Imaginary Worlds

Series produced by Eric Molinsky

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Imaginary Worlds makes us think more deeply about the real world. It's a bi-weekly podcast about sci-fi, comic books, fairy tales and other fantasy genres -- how we create them and why we suspend our disbelief. These are the backstories of our stories.

Produced by Eric Molinsky, public radio reporter and illustrator.


31 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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Neon Genesis Evangelion ran only one year in Japan but it’s still creating ripple effects across global pop culture today.

  • Added: Sep 18, 2019
  • Length: 32:59
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Disney’s “live action” remakes of their classic films are a box office bonanza. Can they spark nostalgia for the original films -- and the art of h...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Sep 04, 2019
  • Length: 27:07
  • Purchases: 1
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Masks, capes, secret identities – Mexican wrestling (aka Lucha Libre) has a lot in common with the superhero genre. But trying to be a superhero ha...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Aug 07, 2019
  • Length: 27:59
  • Purchases: 1
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Legendary audio drama producer Dirk Maggs reveals tricks of the trade he used to bring The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Alien, The X-Files and...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Jul 24, 2019
  • Length: 30:31
  • Purchases: 1
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The Undertaker has dominated the WWE for decades -- but he’s also a throwback to a different era of wrestling when a supernatural character could r...

Bought by PRX Remix and WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Jul 10, 2019
  • Length: 31:17
  • Purchases: 2
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The sci-fi fantasy market is a hot commodity, but it’s also drawn in swindlers with the skills to create fake props and believable backstories abou...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Jun 26, 2019
  • Length: 28:32
  • Purchases: 1
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Burlesque has merged with geek culture to form nerdlesque – where characters from Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who and other fantasy franchises str...

  • Added: Jun 12, 2019
  • Length: 24:40
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In the conclusion of our mini-series on sidekicks, we look at how Harley Quinn began as a sidekick to a villain, and found her way to the heart of ...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: May 29, 2019
  • Length: 26:31
  • Purchases: 1
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There wasn’t anything authentic about Tonto and Kato, but that didn’t matter to the audiences who enjoyed their team-ups with The Lone Ranger and T...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: May 15, 2019
  • Length: 29:12
  • Purchases: 1
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Rod Serling's voice is still speaking to us well beyond The Twilight Zone.

Bought by PRX Remix and WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Apr 17, 2019
  • Length: 32:47
  • Purchases: 2
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When Joseph Campbell first wrote about The Hero's Journey, he didn't intend it to become a blueprint for blockbuster SF franchises. Could 2019 be t...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Apr 05, 2019
  • Length: 31:02
  • Purchases: 1
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Kurt Vonnegut had a unique way of processing his wartime trauma -- he used science fiction. But why did the aliens in Slaughterhouse Five look like...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Mar 20, 2019
  • Length: 01:01:46
  • Purchases: 1
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How a pioneering pulp fiction magazine illustrator reimagined women for fantasy and horror genres.

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Mar 06, 2019
  • Length: 25:46
  • Purchases: 1
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Few people know the rich history behind Conan the Barbarian, and his creator Robert E. Howard.

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Feb 20, 2019
  • Length: 28:49
  • Purchases: 1
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Video games can give you the option of customizing the look or gender of your character. For many transgender players, that option played a signifi...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Feb 06, 2019
  • Length: 27:15
  • Purchases: 1
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How much control do we really want over the characters we play in video games?

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM


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


  • Added: Nov 01, 2017
  • Length: 28:05
  • Purchases: 2
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: 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, WABE, and PRX Remix


  • Added: Dec 05, 2014
  • Length: 15:21
  • Purchases: 3