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Before the birth of the podcast, we had books on tape. This involved many, many cassette tapes housed in bulky packaging that were not conducive to traveling. Luckily for us today, the podcast has revolutionized books on tape and helped evolve the format into something a bit smaller. Thanks to apps like iTunes, you can have any podcast at any time or place with the push of a button.
If you’ve ever listened to books on tape, you know that the reader can make or break a story. Within the sci-fi community there is a surge of new and exciting podcasts to discover, ranging from plain old science and technology to Star Trek and short stories. Also included in popular sci-fi podcasts are themes of conspiracy and fantasy. Thanks to the many sci-fi podcasts the internet has to offer, we’ve compiled a list of many fan favorites that are sure to send you off to the stars on the fantasy-driven rocket of your dreams! So sit back and let the best sci-fi podcasts take you off to another world!
Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy
Fantasy and short story author David Barr Kirtley and book editor John Joseph Adams explore in Wired’s Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy the worlds of of legendary people in sci-fi like George R. R. Martin, Richard Dawkins, Paul Krugman, Simon Pegg, Margaret Atwood, Philip Pullman, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Ursula K. Le Guin. The hosts tie fiction and fantasy with real life with the help of their various guests on one of the most popular sci-fi podcasts. You may not think a podcast about science fiction and fantasy would be the place to go for political commentary, but it is. Geek's Guide to the Galaxy manages to be more insightful about politics than many commentators in media.
With over two million downloads, comedian and Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick along with fellow co-hosts Jonah Ray and Matt Mira, The Nerdist takes you on a crazy ride through the fun and intriguing world of geek culture. With the help of notable comedians and entertainers, this hour-long podcast will make you feel like you’re siting with friends and talking about your geekiest desires. A must listen for the geeky sci-fi podcast fan!
In the Science Vs podcast, science journalist Wendy Zukerman examines the latest trend structuring itself as scientific fact. Wendy paddles through mountains of information so you don't have to. Some topics include: Do women and men have different brains? Is porn changing the way we have sex? Does race exist? Is sugar really that bad for you? Everyone has an opinion but then—there’s SCIENCE! This is one of the best sci-fi podcasts for distributing (and understanding) science facts applicable to everyday life.
StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson
What happens when you mix science with comedy and pop culture? You get StarTalk Radio! Astrophysicist and Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities, and scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. StarTalk features a revolving slate of all-star scientists and science educators like Bill Nye the Science Guy. Come on... you know you want to relive your childhood with lessons from Bill Nye on this sci-fi podcast!
You’ll never know what you’ve been missing until you’ve heard from the Hugo and World Fantasy Award-winning Clarkesworld Magazine. Host of the Clarkesworld podcast Kate Baker narrates all the latest fascinating fiction stories from the current issue of Clarkesworld Magazine six times a month in audio format. A die-hard sci-fi fan would love this show!
Mission Log: A Roddenberry Star Trek Podcast
This is a Trekkie’s dream! The Mission Log Podcast, hosted by Ken Ray and John Champion, boasts a variety of guest interviews with the sole purpose of exploring the Star Trek universe one episode at a time. This sci-fi podcast covers the six different series by journeying into every one of the 726 episodes so far with a single mission: to explore, debate, and discuss one of the largest science fiction phenomena of all time—Star Trek.
The Lightspeed podcast, produced by Grammy Award-winning narrator and producer Stefan Rudnicki of Skyboat Media, is presented four times a month, featuring original audio fiction and classic reprints from Lightspeed Magazine. This magazine is the Hugo award-wining piece edited by bestselling author John Joseph Adams. Each month, Lightspeed takes you on a journey of science fiction from near-future stories and sociological sci-fi to far-future and star-spanning fiction. Plus there's fantasy from epic sword and sorcery, as well as contemporary urban tales to magical realism, science-fantasy, and folk tales.
In her weekly podcast entitled Talk Nerdy, Cara Santa Maria gives you a glimpse of a woman’s perspective in science with guest interviews that typically revolve around various topics like STEM fields, new media, pop culture, atheism, and politics.
Relic Radio Science Fiction
Relic Radio Science Fiction transports you to another time, highlighting radio stories from sci-fi's greatest writers, including original stories for shows like Dimension X, X Minus 1, 2000 Plus, Beyond Tomorrow, and much more!
The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe with Dr. Steven Novella
Let the Skeptics' Guide to the Universe with host Dr. Steven Novella help you escape to another reality with its weekly podcast talkshow. The program discusses the latest news and topics from around the world, such as the paranormal, fringe science, and controversial claims from a scientific point of view. This podcast is informative and intriguing, and it will leave you wanting more!
The SciFi Podcast
The SciFi Podcast is a wacky and fun bi-weekly show hosted by Mattroid, Solo, and Station with various guest interviews. The podcast takes a look into a science fiction theme or franchise like Star Wars and everything geeky in each episode—all while bringing it where no show has gone before!
The podcast Escape Pod is brought to you by Science Fiction Podcast Magazine, and the program delivers science fiction short stories from today's best authors. Listen to the fresh and new mind-expanding works from today’s up and coming authors. Hear the new sound of science fiction!
Big Picture Science
The Big Picture Science podcast by the SETI Institute weaves together a universe of big ideas—from robots to memory to antimatter to dinosaurs. Tune in and make contact with true science. Hosted and produced by Seth Shostak, the Big Picture Science podcast engages the public with modern science research through lively and humorous intelligent storytelling. Science doesn't have to be dull!
Brought to you weekly, PodCastle broadcasts the best in indie fantasy short stories, running the gamut from heart-pounding sword and sorcery, to strange surrealist tales, to gritty urban fantasy and psychological depth of magical realism. The podcast features authors including Peter Beagle, Benjamin Rosenbaum, Jim C. Hines, and Cat Rambo among others.