The topics of the show are interesting, though sometimes they become significantly less about nerdom but go into other obscure culture parts (like WWE). It's still a fun show though and I'm glad I can still get interested in random topics like the Music of Godzilla.
Nerds, Words, and Flyrds!
From the Piney Woods of Texas
Okay, so flyrds isn't a real thing--that I know of--but that's what this show is all about, the spawns of creativity and imagination! And nerdy things and wordy bits. I've loved this show since day one and am thrilled that it's still on the podcast air.
Started Great, But Lost Focus
Even more lucidity
When a science-fiction/fantasy/comics podcast explores the sociology of Avatar:The Last Airbender or examines the history of mapmaking in fantasy world building, it works great. I LOVED the early episodes!
Unfortunately these great episodes are now hidden behind the Stitcher paywall, and the current episodes have nothing in common with them. The host has run out of topics, and the sci-fi/fantasy/comics connection is usually too little butter spread over too much bread.
Recent episodes have focused on burlesque dancing, LARPing the Holocaust, and 1990s professional wrestling. I’m not saying these are trash: the production values are still high, and Malinsky interviews people who really know and care about these topics.
The problem is that he has to search really hard to find anything about them that relates to the reason I’m listening and the theme of the podcast. And personality I have ZERO interest in burlesque, WWE wrestling, or LARPing the Holocaust.
Would listen 24/7
I am always glued to my phone when a new Imaginary Worlds drops. The technical quality and the length of episodes are perfect, what it's the subject matter and Eric's insights that always make Imaginary Worlds a must-listen for me. Highly recommend!
The bar for all other pop culture podcasts to try to breach
My favorite podcast. Deeply curious investigations into specific aspects of imaginative storytelling ,world building, fandom and creativity produced and presented like the best of public radio. Great interviews, great themes, great insights, and totally delightful all around. This is my most reccomended podcast and Eric Molinsky should get an award for all this podcast represents and succesfully does.
Nice but too PC for me
The podcaster does a great job researching and weaving interesting audio/sound effects as well as interviews.
Only problem is that it’s sometimes too eager to conform to current trends and perspectives.
It’s also a bit brief in run time which makes its coverage of some amazing subjects a little wanting in depth.
I suspect this will make for a very interesting time capsule of morally righteousness of the modern era —however long it persists in its present trends and neo-far-left-Victorianism and smug finger wagging and self-congratulatory mode.
Hey I just wanted to say this is a great show it’s very fun, gives a great informative perspective!
Thoughtful and well-produced
Just about every week, I catch myself saying “Oh, this reminds me of an episode of Imaginary Worlds—“ and talking someone’s ear off about this show. The production is superb, the content is smart and careful, and I always walk away with something new.
I’m just disappointed that so much of the show is behind a paywall now—it makes recommending specific episodes to folks IRL way more difficult.
One of the greats
A+ production and content. Eric Molinsky consistently eschews the well-worn topics of geek culture in favor of highlighting unheard perspectives.
I love this podcast so much. I'm always curious to see what the next topic will be.
Naturally funny and great interviews
This podcasts explores many different topics I may not have explored myself.
As a big fan of fiction and fandom and all things pop culture, I love learning about the history and the behind-the-scenes of fantasy and science fiction. The analysis of what goes into good storytelling is fascinating, and everything Eric says is well-thought-out and interesting. The interviews with people actually in the industries that this podcasts covers are a great way to get educated on such fun topics - I highly recommend it!
Profound and practical
Happy Hopper Rose
This podcast is fabulous. I discovered it recently and cannot get enough. It is an escape but also shares profound and practical wisdom. It is always entertaining and well done.
Thee space of Imaginary Worlds is a library!
I've listened to Imaginary Worlds since it began, and what made it immediately appealing to me is the space I felt I was in when I listened to it. Despite being about fantasy worlds, I never felt I was in them, really. (A good thing, I think.) Instead, I felt like I was in a place from which I could safely observe these worlds. And just recently, it clicked for me: the space of Imaginary Worlds is a library. It's a quiet, interior space - itself a symbol for other worlds, mental, physical, and fantastic - but still a place with definite qualities of its own. Warmth. Quiet. Safety. But especially potential. Being in a library is to be wrapped in a neutral plane between paradox: mystery and discovery; the unknown and illumination; stillness and expansion; Etc. This is a wonderful show.
