Now that I have an actual database, I’m able to do some fun things that may be worthy of an article of interest to people like me (and you, I hope!) who prefer to “binge” or “mainline” their audio fiction. This is my first attempt at that. My hope is that a) there will be more, and b) these data-driven posts will add the conversation and be of value to listeners and creators of audio fiction alike.
Using the data I have—which is almost exclusively based off of submissions from fiction podcast creators—I see that a total of 20 shows posted either a season finale or the series conclusion sometime in October. Now, compare that to the 127 shows that started posting episodes in October, as compiled by The Cambrige Geek.
Why the discrepancy between starts and finishes? My money is on one simple thing, and it’s the simple thing that led me to create The End in the first place—starting a fiction podcast is relatively simple compared to finishing one. Podfading is real, and though I don’t have the data to back this up, it seems logical that it’s even more prevalent when it comes to making audio drama. Because even though I am not an audio fiction creator, I do know that that shit is hard. Like, really hard.
So I want to start by saying congrats to the creators who reached a season finale or the series conclusion last month. You hit a milestone that, if the data here is to be considered representative, most do not. My hat’s off to you.
Now, for fans of audio fiction like me, let’s get into the cream of the crop, shall we? And I'm not going to write this like a recipe post. I'm just going to give you the pertinent info. You decide what to investigate further. Click on the title/image for more info. Or you can visit the show's official website or play a trailer. That's enough to get your started, I reckon. Oh, and I present these in no particular order. I enjoyed each of them immensely.
Evo's Picks for the Best Fiction Podcasts Completed in October 2023
Series complete as of October 12, 2023
Starring Elizabeth Henstridge, Jeff Ward, Gregory Stees and Emma Roberts, Conference Call follows Julie Burke as she partners with eccentric entrepreneurs "The Toade Bros.”
Julie patiently helps the Toades desperately pitch their half-baked ideas to a string of bewildered investors. Poring over hours of cringeworthy recorded phone calls from this oddball tech company, our (fake) investigative podcaster, Charlotte Dunn, delivers a story of incompetence, fraud, and betrayal. After the Toades manage to do the unthinkable, Julie is left with no choice but to take action.
Evo's take: This one had me laughing out loud more than once. It's a parody of true crime/investigative podcasts, and it's exceedingly good!
Dramatized modern fiction from WGC Productions
Season 2 finale released October 5, 2023
A recently recovered drug addict tries to start her new lease on life, too bad life has it out for her. This dramatic comedy follows Marisol through the ups and downs of a week in her life.
Note from creator: It heavily features Queer Black characters and actors.
Evo's take: This is an up-close and raw look at addiction, coping, and surviving. And by "raw", I mean that's how it leaves your nerves feeling sometimes. Other times, you're laughing out loud. Kinda like life, yeah? It's a powerful tale.
Dramatised scifi from GravyTree Media
Season 1 finale released October 3, 2023
Introducing Everyone’s Happy, a thrilling sci-fi audio drama set in a futuristic United Kingdom, where Dome-covered cities are governed by the Happiness Programme—a government-mandated drug eliminating negative emotions for universal bliss.
Seventeen-year-old Parker, a relatable outcast struggling with her emotions, inherits a set of mysterious tapes from her late grandmother, unravelling her own tumultuous journey and a hidden legacy.
Lurking beneath the Dome’s facade of utopia, a few individuals remain immune to the drug’s influence. The System, an all-seeing government, monitors citizens for any signs of negative emotions, and being labeled immune spells unimaginable consequences. When Parker discovers the truth about her family she is thrust into a perilous fight for survival in the harsh, climate-ravaged wilderness outside.
Joined by loyal friend Ben and Resistance member Sid, Parker embarks upon an adventure of identity, rebellion, and the pursuit of truth in this riveting audio drama.
Starring REBEKAH MCLOUGHLIN (The Amelia Project), PAZY IQBAL (Britain’s Next Film Superstar; Game of Thrones: Season 8 Redux), HARRY GILL (Rise of the Mummy, The Fence) & with special guest JULES HUDSON (Escape to the Country) as the voice of the SYSTEM.
