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.


225 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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Bonnie Erickson explains how she came up with the designs for Miss Piggy, Waldorf and Statler, and other characters on The Muppet Show. And we talk...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: May 10, 2023
  • Length: 33:10
  • Purchases: 1
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Why a magic trick from the Victorian era has become one of the hottest visual effects in theme parks and other live entertainment.

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: May 24, 2023
  • Length: 27:14
  • Purchases: 1
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Why are so many young authors turning toward the tradition of Gothic literature? Is it because we’re haunted by a past that’s still hard to confront?

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  • Added: Jun 07, 2023
  • Length: 32:22
  • Purchases: 1
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What makes Warhammer one of the most popular tabletop games on the planet? There’s the gameplay, the miniatures and the lore. But what unites them ...

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  • Added: Jun 21, 2023
  • Length: 32:37
  • Purchases: 1
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We look at whether sci-fi stories about artificial intelligence have primed us to understand this moment in history, or if sci-fi has distracted us...

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  • Added: Jul 05, 2023
  • Length: 37:44
  • Purchases: 2
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Star Trek wants us to believe that we could become a spacefaring species. But would we travel in a ship that looks like The Enterprise? This week, ...

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  • Added: Jul 19, 2023
  • Length: 27:17
  • Purchases: 2
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The fairy godmother can change your fate with the flick of a wand, but lately a lot of writers have been changing her as a way to re-examine fairy ...

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  • Added: Aug 02, 2023
  • Length: 28:59
  • Purchases: 1
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A lot of streaming services invested in SFF shows, hoping for the next Game of Thrones or Stranger Things. When the bubble burst, the wave of cance...

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  • Added: Aug 16, 2023
  • Length: 40:18
  • Purchases: 1
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While the strikes continue to disrupt Hollywood, we’re going to run out of new shows and movies to watch. Our listeners have suggestions. Some of t...

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  • Added: Aug 30, 2023
  • Length: 35:29
  • Purchases: 1
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Sci-fi and comedy used to be considered a risky bet in the UK. Red Dwarf proved that wrong. I talk with the show’s co-creator Doug Naylor about how...

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  • Added: Sep 13, 2023
  • Length: 30:39
  • 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
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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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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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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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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 ...

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  • Added: Nov 22, 2023
  • Length: 29:47
  • 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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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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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, 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 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