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Imaginary Worlds
Imaginary Worlds
Eric Molinsky

Imaginary Worlds sounds like what would happen if NPR went to ComicCon and decided that’s all they ever wanted to cover. Host... more

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Class of '84: Turtles, Transformers and Toys Takeover TV

In the final episode of our mini-series Class of '84, we look at two iconic franchises that launched in 1984:... more

28 Feb 2024 · 40 minutes
Class of '84: When Cyber Was Punk

In the second episode of our mini-series on groundbreaking works from 1984, we jack into the system and upload our... more

14 Feb 2024 · 41 minutes
Bonus: Rise of The Villains Outtakes

When I interviewed special effects artist Shannon Shea about The Terminator and other villains of ’84, we also discussed his... more

07 Feb 2024 · 22 minutes
Class of '84: Rise of The Villains

This year marks the 40th anniversary of a lot of landmarks in pop culture, especially sci-fi and fantasy. So many... more

31 Jan 2024 · 37 minutes
Making Blue Eye Samurai

I was blown away by the Netflix animated series Blue Eye Samurai. I’m not alone, it has 100% rating on... more

17 Jan 2024 · 40 minutes
Prologue to Ursula K. le Guin

In the 1960s, Ursula K. le Guin represented a changing of the guard in science fiction literature. She was part... more

03 Jan 2024 · 48 minutes
@ChristmasCarol: A Holiday Tale

This week's episode is an original audio drama. In previous episodes, I’ve interviewed Captain Hook, vampires, colonists on the moon,... more

20 Dec 2023 · 33 minutes
Doctor Who's Power of Regeneration

In honor of Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary, I’ve rewritten my 2018 episode about Doctor Who with updates on how the... more

06 Dec 2023 · 39 minutes
How One Piece Became King of the Backstories

One Piece is one of the biggest franchises in the world. The manga and anime have broken records in sales... more

22 Nov 2023 · 36 minutes
Bonus: Norse Myths Outtakes

My guests from the previous episode, Carolyne Larrington and Ada Palmer, had so many interesting things to say about Norse... more

16 Nov 2023 · 26 minutes
Seeing Ourselves in Norse Myths

Thor and Loki have become pop culture icons thanks to Marvel. But the influence of Norse mythology on contemporary fantasy... more

08 Nov 2023 · 38 minutes
Creating Hindu Fantasy Worlds

Kritika H. Rao, Shveta Thakrar, Roshani Chokshi, and Ram V are helping to create a new genre. They use elements... more

25 Oct 2023 · 37 minutes
Haunted Housing Market

We all know the scenario. A nice young family moves into a new house. It’s haunted by an evil spirit.... more

11 Oct 2023 · 34 minutes
Making the Sounds of Make-Believe

John Roesch is a legend in the field of foley sound effects. He mastered the art of creating bespoke sound... more

27 Sep 2023 · 35 minutes
The Nine Lives of Red Dwarf

35 years ago, Doug Naylor co-created a sitcom called Red Dwarf about the last human left alive in the far... more

13 Sep 2023 · 34 minutes
Have You Watched....?

The writers’ and actors’ strikes have disrupted the pipeline of new shows and movies. We’re going to run out of... more

30 Aug 2023 · 39 minutes
Ghosted by TV Shows

We’ve all had this experience. We get hooked on a show. We fall in love with the characters. We can’t... more

17 Aug 2023 · 44 minutes
Extreme Makeover: Fairy Godmother Edition

Who wouldn’t want a fairy godmother to solve our problems with the flick of a magic wand? We know that’s... more

02 Aug 2023 · 31 minutes
How to Go to Infinity and Beyond

These ships feel like old friends – The Enterprise, the Millennium Falcon, Battlestar Galactica, Serenity, The Rosinante. But would any... more

19 Jul 2023 · 30 minutes
Welcome Our New A.I. Overlords

Science fiction has primed us for this moment when artificial intelligence starts to take on a life of its own.... more

