I’m afraid I don’t have much new to offer any podcast junkies, but if you’re getting into podcasts, you gotta hit these up:
If you follow me, you know that my number one is and always will be Wolf 359. It’s a fantastic sci-fi podcast. Like, all the wacky shenanigans that this crew on space station eight light years from earth get up to. It’s hilarious, and heartfelt, and more than occasionally heart wrenching and beautiful and I freakin’ love it. It fills the void in my life that Firefly left in the best way. Seriously, if you like Firefly you will pretty definitely love this show. There’s no aspect of it I won’t gush about. The writing, the sound design, the acting, the music, every element is just such high quality. Don’t get me started on the chracters. Ugh. I could go on all night.
One that I started more recently but that pretty immediately flew up my list of faves is The Penumbra Podcast. You ever look at a story and think “Cool, but what if it was queer as heck?” I’ll tell you what. It’s The Penumbra Podcast. And it’s beautiful. Most of the episodes revolve around the stories of Juno Steel, a bisexual genderqueer private investigator. On Mars. It’s got this beautiful air of a classic noir radio mystery but queer as heck. It’s so beautifully written and the acting is amazing. Listening to it is just so… immersive. 10/10, absolutely recommend
My last super-spacey sci-fi fave is EOS 10. I don’t have the words to describe this podcast. It’s like, a medical sit-com on a space station. Scrubs in space. Funniest. Shit. Ever. I started listening to it on this long-ass flight and the poor guy next to me was very concerned that I was going to be sick when actually I was just struggling very hard to contain my laughter. It was rough. But so worth it. Because this podcast, y’all. Just. Just go try it. You won’t regret it.
Like supernatural stories but not super into spacey sci-fis? Hit up The Bright Sessions. It’s been described as therapy sessions for X-Men and that is amazingly accurate. All about the stories of people with… interesting abilities who’re seeing a therapist to help them just try to, y’know, lead as normal, happy, healthy lives as they can. Such a novel story and such interesting, engaging characters. Love it.
If you’re into something a bit more serious-like, kind of more in an NPR style but with a wicked cool plot? Check out Limetown. This was one of the first audio dramas I listened to, I’ve probably listened to every episode two dozen times and it. still. gives. me. chills. An investigative reporter explores the mystery of a town called Limetown, which became a ghost town nearly overnight. It’s just brilliant, guys. I cry every fuckin’ time.
I’ll wrap up here because this post is gettin’ long, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the gateway drug of audio dramas that are the Night Vale Presents productions.
Welcome to Night Vale is… it’s a trip, y’all. It’s a bit out there, it’s very weird, it may not be for everyone, but this is one that I really feel like I can’t adequately describe. If you haven’t listened to it yet, you’re gonna have to go give it a try and see if it’s your thing. It’s a very classic radio show, the host narrating the goings-on of the bizarre little desert community of Night Vale. Seriously, just try it.
Night Vale Presents produces a couple other podcasts I love: Alice Isn’t Dead, and Within the Wires. I love both of their approaches to storytelling. Alice Isn’t Dead is the CB radio transmissions of a woman who’s taken a job as a long-haul truck driver, hoping to uncover clues about her missing wife. Within the Wires is a series of relaxation cassettes for a patient in a medical study institution, and it has the most unique and nuanced way of building narrative I have ever experienced. And, of course, being from the folks and NVP, they are both eerily bizarre in the very best way.
It’s just… just that this morning, I looked at the rising sun. I wasn’t able to sleep all last night. Early in the morning, I went to the toilet. While at the toilet, I peered through the open window. And I could see the sun rising. I’ve never felt anything like this. Not once in the whole time I’ve lived there. I just thought ‘today starts anew’. Whether it’s sad, or painful, or happy, or meaningless; whether there’s any value in life or not, the new day starts either way. It was the first time in 15 years that I’d looked out the window and understood, the new day will start no matter what.