Recently, Wired magazine talked about the rise of modern fictional podcasts. The article immediately caught my attention because I have listened to — and loved — half the shows it mentioned. The other half I finished afterward. It’s incredibly easy to binge on an excellent podcast, and now I’m back to where I started: impatiently waiting for the next episode!
Luckily, I’m in a library full of books to tide me over until the next one is released. In case you’re in the same situation as me, I’ve put together a list of books to tide you over.
Welcome to Night Vale has its own spinoff novel (even available in audiobook!), but it could also be compared to Mira Grant’s Feed because of the unique narrator. Cecil is Night Vale’s radio journalist who investigates his surreal community. Feed follows news bloggers during the zombie apocalypse.
The Bright Sessions follows a therapist for people with supernatural powers. The first book to recommend for this has to be We Are All Completely Fine by Daryl Gregory. It also uses therapy as a starting point, but for survivors of supernatural events, bringing them together and then pulling out their stories and thrusting them into a new adventure. The Humans by Matt Haig could also work, as it humorously follows the point of view of an alien trying to understand human thought processes.
The Deep Vault seems much easier to compare to something like Fallout 4, but since we’re sticking to books, perhaps S.A. Bodeen’s The Compound. It doesn’t have robots or monsters, but it does have the creepy bunker that the protagonist can’t escape.
The Black Tapes has a huge X-Files feel to it. Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation matches the horror and the scientific feel, but the supernatural and episodic aspects pair well with an urban fantasy series like Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson books. The first one is Moon Called.
Archive 81 is a spooky podcast that revolves around a mysterious apartment building and the incredibly strange people who live there. The book that immediately comes to mind is 14 by Peter Clines. It also centers on a strange apartment building, though these residents band together to discover why every apartment has a secret. Messages are hidden in the walls, there’s a room that attracts death, a locked door is strangely cold — so much mystery, and the tension levels are perfect.
I want to get Alice Isn’t Dead perfectly right. It’s my favorite podcast. Maybe try Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix for the creepiness that exists in seemingly ordinary places — a haunted furniture store instead of Alice’s creepy highways. I’m about to try The Brotherhood of the Wheel by R.S. Belcher because I’m hoping this trucker battling supernatural horrors on the road can tide me over until Alice rides back onto the airwaves for season two.
Let me know if you’ve got recommendations of your own — either book read-alikes or new fictional podcasts. Listening to all of these makes me wonder if one will be produced in our own Recording Studio, located at the new Douglas County Libraries in Parker.