06 Jul 2023 · 40 minutes
Warhammer - The Heavy Metal of Board Games

As the Warhammer franchise reaches its 40th anniversary, the company Games Workshop’s stated goal of “total global domination” is going... more

21 Jun 2023 · 35 minutes
Why The Gothic Keeps Gaslighting Us

Our culture is going through a Gothic Revival -- partly thanks to the influence of Tim Burton. Gothic literature may... more

07 Jun 2023 · 35 minutes
Haunted By Pepper's Ghost

A play by Charles Dickens. The Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland. A hologram of a famous dead pop singer. They’re... more

24 May 2023 · 30 minutes
Making The Muppets

When Jim Henson hired Bonnie Erickson to design Muppets in the early 1970s, Bonnie had no idea this experimental project... more

10 May 2023 · 36 minutes
Miyazaki Imagines an Environment

This summer, Hayao Miyazaki will be releasing his final animated film before retiring. Environmental stewardship has been a consistent theme... more

26 Apr 2023 · 40 minutes
Entering Discworld. Population: Terry Pratchett.

Discworld might be the most popular fantasy series you’ve never heard of. The late Terry Pratchett wrote 41 novels in... more

13 Apr 2023 · 42 minutes
The Blazing World

Margaret Cavendish was a pioneer of modern science fiction – except she didn’t intend to write science fiction. In the... more

30 Mar 2023 · 36 minutes
100 Years of Weird Tales

When the March 1923 issue of Weird Tales hit newsstands, many people didn’t know what to make of this new... more

16 Mar 2023 · 35 minutes
Catching the Mind Virus

The town of Ong's Hat in New Jersey may have been the site of a top secret experiment that brought... more

02 Mar 2023 · 51 minutes
A Nation Dreams to Survive

As we near the one year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, I check in with the Ukrainian writers... more

16 Feb 2023 · 38 minutes
The Human Touch

I’ve been following parallel media stories about visual artists in two different fields. Each story is about artists who create... more

02 Feb 2023 · 36 minutes
Magic of Nghi Vo

Nghi Vo's novels Siren Queen and The Chosen and the Beautiful have gotten widespread critical acclaim, which was a pleasant... more

19 Jan 2023 · 38 minutes
The Set Jet Crowds

When a fantasy or sci-fi story is set in a real location, what happens when fans go to that place... more

04 Jan 2023 · 42 minutes
Octavia Butler Revisited

This year marks the 75th anniversary of Octavia Butler’s birth. There have been commemorations nationwide, and I wanted to join... more

22 Dec 2022 · 39 minutes
Monsters in the Static

In the subgenre of analog horror, there’s something sinister or supernatural lurking in the horizontal lines and vertical holds in... more

08 Dec 2022 · 37 minutes
True Crime Fairy Tale

Was the tale of Hansel and Gretel inspired by a real crime in German history? It would make for a... more

24 Nov 2022 · 40 minutes
Indigenous Futurisms

From TV and film to novels and video games, the artistic movement of Indigenous Futurisms has been gaining momentum and... more

10 Nov 2022 · 35 minutes
Songs in the Key of SF

Jeff Russo has composed music for sci-fi fantasy shows like Star Trek Discovery and Picard, The Umbrella Academy, Altered Carbon,... more

27 Oct 2022 · 32 minutes
Generation VTube

There is a booming culture of VTubers – people who create content online, but their fans rarely see their real... more

13 Oct 2022 · 31 minutes
Befriend The Reaper

One of the most common tropes in fantasy genres is personifying Death – turning this abstract and often terrifying concept... more

28 Sep 2022 · 42 minutes
Imaginary Worlds
Indigenous Futurisms
Imaginary Worlds

Listen now on

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From TV and film to novels and video games, the artistic movement of Indigenous Futurisms has been gaining momentum and breaking cultural... more