Inspired by a tweet by A.R. Olivieri from last month, I wanted to put together a list of ten of my favourite microfiction podcasts. Microfiction refers to shows which have short episodes, typically under 10 or 15 minutes long. Tal Minear, the creator of Sidequesting, has also put together a brilliant list of Microfiction podcasts on Podchaser, which was also very helpful for this post. Thank you, Tal!
Starting with A.R. Olivieri themself, 2298 was their first fiction podcast, released in 2017. Since then they’ve released Magic King Dom, LIMBO, The Easiest of All the Hard Things, and Great & Terrible; and they’ve also written Phantomwise. I could’ve chosen any of these podcasts to feature in this list, but 2298 is my personal favourite. In 2298, after an alien invasion, only a tiny part of the world is inhabitable. In this dystopian society, the Network controls everything, from what you study and your career, to your food. The Network requires absolute focus. But Profile 24 keeps getting distracted by a bird.
The majority of the episodes are exactly eight minutes long, with the remaining others exactly two minutes long.
A Ninth World Journal
Written and produced by David S. Dear, who also plays the main character of Januae. The show is based on the RPG Numenera, but no previous knowledge of the game is needed to enjoy the story. Set a billion years in the future, Januae is a priest who has a teleportation device built for him. This device should only take him to places that are familiar to him, but the first time he tries it, he ends up somewhere completely new. He has to find a way home, but a key part of the teleportation device breaks, which leads to him teleporting to places randomly, with no control over where or when it happens.
Episodes are between 8-16 minutes long, with some longer bonus episodes.
Dart is created and produced by Amanda McColgan, who also plays Jenny in the show. Jenny is a delivery driver for a food delivery app called Dart. As the season opens, it’s clear that Jenny’s been through a lot, and the events from her past become clearer as the story progresses. Right from the first episode, strange things start to happen as Jenny makes her deliveries. She can’t put her finger on what’s wrong as she drives around, but something’s definitely off – and she’s not the only one who’s noticed.
One season of eight episodes is currently available, and episodes are all around 3-5 minutes long.
Written and produced by Mel Hartman, who is also the voice of Lyra. Disenchanted follows Lyra as she inherits a house from her father. It’s an old house in the middle of nowhere, which is just a little bit creepy. As the series progresses, Lyra discovers secrets about the house and her family, and has to deal with some strange things happening in the house.
A completed series of 15 episodes, which are between 4-11 minutes long.
Dos: After You
Dos: After You is an on-going horror/urban fantasy written and produced by David Orión Pena, who also voices the main character of Deck. When we meet Deck in episode one, he’s leaving his house in the Netherlands on a journey across Western Europe, to London. He’s on a mission to find Sil, a god he fell in love with. Over the course of his long journey, we find out more about Deck and his past, and his sinister plans for when he finds Sil. Each episode is available in both English and Spanish, and are mostly between 6-9 minutes long.
I featured Dos: After You in a post in November.
Created by Lillian Holman and produced by Atypical Artists, Greenhouse is a series of letters sent between Rose, a writer, and Abigail, who is a florist. Abigail is a complete stranger to Rose, but a strange clause in Rose’s father’s will means that she has to write Abigail a letter every month in order to stay in her home. Episodes alternate between Rose and Abigail, all lasting between 3-10 minutes each.
One of Rick Coste’s many productions, I inhaled (couldn’t resist!) this show in one afternoon. Tamara Tracer is living under the fake identity of Tracy Tanner, working as a librarian in the small town of Hemlock. She’s hiding a big secret – she has superpowers. She used to live in Boston, where she spent her nights dressed in a superhero costume, fighting crime. Until one day, she had to run away.
A completed series of ten episodes, which last around 5-9 minutes each.
Mercury: A Broadcast of Hope
Mercury is a daily podcast from the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company, which launched in October 2017. Set during the zombie apocalypse, this is a zombie story with a difference – as the title of the show suggests, the focus is on hope. The broadcasts focus on keeping people’s hopes up, building and rebuilding communities, and providing some useful tips and information for the new world survivors now live in. The show broadcasts from what used to be a college radio station, and the team consists of three people – Max O’Brien, Agnes Drew and Dr Rosalind Clark, who found themselves at the station when the lockdown happened.
Episodes are available for 24 hours, and are generally around 5-7 minutes long.
I featured Mercury: A Broadcast of Hope in a post in July 2020.
Written and produced by Cassie Josephs. Mina cryogenically freezes herself in 2018, to be woken up 200 years in the future. She freezes herself so that she can find a time machine in the future, in order to be able to go back to the past. When she wakes up in 2218, she discovers that time travel still hasn’t been invented, and asks to be frozen again, so that she can be woken up even further into the future.
A completed series of eight episodes, all between 2-6 minutes long, with a supercut of all eight episodes also available.
SHIFTS is created and produced by Caroline Mincks, who also plays Dahlia. Dahlia wakes up alone a motel room in the middle of nowhere, with no memory of how she got there, or any idea where she could be. She finds herself in a strange but beautiful place, full of vibrant colours… a place which also happens to have a clock in the sky. Dahlia starts walking, and discovers more about her new surroundings.
Season one consists of 10 episodes, each between 2-5 minutes long.
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