Words over the air

I have been getting into podcasts for… heh, I guess slightly over a year, now. I’d dipped into them before that, but around May of last year I just¬†dove in. Mostly fiction, usually audioplay style rather than someone reading you prose. And, yeah, they often skew a bit dark. With that in mind, I figured I would offer up some recommendations of ones that I love.

Old Gods of Appalachia
This is like if Manly Wade Wellman’s stories about Silver John met Deadlands. On every axis – on writing, on voicework, on music, on pacing, on the balance between hinting and obfuscation – it is almost painfully good.
The Silt Verses
This is the opposite of folk horror in the way that The Wire is the opposite of police procedurals. It’s a modern setting a step sideways from real life, what with all the gods – Saint Electric, and the Emperor in Rags, and everything. Primarily revolves around two devotees of one of the banned gods, the Trawlerman. (I feel that I should emphasize that this is 100% horror, not urban fantasy. Trust me.)
Unwell
A sweet and cosy midWestern gothic, about a woman who moves back home to a small-town boarding house to take care of her mother while said mother recuperates from a broken leg. Amazing snappy dialogue, cheerfully creepy moments. (Best content warnings I have ever seen. Ever.)
The Wrong Station
Trumping the odds, this one is a someone-reading-prose pure-anthology podcast. If offers weird tales in a classic vein, albeit with a definite genre awareness; every time I have rolled my eyes at a story’s setup, I have been genuinely surprised and pleased at where it ended up. (I started around season 4 and have since jumped back to the beginning, and I think that was for the best – they’re good in the early seasons, but better in the later ones.)
The Left-Right Game
A single-season complete story, about someone playing the left-right game; basically, if you start driving and then turn left then right then left then right, always, never stopping, you get to a very strange place.
Uncanny County
Once described as “like the Twilight Zone without the morality play aspect”; funny, weird, pulpy. The stories all share a setting, and there are a couple of recurring characters, but you can dip in and out as you please.¬† This is distinctly on the fluffy end of dark fiction – it’s like if Tales from the Crypt occasionally had happy endings.
The Hyacinth Disaster
Another single-season complete story, about a crew of asteroid miners trying to find something valuable enough to ransom their friends. Leans into the setting, so you get a fair bit of static on some communications, but goddamn amazing. (Also, everyone I have recommended this to who has listened to it has cried.)
Palimpsest
Each season is a story; they don’t all belong in the same world, but they’re all set in the same house? It’s slow, dreamy, haunting – heck, the tagline is “Embrace what haunts you.” Each season skews to what I’d call a different subgenre, but I absolutely respect the trailer’s assertion that every story is a ghost story.