Are fictional podcasts the new Netflix? Fictional audios have been rising in popularity for more than a minute. Many of the newest titles are storylines right from the headlines and fall in line with trending podcast genres like true crime, comedy, and news.
Reminiscent of radio dramas and plays of pre-TV years, these podcasts will have you hooked and hanging on the edge of your seat, eager for more worlds of wonder. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself bingeing the episodes and losing track of time.
We’ve picked some great, newer fictional podcasts for you. The ones on our list are all transportive, bringing you to post-apocalyptic worlds, mystical lands, and disappearing planes. In addition, some of these podcasts feature award-winning actors and actresses to bring these stories to life with their recognizable voices.
Kate Mara and Adam Scott star in C13Features’ psychological thriller, “Ghostwriter.” When a former journalist is hired to ghostwrite an eccentric billionaire’s murder mystery novel, things get creepy. As they’re collaborating, more and more questions arise and the writer becomes suspicious if the novel is based on true events. Get lost in this compelling podcast movie, running less than 90 minutes long.
Fans of “Ghostwriter” might also enjoy the spooky podcast movie, “Treat,” starring Kiernan Shipka as Allie West. In the story, we learn her idyllic hometown isn’t so perfect after all, and the community reaches a point of no return one Halloween. Allie is an unpopular teen coping with issues, and discovers there is a deadly cost to living in her town. Allie and her brother realize the character Piper has an evil history in town, and believe they’re the only residents who have a chance to save everyone. This 92-minute presentation is by C13Features.
From Audible Originals comes “Impact Winter,” a sci-fi apocalyptic adventure set in a bleak and frozen British countryside. The story begins 7 years after a comet struck earth and darkened the sun. Beastly creatures appeared and survivors banded together to shelter inside a medieval castle. Are these creatures vampires? In the series, we meet Darcy, a seasoned hunter battling to save humanity. Her sister, Hope, wants life to go back to normal so they can all live peacefully aboveground. Will they survive? This series is presented by the executive producers of The Walking Dead and Travis Beacham (writer of Pacific Rim, Clash of the Titans).
Phoebe Reads a Mystery
Phoebe Judge reads classic works of fiction on “Phoebe Reads a Mystery.” Start the beginning of each book as episodes list which chapters are read to follow in order. Recent books include Little Women, Arsène Lupin, Frankenstein, and more. This series is presented by Vox Media Podcast Network.
Jon Hamm voices radio reporter Fred Heckman in a drama based on a true story. Heckman is thrown into crisis when a hostage taker, Tony Kiritsis, enters the radio station and demands an on-air interview. Kiritsis tied a gun to his banker’s neck, and Heckman is advised to hand over his mic. During the 63-hour standoff, Kiritsis becomes a media sensation and anti-hero, as we learn about his life and what led to taking Heckman hostage. Stream this 8-episode psychological thriller from the beginning. “American Hostage” is brought to you by Wondery.
Georgia Durante was once deemed a “Kodak Girl” and was considered the most photographed model in the world. Based on a true story, iHeartPodcasts’ “Wheel Woman” is a drama about Durante’s life after she moved to New York, became a Mob wife, and served as a getaway driver for the Gambino crime family. In an effort to remove herself and her daughter from the lifestyle and her abusive marriage, Durante moved to Los Angeles and switched gears as Hollywood’s first female stunt driver. This series is entertaining and thought-provoking as the storyline addresses modern issues through the lens of Durante’s experiences.
QCODE & Endeavor Content’s apocalyptic thriller, “Blackout,” is in its second season. Starring Rami Malek playing a radio DJ named Simon, the episodes chronicle his quest to survive. The town loses power, and civilization goes haywire. Season 2 begins after the escape of Simon’s family. We’re introduced to a bunch of new characters. The series is created by Scott Conroy and written by Jeremy Novick.
Welcome to Night Vale
Night Vale Presents the bi-monthly podcast, “Welcome to Night Vale.” This podcast is a science fiction series broadcasting on a radio show from the fictional town, Night Vale. Set in the desert, conspiracy theories are true.
With over 100 episodes, you’ll learn why this town isn’t considered strange to its residents. There’s a Museum of Forbidden Technology, magic exists, and people are still listening to terrestrial radio. Behind-the-scenes episodes are included every now and then. Listener questions are answered. The show often tours and presents live versions of the show.
The Adventure Zone
If you like The McElroy family’s other work, you might also enjoy this podcast. The brothers band together once more for another series of fun and comedy. The stars of the popular YouTube channel and podcast, “My Brother, My Brother and Me,” invite their dad Clint to join in on the fun. They love to create mini-series editions, such as their latest titled “Ethersea” inspired by the roleplaying game, The Quiet Year. It follows the magical city of Founders Wake. New episodes are posted biweekly.
PRX’s Radiotopia presents “Passenger List,” a fictional mystery thriller podcast. It tells the story about the mid-air disappearance of flight 702 from London to New York. What happened to the 256 passengers on board is a mystery. A family member of one of the vanished tries to figure out what happened. The show is in its second season.
From Spotify’s Parcast Network comes “Mythology,” retellings of myths we’ve encountered at some point in our lives, maybe in school. Since there are so many versions of myths, Parcast has chosen the more dramatic versions of the ones featured on the show. Vanessa Richardson hosts “Mythology,” and you’ll hear about gods and goddesses, heroes and titans, mortals and immortals, and more about the worlds these myths create.
Hello from the Magic Tavern
“Hello from the Magic Tavern” is created by Earwolf and Arnie Niekamp. The show begins when a character named Arnie Niekamp travels through dimensions into a portal to a place of magic. Arnie finds out this magical world is named Foon and stumbles across a tavern called the Vermilllion Minotaur.
Arnie makes a curious discovery when his phone still works, and he’s able to connect to the internet. What does he decide to do in this strange, new land? Make a podcast, of course! To interview the townsfolk including adventurers, monsters, and wizards.
The Sleepy Bookshelf
Slumber Studios’ “The Sleepy Bookshelf” reads your favorite classic fiction novels to you over the course of several episodes. Every episode begins with a silent moment dedicated to meditation to help you relax, and then our host begins reading. Hosted by Elizabeth Grace, she shares books like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. All sections of the book are broken into episodes running under an hour in length.
Wondery presents the fictional drama, “Blood Ties.” Siblings Eleanore and Michael lose their parents in a plane crash. The first season observes the characters deciding to carry on with their lives by honoring their father (a famous cardiologist) or tell the truth.
In the second season, the siblings must deal with their decision, and they become aware of some horrible realizations. The show stars Gillian Jacobs, Dominic Monaghan, Josh Gad, Amy Landecker, and Wayne Knight. New episodes are released on Wednesdays.
“Bullet Catcher” is a Realm production, written and created by Joaquin Lowe. The storyline follows an orphan after her brother goes missing. The orphan is determined to become a “bullet catcher,” and she follows her brother’s dream – the one he never got to achieve. In this world, bullet catching refers to someone who can defend against bullets with their bare hands. Set in a dangerous desert, the orphan must protect herself and is set out on a life-changing expedition.