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.


222 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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In this radio drama, I visit a vampire who has been let out of a state-sponsored safe house, and is now living under the care of an old friend.

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 13:28
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: A sculptor at NECA works on a Heath Ledger/Joker action figure., Credit: Eric Molinsky
Action figure collectables for adults is booming, even when kids are loosing interest in little plastic guys.

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


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 18:11
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Dr. Steven Schlozman, zombified, Credit: Eric Molinsky
Zombies. I hate them the way Indiana Jones hates snakes. As part of my series Imaginary Worlds, I confront my biggest phobia with the help of a zom...

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


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 16:54
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Local women perform witch trials in costume for the tourists., Credit: Eric Molinsky
To understand Salem in 1692, we need to delve into the imaginary world the Puritans believed in, where witches and Indians were both agents of the ...

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


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 16:34
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Luke Skywalker action figure, Credit: Eric Molinsky
What makes a great origin story -- for superheroes or regular people going on a job interview?

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


  • Added: Dec 05, 2014
  • Length: 15:21
  • Purchases: 3
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The Wizard of Oz started as a perfect partnership between L. Frank Baum and W.W. Denslow -- until they became bitter rivals, with each owning half ...

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


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 12:22
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Worf visits Rabbi Ben Newman's synagogue (not in canon), Credit: Eric Molinsky
Every sci-fi fantasy world comes with a canon of back stories and rules, which may have a lot in common with the original canon -- The Torah.

Bought by New Hampshire Public Radio, WXAV 88.3FM Chicago, WABE, New Hampshire Public Radio, and PRX Remix


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 14:48
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: Frank Oz performing Yoda, Credit: Eric Molinsky
Which is more believable, a computer animated creature or a puppet? I talk with an animator who worked on the Star Wars prequels and a puppeteer wh...

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


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 15:51
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Margot Kidder as Lois Lane, Credit: Eric Molinsky
What exactly is the role of the love interest in the superhero story? Is she just the emotional stakes for the hero? Can she ever be anything more?

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


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 15:56
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Erik Bergmann as Captain Hook, Credit: Eric Molinsky
Peter Pan is not supposed to grow up, but he has grown from a symbol of immaturity to an iconic inner-child. Either way Captain Hook got a raw deal...

Bought by KPIP-LP, WXAV 88.3FM Chicago, and PRX Remix


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 22:27
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: My interpretation of Chava, the Golem.
I talk with Helene Wecker, author of "The Golem and The Jinni," a novel about Jewish and Arabic mythological characters meeting in New York.

Bought by WABE and WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 24:02
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Summer Glau as Cameron the Terminator, Credit: Eric Molinsky
Desirable robots are creepy, strangely alluring and technologically improbable. As part of my podcast series Imaginary Worlds, I explore whether th...

Bought by WABE


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 15:45
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Scott Snyder, Credit: Eric Molinsky
They say you shouldn't meet your heroes because you might be disappointed. What happens when you're told from now on you are your childhood hero? ...

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


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 19:21
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Victor Considerant, with tail, Credit: Eric Molinsky
A French philosopher was certain his ideas would help human beings evolve -- not just emotionally or psychologically. We would grow tails. In this ...

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


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 17:22
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Alice Sheldon, Credit: Eric Molinsky
Alice Sheldon served in the OSS and the CIA. And then she went deep undercover posing as a male science fiction writer. It wasn't an assignment, it...

Bought by WABE and PRX Remix


  • Added: Mar 12, 2015
  • Length: 23:44
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones., Credit: Eric Molinsky
There are a surprising number of foreign policy experts who are obsessed with Game of Thrones, which they say is more real than Scandal or House of...

Bought by WABE


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 17:43
  • Purchases: 1
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In my second episode on larping, I go on an epic journey to find out why it's therapeutic to become imaginary people.

  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 39:13
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Sci-fi and fantasy have always been a big part of fan fiction, but fan fiction hasn't always gotten respect in return. Has fan fic gotten a bad rap?

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago and PRX Remix


  • Added: Nov 01, 2017
  • Length: 28:05
  • Purchases: 2
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Novelist Madeline Miller reimagines The Iliad and The Odyssey from the point of view of secondary characters.

  • Added: Jan 17, 2019
  • Length: 30:23
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How much control do we really want over the characters we play in video games?

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Jan 23, 2019
  • Length: 30:11
  • Purchases: 1