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The Best Podcast Fiction of All Time (The Complete List)

The final installment of my Best Podcast Fiction of All Time List, is finally here, revealing the top ten. You can find  the individual posts as they were posted #41-50 here,  #31-40 here,  #21-30 here, and #11-20 here.  For those who just want to get to the Top Ten already I’ve listed that first.  For ease of reference, I’ve also included the entire list of fifty at the bottom of the post so if you want to refer people to the list, you can just link here.

These are (my opinion of) what is the best of the best, the most epic of the most epic.  Load them all up and have an awesome road trip, or ration them out over months of liistening.

I would love if other fiction podcast fans would comment here and say what their own favorites are and why.

The Top Ten Best Podcast Fiction of All Time
  1. “Dead Merchandise” by Ferrett Steinmetz (Escape Pod) – In which uncontrolled advertising breaks the world.
  2. “Exhalation” by Ted Chiang (Escape Pod) – In which a daring nonhuman scientist learns what really makes the universe move.
  3. “Friction” by Will McIntosh (Escape Pod) – In which we must be careful how we move, so we don’t wear down prematurely.
  4. “The Clockwork Soldier” by Ken Liu (Clarkesworld) – In which we go on a journey of self-discovery which also happens to be a text adventure game.
  5. “The Promise of Space” by James Patrick Kelly (Clarkesworld) – In which we speak with a brain-damaged astronaut via a prosthetic AI mind.
  6. “Bloodchild” by Octavia Butler (Drabblecast) – In which we come to understand the aliens we incubate.
  7. “The Three Feats of Agani” by Christie Yant (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Podcastle) – In which we are warned  of the dangers of the wayward god.
  8. “Teddy Bears and Tea Parties” by S. Boyd Taylor (Drabblecast) – In which we teddy bears bleed jelly (not for children, despite the title).
  9. “The Electric Ant” by Phillip K. Dick (Drabblecast) – In which find the microtape that feeds us all the experiences of our lives, and then we start messing with it.
  10. “Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast” by Eugie Foster (Escape Pod) – In which we all wear masks.



And here’s the whole list of fifty again, all in one place.


  1. “Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast” by Eugie Foster (Escape Pod)
  2. “The Electric Ant” by Phillip K. Dick (Drabblecast)
  3. “Teddy Bears and Tea Parties” by S. Boyd Taylor (Drabblecast)
  4. “The Three Feats of Agani” by Christie Yant (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Podcastle)
  5. “Bloodchild” by Octavia Butler (Drabblecast)
  6. “The Promise of Space” by James Patrick Kelly (Clarkesworld)
  7. “The Clockwork Soldier” by Ken Liu (Clarkesworld)
  8. “Friction” by Will McIntosh (Escape Pod)
  9. “Exhalation” by Ted Chiang (Escape Pod)
  10. “Dead Merchandise” by Ferrett Steinmetz (Escape Pod)
  11. “They Go Bump” by David Barr Kirtley (Escape Pod)
  12. “I Kill Monsters” by Nathaniel Lee (Cast of Wonders)
  13. “The Wish of the Demon Achtromagk” by Eugie Foster (Drabblecast)
  14. “Heartless” by Peadar Ó Guilín (Podcastle)
  15. “Deep Red” by Floris Kleijne (Pseudopod)
  16. “The Battle of York” by James Stoddard (Lightspeed)
  17. “Cup and Table” by Tim Pratt (Podcastle)
  18. “The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu (Podcastle and Escape Pod)
  19. “The Boy and the Box” by Adam-Troy Castro (Lightspeed)
  20. “Neighbourhood Watch” by Greg Egan (Pseudopod)
  21. “Betty Flesh and the Meat Man” by Damon Shaw (Drabblecast)
  22. “Mongoose” Part 1 and Part 2 by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear (Drabblecast, Clarkesworld)
  23. “All the Painted Stars” by Gwendolyn Clare (Clarkesworld)
  24. “Hollow as the World” by Ferrett Steinmetz (Drabblecast)
  25. “That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made” by Eric James Stone (StarShipSofa)
  26. “A Night at the Tarn House” by George R. R. Martin (Clarkesworld)
  27. “Devour” by Ferrett Steinmetz (Escape Pod)
  28. “The Ghost of a Girl Who Never Lived” by Keffy R.M. Kehrli (Escape Pod)
  29. “‘Run,’ Bakri Says” by Ferrett Steinmetz (Escape Pod)
  30. “The Shunned Trailer” by Esther Freisner (Escape Pod)
  31. Messenger” by Julia M. Sidorova (Clarkesworld)
  32. The Association of the Dead” by Rahul Kanakia (Clarkesworld)
  33. The Murmurous Paleoscope” by Dixon Chance (Pseudopod)
  34. Red Road” by David Barr Kirtley (Journey Into…)
  35. Phalloon the Illimitable” by Matthew Hughes (Lightspeed)
  36. Death Comes But Twice” by Mary Robinette Kowal (Drabblecast)
  37. Jagannath” by Karin Tidbeck (Drabblecast)
  38. The People of Sand and Slag” by Paolo Bacigalupi (Drabblecast)
  39. Babel Probe” by David D. Levine (Drabblecast)
  40. Suicide Notes, Written by an Alien Mind” by Ferrett Steinmetz (Pseudopod)
  41. The Button Bin” by Mike Allen (Pseudopod)
  42. Charlie the Purple Giraffe Was Acting Strange” by David D. Levine (Drabblecast)
  43. The Girl Who Was Loved by the Sea” by Spencer Ellsworth (Toasted Cake)
  44. How I Crippled a World for Just 0.01 Cents” by Michael W. Lucht (Drabblecast)
  45. My True Lovecraft Gave to Me” by Eric Lis (Drabblecast)
  46. The Cardinals of Ever June” by Sylvia Anna Hivén (Cast of Wonders)
  47. Deathbed” by Caroline M. Yoachim (Toasted Cake)
  48. As Below, So Above” by Ferrett Steinmetz (Podcastle)
  49. Creature” by Ramsey Shehadeh (Podcastle and Drabblecast)
  50. Gazing into the Carnauba Wax Eyes of the Future” by Keffy R.M. Kehrli (Podcastle)


