20 Best New Fiction Podcasts You’ll Obsess Over
Fiction podcasts are the best hands-free reading experience you can have.
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There’s nothing like the thrill of a real page-turner, the kind of story that makes you want to stay up all night reading. We’re living in a golden age of storytelling, and it’s not just visual: the best fiction podcasts are some of the best podcasts around. Whether you’re looking for the best true crime podcasts, the smartest podcasts, or to laugh at the best comedy podcasts, you likely already have a playlist of audio delights to fall back on at the gym or on your commute, and a selection of the best podcasts on Spotify to add to your list of the best podcasts for road trips. However, to get your fiction fix, you need the best story podcasts. There are a ton of beautiful, thought-provoking, hilarious, and immersive fiction podcasts in every genre, from one voice to a cast of many. We’ve rounded up the best fiction podcasts to give you that can’t-wait-for-the-next-chapter feeling.
Alba Salix, Royal Physician
This podcast from Canadian creator Eli McIlveen is a light-hearted and hilarious half-hour serial. It follows Alba Salix, Royal Physician and head witch at the House of Healing in the land of Farloria. Assisted by a reluctant young ex-monk and aspiring surgeon, Magnus, and a clumsy fairy herbalist named Holly, Alba does her best to treat her patients (including the royal couple) and their various mysterious and magical ailments, as well as trying to keep her helpers out of trouble. With three seasons and a spinoff available, Alba Salix, Royal Physician is one of the best fiction podcasts for people who love magic and wacky hijinks.
The Amelia Project
If your comedy tastes tend toward Monty Python or the dark and absurd, The Amelia Project is the best story podcast for you. The premise is that of a secret agency, which offers a very particular service: Call, and they will arrange for your death to be convincingly faked and a new identity created for you. The clientele includes everyone from scientists to politicians to an AI. But the question remains: how long can any secret stay hidden?
36 Questions is a musical podcast, starring real Broadway stars Jonathan Groff (of Hamilton fame) and Jessie Shelton. It’s as good as any Broadway production, and for fans of musicals and love stories, 36 Questions is the best fiction podcast around. Inspired by the viral New York Times article detailing the 36 questions that can make two people fall in love, 36 Questions follows a husband and wife who are trying to save their marriage after she reveals her identity is a lie. The music is great, and it’s also surprisingly funny. The podcast is divided into three acts, and each one will leave you feeling all the emotions.
If you lived in the Below, a parallel universe inhabited by supernatural creatures, and your job was to help those beings out of the trouble they routinely get into, who would be on your team? A friend, a ghost, and a cat, of course. Taylor, Heather, Gill the ghost, and Sans the cat do their best to work together in the Below, despite their general inefficiency and tendency to get sidetracked. Each episode of Middle: Below is both hilarious, and under 15 minutes in length, which makes it great for a short break or diversion whenever you need it.
The Courtship of Mona Mae
Before you move on, you have to find out where you came from. That’s the premise of this gorgeous show, following two pioneers in the 1870s: Mona Mae Christophe and Zekial Montgomery. They’re traveling the American West in search of Mona Mae’s mother, Clara, who she was sold away from during slavery. Mona Mae must confront her past in order to survive, fall in love, and create a future for herself. You’ll be totally invested in her journey and enamored by the love story.
Another winner from Radiotopia, Passenger List has an amazing cast: Kelly Marie Tran, Colin Morgan, Rob Benedict, and Patti LuPone. This mystery thriller podcast follows Kaitlin Le, whose twin brother was on Flight 702. The plane has disappeared somewhere over the Atlantic between London and New York, with 256 passengers on board. However, the official explanation for the plane’s disappearance just isn’t adding up, so Kaitlin sets out to discover the truth. Tran is a beloved actress, and she shines in this role; Passenger List is a real mystery that will have you hooked episode after episode (two seasons are currently available).
The word “ostium” means an opening, and this podcast takes that concept to the limit. The story follows Jake Fisher, who discovers a secret town (the aforementioned Ostium) that appears abandoned, except for a myriad of doors. Each door leads Jake to a different place, each strange and interesting in its own way. Just when you think you know what’s going on, there’s a new twist to the story, adding to the mystery and the enjoyment.
If you’re interested in the Pacific Northwest, drawn to the misty forest, and like to be slightly spooked out as you walk around your neighborhood, this is the best fiction podcast to listen to. From the (fictional) Public Radio Alliance and creator Terry Miles comes TANIS, a docudrama story about myth, conspiracy, science, and parallel universes, all hidden in the hushed, mossy woods of the PNW. It’s a mystery and an immersive experience all wrapped up in one. You’ll slowly fall in love with the characters and get invested in the journey as TANIS unfolds over (currently) five seasons. At times eerie and unsettling, TANIS is also one of the best scary podcasts to listen to. It’s hard to describe, but once you’ve visited TANIS, you’ll be forever changed.
Also from the Public Radio Alliance and Terry Miles, RABBITS follows Carly Parker, who’s searching for her missing best friend Miko Takata. She finds herself drawn into a mysterious alternative reality underground game, RABBITS, that Miko may have been playing before she disappeared. Carly’s quest to discover what RABBITS is all about grows increasingly dangerous, and you will be on the edge of your seat listening to this podcast. Truly one of the best story podcasts!
