NOTE: This post was last updated in May 2021. Since then, a lot of audio dramas have updated or debuted!
Hello all! It's been a while. I'm a few years late compared to when it was trendy, but lately I've been listening to some more fiction & audio drama podcasts. They're an amazing form of media you can consume while multitasking- at work, running an errand, doing homework, tuning out your zoom call, and so on.
I specifically mention LGBT+ podcasts, though, because although mainstream media is increasing in queer content, fiction podcasts seem to have the largest diversity and quantity in terms of good queer content. For the purposes of my blog, I'm interested in fictional narrative or serial audio dramas with established LGBTQIA+ main characters/couples.
This will be a two-part blog post and this first one is dedicated to an overall best-of ranking list of my personal favorites & some popular recommendations. See part two for reviews on my top 5 audio drama podcasts.
Favorite world building:
The Bright Sessions Universe(all), Blood Crow Stories, Gay Future, Fuck Humans
Favorite action sequences:
Blood Crow Stories- It is so immersive you can feel like you're in the action.
The Deep Vault- It sounds like total mess, but a grab-the-edge-of-your-seat mess.
Gay Future- Everything is high action badass chaos.
The AM Archives- Like the Bright Sessions, but with more abilities & disabilities!
Fuck Humans- Both the fight action & erotic action is well done.
Blood Crow Stories- Realistic gore & violence that gave me visceral reactions.
Archive 81- Unbelievable, but it scared me nonetheless.
Alice Isn't Dead- It toes between flight-or-fight adrenaline rushes and hair rising heebie-jeebies.
Favorite comedy scenes:
Gay Future- Complete satire and I laughed the entire time listening.
Mission Rejected- Over the top characters with exaggerated moments.
EOS 10- Over the top characters with less exaggerated moments.
Favorite sci-fi elements: The Bright Sessions, Strange Case of Starship Iris, Null/Void, Archive81
Favorite musical episode(s):
The Two Princes, season 3- Strong vocal talent & sounds right out of Broadway/Disney.
Gay Future- Strong vocal talent and also carries the plot well.
Most creative sound design:
The Bright Sessions (see blog post part 2)
Archive81- A lot of sci-fi uses sound creatively, but this was just bizarre.
Favorite sound effects:
Blood Crow Stories- The foley sound effects are so frighteningly realistic.
The Two Princes- It seems like mostly canned effects, but feels very cinematic.
The Bright Sessions- Great balance of subtle & detailed = realistic atmosphere, like you’re sitting next to the characters in a simulation.
The Bright Sessions- Very realistic conversations- sometimes so realistic it hurts you.
Gay Future- It has the sassiness & cleverness of a drag queen roast battle and it's fabulous.
Fuck Humans- Erotic dialogue is hard to pull off well! (no pun intended)
Best LGBT+ representation: (Majority of the main cast is canonically queer)
The Bright Sessions Universe(all 3 podcasts), Strange Case of Starship Iris, Blood Crow Stories, Fuck Humans, The Two Princes, Null/Void, Penumbra Podcast, and likely anything by Tal Minear (Sidequesting, Light Hearts) or CMakesP (Fuck Humans, Monstica)
Best POC representation: (Main cast is non-stereotypical POC; bonus for multilingual)
Strange Case of Starship Iris, Moonface, Fuck Humans, Null/Void
Favorite political discourse:
Gay Future, The Bright Sessions, Fuck Humans
My favorite character arcs:
MacKenzie McGraff (Mission Rejected), Adam/Mark/Dr Bright (The Bright Sessions), Jeremy (The Deep Vault), Violet Liu (Strange Case of Starship Iris), Rupert/Amir/Joan/Cecily (The Two Princes)
Other highly recommended LGBT+ podcasts:
*I finished listening to it, not a favorite.
**I started, but not interested in finishing it.
[blank]I never listened to it.
The Adventure Zone
Dining in the Void*
The Far Meridian**
Girl in Space
Kalila Stormfire's Economical Magick Services
King Falls AM
Lost in Williamsburg**
Love & Luck**
The Magnus Archives**
Moonbase Theta, Out**
Unwell a Midwestern Gothic*
Welcome to Nightvale
Within the Wires