Fandom is as much about exclusivity as inclusivity. Members are measured by the length and depth of their knowledge and uncommitted newcomers are quickly outed. As such, it's a walled garden - a fertile place, but an echoey one. In this podcast, host Eric Molinsky leaps over those walls to bring us the fascinating stories behind made-up worlds. Whether it's Star Wars or Marvel or The Walking Dead, Molinksy asks questions about the mechanics of fictional universes: the economics of Game of Thrones, for example, or superhero suit design. He illuminates moments in science fiction and fantasy history (secretive authors, unfinished masterworks), worlds we didn't know existed (a miniature town designed for cyber war games), and explores his own personal fixations (attempts to cure his zombie phobia; a mid-life introduction to D&D). In each 20-minute-ish narrative, he speaks to memorable characters and genre luminaries, and draws conclusions about the real world by examining the ones we've invented. A pleasure, bi-weekly.
Gateway episodes: Why They Fight (10 Mar 2016) / Slave Leia (2 Dec 2015) / The Mysterious James Tiptree (12 Mar 2015) / Rolling the Twenty Sided Dice (23 Sep 2015)