I got a subscription to Podcastle after I started submitting my stories to them (so far, I've made it into their second round, but no sale yet). They've easily been my favorite podcast, and the one I listen to the most. Not every story is a hit for me, but the ones that are, including "Opals and Clay" by Nino Cipri, "Hands of Burnished Bronze" by Rebecca Schwartz, and "Beat Softly My Wings of Steel" by Beth Cato, have knocked it out of the park. These are great stories--the worlds and characters the writers create are unique and original, yet so real it feels you could visit them in real life. The narrators are expressive without overwhelming the text. I'd recommend Podcastle to anyone who enjoys fantasy or listening to stories--it's perfect for a daily commute.
2. Escape Pod
I got a subscription to Escape Pod for the same reasons I started listening to Podcastle, at the same time. Of course, Escape Pod and Podcastle are own by the same company, but while Podcastle is dedicated to fantasy, Escape Pod is for science fiction (Pseudopod is their horror podcast, which I've submitted to, but not subscribed to yet--I'm afraid it might be too scary for me:). Escape Pod was the first podcast I ever listened to--I decided to give it a try since I hadn't picked a new book on Audible yet. I haven't heard as many Escape Pod stories as I have Podcastle stories, but the ones I have listened to are very good. I especially loved "Among the Living," by John Markley, a haunting tale about a futuristic firefighter in the aftermath of a terrible disaster, beautiful and heart-rending. It's well worth checking out for fans of scifi.
As anyone who follows my blog knows, I love Renaissance Festivals. So when I found the Renaissance Festival Podcast, I couldn't resist checking it out. It was fun and vibrant, more like a festival news show than an audio story. Though it's different in tone than Podcastle or Escape Pod, I loved hearing the wide variety of music and discussions--even the "commercials" were funny and enjoyable.