I’ve loved this show for quite some time. It inspires me to fantasy and sci-fi I’d yet to discover for myself, infused with professional commentary to breakdown said nerddom.
I really liked this recent one on Conan though. I’ve loved Robert E Howard got quite a while. I’d love to hear more about the sword and sorcery genre in the future.
Solomon Kane, or Michael Moorecocks ‘Elric’
Thanks for the wonderful show
I’m so glad I listened. Thanks for the great work.
A truly great, honest, kind and geeky podcast
my favorite podcast.
Love this so much!
A friend recommended this to me and I find it so entertaining! As someone not well-versed in geek culture, I appreciate that he is inclusive and explains any acronyms (ex LARP), and there is so much variety in topics. Each podcast is 20 min or less and just puts a smile on my face every time.
This is one of the best!
I can't get enough of this podcast - it's fantastic!
Each episode looks at science fiction and fantasy through a unique lens. This has been one of my go-to podcasts for years. I look forward to each new episode.
Best Nerdy Pod Around
I am utterly obsessed with this podcast—like This American Life for geeks, but with philosophy, cultural theory, linguistics, and audio drama sometimes thrown in. The very diversity of topics and guest interviewees makes it endlessly compelling; but the presenter also does deep enough dives to have something for the most hardcore nerd.
Love the content
As a sci-fi and fantasy fan, this podcast feeds that hunger. The content is presented in an interesting and compelling way.
Movies for the mind episode
The kings sword
The episode kept jumping around while I was listening to it. I believe there might be a problem with the upload. Love your show! Keep up the great work
I grew up interested in many different things. From sports and hunting to Star Wars and video games. There are tons of podcasts on the more “macho” hippies of mine, but I love he way this podcast allows me to feed my inner-nerd with information that I never knew or never considered. Keep up the great work!
This is my favorite podcast
Not only do you learn the in depth stories about your favorite nerdy topics, you find new parts of fandom to love and learn about! The storytelling and technical aspects are professional radio quality and everyone in the stories clearly has passion for the subject matter! (As we geeks do)
Zyxx brought me here
and I'm glad it did.
My favorite podcast
I listen to a lot of podcasts but Imaginary Worlds is my favorite. I love that it addresses nerdy topics but that it’s less about obsessing over things we love and more about really analyzing and understanding them and how they connect to every facet of our lives. The fanfiction episode is one of my favorites because it initially seems like such a frivolous activity (even Eric judges), but fanfic becomes a lens to discuss gender, sexuality, power imbalances, the publishing industry, and so much more. If you are a fan of fantasy, sci fi, comics, super heroes, role playing games, or just good storytelling, you will love this podcast!
I love your use of The Album Leaf throughout! Great stuff Eric. Well researched and delightfully thoughtful. 5/5 would listen again and again.
Worthy of your time
I love this show. Whenever a new episode appears in my feed, I often put it off as a “treat” after I catch up on my more news-ey and “serious” podcasts, but that’s always a mistake. Of all the podcasts I listen to, Imaginary Worlds is the one that always lingers with me the most. Some other podcasts tackle big science ideas or focus on human stories, but the melding of those two that Eric Molinsky manages makes this the one podcast that consistently gives me goosebumps while I listen to it, and lingers as something I’m thinking about throughout the week. I love it, but the only downside is that the only way I can capture that same feeling after listening to an episode is by going out and reading a really good book or some short stories, or delving into a good show. Hats off to this podcast for capturing that sense of wonder and excitement- imagination even- that normally only comes by being in works and worlds they explore every other week.
A must-listen for sci fi and fantasy fans!
Webb of Intrigue
I'm a lifelong lover of science fiction and fantasy storytelling. As I've gotten older though, new discoveries within the genres have become more rare. Also hard to find are substantive, thought-provoking discussions, as polarized shouting matches have come to dominate conversations online.
This podcast changed all that for me. Not only has it introduced me to new titles and provided insights into old favorites, it has given me fascinating glimpses into the lives of creators, and treated these genres with the respect they deserve, offering historical context and meaningful analysis with help from an impressive array of diverse and knowledgeable guests that include novelists, journalists, filmmakers, historians, artists, academics, designers, etc.
I also love the way Molinsky personalizes each episode, infusing it with his sense of curiosity, sensitivity, and deep appreciation of these stories, serving as wonderful guide and companion on this journey of discovery.
