Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

The best fiction podcasts you should listen to right now

From thrillers to fantasy, here are some fiction podcasts to binge.

The story of radio is a rich one, with a heavy history and plenty of great narratives. After all, kind of like today’s smart phones or flatscreen televisions, the radio was the device we used to huddle around for some gripping stories. With the podcast, that tradition lives on.

Yep, radio is like a good vinyl record, the format is timeless and we’ll always pine for it. If you don’t believe us, just try not to spend more than an hour on this site, a curated musical time machine that shines a light on the beauty of musical radio. But back to the podcast, we are living in 2023. From great music podcasts to audio series about the best things to eat, it’s a tremendous format, blending old and new. The fiction realm is especially intriguing, stretching our imagination and entertaining us to no end.

While winter is still here, it’s a great time to get cozy and really dive into a podcast series. These are great whether you’re on a road trip, at the gym, chilling around the house, or trying to get some sleep. Here are the best fiction podcasts out there.

Welcome to Night Vale

Welcome to Night Vale.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

No narrative podcast list is complete without one of the originals. Welcome to Night Vale has been around for nearly as long as podcasts have, it seems, and it’s still one of the best around. Presented as a radio show in a fictional town, Cecil Gershwin Palmer takes you through the surreal and sensational happenings of a town somewhere in the southwestern United StatesInside Big Bend National Park: Where Mountains Meet Desert in Texas

Listen Now


Image used with permission by copyright holder

Anna Limón is a nurse in search of Mabel Martin. This audio drama about “ghosts, strange houses, stranger occurrences, and missed connections” reveals a winding, detailed, surprising, and often haunting story. And if you’re having trouble catching up, you can join the thriving online community around their wiki.

Listen Now

Wooden Overcoats

Wooden Overcoats.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Drenched in classic British humor, this podcast follows the Funn siblings as they are left to run their family’s failing funeral parlor. Wooden Overcoats follows them as their new rival, the perfect Eric Chapman, starts to steal all their clients in the dirty business of death.  

Listen Now

Ostium Podcast

Ostium Podcast.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Remember finding a door that you were scared to open? Ostium takes place in a hidden city full of those doors, and a new door opens every episode. The show’s short, digestible episodes make this one easy to binge. 

Listen Now

Within the Wires

Within the Wires.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

From the people who brought you Welcome to Night Vale comes Within the Wires. An epistolary podcast, WtW changes every season but is always investigating the ways in which we communicate with one another and what it means to hear another person. 

Listen Now

Flash Pulp

Flash Pulp.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Flash Pulp revitalizes a rich tradition in fiction in bite-sized episodes. Waiting in line? Taking a shower? Just have 10 minutes to kill? Flash Pulp can give you the full arc of a story filled with plenty of intrigue by the time you’re done. 

Listen Now

Alice Isn’t Dead

Alice Isn't Dead.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The best in the business of narrative podcasting at Night Vale do it again with Alice Isn’t Dead. A truck driver travels across the country to find his presumed-deceased wife and along the way comes into contact with the weird, the abstract, the out-of-time, and more. 

Listen Now


Image used with permission by copyright holder

Did you enjoy Serial? Of course, you did! Limetown takes the concept and structure of Serial’s classic public radio style and twists it up into a wild and cacophonous universe akin to The X-Files. 

Listen Now

Imaginary Advice

Imaginary Advice.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

A one-man operation, Imaginary Advice is a monthly podcast of audio-fiction experiments. U.K. native Ross Sutherland brings a new short story to the table every month that’s guaranteed to engross. 

Listen Now

King Falls AM

King Falls AM.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Reminiscent of the cult classic play Greater Tuna, King Falls AM takes the loony lens of late-night AM radio and points it at the strange and lonely mountain town of King Falls.

Listen Now

These top fiction podcasts are captivating and immersive, as great narratives tend to be. If you’re long overdue for a good story, this is a great place to land. And it’s especially great because you can just sit there and listen, fully absorbing the content.

Editors' Recommendations

Jacob Kienlen
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Jacob Kienlen was a culture writer for The Manual. Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, he has considered the Northwest his…
These are the best shows and movies on Apple TV Plus to binge tonight
Apple TV+ has an impressive library that includes great movies and shows
Enrique Arrizon as Máximo Gallardo in 'Acapulco' from Apple TV+.

When computer company Apple announced that it was getting into the streaming TV game, there were plenty of people who were skeptical about the company's ability to pull it off. Why would the tech giant, which is most known for the Macintosh and the iPhone, have any credibility in making television shows? It doesn't seem the two ideas would mesh in any meaningful way, but in the years since Apple TV Plus launched, the company has come up with some pretty impressive original shows, and it picked up a Best Picture Oscar on top of that.
What's even more impressive is that these Apple TV shows and movies run the gamut from comedy to drama, and are all set in wildly different and imaginative places. Apple may be best known for making great phones, but it turns out it knows how to tell pretty interesting stories, too. These Apple TV movies and shows are the cream of the crop and the best on this streaming service.
If you're looking for more great stuff to stream, you should also check out our lists of the best shows on Netflix, the best shows on Hulu, and the best shows on Disney Plus.

The Morning Show (2019)

Read more
The best movies to watch on Peacock right now
From Bernie to The Farm, these are the best movies to stream on Peacock
Jack Black in Bernie.

A fun bit of historic TV trivia is that the original NBC peacock logo was first implemented in 1956 to highlight the network's new color programming. Even though the logo has gone through numerous iterations since then, the network has stuck with the colorful bird, in one form or another, for going on six decades now. It’s fitting, then, that Peacock is known most for its TV programming, highlighted by shows like The Office, Parks and Rec, and the self-mocking (and hilarious) 30 Rock. If you are on Peacock for the shows, however, don't overlook that the platform is also home to a number of great movies spanning cinema history, including everything from great comedy to excellent sports movies.

Peacock streaming offers both free (registered) and paid accounts. As a result, some Peacock movies are available without a paid subscription, and others only for subscribers. This roundup culls titles from both groups. To be sure you can access all of these classics, you'll have to fork over the $5-a-month service cost. Happy streaming and keep reading to find the best movies on Peacock right now.

Read more
The 11 best movies on Max available to stream now
New to Max? Here are the top movies to start with
Scene from The Hobbit

With HBO Max rebranding to Max, it's the right time to get acquainted with all of the great movies to watch on the streaming service. In addition to large portions of the Warner Bros. catalog, it also has tons of seminal, classic films, as well as plenty of foreign releases. Because the catalog is so big and rich, there are about 250 titles that could go on this list. There's a wealth of options to choose from whether you're into action movies or comedies, and you shouldn't feel limited by the selection below.
Instead, you should treat it as a jumping-off point of HBO Max movies, one that will hopefully allow you to explore many of the titles that didn't quite make the cut. Max has great movies in every genre and from every period of film history. This is just a sampling of the best movies on Max. And if you're looking for more Max content, we've rounded up the best shows on Max to watch right now.

Dunkirk (2017)

Read more