165 episodes

Imaginary Worlds is a bi-weekly podcast about science fiction and other fantasy genres. Host Eric Molinsky talks with novelists, screenwriters, comic book artists, filmmakers, and game designers about their craft of creating fictional worlds. The show also looks at the fan experience, exploring what makes us suspend our disbelief, and what happens when that spell is broken. Fantasy worlds may be set in distant planets or parallel dimensions, but they are crafted here on Earth and on some level relate to our daily lives. Employing his years of experience in public radio, Eric brings a sophisticated, thoughtfully produced voice to the far-out and fantastical.

Imaginary Worlds Eric Molinsky

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 1.7K Ratings

Imaginary Worlds is a bi-weekly podcast about science fiction and other fantasy genres. Host Eric Molinsky talks with novelists, screenwriters, comic book artists, filmmakers, and game designers about their craft of creating fictional worlds. The show also looks at the fan experience, exploring what makes us suspend our disbelief, and what happens when that spell is broken. Fantasy worlds may be set in distant planets or parallel dimensions, but they are crafted here on Earth and on some level relate to our daily lives. Employing his years of experience in public radio, Eric brings a sophisticated, thoughtfully produced voice to the far-out and fantastical.

    Camelot Forever

    Camelot Forever

    The myth of Camelot runs deep in our culture. For over a thousand years, storytellers have felt compelled to tell the tale of King Arthur and add their own spin on the mythical legend. But we live in pretty cynical times where the idea of a wise and noble king feels like just as much of a fantasy as a boy pulling a magical sword from a stone. So why does the character of Arthur still endure? I talk with Arthurian scholars Martha Bayless, Elizabeth Archibald and Ingrid Nelson about why we can never forget that for one brief shining moment, there was a Camelot – even if there probably never was a Camelot.
    Today's episode is brought to you by Faraway Stories from Amazon, and BetterHelp. Want to advertise/sponsor our show? We have partnered with AdvertiseCast to handle our advertising/sponsorship requests. They’re great to work with and will help you advertise on our show. Please email sales@advertisecast.com or click the link below to get started.
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    • 30 min
    Making Up Creatures (Special Edition)

    Making Up Creatures (Special Edition)

    Every year, I like to play a full-length interview with a previous guest who had so much more to say than what I could fit into a particular topic. Last summer, I did an episode called Making Up Creatures where I talked with the creature designer Neill Gorton, who is best known for working on the reboot of Doctor Who and the BBC series Being Human. I talked with Neill about how he approached redesigning classic monsters he watched on Doctor Who as a child, why simplicity always beats spectacle when designing a new creature and what to focus on when working within a limited budget.
    Today's episode is brought to you by Faraway, a new short story collection from Amazon, CovertKit and BetterHelp. Want to advertise/sponsor our show? We have partnered with AdvertiseCast to handle our advertising/sponsorship requests. They’re great to work with and will help you advertise on our show. Please email sales@advertisecast.com or click the link below to get started.
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    • 29 min
    Monsters of 2020

    Monsters of 2020

    2020 has felt monstrous on so many levels. So, it’s no coincidence that two of the top grossing movies of the year were Jaws and Jurassic Park, mostly seen at drive-in theaters. Alex Shepard explains why the shark in Jaws embodied our feeling of a dread, and how the Mayor of Amity Island seemed to be the embodiment of every leader who dismissed the seriousness of COVID. Sean T. Collins explores whether the real villain of Jurassic Park was not the dinosaurs but capitalism. And I talk with journalist Rae Paoletta, along with my assistant producer Stephanie Billman, about the most insidious monster of 2020 -- the corrupt and adorable oligarch Tom Nook who put every Animal Crossing player in debt to him.

