This Week in Podcasts is a weekly roundup of the goings-on in podcasting, from highlights to pitfalls to updates and more. Have updates or crowdfunding campaigns you want listed? Check here for directions on how to get in touch.
Forgotten Women of Genre dives into the women of horror
SyFy Wire‘s podcast Forgotten Women of Genre celebrates the spooky season by diving into the women we should, but don’t, hear about in horror. With four episodes released during the week of Halloween 2019, a standout is an episode on Peggy Webling–another woman behind the fame and imagery of Frankenstein.
Upcoming fiction podcast Null and Void announces its cast and crew
The upcoming fiction podcast Null and Void by Piece of Cake Podcasting and Cole Burkhardt has announced its cast and crew list via tweet.
Dark Tome launches its second season
Horror fiction podcast Dark Tome returns with a second season and a cross-over episode with Point Mystic.
The Dark Tome is a horror audio drama that tells the story of the titular book, which transports readers into other worlds. When teenager Cassie Pinkham finds the book in a mysterious bookshop, it sends her on a terrifying journey through a variety of worlds, derived from the works of emerging and established horror and weird fiction writers.
In Season 2, the stakes are high as Cassie realizes that the book has started taking her ‘sideways’ – to worlds very similar to but not exactly the same as the one she left. Now, several skips away from her home universe, and an ancient cult on her heels intent on retrieving the tome, Cassie must find unexpected allies and call on the (questionable) wisdom of the tome to set things right in the multiverse.
Blumhouse and iHeartMedia team up on a podcast-to-adaptation deal
On October 10th, Blumhouse–a horror-focused film and TV production company–teamed with iHeartMedia on a “strategic partnership to produce a series of fictional podcasts for potential, future film and television development.” While other fiction podcasts have operated in this way, as lower-budget pilots to gauge audience interest, this may be the first partnership that makes this goal explicit. The initiative will launch with the podcast The Mantauwak Caves.
When asked whether the podcast was pitched as a podcast or TV show/film originally, a representative wrote:
“The Mantawauk Caves” was pitched as a multi-platform concept. It was decided along with the creator that podcasting would be the coolest/best medium to start the story with, and then looking at additional ways to extend the story later – including TV and Film.
The Phenomenon launches its third season with a video trailer
Sci-fi thriller fiction podcast The Phenomenon returns for its third season with a video trailer. Creator Jared J Smith writes on the trailer:
In the past we’ve released audio teasers that are standalone scenes set somewhere in the world of The Phenomenon, but for Season 3 we decided to try something fun by taking that same idea and approaching it a bit differently. Instead of a dialog-driven, music-less, audio narrative like we’ve done in the past, we decided it would be fun to flip everything on its head and produce a visual narrative with an intense score and no dialog at all.
Crooked Media gets into the daily podcast game with Akilah Hughes and Gideon Resnick on What a Day
Crooked Media has launched its daily podcast, What a Day, hosted by Akilah Hughes and Gideon Resnick. What a Day aims to “break down the top stories of the day across US politics, business, economics and pop culture in segments supported by news clips and occasional guest interviews.”
Audiohm launches the interactive 5 Week Countdown
Audiohm has launched 5 Week Countdown, an interactive escape room style fiction podcast in which the audience votes for what the protagonist will do next.
The 5 Week Countdown podcast follows a woman named Whitney who awakens in a mysterious white room, with an ominous voice giving her direction. She has 5 weeks, or 50,400 minutes, to solve the puzzle to this life-or-death escape room. She’s given food, water, some vague clues, and one vital piece of information: The audience has the other half of the clue.
Each week, a puzzle or clue will be posted to Countdownpod.com for the audience to solve. Listeners are encouraged to leave comments with answers or suggestions for the Whitney to try. Each week, our ominous voice, known only as K, will read the audience comments. If the solutions are correct, Whitney can move on to the next step. If she’s solved the mystery with the audience’s help before the time runs out, she’s free to go. If not…
New history podcast Casting Lots: A Survival Cannibalism Podcast launched
Casting Lots: A Survival Cannibalism Podcast has launched its first season, which dives into the extreme situations that make people resort to survival cannibalism:
In each episode, historian and museum professional Alix Penn and writer Carmella Lowkis examine a different case of survival cannibalism, ranging throughout history and across the globe. Taking a humorous and accessible approach to history as an academic field, it’s a perfect match for fans of the true crime genre. However, it offers something a little different to your average true crime podcast in that its subjects aren’t criminals or monsters – they’re normal people pushed by extreme circumstances to break this ultimate taboo.
The Los Angeles Times launches This is California
Reported by journalists with The Los Angeles Times, This is California “features engaging, sound-rich stories about California and the West.” The first story in the podcast is a three-part series about Proposition 187 in California, an anti-immigration initiative.
Hosted and reported by award-winning Times features writer Gustavo Arellano, “This is California: The Battle of 187” will spotlight how one of the harshest laws targeting immigrants in U.S. history marked a turning point in California, and helped pave the way for Donald Trump to be elected president. As November will mark the 25th anniversary of the passage of Prop. 187, the miniseries examines the bill’s impact on current legislation, featuring archival recordings, interviews with key players behind Prop. 187 and political figures across the country.
New short story podcast LikeWise Fiction launched
A new fiction podcast sharing short stories from marginalized voices, LikeWise Fiction, was launched on October 14th, 2019. Its first season will have Monday releases through March 2020.
