S.S. Hephaestus as it orbits around the star Wolf 359 in search of alien life. With 60 episodes released since 2014, the show’s protagonist, Doug Eiffel, has recorded an endless stream of audio logs about his time in orbit and the happenings of his flying team, which culminate for a masterful sci fi epic.

Wolf 359 comes in at number 10 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

9. Rabbits

9. rabbits (best fiction podcasts)

Another podcast by the team who brought us Tanis and The Black Tapes, Rabbits is a 10-part fictional documentary series that will pick up your mind and imagination and plonk them deep into an alternative world. The world of Rabbits. When Yumiko goes missing as part of an alternate reality game, his friend Carly Parker rises to the challenge of finding him.

Rabbits comes in at number 9 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

8. Limetown

8. limetown (best fiction podcasts)

What happened to the people of Limetown? On February 8, 2004, a call to emergency services from a distressed female caller triggers the most puzzling discovery and ensuing investigation in American history. So what really happened to the 300 residents of the remote research facility in Tennessee? That’s the question American Public Radio reporter Lia Haddock wants answered.

Limetown comes in at number 8 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

7. Homecoming

7. homecoming (best fiction podcasts)

From Gimlet Media, Homecoming is a scripted psychological thriller with voiceovers from the likes of Catherine Keener and David Schwimmer. The acting star power and talent behind the show gives it a level of quality unrivalled by others in this genre and the show itself, a gradual unfolding of curious events, is compelling, immersive and entertaining.

Homecoming comes in at number 7 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

6. Tanis

6. tanis (best fiction podcasts)

Terry Miles does such an incredible job of merging elements of fiction and non-fiction that the horror mystery show, Tanis, never really feels imagined. In the opening episode, the fictional narrator of the show (played by Miles), Nic Silver, describes Tanis as “one of the last pure mysteries left in the world”. So, what is Tanis? Or what is the myth of Tanis? You’ll just have to listen to find out.

Tanis comes in at number 6 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

5. The Bright Sessions

5. the bright sessions (best fiction podcasts)

“Therapy for the strange and unusual”. That’s the tagline for The Bright Sessions, the hit series written by Lauren Shippen. The show has evolved over several seasons and follows the work of Dr. Bright, a therapist whose patients include a time traveller and a mind reader, who struggle with the mental challenges that come with being supernatural.

The Bright Sessions comes in at number 5 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

4. The Black Tapes

4. the black tapes (best fiction podcasts)

Another product by the production team of Tanis and Rabbits, The Black Tapes, is a series about the afterlife, the spirits that exist there, and the journey between this world and the next. Host Alex Reagan takes her listeners with her on her adventure of paranormal discovery, pursuing the cases documented by paranormal investigator, Dr. Richard Strand.

The Black Tapes comes in at number 4 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

3. Hello From The Magic Tavern

3. hello from the magic tavern

Hello From The Magic Tavern is one of the giants of the fiction podcasting genre. An immersive listening experience, the concept is truly unique and masterful. Host of the show, Arnie Niekamp, was a regular dude living in Chicago before he fell into a magical realm out the back of a Burger King and landed in the world of Foon. Stuck in his new world permanently, Niekamp decides to set up a podcast to teach Earth about Foon, and introduces new fictitious characters and events from the Magic Tavern in each new episode.

Hello From The Magic Tavern comes in at number 3 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

2. We're Alive - A "Zombie" Story of Survival

2. we're alive (best fiction podcasts)

If you’re a fan of the zombie horror sub-genre, your ears and imagination will thank you for listening to We’re Alive – A “Zombie” Story of Survival. In a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles, army reservist, Michael Cross, is thrust into a broken world, one he must survive. With episodes dating back to 2009, and broken into chapters, there’s much to this story that calls for your attention.

We’re Alive – A “Zombie” Story of Survival comes in at number 2 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

1. Welcome To Night Vale

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1. welcome to night value (best fiction podcasts)

Welcome to Night Vale is a critically acclaimed and extremely popular radio comedy-drama about a fictional town, Night Vale. Each new episode sees “news”, updates and stories from the small town presented like an old-school radio drama. If you’re a fan of deadpan comedy, surrealism and some seriously quirky podcasting, dive in head first.

Welcome To Night Vale comes in at number 1 as one of our Best Fiction Podcasts. Heard this podcast before? Leave it a review.

 

 

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