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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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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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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The most dangerous creatures in the universe of Doctor Who -- The Daleks -- look like they were built out of household appliances. But the show wou...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 29:44
  • Purchases: 1
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Doctor Who always includes at least one companion traveling with The Doctor. But going that deep into the universe can change a person in ways they...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 27:11
  • Purchases: 1
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I kick off my three-part series on the alien who has no name and no possessions except for a spaceship/time machine that he stole. Even his face (o...

Bought by WTJU and WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Jan 24, 2018
  • Length: 33:09
  • Purchases: 2
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The creators of The Expanse novels and TV show discuss why a future war between human colonies across the solar system feels relevant to our politi...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 26:43
  • Purchases: 1
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Are we prepared for a future where robots are the most sought after employees?

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 21:03
  • Purchases: 1
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Can the subgenre of military sci-fi and fantasy help civilians better understand the military experience while mixing in aliens and sorcerers?

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago and PRX Remix


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 22:20
  • Purchases: 2
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We all know it. We all love it. But the The Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland actually had a fraught 12-year long development where many people wo...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Jan 17, 2019
  • Length: 24:11
  • Purchases: 1
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In the second half of my mini-series on musical worlds, I talk with Sammus and Mega Ran, hip hop artists that create concept albums about their fav...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago and PRX Remix


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 21:20
  • Purchases: 2
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In the first of a series on musical worlds, I talk with members of Vertigo Drift about their sci-fi concept album Phase 3.

Bought by PRX Remix and WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 14:29
  • Purchases: 2
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Helen Zaltzman of The Allusionist podcast helps me figure out why some technobabble is good, bad or just plain baffling.

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 24:15
  • Purchases: 1
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This week I open the vault to play an extended cut of my 2014 interview with the Batman comic book writer Scott Snyder.

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 25:37
  • Purchases: 1
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The evil plan is the much maligned trope of superhero and other fantasy genres. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 25:19
  • Purchases: 1
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How do Muslims readers feel about Dune since the book appropriates aspects of Islam and Arab culture to tell an unconventional hero's journey?

Bought by PRX Remix and WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Jul 12, 2017
  • Length: 26:19
  • Purchases: 2
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Players from around the world explain why they live a double life in a virtual galaxy called EVE Online.

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 25:33
  • Purchases: 1
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Did sci-fi authors imagine social media and the Internet before it existed?

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago and PRX Remix


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 21:23
  • Purchases: 2
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Twin Peaks may feel like an unreal place, but some people wonder if their hometowns share too much in common with David Lynch's show.

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 22:19
  • Purchases: 1
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Lisa Hanawalt explains how her love of drawing horse people lead to being creative director of the Netflix series Bojack Horseman.

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 20:31
  • Purchases: 1
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A writer and filmmaker explain why they love horror films not just for the thrills, but because the genre helped them mourn for lost loved ones.

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Dec 27, 2019
  • Length: 23:10
  • Purchases: 1