Evo's take: I'm a sucker for dystopian fiction, even stories like this that aren't post-apocalypic. But it's a good plot with excellent voice talent. You should listen.
Dramatized comedy mystery from Caspian Studios
Season 1 finale released October 31, 2023
It’s Jemma’s (Kate Mara) first day as Employee Experience Manager at Peace of Ship, an AI-powered tech startup. When her colleague Larry is electrocuted during the company All-Hands, she uncovers a terrible secret. It was murder! Now, she and her Chief People Officer, Nicholas (Brett Gelman), are tasked with finding the killer. She must use her HR skills to investigate her toxic colleagues – without becoming the next victim.
Presented by Gympass. Starring Kate Mara and Brett Gelman. A Caspian Studios Production.
Evo's take: This show is quite absurd (and I love absurd things) with great sound and a fun storyline. Interestingly enough, it also features a giant and for-real product placement throughout. But really, that's not an issue. Just settle in and enjoy not have to fast-forward through ad breaks!
New Seasons Started in October That Evo Is Most Excited About
The last section of each newsletter for The End is a look ahead at the next four weeks or so. You won't find brand new shows in here, but you will find a list of audio fiction shows that are soon returning with a new season. You can enjoy the prior completed seasons while you wait, if that's your jam.
According to my data, there were 18 audio fiction shows that returned with new seasons in October. These are not (yet) complete, so you decide if you want to wait or you feel like jumping in and catching up with the prior seasons. That's up to you. Me? I'm going to tell you which ones I fell in love with during their prior seasons and am looking forward to listening to when this new season is complete. (Spoiler: I've already listened to some that the creators generously sent me advance copies of.)
Keep your eyes—or, sure, ears—on these returning shows:
Dramatized urban fantasy series from Lex Noteboom
Season 2 started October 1, 2023
They call me Sleeper. I worked the same brain dead job, at the same fast food place, all of my life. And I’ve always lived in the same town. No one that lives in Corvat, ever leaves. Until today. Today I leave. Join my on my adventure. An audio drama podcast, by the creator of THE DECA TAPES.
Evo's take: You know how dreams feel totally normal during the dream while one scene seamlessly transitions to another, and it all just… works? At least in the dream state? That’s kind of what I felt like listening to the 2nd season of Leaving Corvat. And I mean that in a good way! It's trippy, surreal, and a heck of a ride.
Dramatized scifi thriller from Curiouscast
Season 3 started October 9, 2023
Sara and Noah wake up in complete darkness, trapped miles below the Denver International Airport (DIA) with no hope for escape. Join their perilous journey as they struggle for freedom from a mind-bending labyrinth filled with unimaginable horrors. Their only hope could come from the complete stranger they can send voice messages to.
Escaping Denver dives straight into the deep end of conspiracy theories surrounding the Denver International Airport.
Evo's take: This is a solid suspense thriller that never really takes a break. Which makes it perfect for binging too!
Season 2 started October 30, 2023
A multi award-winning dystopian sci-fi drama of loss, isolation and hope, about a woman navigating a post-apocalyptic future.
2069 Valen is the first woman on the moon. No fanfare though, just an engineer doing her job. She likes her work, and her posting, but sometimes it gets lonely.
2089 Earth is silent. Chaika leaves the moonbase where she was born in search of… someone… anyone. Is she the only human left?
Note from creator: Woman-led. Strong representation of characters and voice actors whose first language is not English.
Evo's take: What I loved most about this production is how much I lost myself to it. I often find myself rushing ahead or trying to put pieces together as I listen. But with Chaika, it was headphones on, eyes closed, and immerse myself in the world.
That’s the list! I’m considering doing one of these each month, and then probably an annual “best of” posts.
Got a favorite audio fiction show—either a fiction podcast, an audiodrama, an audiobook, or something else—that I should know about? Search for it on the site first (I might already have it in the queue), and, if it’s not there, tell me about it using the simple 2-minute submission form. My goal is to showcase as much completed audio fiction as I can, and to feature the best of the best!
Thanks for reading. See you next month. Or next week, if you’re subscribed to the newsletter. Because you are subscribed to the newsletter, right? RIGHT?!