August 2017 archive

Worldbuilding Wednesday 8/30/17: Mundane Fare

Let’s face it. Most of the food in a typical Medieval European kingdom wasn’t very exciting. This is better than most, folks. Historically, the peasant staple in Europe and the Near East was porridge, which is, basically, a form of oatmeal —  whole grains boiled in water or milk, decanted into a bowl and eaten …

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Gummy Bear

This is one treat you don’t want to eat. Gummy Anatomy Toy, by Jason Freeny

Worldbuilding Wednesday 8/23/17: Jungle Girls

Jungle Girls are the female counterpart to Tarzan, Sabu, and countless other wild men and boys clad in flapping loincloths swinging through the trees. Modern interpretations of her began with Rima the Bird Girl, a character in the 1903 novel Green Mansions, which makes her older than Tarzan who debuted in 1912. Like Burrough’s creation …

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Our Trash Will Eat Us

…eventually. All things take time. (artwork by Phil McDermott)

Worldbuilding Wednesday 8/16/17: Dragon Names

Dragon Names No other creature is as evocative of the contemporary fantasy genre as the dragon. They combine snakes, lizards, dinosaurs, large mammalian predators, and human intellects into one massive, armored, fire-breathing package. (Their drives, however, are their own.) The current version of the dragon dates from within the last 100 years. Tolkien gave us …

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Sea Monster

The last thing the oceanographer saw. Concept art from the Syfy movie Dinoshark

Worldbuilding Wednesday, 8/9/17: Bureaucracies

Portrait of Auster Denoerval, by Virginie Carquin   Fantasy organizations are not limited to the grandiose and world-shaking. Scores of bureaucratic organizations run silently beneath the surface, serving to frustrate and stymie your characters in pursuit of their goals. Terry Pratchett, Franz Kafka, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Stanislaw Lem, and J. K. Rowling all used them …

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Laughter

laughing mannequins full of evil

They are laughing at you always. And they never stop.

Worldbuilding Wednesday, 8/2/17: Inns, Taverns, and Eateries

The Granddaddy of all Fantasy fiction tropes must surely be the Medieval Inn, with its open hearths and wenches in low-cut bodices, unsavory characters lurking about, and bowls of hot stew. (No less a luminary than Tolkien created the seminal template with The Prancing Pony.) In truth, inns served a vital function in the Medieval/Renaissance …

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