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.


228 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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It will never be a holiday classic – far, far from it. But can we redeem the greatest villain in the Star Wars universe, the 1978 made-for-TV Star ...

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  • Added: Dec 24, 2019
  • Length: 21:48
  • Purchases: 1
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They took over the world. They crushed our heroes. Now they feel bad. What does it take for a villain to be redeemed -- and what does it take for u...

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  • Added: Dec 11, 2019
  • Length: 23:44
  • Purchases: 1
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In the first of a two part series on villains, we look at four of the most popular villains today who don’t want to take over the world. They want ...

  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 21:57
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Ron Moore's new show For All Mankind imagines what if the Soviet Union landed a man on the moon first? What if that nightmare scenario forced NASA ...

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  • Added: Nov 13, 2019
  • Length: 31:34
  • Purchases: 1
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In Jason Suran’s show The Other Side, he keeps reminding the audience that he cannot talk to the dead. Then why does he do such a good job of convi...

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  • Added: Oct 16, 2019
  • Length: 28:06
  • Purchases: 1
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In 1954, director Ishiro Honda and composer Akira Ifukube disagreed about what Godzilla represented. But their collaboration added layers of depth ...

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  • Added: Oct 02, 2019
  • Length: 24:20
  • Purchases: 2
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Neon Genesis Evangelion ran only one year in Japan but it’s still creating ripple effects across global pop culture today.

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  • Added: Sep 18, 2019
  • Length: 32:59
  • Purchases: 1
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Disney’s “live action” remakes of their classic films are a box office bonanza. Can they spark nostalgia for the original films -- and the art of h...

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  • Added: Sep 04, 2019
  • Length: 27:07
  • Purchases: 1
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Masks, capes, secret identities – Mexican wrestling (aka Lucha Libre) has a lot in common with the superhero genre. But trying to be a superhero ha...

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  • Added: Aug 07, 2019
  • Length: 27:59
  • Purchases: 1
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Legendary audio drama producer Dirk Maggs reveals tricks of the trade he used to bring The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Alien, The X-Files and...

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  • Added: Jul 24, 2019
  • Length: 30:31
  • Purchases: 1
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The Undertaker has dominated the WWE for decades -- but he’s also a throwback to a different era of wrestling when a supernatural character could r...

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  • Added: Jul 10, 2019
  • Length: 31:17
  • Purchases: 2
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The sci-fi fantasy market is a hot commodity, but it’s also drawn in swindlers with the skills to create fake props and believable backstories abou...

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  • Added: Jun 26, 2019
  • Length: 28:32
  • Purchases: 1
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Burlesque has merged with geek culture to form nerdlesque – where characters from Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who and other fantasy franchises str...

  • Added: Jun 12, 2019
  • Length: 24:40
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In the conclusion of our mini-series on sidekicks, we look at how Harley Quinn began as a sidekick to a villain, and found her way to the heart of ...

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  • Added: May 29, 2019
  • Length: 26:31
  • Purchases: 2
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There wasn’t anything authentic about Tonto and Kato, but that didn’t matter to the audiences who enjoyed their team-ups with The Lone Ranger and T...

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  • Added: May 15, 2019
  • Length: 29:12
  • Purchases: 1
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In part one of my mini-series on sidekicks, I look at why Doctor Watson is the most iconic and long-standing sidekick in pop culture.

  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 27:58
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Rod Serling's voice is still speaking to us well beyond The Twilight Zone.

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  • Added: Apr 17, 2019
  • Length: 32:47
  • Purchases: 2
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When Joseph Campbell first wrote about The Hero's Journey, he didn't intend it to become a blueprint for blockbuster SF franchises. Could 2019 be t...

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  • Added: Apr 05, 2019
  • Length: 31:02
  • Purchases: 1
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Kurt Vonnegut had a unique way of processing his wartime trauma -- he used science fiction. But why did the aliens in Slaughterhouse Five look like...

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  • Added: Mar 20, 2019
  • Length: 01:01:46
  • Purchases: 1
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How a pioneering pulp fiction magazine illustrator reimagined women for fantasy and horror genres.

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  • Added: Mar 06, 2019
  • Length: 25:46
  • Purchases: 2