LikeWise Fiction is a diverse fiction anthology podcast, featuring short stories written by women and nonbinary writers, writers of color, and LGBTQ+ writers. A lifelong reader and experienced podcaster, Sakasegawa is excited to share exceptional fiction on this new show, showcasing work from writers including Sarah Hollowell, José Pablo Iriarte, Rachel Lyon, and Celeste Ng.
More than just sharing great writing, though, LikeWise Fiction’s mission is to create a new space for underrepresented voices in the literary community. Despite growing awareness of the lack of diverse representation in fiction, contemporary publishing is still a difficult terrain to navigate for marginalized writers, who often face both implicit bias and explicit discrimination. It’s critically important to find ways to include and financially support artists who have traditionally been excluded―especially on the basis of race, gender, and sexual orientation―in order to promote a vibrant and equitable literary ecosystem.
Good Pointe launches new fiction podcast The Subjective Truth
The Subjective Truth is a new fiction podcast about a podcaster who has gone missing:
While searching for the legendary Fenn Treasure, podcaster Buddha Kline (A.R. Olivieri- ‘Limbo’) disappeared from the Carson National Forest in New Mexico. From alien abductions to haunted hotels to reincarnation robots… everyone has a theory… Join our host, Graham Anderson (Addison Peacock- ‘The No Sleep Podcast’), as she unearths all the answers to the question of…What happened to Buddha Kline?
For disclosure, I acted in LIMBO, but have no affiliation with The Subjective Truth.
Netflix and Spotify team up for a fiction podcast companion to Netflix TV series Daybreak
Netflix and Spotify have joined forces to create The Only Podcast Left – Daybreak, a podcast set in the universe of the young adult, post-apocalyptic TV series Daybreak.
It’s post-apocalyptic Glendale. The Jocks, Cheermazons, STEM Punks, Disciples of Kardashia, and more are battling for dominance in the valley. And after you tear through Daybreak Season 1, you’ll want to meet the A.V. Club. They’re a group of kids who survived the apocalypse by using their skills to rig cameras and spy on warring tribes all over the valley. And now they’re making a show about it, while juggling their own personal drama and trying to stay alive as mutant pugs, ghoulies, and a mysterious new tribe all try to kill their vibe. It’s The Only Podcast Left.
New true crime podcast from CBC and Norway’s VG, HUNTING WARHEAD, launches tomorrow
Tomorrow (11/5/2019), CBC Podcasts and Norway’s VG newspaper launch HUNTING WARHEAD, about an undercover investigation set to dismantle the largest child abuse website on the dark web.
Years in the making, HUNTING WARHEAD follows the relentless journalists, white-hat hackers, and police on a mission across Norway, Australia, Canada and the U.S. on the hunt to uncover the man behind username Warhead, who ran Child’s Play, a site with over a million users trafficking child abuse material.
That said, the podcast doesn’t include graphic details. It’s a gripping audio experience of a chase unfolding, and the human beings affected. The series uniquely includes direct conversations with close friends and relatives who are searching for understanding, and to prevent the next Warhead from emerging. Listeners will also hear from the investigators and criminals themselves.
Host Daemon Fairless has spent years researching and writing about the psychology of violent men. Listeners will struggle along with him to understand how a small town kid elevated to one of the most notorious criminals on the dark web.
ENDING SOON: Primordial Deep crowdfunding its first season
Upcoming fiction podcast by No Such Thing (Janus Descending) Primordial Deep is crowdfunding its first season via IndieGogo. The campaign has a flexible goal of $5,500 USD and will be running until November 10th, 2019:
No Such Thing is an independent production company, dedicated to creating and sharing new works of audio drama fiction, and the development of strange new worlds through the power of storytelling. We create stories, set in the wildest corners of the universe, to explore just what it means to be human. Primordial Deep is an ongoing adventure/thriller, set in the expanded universe of No Such Thing’s first series, Janus Descending. Written by Jordan Cobb, with sound design by Julia Schifini and music by Daryl Banner, the first season of Primordial Deep will be comprised of seven (7) episodes, each approximately 45 minutes in length.
The story begins when a long extinct sea creature washes up on the shores of Coney Island. Marine biologist Dr. Marella Morgan is contacted by a secret organization to investigate the origins of the creature’s sudden and unnatural resurgence. Soon, she and a team of experts find themselves living on the research station The Tiamat, traveling along the abyssal plains as they search for answers far below the waves. But there are dangers in these ancient waters. Reawakened, prehistoric monsters are rising from the deep — jaws wide and waiting, and in the darkness, something is stirring.”
This campaign is currently at 95% funded at time of publication.
Brimstone Valley Mall crowdfunding its first season
Upcoming fiction podcast by The Whisperforge (ars PARADOXICA, The Far Meridian, CARAVAN, StarTripper!!), Brimstone Valley Mall is crowdfunding its first season via IndieGogo. The campaign has a flexible goal of $8,000 USD and will be running until November 21st, 2019:
Brimstone Valley Mall is a fast-paced fiction comedy podcast about four demons from Hell who work in a shopping mall in the 90s. This 9-episode first season will be chock full of quippy dialogue, 90s references, dark humor, and of course, a goth garage band (whose lead singer goes mysteriously missing). To sum it up, Brimstone Valley Mall is a nostalgic love letter to suburban mediocrity and trashy mall culture – and that love letter comes dressed in black from head to toe (from Hot Topic, of course).
This campaign is currently at 40% funded at time of publication.