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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Arwen Curry discusses her documentary, Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin, about how the daughter of a Berkeley anthropologist became a master of fantasy ...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 24:36
  • Purchases: 1
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What does it take to create digital humans that can pass for the real thing?

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 26:22
  • Purchases: 1
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What do aliens, God, the KGB, and ancient Romans all have in common? They each may have tried to contact sci-fi author Philip K. Dick in 1974.

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  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 26:19
  • Purchases: 1
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People dream of living away from the Earth, from an impossibly curved space habitat to a moon base on the verge of breaking apart.

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  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 31:19
  • Purchases: 1
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Infinity War brought together Marvel characters from across the universe, but many of them already shared a common bond -- their creator Jack Kirby.

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  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 32:03
  • Purchases: 1
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To promote season 2 of Westworld, HBO built the town of Sweetwater at the SXSW festival. But what happened at the exhibit reflected the TV show a l...

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  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 32:29
  • Purchases: 1
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Catherine Webb writes different styles of fantasy novels under various pseudonyms, but the quality of her work always shines through.

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  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 35:35
  • Purchases: 1
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As Magic the Gathering celebrates its 25th anniversary, I talk with designers at Wizards of the Coast about how they create a sense of character, s...

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  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 25:55
  • Purchases: 1
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Listeners share their stories of how they grieved the loss of their favorite fictional characters.

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  • Added: Jul 11, 2018
  • Length: 28:27
  • Purchases: 1
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Constructed languages -- or conlangs for short -- are a valuable tool in worldbuilding. But once a conlang is let out in the world, the fans can do...

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  • Added: Jul 25, 2018
  • Length: 26:13
  • Purchases: 1
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Writers and chefs discuss the roles that food can play in sci-fi fantasy worlds.

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  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 23:03
  • Purchases: 1
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How classic sci-fi and horror radio dramas set the stage for stories that couldn't be told yet without advanced SFX

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  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 28:30
  • Purchases: 1
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Traditional fairy folklore was no fairy tale.

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  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 26:04
  • Purchases: 1
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Spiritual leaders of different faith discuss the role of religion in sci-fi fantasy worlds.

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  • Added: Oct 31, 2018
  • Length: 28:49
  • Purchases: 2
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Remember when movie posters were hand-crafted iconic works of commercial art? They still are in an alternative artistic universe.

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  • Added: Nov 14, 2018
  • Length: 24:52
  • Purchases: 1
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Forget Monopoly and Risk -- a new generation of indie board game designers is rethinking how we play games, and why.

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  • Added: Dec 12, 2018
  • Length: 26:01
  • Purchases: 1
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Ten years after the great writer passed, her work continues to be more relevant than ever.

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  • Added: Jul 28, 2016
  • Length: 17:13
  • Purchases: 2
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The Borg are coming back in the new TV series Picard, although the writers have promised a very different storyline about Jean Luc’s arch nemesis. ...

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  • Added: Jan 08, 2020
  • Length: 25:25
  • Purchases: 1
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The Rider-Waite (or Smith-Waite) deck of tarot cards is the most popular deck of all time. But few people know about the woman who designed the car...

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  • Added: Jan 21, 2020
  • Length: 24:02
  • Purchases: 2
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2001: A Space Odyssey was a game changer for science fiction, but the movie had a tumultuous origin story, and was initially scorned by critics. We...

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  • Added: Feb 05, 2020
  • Length: 29:40
  • Purchases: 1