Science fiction fans have, themselves, discovered that radio is the perfect medium through which they can contribute to the mythology of their favourite films and shows. Among the most professional are Shaven Wookie Productions' Star Wars series, and The Furry Conflict, which the makers describe as "a creative and critical take-off of Star Trek and Star Wars...set in a cartoon-like world."
In this article I have focused on audio productions made in Britain and America, but many other countries have played their part in the history of science fiction radio. A quick search of the Internet will turn up several sites dedicated to the contribution this medium has made to the history of the genre. And the existence of these sites isn't all that Web access has done to keep science fiction audio drama alive.
For would-be producers, audio has one big advantage over visual media. It's cheap. All you need is a good microphone, actors who can enunciate and a sound effects collection. The availability of e-mail and web-hosting options means that you don't even need a license to broadcast your efforts. Simply save your play as an MP3 and anyone can download it. Who said it was hard to get into broadcasting?
Radio also has unique virtues for science fiction fans. Many plays are available as Internet downloads and players are easily portable. The spread of high-speed Internet access and the advent of podcasting mean that potential listeners can also get material wherever there is an Internet connection. Moreover, access to Internet radio is less restricted by copyright considerations or the range of television and radio transmitters.
With science fiction film and television blockbusters capturing the headlines, it is easy to forget that radio is out there. If you are a science fiction fan, though, don't dismiss audio drama as a thing of the past. It may rely on old technology, but it still has much to offer those of us who love tales of the future.