    Today's episode is brought to you by Wondery's podcast Little Stories Everywhere, ConvertKit and BetterHelp. Want to advertise/sponsor our show? We have partnered with AdvertiseCast to handle our advertising/sponsorship requests. They’re great to work with and will help you advertise on our show. Please email sales@advertisecast.com or click the link below to get started.
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    • 31 min
    Fan Films Go Pro

    Fan Films Go Pro

    Fan films allow filmmakers to tell stories set in the worlds of their favorite licensed characters, and fan films have taken off in recent years, thanks to affordable special effects and online distribution. Is that legal? Sort of. But the studios have learned it’s not worth upsetting their hardcore fans by suing them, according to copyright lawyer David Lizerbram. Indie Boom film festival director Anthony DeVito explains why he thinks fan films deserve the same respect as other indie productions. John Lim talks about playing Sulu on the bridge of The Enterprise circa 1966. And Rob Ayling breaks down his fan film, Living in Crime Alley, which puts The Dark Knight in precarious situation. 
    Star Trek: New Voyages
    One Day I’ll Become
    Power/Rangers Unauthorized (Bootleg Universe)
    Bel-Air
    Living in Crime Alley
    Batman vs. Darth Vader (Alternative Ending)
    Today's episode is brought to you by ConvertKit and BetterHelp. Want to advertise/sponsor our show? We have partnered with AdvertiseCast to handle our advertising/sponsorship requests. They’re great to work with and will help you advertise on our show. Please email sales@advertisecast.com or click the link below to get started.
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    • 30 min
    Fantasy in Translation

    Fantasy in Translation

    Since we can’t pick up universal translators on The Enterprise or through the TARDIS, we have to rely on human translators to bring fantasy stories across cultures. We all know that something is always lost in translation, but what is gained when a story transitions from one language and culture to another? Chen Malul tells the story of Israeli pilots who translated The Hobbit while in captivity. Olga Zilberbourg remembers the Soviet version of The Wizard of Oz – which was very different from the original story. Emily Jin discusses the nuances of translating Chinese science fiction at a time when everyday life in China feels like sci-fi. And translators Gord Sellar and Jihyun Park explain how feminism revitalized SF literature in South Korea.
    Stories mentioned in this episode:
    National Center for the Preservation of Human Dignity
    The Flowering
    Today's episode is brought to you by ConvertKit and BetterHelp. Want to advertise/sponsor our show? We have partnered with AdvertiseCast to handle our advertising/sponsorship requests. They’re great to work with and will help you advertise on our show. Please email sales@advertisecast.com or click the link below to get started. Imaginary Worlds AdvertiseCast Listing

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    • 33 min
    Adulting with Cowboy Bebop

    Adulting with Cowboy Bebop

    The anime series Cowboy Bebop is currently being turned into a live-action series for Netflix, but Cowboy Bebop doesn’t need to be Americanized. The original series was already an homage to Western films and movies. Authors Roland Kelts and Matt Alt talk about how Cowboy Bebop fits into a very Japanese tradition of adopting and even improving upon aspects of foreign cultures. Evan Minto of Anime News Network explains why the show was groundbreaking. And Eric Vilas-Boas and John Maher of Dot + Line discuss how Cowboy Bebop had a huge impact on them as kids, even though it took them decades to understand the characters.  
    See You, Space Cowboy….

    Matt Alt’s book “Pure Invention: How Japan’s Pop Culture Conquered the World.”
    Roland Kelt’s book, “Japanamerica: How Japanese Culture Has Invaded the U.S.”

    Today's episode is brought to you by Acorn TV and BetterHelp. Want to advertise/sponsor our show? We have partnered with AdvertiseCast to handle our advertising/sponsorship requests. They’re great to work with and will help you advertise on our show. Please email sales@advertisecast.com or click the link below to get started.
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    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
1.7K Ratings

1.7K Ratings

Bookwormgirl956 ,

Always excited to see it in my feed

I’m always excited to see episodes of this show in my feed. The guests are always thoughtful and the host is a great interviewer. Must listen for the modern nerd.

ravenwolf8301 ,

One of my favorite Podcasts

I am a huge fan and love every episode. Just fantastic. Well produced and informative. All was a funny listen.

lmnip25 ,

Naturally funny and great interviews

This podcasts explores many different topics I may not have explored myself. It helps me better understand some fan-cultures I’m not currently a part of.

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