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What better way to stay in touch with all things fandom than following these fandom podcasters?
When we previously delved into the online world of geek podcasting with our list of the best geeky podcasts, we noticed that many of the top shows were helmed by guys.
And there’s nothing wrong with that—those shows are awesome. But luckily for us, there’s recently been an increase in the number of podcasts emerging from fanworks-based, female-dominated corners of fandom. These types of podcasts are more often run by women and more generally devoted to things like fanfiction, slash, and as well as general geek news.
So we decided to celebrate some of our favorite multi-fandom podcasts run by women. So, bring on the voices critiquing, fangirling, and shaping geek culture!
Black Girl Nerds has practically become a household name among blerds online, and titular nerd Jamie Broadnax’s weekly podcast is a big part of why. Featuring an endless list of geeky guests as well as recurring familiar faces, the BGN podcast is incredibly far-reaching, with eps delving into everything from Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark to twitching while black.
The Crafting System is a new podcast—it just started in December—but it’s already crammed to the brim with geekery, and it comes with a unique spin on fandom. Told from the perspective of two fangirls who love knitting geek patterns, it explores various ways of creating fanworks for an extraordinary variety of fandoms. The first episode alone veers from discussion of classic Heinlein sci-fi to Sailor Moon to fandom tea, and includes fanfic recs, book recs, and a whole lot more. And the annotations are off-the-chart impressive.
This podcast started last summer and has quietly run through over 30 episodes. With a primary focus on TV and movie fandom, The Shipping Room‘s goal is to analyze the ins and outs of shipping—why we do it, what ships we love, what we can learn from cultural romantic tropes both good and skeevy. Best of all, the podcast explores many of fandom’s most beloved ships from shows past and present.
Slashcast was one of the earliest multi-fandom podcasts run by slash fangirls, and it impressively ran over a 10-year period, producing 42 episodes that provide a nostalgic and in many cases revealing glimpse into a decade of fan culture. And many episodes, like 2006’s “Dear Mr. Popstar,” and the final episode, “Tumblr and the New Direction of Fandom,” still feel like they could have been produced yesterday.
5) Slash Report
The fandom podcast that pretty much started the trend of fangirls podcasting about their own fandom experiences, Slash Report (sometimes stylized / Report) is an unabashed, smart celebration of slash fandom, slash fic, and fandom culture. Two opinionated fangirls and a rotating guest list run through a wide range of fandoms and contemporary issues facing fandom, with a satisfying bevvy of fanfic recs into the bargain.
6) Woman Up
In this podcast, two self-described “feminist cat-ladies” discuss games, movies, TV shows, comics, books, and more. The show started out as a Star Wars-only podcast called The Rebel Base before hosts OhCatrina and SarahtheRebel branched out to more general geek topics and began livestreaming on Twitch and YouTube.
Professional fangirls run this podcast devoted to discussion about all things related to online fanworks-based fandom. Flourish Klink, who is a producer, screenwriter, and fandom consultant and Elizabeth Minkel, a fandom journalist who writes for The New Statesman and The Guardian, explore the modern fannish experience, mainly by arguing about it. Subjects range from forays into Wattpad and One Direction fandom to interviews with a wide-ranging number of voices from various fandom communities.
This podcast hails from the book blogosphere and is run by two nerds with interests in both the nerdy and the literary—Ana Grilo, one half of popular book review site The Book Smugglers, and Renay, member of sci-fi feminist review site Lady Business. Each week, they discuss a different aspect of fangirl culture and pick a different subject to fangirl over. (Full disclosure: I was on an episode discussing the amazing Inception fandom, and had a great time!)
Billed as a monthly BL (Boys Love) manga book club, this podcast only just started, but already these three longtime manga and doujinshi readers have produced quality episodes devoted to examining Boys Love manga through multiple lenses, bringing in everything from Foucault to fanfic tropes to mainstream anime fandom. Even if you’ve never picked up a Japanese comic, you’ll learn a lot from these discussions about fandom in general.
Fanfiction is the fuel that drives female-dominated fandom, so it only makes sense that there’s a podcast devoted just to fic. Featuring an anonymous moderator and a rotating guest list, OTPodcast dives deep into the ins and outs of fanfiction and the culture around fanfiction, exploring everything from headcanons and fanon to the much-misunderstood relationship between fanfic and erotica. If you divide most of your time between Tumblr and AO3, this podcast is one you don’t want to miss. As a bonus, they save all their fic recs as AO3 bookmarks, so you have easy access to reading material.
Another relatively recent addition to the fandom podcast roster, Our Friday Call began broadcasting last summer and has put out an intermittent number of episodes since. The nice thing about this podcast is that while it covers a wide range of slash-centric fandoms it often branches out—one episode is devoted to Jane Austen; another is focused on fandom crafting and actually includes a wonderful assortment of sewing and knitting recs. As a bonus, the slash fic recs are both high-quality and numerous.
Run by two longtime slash fans, this podcast updates regularly and focuses on fandom news, fandom history, and contemporary fandom events as well as geek culture happenings and movie and TV reviews. Blunt and entertaining, this one will keep you informed and give you find plenty to snark about, along with your usual dose of fangirl squee.
Illustration by Max Fleishman
Aja Romano is a geek culture reporter and fandom expert. Their reporting at the Daily Dot covered everything from Harry Potter and anime to Tumblr and Gamergate. Romano joined Vox as a staff reporter in 2016.