Imaginary Worlds

Series produced by Eric Molinsky

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Imaginary Worlds sounds like what would happen if NPR went to ComicCon and decided that’s all they ever wanted to cover.

Host Eric Molinsky spent over a decade working as a public radio reporter and producer, and he uses those skills to create thoughtful, sound-rich episodes about science fiction, fantasy, and other genres of speculative fiction. Every other week, he talks with comic book artists, game designers, novelists, screenwriters, filmmakers, and fans about how they craft their worlds, why we suspend our disbelief, and what happens if the spell is broken. Imaginary worlds may be set on distant planets or parallel dimensions, but they are crafted here on Earth and they’re always about us and our lived experiences.


230 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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We look at the sizzling hot trend of fantasy romance novels or romantasy – how it emerged into a dominant cultural force and why it’s giving fantas...

  • Added: Jun 19, 2024
  • Length: 38:13
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I talk with novelist Malinda Lo about how her books and other queer fantasy stories are being targeted in the current book banning mania. Plus, we ...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Jun 05, 2024
  • Length: 39:29
  • Purchases: 1
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Did you know that in retirement, George Lucas decided to host a live talk show with his sidekick Watto? That’s the conceit of The George Lucas Talk...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: May 22, 2024
  • Length: 40:36
  • Purchases: 1
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We put a quarter in the slot and a cartridge into the console to boot up the story of Shigeru Miyamoto – the genius behind Donkey Kong, Super Mario...

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  • Added: May 08, 2024
  • Length: 34:57
  • Purchases: 1
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A father’s final wish, a son’s creative and personal journey -- how the Lone Wolf series of game books found a new lease on life.

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Apr 24, 2024
  • Length: 30:27
  • Purchases: 1
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We look at how Africanfuturist writers have been imagining the future of climate change on the African continent and why their visions of the futur...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Apr 10, 2024
  • Length: 35:59
  • Purchases: 1
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I talk with language creator David J. Peterson about how he developed the language of the Fremen in the Dune films along with his wife and collabor...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Mar 22, 2024
  • Length: 44:18
  • Purchases: 1
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What does 19th century women’s rights activist Matilda Joslyn Gage have in common with Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz? Gage’s spirit and ideas live ...

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  • Added: Mar 13, 2024
  • Length: 33:22
  • Purchases: 1
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We conclude our mini-series on 1984 by looking at Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Transformers. Each one dominated TV and the toy aisles, even if ...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Feb 28, 2024
  • Length: 37:30
  • Purchases: 1
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In the second installment of our mini-series on 1984 (the year, not the novel) we look at William Gibson’s groundbreaking book Neuromancer, and how...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Feb 14, 2024
  • Length: 36:30
  • Purchases: 1
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This year marks the 40th anniversary of a lot of great villain debuts from The Terminator to Freddy Krueger. We look at why they don’t make bad guy...

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  • Added: Jan 31, 2024
  • Length: 33:31
  • Purchases: 1
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This week, I was thrilled to talk with Jane Wu, the director of the amazing Netflix series Blue Eye Samurai. We talk about why she took a live acti...

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  • Added: Jan 17, 2024
  • Length: 36:15
  • Purchases: 1
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This week’s episode comes from the excellent podcast The Last Archive, where they delve into the backstory behind Ursula K. le Guin's outlook on sc...

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  • Added: Jan 03, 2024
  • Length: 45:51
  • Purchases: 1
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This week’s episode is an original audio drama. It’s been a while since I’ve interviewed fictional characters on the show. As we head into the holi...

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  • Added: Dec 20, 2023
  • Length: 27:41
  • Purchases: 1
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We get back in the TARDIS. In honor of Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary, I’ve rewritten my 2018 episode about Doctor Who with lots of updates on how t...

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  • Added: Dec 06, 2023
  • Length: 36:03
  • Purchases: 1
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One Piece is one of the most popular franchises in the world. The secret to its success may be the series creator Eiichiro Oda’s genius at writing ...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Nov 22, 2023
  • Length: 29:47
  • Purchases: 1
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So many aspects of Norse mythology perfectly fit modern action movies and fantasy genres. But bridging the gap between the values of the Vikings an...

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  • Added: Nov 08, 2023
  • Length: 34:48
  • Purchases: 1
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This week, I talk with Kritika H. Rao, Shveta Thakrar, Roshani Chokshi, and Ram V about the joys and challenges of writing Hindu-inspired fantasy s...

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  • Added: Oct 25, 2023
  • Length: 32:24
  • Purchases: 1
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Which is scarier, paying off a 30-year mortgage or living with an evil spirit? We look at whether horror movies about haunted houses are really abo...

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  • Added: Oct 11, 2023
  • Length: 31:07
  • Purchases: 1
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John Roesch may be one of the prolific actors in the film industry even if you’ve never seen his face or heard his voice. That’s because a great fo...

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  • Added: Sep 27, 2023
  • Length: 29:20
  • Purchases: 1