After binging the back catalog over the last month, I have learned so much and had my interest in sci fi and fantasy literature reinvigorated, inspiring me to check out many of the contemporary works cited in the show as well as classics that I've missed out on. Kudos to Eric and his team for making such a high quality podcast!
I just love this show!
I just love this show! Introduces you to new fandoms and gives cool perspectives on fandoms you thought you already knew! The doctor who one made me cry! I now care about Magic the Gathering! Alllll the Harry Potter ones! The Catherine Webb interview that led me to “The first fifteen loves of harry August”. all of it!
I’m not sure that this was his intent, but I find “Imaginary Worlds” to be a wellspring of inspiration for my own creative work. Eric’s approach to worlds is one that allows deep introspection around the context of our collective creations, holding up a mirror for us to see what we’re attempting to teach ourselves in the endeavor. As a podcast, it’s truly great work in the form.
A Great Podcast!
I love this. Very, very well done. If you are a fan of podcasts and you have any interest in the literature of the fantastic, this series is absolutely not-to-be-missed. Thank you, Eric -- keep up the good work!
This episode, in my book, goes in the Top 10 of this great podcast. I learned about an amazing author whose novels I know want to devour. Eric is a great interviewer. Such a delight
"Imaginary Worlds" Opens Doorways
This podcast really engages the imagination and is akin to stepping back into these worlds. Listening to them is akin to exploring them first hand through the books, films, and television shows that introduced them. And the subjects have a pretty broad range so that almost anyone can easily find a way in. Oz? It's here, as is Hogwarts and Neverland. But then so is Middle Earth, and the universes of Star Wars, Marvel and DC, and Disney.
Molinsky does all of this in a very friendly way, and each episode is accessible for the listener whether they are deeply familiar with the subject at hand, or if they have only a passing acquaintance. So it makes a great connector to new books and films. But for me personally, I love this show because when I've finished listening to it, I have the strange and satisfying sensation of having set off for, explored, and returned from the worlds it investigates.
My sci-fi happy place!
This show is incredibly well written and produced, it is a joy to listen to. When I want to learn something new and appreciate another aspect or view on a topic I think I am already well versed in, I tune in and am always surprised. Keep up the great work!
A lovely podcast
This was one of the first podcasts I started listening to and I'm always excited when a new episode comes out. Thought provoking with great guests and a solid variety of topics. I seriously recommend it to anyone interested in the nerdy side of Pop Culture.
Expanding My World
This is my favorite podcast. I’ve always loved peeking into the background of what makes a fiction happen, and this podcast gives me that in an entertaining, informative way. Every episode is fascinating!
One of the best
Imaginary Worlds is one of the few podcast I absolutely have to listen to as soon as it comes out. Eric is the kind of host I wish more podcasters were: informed, interesting, and someone who knows when to shut his mouth and listen. This is without a doubt the best show on fantasy and sci-fi out there.
fun and informative
Brilliant. Intriguing. Sparks fly.
Every show makes me want another one.
Hooray for Dr. Who Miniseries
Thank you for your latest miniseries on Dr. Who. I am eating it up. :-) Between Imaginary Worlds and The Allusionist my playlist is both intriguing and delightful.
This show is so well produced. I usually avoid American podcasts because most are so bad. Typically, a couple dudes unscripted, just blathering their opinions. Who cares? But Molinsky meticulously researches, writes, edits and produces this series with BBC or NPR level production values. It’s like This American Life for geeks. When I finally gave it a chance, I basically binged. Even the episodes about shows, movies, or books I'm unfamiliar with are still fascinating for his social insight on the topics. Can't rate it highly enough.
Can’t wait to hear them all!
Late to this party but loving it!
What an amazing podcast -- smart and insightful. with a great host and guests. I'm so happy to have found it.
I am so very happy
I just discovered podcasts and came across yours I started listing from the beginning I am so enthralled in your podcasts. I never thought of such things. I am still out I just listen to The pod of Captain Hook and you actually brought it back to life to me. The ending was like omg. I know it’s a performance but it came alive for me, Wow.
Pop Cultural Intellectualism
This is a fun way to think about the nerdy stuff we all love and see how it connects to the real world. The host finds angles to think about this stuff that you'd never expect, and educates you about other topics in the process.