EscapePod was started by Steve Eley back in 2005 with the idea to bring fun, thought provoking short (half hour to an hour) speculative fiction. Steve later spun off two additional podcasts, PodCastle devoted to fantasy and PseudoPod devoted to horror, leaving EscapePod primarily for science fiction. All three podcasts are under the EscapeArtists umbrella and you can comment on stories from all three casts at the forums there.
From the beginning, EscapePod had a homey feeling. As Steve introduced each story, you got the feeling he was talking directly to you, and his own life angst came through sometimes, making EscpaePod a very personal experience. In the early years Steve read most of the stories himself but gradually brought in a lot of guest narrators. In 2009 Steve stepped down as the chief and passed the editorship of EscapePod off to Mur Lafferty. She and Norm Sherman (of the Drabblecast) trade off hosting the show now. The stories are still great. Mur and Norm don't share as much of their personal lives as Steve did, but are excellent hosts, especially Norm who I will elaborate on in the Drabblecast entry.
The stories are still a half hour to an hour of fun science fiction. Super hero stories are also included here, instead at PodCastle and there is a very popular series called Union Dues by Jeffrey R. DeRego that features stories first on EscapePod.
There is a warning at the beginning if any material will be unsuitable for sensitive listeners, right after the weird female robot voice annouces the story. The weird voice is usually unintelligible so just wait for Mur or Norm to repeat it in the intro. Steve Eley always started the story with "it's story time," something all subsequent introducers have stuck with.
Top Episodes you should check out. This is some of fun, amazing science fiction at its best.
EP Episode 144 Friction
EP Episode 008 Blood of Virgins
EP Episode 169 How I Mounted Goldie, Saved My Partner Lori, and Sniffed out the People's Justice
EP Episode 124 Save Me Plz
EP Episode 100 Nightfall
EP Episode 101 The 43 Antarean Dynasties
EP Episode 143 Flaming Marshmallow and Other Deaths
EP Episode 115 Conversations with and About My Electric Toothbrush
EP Episode 105 Impossible Dreams
EP Episode 146 Edward Bear and the Very Lonely Walk
EP Episode 148 Homecoming at the Borderlands Cafe