That’s it for My Best Podcast Fiction of All Time list.  I hope you enjoyed it, that it gave you many hours of listening enjoyment, and that you feel free to comment with your own favorites.

But this isn’t the end.  It’s only the beginning.  In one month I’ll be back again with the first of my next miniseries about podcasts:  Podcast Spotlight.  Each month I’ll focus on a particular short fiction podcast and share some of the history about each one as well as a list of my favorite stories from that podcast (some of which you’ve already seen in this list, but there are plenty of other worthy stories to mention).

First up will be Escape Pod–which I believe is the first science fiction podcast, the one that got the rest all snowballing.  And obviously they are near and dear to my heart since they had a great number of the entries in this list.

About David Steffen (64 Articles)
David Steffen is a writer and editor and software engineer and a voracious consumer of podcast fiction. The first piece of fiction he's edited is now available, "Taste the Whip" by Andy Dudak on Diabolical Plots( David is also the co-founder and administrator of the The Submission Grinder(, a tool for writers.

4 Comments on The Best Podcast Fiction of All Time (The Complete List)

  1. Obviously a list such as this needs to be done without the extreme drabblecast influence(the compiler is apparently affiliated with them)
    But I do love these type of list!!!


  2. maddog,
    I did slushread for Drabblecast for a short period of time, and my name is still mentioned on episodes as a helper though I haven’t done anything active for a couple years.

    You may be confusing cause and effect here. Drabblecast doesn’t dominate the list because I happen to have volunteered my time to them in the past. I volunteered my time to Drabblecast in the past because Drabblecast publishes amazing stories, and they dominate the list because Drabblecast publishes amazing stories.

  3. communikate // July 10, 2014 at 2:20 am //

    Here from Ferrett Steinmetz’s blog, so you can tell I’d agree with a lot of these. Mongoose is one of my favorites(as are Friction, As Above So Below, Actromagk, and many more) but I’d also go for Saladin Ahmed’s Doctor Diablo Goes Through The Motions (with bonus Norm Sherman stem cell coat Little Shop of Horrors parody!)on the Drabblecast. And Seth Dickinson’s stories ‘Worth of Crows’ and ‘The Traitor Baru Cormorant, Her Field-General and Their Wounds’ on Beneath Ceaseless Skies. Plus Mike Resnick’s ‘Travels With My Cats’ and ’42 Antarean Dynasties’. And then there’s David Brin’s The Giving Plague’. Carrie Vaugh’s ‘The Hunter’s Ode To His Bait’. Plus the Mongolian Deathworm B-sides on Drabblecast (the deadliest worm in all of Mongolia!)
    I could go on. Podcasts are a great way to discover great new writers… Carrie Vaughn, Greg van Eekhout, Marie Brennan, NK Jemison, MK Hobson, Aliette de Bodard…

  4. I thought Podcastle’s podcast of Scott Lynch’s “In the Stacks” should be in there somewhere…

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