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 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. read less
ArtsArts

Episodes

African Sci-Fi Looks to a Future Climate
4d ago
African Sci-Fi Looks to a Future Climate
When the writer Nnedi Okorafor coined the term Africanfuturism, she wanted to distinguish sci-fi written about Africa from Afrofuturism, which is focuses on the experiences of Black people in the diaspora. Africanfuturism mixes the traditional with the futuristic in a way that resembles modern life in Africa, and many of these stories grapple with climate change. Although the writer Chinelo Onwualu says cli-fi isn’t a subgenre for African writers. It’s often baked into a lot of Africanfuturism because the continent is already at the forefront of climate emergencies. And the writers Suyi Davies Okungbowa and Wole Talabi explain that Africanfuturist cli-fi isn’t as dystopian as Western cli-fi. These visions of the future may feel daunting but there is often a sense of hope and the solutions are more community focused. The actress Nneka Okoye reads from their stories, and other works by African writers. This episode is sponsored by Babbel, Surf Shark and Magic Spoon Get up to 60% off at Babbel.com/IMAGINARY Get Surfshark VPN at Surfshark.deals/IMAGINARY Go to MagicSpoon.com/IMAGINARY and use the code IMAGINARY to save five dollars off Reading list from this episode: Works of Nnedi Okorafor Wole Talabi’s anthology Convergence Problems Suyi Davies Okungbowa's novella Lost Ark Dreaming Chinelo Onwualu’s short story Letters to My Mother Dilman Dila’s story The Leafy Man from the book A Killing in the Sun Mame Bougouma’s story Lekki Lekki from Africanfuturism: An Anthology Omenana Magazine Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
When All Is Said in Dune
27-03-2024
When All Is Said in Dune
Back in 2018, I interviewed language creator David J. Peterson about how he invented Dothraki for Game of Thrones and other fictional languages in fantasy worlds. David and his wife Jessie just finished a huge project – developing the Fremen language for Dune: Part Two. I talk with the couple about their creative process and the challenge of imagining simple English phrases in the Chakobsa language that Frank Herbert imagined in his Dune novels. We also hear my 2018 episode, “Do You Speak Conlang?” where I also talked with Marc Okrand, inventor of the Klingon language, and Robyn Stewart, a language consultant for Star Trek: Discovery. Plus, Jen Usellis -- a.k.a. Klingon Pop Warrior -- will give you a serious case of earworms (not the kind from Wrath of Khan.) For more episodes about Dune, check out my 2017 episode The Book of Dune, where I talked with Muslim fans of the series about the way Frank Herbert incorporated aspects of Islam into the books. And in 2021, I did an episode called The Ecology of Dune where I looked at the environmental messages in the books and whether Frank Herbert’s environmental sensibilities still hold up today. This episode is sponsored by Surfshark and Magic Spoon. Get Surfshark VPN at Surfshark.deals/imaginary and enter the promo code IMAGINARY for three extra months for free. Get a custom bundle of Magic Spoon cereal at magicspoon.com/imaginary. Enter the promo code IMAGINARY at checkout to save five dollars off. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices