Last month I was lucky enough to be a judge for the finals of the Parsec Awards. For anyone who doesn’t know, the Parsecs are all about spec fiction podcasts, and are given out at DragonCon. I got to hear some really cool Podcasts, and as the awards were given out this past weekend, I thought I’d share a few of my favorites. After all, I figure some of you might be looking for shows to supplement your Night Vale Radio episodes. If you don’t know what that is, I don’t even know what to say to you…

Hadron Gospel Hour

HGH won the Parsec this year for ‘Best Speculative Fiction Audio Drama (Long Form)’ and I can’t say I’m surprised. This sci-fi comedy is funny, well written, well acted, and well produced. Overall just a great show. The best I can describe it is something like an American feeling Dr. Who with more of an emphasis on comedy. I laughed out loud more than once when listening during my commute. If you’re into zany comedy, geekiness, and dimension hopping shenanigans, this one’s for you.

Wolf 359

This one falls more directly into the sci-fi camp, but spans the gamut across comedy and drama. Also well acted, written, and produced, I really enjoyed this show. It started out funny and then switched gears and ratcheted up the tension dramatically. I won’t reveal too much but let me just say, giant, mutant spiders… in your shirt. *runs off and twitches for a while*. Overall it was funnier for me than scarier or anything, but it really balanced things well in both realms. It’s worth a listen.

The Once and Future Nerd

It’s hard for me to describe TOAFN as this fantasy show kept defying my expectations. Every time I thought I knew where it was going, it would take a left turn on me. Not in a bad way, don’t get me wrong, but it just swung through really wide swaths of territory, including comedy, action, and serious drama to name a few. All of the important staples are here (good acting, writing, producing) and then mixed in is a pretty cool concept with some interesting characters to boot. I found this show really stood out as unique from the rest and worth a few hours to dive into for something a bit different.

So check out one (or all) of these shows. I think you’ll enjoy yourself.