show 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 lev ...
 
Chris Pyak interviews courageous people that have been able to ditch their traditional lives and desk jobs to chase their passions all over the world. The topics covered include travel stories, the best ways to find travel deals, how living in an unconventional way has improved their lives, how they fund their travels, how to make money on the road, and advice for those wanting to ditch their desk as well. 956258
 
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show series
 
Greetings, program! Master Control has chosen you to compete on The Game Grid. Your chance of survival is 49.2%. End of line. The 1982 movie Tron may seem outdated and even hokey today, but the film was more groundbreaking and prophetic than many people realize. I talk with Tron’s director Steven Lisberger about the challenge of making a movie abou…
 
The story of the brothers Grimm and how they came to publish a book of fairy tales has become something of a folk legend in itself. The conventional wisdom is that the Grimms collected their tales from village peasants, and the brothers always embraced the darkest elements of the tales. But as fairy tale scholars Jack Zipes and Ruth Bottigheimer ex…
 
In the 1950s and ‘60s, the vibrating sound of the Theremin instrument was synonymous with sci-fi movies like The Day the Earth Stood Still or horror shows like Dark Shadows to the point where the Theremin became a genre cliché. But a new generation of experimental pop musicians like Dorit Chrysler and Miles Brown (of the band Night Terrors) are usi…
 
Betty Boop is a beloved cultural icon, but she was controversial in her heyday. I talk with Mark Fleischer – grandson of Betty Boop’s co-creator Max Fleischer – and Mark’s wife Susan Wilking Horan about how the character was created and why she still endures. I also talk with film critic Marya Gates and Professor Thomas Doherty about how the Hays C…
 
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.…
 
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 pil…
 
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 …
 
You know the scene. A pair of muggers are in an alleyway when a superhero leaps down and beats them to a pulp. It’s a classic scenario, but in a year when we’re reassessing the role of law enforcement in the real world, is it time to reimagine the role of super-cops in fantasy worlds? I talk with prosecutor Patrick O’Connor and police officer Henry…
 
Fascism is a common theme in fantasy worlds, especially the rebels vs. evil empire scenario. But what can we learn from stories about encroaching fascism? I talk with journalists Lauren Davis, Damien G. Walter, professor Jason Dittmer and podcaster Stefan Sasse – who teaches history in Germany – about Star Wars, Game of Thrones, superheroes and how…
 
If you’re the type of Star Wars fan who knows the original trilogy by heart but hasn’t seen much else, Ahsoka Tano may be the most beloved Star Wars character you’ve never heard of. In the animated series Clone Wars, she was Anakin Skywalker’s padawan who became a legendary Jedi in her own right. And if the Internet rumors are true, she will make h…
 
You've probably seen Doug Jones many times without realizing it because he is best known as a creature performer. You may have been moved by his performance as Saru in Star Trek: Discovery, captivated by his portrayal of The Amphibian Man in The Shape of Water or amazed by his dual roles as The Faun and The Pale Man in Pan’s Labyrinth. He is the Lo…
 
In 2016, I put out an episode about how JK Rowling’s themes in the Harry Potter series inspired a generation of progressive activists including Jackson Bird, who was the spokesperson for the Harry Potter Alliance. Jackson is also trans. Recently, JK Rowling has alienated many of her fans and supporters with her views on transgender rights. I catch …
 
The works of H. P. Lovecraft have inspired a number of Black creators and other writers of color, from the new HBO series Lovecraft Country to the novella The Ballad of Black Tom. What’s so surprising about Lovecraft’s newfound relevance is that he was exceptionally racist, and racism was folded into his stories. In the era of cancel culture, there…
 
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