Commentary: Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Podcast Directories

SFFaudio Commentary

SFFaudio's Online Audio DirectoryOther than our recently updated Online Audio directory, there are several options for finding Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror related podcasts…

TSFPN: The Science Fiction Podcast NewtorkOldest among the specialized driectories is TSFPN.com, which started strong last year and then too rapidly expanded into other categories of podcasting – this seems to have hurt their Speculative Fiction listings. A useful feature for some is their listing of podcasts by age appropriateness (General Audience, Safe For Age 14 and Not Work Safe) unfortunately they no longer include what I would consider some of the top podcasts (if you don’t list Escape Pod there has to be something wrong) though to be fair there are still some truly great podcasts listed on TSFPN, The Rev-Up Review, fior instance. Unfortunately the categories are not strictly SF, F and H related. Skepticality is listed and I think it is a terrific show, and I know it to be beloved by many speculative fiction fans, but it has no speculative fiction content at all.

SciFi PodsSciFiPods.com, a new venture that started just one week ago, is a daughter site of PodcastPickle.com. Strangely it also lists Skepticality, just because the show is awesome doesn’t make it speculative fiction. This is a nit-pciky thing, I love skepticality but I’ve never found a away to mention my favorite no Speculative Fiction podcast on SFFaudio’s Online Audio page, sure History According To Bob is an awesome podcast, but it just isn’t related. Like TSFPN, SciFiPods also gives an explicit content ranking system to their 139 currently listed podcasts. You’ll find more content listed here than anywhere except for iTunes. Unfortunately the site has a flash intro, that while entirely skippable, serves no purpose.

iTunesiTunes’s Music Store (so named in spite the fact that the podcasts are all free), offers a comprehensive search feature that will dig into the podcast descriptions and find some excellent obscure podcasts. iTunes also offers featured podcasts picked by some nameless Apple folks. There are some terrific picks in there, but if a podcast doesn’t have a decent looking logo, the chances of being featured approach zero. There is a new feature tyhat alows you to browse by category too. By clicking around in there you may be able to find their “Arts : Literature” section, which lists many interesting podcasts.

PodiobooksPodiobooks.com gets short shrift in listings, it isn’t a podcast per se, though it does have a “what’s happening at podiobooks” podcast. Instead it is a podcast provider, a collection of podcast fiction, one like no other. Listed among its dozens and dozens of podcasts are three solid categories, Horror/DarkFantasy, Science Fiction, and Fantasy sections. In them are dozens of excellent podcast novels and books. Sure, some of the podcasts listed on Podiobooks.com get attention elsewere, 7th Son for example is currently listed at #1 on SciFiPods.com’s top 100 podcasts. But if you want to find some of the older titles, still available to your podcatcher Podiobooks.com is the place you need to go.

iTunesThere is also the venerable, PodcastAlley.com, the oldest of all podcast directories. But they do not list “Science Fiction,” “Fantasy,” or “Horror” categories. The closest they come to making navigation managable is a “storytelling” category. There they do list many excellent podcasts, but the ranking system puts DVD review podcasts ahead of actual storytelling podcasts. Its more of a popularity ranker than a podcast directory in that respect.

So which directory should you be using? Here’s my opinion:

1. Use iTunes and slog through their massive listings using as many related search terms as you can. But be warned, they don’t always bring results, to find the Yog Radio podcast, for instance, you can’t use “Lovecraft” as a search term, even though Yog Radio releases unabridged H.P. Lovecraft stories, instead you’ll need to use the term “Cthulhu.”

2. Keep visiting SciFiPods.com, maybe they will become the resource in the months to come. But for that to happen they’ll probably have to dump that annoying intro.

3. Visit Podiobooks.com or subscribe to their blog’s RSS feed. The Podiobooker podcast is also useful, though it is currently on hiatus (I’m told it is coming back).

4. Keep us subscribed, or occasionally visit our Online Audio page. It is organized visually with logos from the listed podcasts and other online audio sources. It is by no means exhaustive, but we have tried to include many of the best podcast and online audio resources that deal in Speculative Fiction.

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