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Not all podcasts are two dudes and a mic

By Sheroog Kubur, November 21 2022

Before podcasting became synonymous with emboldened people with microphones that think their opinion is gospel, there was a community of podcast listeners that enjoyed the serialized fiction genre. Considering most podcasts are available for free and deliver top-notch content and storytelling, it’s only natural that those who are fans of audiobooks or immersive fiction dip their toe into the world of serialized fiction podcasts. 


The Public Radio Alliance is the gateway production company into serialized fiction podcasts. Of the series they have to offer, Rabbits is the least involved and the most beginner friendly. The series follows Carly on the search for her friend Yumiko after she went missing while playing the fictional alternate-reality game Rabbits. It’s the low-commitment series you need to figure out what could be offered — it mixes science fiction and thriller elements with enough multimedia storytelling to keep you on the edge of your seat. If you want to get into fiction podcasts but don’t know where to start, this is your best bet. 

Darkest Night 

Warning: Deals with themes of death and torture. 

This podcast is for those who aren’t fully convinced by how intense audio storytelling can be. The series follows a newly-hired assistant tasked with working on Project Cyclops — an experimental technology that allows the viewer to go into the final moments before an individual’s death. The story is told through binaural audio, meaning that listeners are at the centre of each of these oftentimes incredibly gory and gruesome deaths. While the story is told in an anthological format, the underlying threads between each death amount to a jaw-dropping ending. Each episode ranges from 25 to 45 minutes and the complete series is only two seasons, making it easy to burn through. 

The Milkman of St. Gaff’s

This podcast is for those who know what Welcome to Nightvale is and want something more. The series follows Howie, a young man who decides to commit to the life of a milkman on the island of St. Gaff’s. While the premise is incredibly mundane, within the first 10 minutes of the first episode you very quickly realize there’s more to the life of a milkman than meets the eye. Our narrator Howie is hilariously unreliable when talking about the eldritch-horror-level experiences he has and chronicling his potential arrest for deserting the ongoing war on the mainland. It’s a funky spin on the classic “not everything is what it seems” trope with enough worldbuilding to feel convincing. The episodes are around 25 minutes long and touch on some pretty extreme themes without losing their cheerful facade. 

Myths & LegendsThis podcast is for those who read the Percy Jackson series as a child and thought it wasn’t enough. Each episode tackles a different story of folklore around the world, ranging from the classic tales of the Knights of the Round Table to vengeful Japanese spirits who like to play tricks on their victims. The narrator is conversational and injects a sense of comfort while telling the stories. If you’ve wanted to get into more classic mythology but the stories were just too long, this is the place to look. There’s no set order, so it’s best to pick out whatever sounds the most interesting and get to it. The episodes run relatively long, often hitting the one-hour mark, so it’s best to curl up and listen to this podcast when you’ve got a lot of time on your hands.

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