November 2017 archive

A Wrinkle in Time [Reading Challenge 2017]

A Wrinkle in Time by Madelene L’Engle Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2010 (Originally published in 1962)   [Challenge # 3: A book you loved as a child.] Like many children of a certain generation, I read Madeleine L’Engle’s classic SF novel A Wrinkle in Time in fifth or sixth grade and fell in love with …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/29/17: Imaginary Constellations

cat constellation

In a pre-industrial society, stars and constellations had more impact on the viewer because there was less light pollution. Pictures could be traced, paths, and stories, all providing a commonality among members of a tribe or society. One common example is the constellation of the Big Dipper, or Ursa Major, imagined by many ancient cultures …

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The Weightless Ones

They are coming for you and you can’t hide from them… ever.   (Art by Alexey Andreev)

Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/22/17: Supernatural Beings

  There are all sorts of fairies, elementals, grues, demons, devils, angels, nature spirits, and the like in fantasy. Often they serve a purpose in the story, and just as often they are there for window dressing, like the offhand mentions of pookas or kelpies causing trouble. In fact, things wouldn’t be the same if …

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The Cult

The Cult regularly punished those who failed to recruit new members.

Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/15/17: Venice, also known as Venus

Masquerade time in Venus (Venice)   Fantasy writing published in English-speaking worlds relies heavily on Medieval England as a setting. I suppose it’s because most early fantasy writers were, in fact, English, and then there’s the influence of the Inklings that included J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. It’s a heavy base that …

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Black Queen VI

Black magic was one of her passions. Over time, she found the blackest.   (Artwork by menton3)

Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/8/17: Fairground Rides

  So many of them sound like video games, don’t they? Probably because both are designed to take their users to a strange, disoriented world full of action and violent motion. With a dozen lists and a randomizer, here’s what I came up with, to create your own travelling carnival or Midway. Nausea-inducing fairground rides …

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Tigerpillar

A little known creature from Chinese mythology, the Tigerpillar combined the ravenous appetite of both creatures.

Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/1/17: Quaint English Towns

Are those Hobbits in the foreground?   You’re driving along in the English countryside on your way to the next bed-and-breakfast. Villages and towns appear as you turn a bend or crest the hill, then disappear as the road steers you away. Or you’re reading some cozy mystery book set in the British Isles, or …

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