The Sonic Society

Showcasing the very best in new Audio Drama

Welcome To The Sonic Society!

Each week Jack Ward and David Ault are pleased to showcase the very best Modern Audio Theatre (Radio Drama) from around the world. From the days of Old Time Radio in the early 20th century until the modern age of broadcasts, podcasts, and streaming simulcasts, audio plays are movies for the mind!

June 2019
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Sonic Society #608- Long Live the Queen

Posted By on June 23, 2019

In our penultimate episode of Season 14, Jack and David feature the past with the pilot episode of Victoriocity: “”Even Greater London” and give a sneak look into Lindsay Graham’s 1865.

Sonic Society #607- Audio in the AM

Posted By on June 16, 2019

This week Jack and David look at the incredibly popular King Falls AM with the first four shows include the series pilot, “The Book is Overdue”, “Catch & Release”, and “Wolves Gone Wild”!

Sonic Society #606- Chronospheric Cacophony

Posted By on June 9, 2019

This week Jack and David introduce the incredible Chronosphehre Fiction with parts one and two of “Jopp’s Folly” by Patrick Edwards and produced by Daniel French!

Three Reasons to Say “Audio Drama” and not “Audio Fiction”

Posted By on June 2, 2019

Well over a decade ago, we remember the conversation well: “What should we call radio drama now that it’s having a resurgence on the Internet?”

On the Sonic Society, you can hear us
ruminate in our show intros considering a number of terms- audio drama, audio theatre, audio plays, audio pulp, audio cinema, audio movies etc… It became clear that a single term was needed to best to describe the medium. Most people decided that “radio drama” didn’t cut it, because the medium wasn’t limited to radio anymore. So, almost by default, the consensus circled their wagons around: “Audio Drama”. And it has been that way ever since.

At least, it was. Recently, with the public discovering podcasts (Isn’t it amazing?!), audio stories have become hot commodities. About five years ago, on the Sonic Society, we recommended the name “Podficts” for podcast fiction. A lot of people rejected that moniker, but the term “podcast fiction” stuck as news agencies, anxious to come up with a global term for story in sound, tossed out as many things that didn’t say “old-fashioned radio drama” as possible. Naturally, folks jumped on the bandwagon. New producers rebranded their theatre-of-the-mind as “audio fiction”. But, there may be good reason not to jump ships midstream.

Now if you’re not running an audio drama podcast this wouldn’t apply. Maybe you’re reading short fiction stories, or non-fiction stories, or articles. In those cases, “audio fiction” is probably your best label. But, if you’re producing in the medium of multi-cast audio theatre here’s a couple of reasons to keep the name “Audio Drama”:

  1. Podcast or Audio Fiction is very generic. Imagine labelling movies as “Visual Stories”. Stories of the visual medium could be watching a puppet show in a public library, a YouTube clip of someone freaking out over the latest celebrity drama, a dramatic reading on the Oprah Winfrey show, almost anything that’s visually entertaining. Audio Drama is a very specific term for a very specific medium. Most people would be upset if they drove to a theatre expecting to watch “King Lear” and found instead they paid tickets for a political rally.
  2. In general, resist any “hot” new term like the plague. There’s only one “Serial” podcast. Only one “Welcome to Nightvale”. Only one “No Sleep Podcast”. Attempts to mimic their successes have usually fallen flat. Audiences want an original vision and not pale copies. Popular Culture in an attempt to always be relevant, continually tries to rebrand. They rarely succeed.
  3. The Audio Drama Community is growing but it’s small. Fracturing it with different labels risks losing our audience. It is a risk tagging “audio fiction” alone. Most of the audience, reviewers, and awards committees will be looking for “Audio Drama” and “Radio Drama”. Help them find you. Help them find us all.

Every time someone asks what is our favourite “audio fiction” podcast, we need clarification. Because our first thought is, “Do they mean Audio Drama? No, they must mean an audiobook podcast, right?”

In the Sonic Society, we love all audio tales. There’s no hierarchy of quality when it comes to terms. But, choosing the wrong term certainly creates confusion. “Audio Drama” is here to stay. Why not revel in it?

After all, “New Coke” successfully replaced “Coke Classic” right? Oh, wait a minute…

Sonic Society #605- Uncanny Audio

Posted By on June 2, 2019

Step into Uncanny County this week as Jack Ward and David Ault feature two great shows from this series- “A Thing for Machines” and “Irreconcilable Differences”!

Sonic Echo: 305 Your Truly

Posted By on May 26, 2019

Today the Amigos have a look at one of the longest running and last mystery series Yours Truly Johnny Dollar

Sonic Society #604- Travellin’ Tones

Posted By on May 26, 2019

This week David and Jack bring the first two episodes, “The Rabbit Catcher” and “If I Was a Superhero”, from The Van an audio drama from WhaleBus.

Sonic Society #603- Unseen Voices

Posted By on May 19, 2019

This week David and Jack present the madcap marvels of the new series The Unseen Hour including their episode 42 feature- “Sciatica” and their second short “The Dance of the Gigantic Vermin”.

Sonic Society #602- Audio Fictional

Posted By on May 12, 2019

Jack Ward and David Ault bring a trio of Audio Fiction stories told in first person including The Prickwillow Papers, The Ninth World Journals, and Girl in Space!

Sonic Speaks: 0402- Magically Speaking with Kennedy and Christopher

Posted By on May 5, 2019

In the summer of 2018 Jack sat down with the creators and producers of the amazing hit fantasy series Magus Elgar Kennedy Phillips and Christopher Moore, who just partnered with Fictional Cafe!