One of the oldest and most-respected podcasts around, The Truth is also one of the best fiction podcasts. This twice-monthly podcast from Radiotopia features a different, newly created short story each episode, which usually runs between about 10 and 20 minutes in length: Perfect for doing the dishes, or driving to work! The production is always flawless and the stories are funny, dark, or thought-provoking, but always intriguing.
From An Island
From An Island is a mystery, an intrigue, a puzzle we may never solve. In short, it’s one of the best fiction podcasts for your story-loving ears. The episodes are short, made up of “found” audio files like voice notes and news reports. Each one gives you a little more information about this strange island, where society seems to run parallel to our world, but not entirely along the same lines. You’ll be trying to figure out the mystery from the first episode.
If you really have no time, but love to keep up with the best story podcasts, Flash Pulp is for you. Classically styled pulpy stories tickle your ears in three- to ten-minute increments every Friday night, from gumshoe noir, to Vincent Price-esque horror, and even adventure stories with a recurring cast of characters you’ll quickly grow to love. With over 500 episodes, Flash Pulp is perfect for a long journey. As a bonus, it’s also often hilarious.
The Ravages: A Love Story
This intriguing audio play asks you, the listener, to flip a coin and determine the fate of your listening experience. Released in two parts, Heads and Tails, The Ravages: A Love Story follows the story of a stranger who persuades an actor to travel with them to a far-off destination, convinced that the two knew each other in a previous life. If you liked the time-bending show Russian Doll, love your sci-fi with a sprinkling of romance, and enjoy gorgeously layered sound design, The Ravages is the best fiction podcast to listen to.
Sci-fi fans, rejoice: We have found the best fiction podcast for you. From Now stars Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden, and Succession’s Brian Cox who play identical twin brothers at the center of a mystery. The premise is this: the spaceship that disappeared in 2025 with Eddie (Madden) onboard mysteriously reappears on Earth in 2060. When Eddie emerges, he hasn’t aged a day. Experts are baffled, and turn to his twin Hunter (Cox), now a curmudgeonly old man. The podcast follows Eddie and Hunter as they try to figure out what happened, and how to move forward—all the while dealing with revelations that may threaten the future of humanity. The show is deeply engrossing, tackling larger questions as well as providing wonderful entertainment. If this sounds like your cup of tea, make sure you know how to listen to podcasts.
This BBC 4 Radio podcast offering is an environmental sci-fi thriller set in the 24th century, in a world where forests have been erased from history. After a data crash called The Cataclysm, our protagonist Pam (Pearl Mackie) works sorting and deleting old sound files that survived the crash. One day, she finds some recordings of rainforests and becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to the forests to cause them to be lost. Unfortunately, the powers that be don’t want her to know. With amazing acting and a great score by acclaimed electronic musician Bonobo, Forest 404 is a beautiful podcast that will make you want to walk in the woods.
The stars of YouTube’s beloved Good Mythical Morning show, Rhett & Link, co-produce and star in this new supernatural noir comedy podcast from QCode. Rhett McLaughlin plays Ronstadt, a 911 call operator in Los Angeles whose power of supernatural perception means that he takes the weirder calls that come through the system. Ronstadt’s job and ability to get into mythical trouble draw him deeper and deeper into Side B, the supernatural world just beyond our own filled with magic and monsters. He must protect innocent citizens from Side B, not to mention himself. This new show premieres on June 1st and is sure to be one of the best fiction podcasts.
One of the most beloved and best fiction podcasts around, Wolf 359 is a sci-fi story about the crew living and working on the U.S.S. Hephaestus Research Station, orbiting red dwarf star Wolf 359 on an interminable scientific survey mission. The characters are Doug Eiffel, communications officer, mission chief Minkowski, science officer Hilbert, and the sentient operating system, named Hera. The job is small and the boredom is rife, so Eiffel spends most of his time making audio logs featuring the day-to-day drama of the station… which quickly turns into something stranger. The result is an absolutely hilarious podcast that is also a thrilling ride for the whole family.
Of Fae and Fiends
This is one for kids of all ages who love fairy tales, and who can handle a little bit of a scare (the creators suggest ages seven and up). Lizzie, aged 10, returns to her family home in Maine and discovers the doorway to the realm of Faerie in the woods behind the house. The faerie world isn’t all sweetness and light, however: there are some life or death stakes for Lizzie to navigate with the help of her new friends, a sword fighting weasel, and Kyle the talking goat. Together, they must work together to save Faerie from Lizzie’s own Great-Uncle Carlow and his goblin army. Beautifully recorded both in the studio and outdoors at a farm in Maine, Of Fae and Fiends is one of the best story podcasts for families.
The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel
This serialized story is the best fiction podcast for middle-grade kids (eight to 12-year-olds), performed by middle-grade kids. However, The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel is engaging enough to keep the whole family involved. Over three seasons, Mars Patel (played by Jaiya Chetram) and his friends JP, Caddie, and Toothpick search for children who’ve gone missing from their middle school. Their search leads them all the way to outer space, with some amazing discoveries along the way.
Each episode of Six Minutes is just six minutes long, but they pack a lot into these short bites. A family of four finds an 11-year-old girl, Holiday, floating in the frozen waters near Juneau, Alaska. She doesn’t remember anything, but the parents seem to know more about her than they’re admitting. Holiday soon finds out that she has amazing abilities, and the resulting story will enthrall kids (and parents) of all ages. Next, if you need something a little longer and a little more educational, check out the best history podcasts.