Science fiction podcast
A Science fiction podcast (sometimes shortened to sci-fi podcast or SF podcast) is a podcast belonging to the science fiction genre, which focuses on futuristic and Imagination advances in science and technology while exploring the impact of these imagined innovations. Characters in these stories often encounter scenarios that involve space exploration, Extraterrestrials in fiction, time travel, Parallel universes in fiction, artificial intelligence, Robot, and human cloning. Despite the focus on fictional settings and time periods, science fiction podcasts regularly contain or reference locations, events, or people from the real world. The intended audience of a science fiction podcast can vary from young children to adults. science fiction podcasts developed out of Radio drama. Science fiction podcasts are a subgenre of fiction podcasts and are distinguished from fantasy podcasts and Horror podcast by the absence of magical or macabre themes, respectively, though these subgenres regularly overlap. Science fiction podcasts have often been adapted into Fantasy television programs, Graphic novel, and comics.
Genre and subgenres
Science fiction podcasts often focus on themes such as time travel, space exploration, robots, and artificial intelligence. For instance, science fiction podcasts focused on time travel include Snap Judgement, A Winkle in Time, and Black Box. Examples of science fiction podcast centered on space travel are The Hyacinth Disaster, Wolf 359, Arca-45672, and Voyage to the Stars. An example of a science fiction podcast focused on robots is Electric Easy. SAYER and Chrysalis are two science fiction podcast that focus on Artificial Intelligence.
Two science fiction podcasts focused on discussing, reviewing, and critiquing other works of science fiction are Imaginary Worlds, Eye on Sci-Fi, and Our Opinions Are Correct. Prominent science fiction podcasts that focus on fictional politics, conspiracy theories, journalism, and crime are Welcome to Night Vale, Andromeda, and Wellspring. The Apocrypha Chronicles and Girl in Space are two podcasts that explore Indigenous Futurisms.
Science fantasy podcasts
Science fiction podcasts are a subgenre of fiction podcasts and are distinguished from fantasy podcasts by the absence of fantasy themes, but the two subgenres regularly overlap. This overlap in genres is sometimes called science fantasy. For instance, Sword and Laser, Imaginary Worlds, Steal the Stars, and the Clarkesworld Magazine podcast all cross over into science fiction and are regularly labelled as both science fiction and fantasy.
Sci-fi thriller podcasts
Science fiction podcasts are typically distinguished from horror podcasts by the absence of macabre or thriller themes, however, the genres often overlap. For instance, sci-fi thrillers like Immunities, Cipher, Forest 404 have very similar themes to horror podcasts.
Sci-fi improv podcasts
Two of the longest running science fiction podcasts, as of 2021, are Sword and Laser and The Clarkesworld Magazine podcast, which have been regularly releasing episodes since 2007 and 2008 respectively.
Businesses have utilized science fiction podcasts as a method of increasing brand visibility and advertising. For instance, General Electric in partnership with Megaphone (podcasting) produced a science fiction podcast entitled The Message, and then later produced a sequel entitled LifeAfter. BMW has also created a science fiction podcast called Hypnopolis. VMware produced a science fiction podcast called I.T. > Sci-Fi. Science fiction podcasts have even been used by museums. For instance, the science fiction podcast called We Are Not Alone was used as an audio tour of the Louvre Abu Dhabi art museum. Audiobook companies that produce fantasy and science fiction audiobooks have often expanded into fantasy and science fiction podcasts. The audiobook publishing company Argon released a podcast with the title Fantastic stories and where to find them.
The intended audience of a science fiction podcast can be a young child like the podcasts Six Minutes, Historynauts, and The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel. Podcast producers can be children as well. For instance, The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian is written by Jonathan Messinger but edited and voiced by his seven year old son Griffin Messinger. Young adults have also produced podcasts such as Lauren Shippen, who was only twenty-four at the time that she started The Bright Sessions.
Science fiction podcasts have also been included in podcast awards, music awards, and film festivals. For instance the science fiction podcast, Earth Break, premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, and a podcast award category was established for the 2021 festival.
The COVID-19 pandemic is creating an increase in science fiction audio dramas. For instance, There Be Monsters, From Now, The Oyster, and In Astra were all started during the pandemic. Madeline Wells of SFGate recommended listening to science fiction podcasts during the pandemic.
Emily Martin of Book Riot compiled a list of fifteen science fiction podcasts that included SFF Yeah!, Hugos There, 372 Pages We'll Never Get Back, Flash Forward, Spectology: The Sci-Fi Book Club Podcast, The SFF Audio Podcast, Sword & Laser, Imaginary Worlds, Newcomers, A World Where, Marsfall, The Left Right Game (podcast), Wolf 359 (podcast), and Within the Wires. Wil Williams of Polygon (website) magazine compiled a list of the ten best science fiction podcasts, which included NULL/VOID, Murmurs, Black Friday, A World Where, Gay Future, The Great Chameleon War, Fun City, Dreambound, Paired, and The Rest Is Electric.
The science fiction entertainment industry has used podcasts as a medium to test out new ideas for TV and film because it's cheap and easy to produce a podcast. Science fiction podcasts have been adapted into books, comics, and film. For instance, Sword and Laser has been adapted into a book. The Bright Sessions was adapted into young novels, the first of which is entitled The Infinite Noise. In 2019, The Bright Sessions was being adapted into a TV series. The Second Oil Age is intended to be adapted into a television series. Carrier has been adapted into a movie. The Cryptids audio podcast has been adapted into a video podcast. Science fiction magazines have been adapted into podcasts or vice versa. For instance, the Escape Pod magazine podcast and the Clarkesworld Magazine podcast. The Left Right Game is being adapted into a TV series. Voyage to the stars was adapted into a comic series. Limetown was adapted to film. There have also been podcasts entirely based on films such as Doctor Who and The Twilight Zone.
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