What is Audio Fiction?
Hopefully as the name indicates, it's any sort of fictional story told through an audio medium. The oldest form of storytelling, pre-dating written language, it's been delivered in podcast form since about 2004.
What's a podcast?
It's a set of audio files delivered via RSS feed. They can be fiction, non-fiction, chat shows, documentaries, true crime and more.
What's a fiction podcast?
Please combine the first two answers to solve this ancient riddle. Otherwise, consider the possibility that a fiction podcast is a fictional story told through mp3 files, delivered via RSS feed.
What's an RSS feed?
RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication", and it was originally created as a way of getting news-style items delivered automatically over the internet. For podcast purposes, essentially it's just a small digital file, usually with a .rss or .xml extension, and written with very particular formatting.
This formatting specifies overall show and episode information and is updated automatically when new episodes come out. If you need to use it, you usually just need the internet link to where the RSS feed file is stored, such as this link here to the Audio Fiction Trailers feed: https://audiofiction.co.uk/rss.xml.
How do I listen to a podcast?
Many different ways. Often a podcast will have its own website, which may have a media player built in - see for example the show pages on this website, on which you just need to click the "play" button. Otherwise, there are many mobile apps built specifically for listening to podcasts, such as Apple Podcasts, Podcast Addict, Spotify and more.
You can either search the title of the podcast in the app, or it may have an "add an RSS feed" option (Spotify doesn't), where you just need to copy the link of the RSS feed. Sometimes it may be hard to find a particular podcast, if it has a very generic title, so try also searching the "creator" on the show page and that might help narrow it down.
What is this website?
An attempt to make my audio fiction podcast database more available, as it currently exists mostly as a massive spreadsheet.
Where do you find all of these podcasts?
A daily Twitter search with a lot of "AND"s and "OR"s, Google Alerts, various other search engines, and a couple of compatriots who help fill in the gaps, who don't necessarily want credited publicly.
What's the difference between Audio Fiction, Audio Drama, Actual Plays and Audio Books?
It depends on who you ask! More specifically, for the purposes of this website:
Audio Fiction = Any fiction story told via an audio medium.
Audio Drama = A performed/dramatised script, with one or more actors performing as a number of characters. This can be improvised or scripted in advance.
Audio Book = A reading of prose, whether a novel or collection of short stories, with a main reader and possibly additional people reading the dialogue of characters.
Audio RPG or Actual Play (or "live play" or "real play") = A recording, either edited or not, of a single person or group of people playing a tabletop RPG (role-playing game).
Other terms you might see are "theatre of the mind", "movies for your mind", "audio movie", "audio theatre", "audio play", "radio play", "old time radio", "radio drama", "radio theatre".
Can I tell you about my Audio Fiction podcast?
Is it available via a publicly accessible RSS Feed? Then submit your audio fiction podcast here.
Is there anything you don't collect?
I don't include straight readings of public domain works (there's just too many & I don't think it adds much - I also object to the people who monetise LibriVox) or any RSS feeds that include a significant portion (probably more than half) of non-fiction episodes, even if you've got some fiction works in there. I also skip any podcasts that are trying to release as NFTs; are entirely voiced by text to speech (TTS) engines, whether AI or not; are intended as sleep aids; or are better suited to GWA.
Can I support this work?
Is there anywhere else I can see these podcasts?
I've been collating new fiction podcasts since 2019, and sharing them via the @AudioDramaDebut twitter account and the Cambridge Geek monthly release posts. The @AudioFictionUK twitter account does daily posts celebrating show anniversaries. And subscribers to my patreon get weekly emails of every new show I find.
Have you got a really simple way of parsing an RSS feed?
What an odd question. It's almost as if this is just a way of putting a link somewhere without fiddling with the main menu. Perhaps this RSS Reader may be of use to you.
How many shows are in this database?
Have a graph, data nerds! (Sporadically updated, until I figure out how to pull it straight from the mysql.)