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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When it comes to monsters, I'm really fascinated by Cthulhu. The horror writer H.P. Lovecraft describes it as a gargantuan, aquatic being with tent...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 19:47
  • Purchases: 1
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A pair of Godzilla-obsessed brothers set out to win a costume contest, and learn what it takes to become a monster.

Bought by PRX Remix and WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 17:01
  • Purchases: 2
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Whether you're running the seven kingdoms of Westeros or flying to Mars -- you have to figure out how to pay for everything. Many economists are fa...

Bought by PRX Remix and WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 17:12
  • Purchases: 2
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When Graeme Manson started as a showrunner for Orphan Black, he needed to create villains who believe humans should take control of their own evolu...

Bought by PRX Remix, WXAV 88.3FM Chicago, and WABE


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 20:54
  • Purchases: 3
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How much does the legacy of slavery haunt our visions of the future, where we expect robots to do our bidding?

Bought by KZYX, PRX Remix, WABE, and WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 17:05
  • Purchases: 4
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An immersive theatrical show takes me inside the asylum of Alice in Wonderland

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago and WABE


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 21:50
  • Purchases: 2
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How a cataclysmic volcanic eruption inspired a teenage girl to write a literary masterpiece.

Bought by KZYX, KSFR, PRX Remix, WXAV 88.3FM Chicago, and WABE


  • Added: Jun 15, 2016
  • Length: 17:23
  • Purchases: 5
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How did a quirky low budget indie video game take the gaming world by storm?

Bought by PRX Remix, WABE, and WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 19:45
  • Purchases: 3
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Ghost in the Shell was groundbreaking, visually and thematically. The 1995 Japanese animated film (or anime) was unapologetically for adults. The s...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago and WABE


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 20:35
  • Purchases: 2
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J.R.R. Tolkien was baffled why the counter-culture in the 1960s had embraced his world of Middle-earth.

Bought by KZYX, PRX Remix, and WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 18:29
  • Purchases: 3
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What Google Maps and Middle-earth have in common.

Bought by PRX Remix and WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 16:07
  • Purchases: 2
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Fantasy novelists work hard to make us believe in magic, but scientists say we already do.

Bought by Marfa Public Radio and WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 21:51
  • Purchases: 2
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The Sorting Hat has transcended the Harry Potter books and become a phenomenon that makes us question who we really are.

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago and PRX Remix


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 18:46
  • Purchases: 2
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Reading Harry Potter helps trauma survivors understand their experiences, and feel less alone.

Bought by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, PRX Remix, and WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 17:45
  • Purchases: 3
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The creators of the Amazon series talk about building a world we don't want to imagine -- but we need to.

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 25:58
  • Purchases: 1
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The 1994 film Clerks posed a moral dilemma that Star Wars fans -- and George Lucas -- have wrestled with for decades.

Bought by KVSC and WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 22:21
  • Purchases: 2
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The book "The Art of Atari" is full of eye candy, but it's also about how Atari became a superstar company -- until it was Game Over.

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago and PRX Remix


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 18:08
  • Purchases: 2
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How the Nickelodeon cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender captured the Asian-American experience -- even if there's no America in that fantasy world.

Bought by KZYX, KVSC, and WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 27:01
  • Purchases: 3
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A social media hashtag celebrates black Cosplayers and the spin they put on classic characters.

Bought by PRX Remix, WAER Syracuse, NY, and WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 20:11
  • Purchases: 3
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How Will Eisner became the "father of the graphic novel."

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 32:06
  • Purchases: 1