I love, love, LOVE podcasts. I listen to them while I work out, while I clean around the house, and when I'm in the shower. I'm listening to one as I write this post.
I'm often asked about which podcasts are my favorites, and every time I have that conversation I realize later that I forgot to mention one or another that I think that person would have loved. So for my sanity and convenience I wrote up this list of the podcasts I listen to regularly.
Some of these are still active and others have shut down, but in all cases the archives are still available. There are so many more options than the ones I've listed here, and I encourage you to explore and find the podcasts that resonate with you.
(The lists are in no particular order, and I'll add notes over time. All of them should be able to be found via iTunes or your podcast app of choice.)
*last updated 10/22/16*
Fiction -- Short stories or serials, these casts bring the enthralling drama.
Strange Tales -- Old-Time Radio tales of the unusual & unnatural, presented for your listening pleasure. Website
The Horror! -- From the makers of Strange Tales, The Horror! showcases the best in ghosts and demons from the 30s to the 70s. Website
PodCastle -- Fantasy-themed shorts and flash. Website
Toasted Cake -- Flash fiction, curated by Tina Connolly, author of Ironskin and Seriously Wicked. Good stories, short episodes. Give it a listen.
Selected Shorts -- from NPR, this podcast features stage & screen actors reading classic short stories.
We're Alive -- Long-lived serial set during a zombie apocalypse. Just getting into this one now; the entire story was released over the course of multiple years.
Welcome to Nightvale -- Pop culture phenomenon about a town in... well, it's somewhere near Desert Bluffs. Check it out, but stay away from the Dog Park.
Limetown -- Just starting out, this podcast is like listening to David Lynch produce a season of Serial.
Plan B Magazine -- A market near and dear to my heart, Plan B was the first journal to publish my work. Currently on hiatus, their podcast has an archive of crimes gone awry.
Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine -- The venerable mystery magazine shares audio version of current and classic stories.
Thrilling Adventure Hour -- New stories told in the style of Old Time Radio. You'll love it.
The New Yorker Fiction Podcast -- New Yorker fiction authors reading New Yorker fiction and providing a critique of the work. Some of the narration quality is spotty, but the insights from the guests are always interesting.
Storytelling -- Non-fiction or a blend of fact and reality, these podcasts highlight ways to tell an exceptional story.
This American Life -- The flagship of contemporary audio storytelling. Website
Hardcore History -- As host Dan Carlin often says, "I'm not a historian, just a fan of history." His podcast examines historical periods with the fervor and excitement of a fan, and it makes for fantastic listening. These podcasts are long, and amazingly immersive. Carlin excels at placing you in the shoes of common people caught up in epic events. Well worth checking out for fellow history fans. Website
Serial -- One true story, examined in depth over the course of a single season. Serial shattered records for number of downloads, becoming the most popular podcast in history during its first season. Season 2 begins in December of 2015.
Ted Talks -- Although they cover a wide range of topics, I often find some insightful talks on storytelling and communication.
The Mystery Show
The Memory Palace
Writing Craft & Business -- As a writer, I'm constantly looking for ways to improve my skills. The podcasts in this list either address the craft of writing or discuss writing from a reader's perspective.
You Should be Writing -- The impossibly likable Mur Lafferty created this podcast to chronicle her struggles as a writer and it documents her rise to become a published author. Along the way she interviewed luminaries from the writing and publishing worlds. A very up-beat 'you can do it' vibe permeates this podcast. Website
The Creative Penn -- Joanna Penn's podcast on writing & self-publishing. Lots of topics covered. Website
Sword & Laser -- A science fiction & fantasy audio book club. Good for catching new developments in those genres and hearing how readers react to the finished product.
Writing Excuses -- Short & to the point, a panel of accomplished authors discuss issues of craft & career, as well as listener questions. Skews to Scifi & Fantasy.
Ditch Digging -- Mur Lafferty & Matt Wallace talk about their experiences as authors. Fiction-focused with a slant to Scifi & Fantasy, but good advice no matter your genre or style. Swearing abounds. Website
Books on the Nightstand
Geek's Guide to the Galaxy
Hide & Create
Nerdist Writers' Panel
Helping Writers Become Authors
Mad Writers Union -- Hosted by three recent graduates from the Viable Paradise writers' workshop (Tim Boerger, Nina Niskanen, and Jay Wolf), MWU explores the craft and business of fiction writing from the point of view of the 'neo-pro' writer. Website
The Author Biz
Odyssey SFF Writing Workshop
Books on the Nightstand
Story Grid -- A new podcast which explores Shawn Coyne's highly recommended guide to editing and story structure, 'The Story Grid'. Website
The Outer Dark
The Horror Writers
Story Wonk Daily / Story Wonk Sundays -- No longer in production, but with a healthy archive, Story Wonk was a daily podcast for 300 episodes. They switched to a weekly format in 2012, and lasted for another 100 episodes. I just discovered this one recently, and I'm diving into random spots to explore the back catalog. Website
Other -- Podcasts that range from horror movies to economics to French language practice.
