Ongoing fictional podcasts
September 13, 2015 10:50 AM   Subscribe

After a post on the Blue last week, I started listening to The Black Tapes and am looking for other podcasts that tell an ongoing fictional story.

Obviously Welcome to Night Vale is the levitating, extra-limbed granddaddy of the form, and Thrilling Adventure Hour is the ne plus ultra of radio-style plays, but I am especially interested in stuff like The Black Tapes that has the feel of non-fiction and is self-aware (as in, knows it is a podcast and maybe plays around with the features/advantages of the form as tools of storytelling), but not necessarily in a highly-produced way like interviews or performances. The story has to spool out over time and be cumulative, more in the way of a book or comic or TV series or maybe even kind of like an ARG, with arcs and callbacks.

This is research for a project I'm percolating, so while I'm specifically interested in a sort of personal narrative style I am also interested in just knowing more about what's new and interesting in ongoing audio fiction. Drama/suspense/thriller/horror/spooky in particular, but really anything that's not improvised or self-contained in single episodes.
posted by Lyn Never to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 59 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Limetown, the second episode just came out today. It has a lot of the same narrative tone of serial but about a fictional event that resulted in a mass dissapeance in the past.
posted by KernalM at 11:07 AM on September 13, 2015

It's mostly comedic and largely improv, but Hello from the Magic Tavern has accreted an impressive amount of backstory, and miiight be leading toward an actual plot eventually.
posted by Etrigan at 11:09 AM on September 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

I can't recommend Hello from the Magic Tavern enough. It definitely plays interesting games with the form, because it is a fictional podcast (like how Night Vale is a fictional radio program) and they never forget that fact: "Hello! I’m Arnie. I fell through a magical dimensional portal behind a Burger King in Chicago and found myself in a strange magical land called “Foon.” I’m still somehow getting a weak wi-fi signal from the Burger King so I host a weekly podcast from the tavern the Vermilion Minotaur, interviewing monsters, wizards and adventurers."
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:17 AM on September 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

Or, what he said
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:18 AM on September 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

We're Alive is a zombie survival story that started in 2009 and wrapped up in 2014. It's got excellent production values and acting, and while it might start off a bit slow and cliched, the plot does evolve into something quite unique, and comes to an actual conclusion at the end of the series.

There are plenty of characters in the show, and they are the ones telling the story. There's a clever device where people start keeping diaries for information gathering purposes, so even when there's full on acting with dialogue and sound effect, the framing device is characters narrating this as if putting it down on paper or sharing information with each other.

It's definitely an audio drama rather than a pseudo-podcast, though.
posted by harujion at 12:02 PM on September 13, 2015

I'm not sure if Alba Salix, Royal Physician ("a fairy-tale medical comedy") has enough on-going story to it to satisfy your needs-- there's some which does accumulate, including some backstory between Alba and her sister who married the Prince (now King) they both were after, but the meat of it is episodic.
posted by Sunburnt at 2:16 PM on September 13, 2015

It was a CBC radio program/podcast, but Wiretap was the first thing I thought of based on what you're looking for (apologies if you're already aware of it). It's silly but pretty entertaining.
posted by Ufez Jones at 2:46 PM on September 13, 2015

Seconding Limetown, We're Alive, and WTNV.

King Falls AM, Wormwood, Leviathan Chronicles.
posted by moons in june at 9:16 PM on September 13, 2015

Response by poster: I'm still slowly working my way through these, but thank you all for your suggestions.

And Jesus, Limetown is scary. I'm glad I listened to the second episode in the daytime. (I'm glad my husband, who got through both episodes faster than I did, listened to the second episode in the daytime too.) That was awesome.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:06 PM on September 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

Late to the party, but I have been listening to Homefront, a sprawling narrative with dozens of characters set in WWI Britain. The episodes are short (12-15 minutes mostly), so I tend to stack them up and listen to a couple of a dozen at a time. The episodes are released a couple of times a week, and they are moving more or less along with the time, so the episode on 19 September 2015 takes place on 19 September, 1915, which means that the story can't bog down too much. It's pretty soap opera-ish, with lots of misunderstandings and complex personal webs, but the voices are distinct enough that you can keep all the characters in order.

It's a little confusing as a release -- you are able to listen to some episodes off the BBC site, although I think it's all available on your usual podcast feeds, although as I near the end of season 2, Season 3 seems to be not downloading properly.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:23 PM on September 26, 2015

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