Planet Money -- Weekly podcast that examines some aspect of economics or the free market in a fun, accessible fashion. From NPR. Website
Horror, Etc. -- "Kings Town Ted" and filmmaker Anthony D.P. Mann talk about the latest in horror film and review the classics in this long running podcast. Both hosts are direct and disarming, and approach the genre from an intelligent fan's point of view. Facebook
Faculty of Horror -- Love this one. An academic take on the horror genre, each episode tackles no more than a few titles, providing a deep-dive approach from the hosts, Andrea Subissati and Alexandra West. There are a handful of episodes with audio issues, but overall highly recommended.
United Nations of Horror -- A newer podcast, the UNH brings an international perspective to the dark corners of the horror genre. With hosts from several different parts of the globe, and guest commentaries from an even wider array of nations, this podcast alternates between deep examinations of niche topics and wider-scope overviews. I've contributed some content myself, and it's been tremendous fun watching this podcast spread its wings and begin to fly. Highly recommended. Website Facebook
Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me -- The comedy/quiz game show from NPR.
The Projection Booth -- Quality Film criticism.
The Good, The Bad, and The Odd -- Join Mark and Same on an exploration into all corners of pop culture. They do one-offs, but also deeper dives; their run on Universal Horror is especially recommended. Also of note is that they keep the podcast clean, and suitable for listeners age 14+. Both hosts have great attitudes, and manage to mine out the good in even the most odd of movies, tv, and comics. Website Facebook
History of Horror
Stuff to Blow Your Mind -- Exploring the science behind subjects that range from fantastical (zombies and Gremlins) to the everyday (dreams, yeast). Website
Titanium Physics -- Have questions about physics? Need them explained in an easy-to-understand fashion? Just like listening to physicists try to explain complex ideas in an easy-to-understand fashion and mostly succeed? Then you're in luck, friend. Website
Girl on Guy -- Aisha Tyler interviews comedians, actors, writers, and whoever else she pleases. The fairly lengthy interviews allow the conversation to go in unexpected directions, making for compelling listening. Some episodes stay light and airy, while others tackle fairly difficult topics. [Note: will soon be switching to a subscription model]
Hot Takedown -- Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight crew talk sports.
Dark Discussions -- A panel of hosts discussing horror film, fiction, and all things fantastic. A fun show that's been consistently putting out episodes for years. They also have a series of shows focusing on Game of Thrones, the wonderfully entitled, "You Know Nothing, John Snow". Website Facebook
Monster Kid Radio -- A celebration of all things Monster Movie. Film reviews, horror host interviews, and new release previews. If it's in the spirit of classic movie monsters, it's covered here.
MonsterTalk -- A podcast by skeptics who love monsters, MonsterTalk examines the ways that science and crypto-zoology connect. If you poured over books like "The Vampire in Europe" or the D&D "Monster Manuals" as a kid, then you'll love this show. The final episode aired in 2015, but the cast left 100 solid episodes to check out. **UPDATE** Monster Talk began releasing new episodes in 2016, so now there's even more content to enjoy. Website
Tested / Still Untitled -- Adam Savage on Movies, Making, Mythbusters, and other assorted topics.
Common Sense -- Dan Carlin's political podcast.
1 Thing in French a Day
History of Horror
Kaiju 101 -- Ever wonder how Godzilla's atomic breath worked, or whether Rodan could have actually broken the sound barrier? Kaiju 101 is a quick dive into the science behind giant monsters. Each episode explores one power or behavior, then looks for real-world animals that demonstrate similar behavior (though admittedly on a less than city-shattering scale). It looks like this one may have stopped recording, but the existing episodes are lots of fun. Website
Kaijucast -- Giant monsters! Rubber Suits! SKREEE-ONNK!
Daily Tech News Show -- Tom Merritt and a revolving crew of experts dive into all things tech.
The Movie Crypt
This is Horror
The X-Files Files -- Kumail Nunjiani's fantastic episode-by-episode examination of the original X-Files run is smart and funny. Well worth a listen if you're a fan, the X-Files Files drew attention and guest spots from writes, directors, and actors from the series, and may have helped create the buzz that led to the new series.
Reel Reviews -- One of the first podcasts I ever listened to. Reel Reviews explored one movie per episode (something that at the time was revolutionary), and only tackled movies that the host, Michael Geoghegan, considered classics. Terrific deep dives into the structure of these films, exploring what made them stand out from the crowd. Currently shut down, but the back catalog is solid. Website
Lycan It -- I tried this short-lived podcast based solely on the cleverness of the name. It's a review of all things werewolves, and each episode consists of two film discussions, a featured song, and news of upcoming werewolf related media like movies, comics, and books. It only ran for six episodes, but they're fun, and they get cool points for their release schedule... new episodes came out with each full moon. Website
On Deck -- Podcasts that have been recommended to me, but I haven't had time to check out myself. I can't vouch for them personally, but give them a listen... thy may be great!
WTF -- Marc Maron's high profile interview podcast.
Last Podcast on the Left -- Podcast examining horror both real and fictional. Website
Not In A Creepy Way -- Film and pop-culture podcast by Eric Anderson.
The Last Horrorcast
Castle of Horror
Exploding Heads Horror Podcast
Children of Tendu