Category: Fantasy

Worldbuilding Wednesday 3/3/21: Fairy Tales III

This illustration by Arthur Rackham appeared on the cover of a book of Grimm’s fairy tales given to me by my parents. I forget the name of the story, but in it, the child hero, who is peeking out of the stove at the illustration’s approximate center, is hiding from the ogre. He has been …

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Yellow Fairy Book

The first collections of fairy tales, like Andrew Lang’s Yellow Fairy Book above, were intended for offspring of wealthy consumers. The book itself is sturdily made and sumptuously illustrated with pen drawings in a flowing, Art Nouveau style. More decoration is seen on the spine and cover, which has embossing as well as a two-ink …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 2/17/21: Fairy Tales II

The plasticity of fairy tales is demonstrated by these illustrations of Beauty and the Beast from over the years. In the original fairy tale, the Beast is never explicitly described, so artists had to use their imaginations. From the top left, going clockwise, he’s a spotted hyena, a wolf-boar, a very weird walrus-mole hybrid, and …

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Questing Beast

The Questing Beast was a creature from Arthurian lore. It combined the features of a deer, snake, leopard, and dragon. Shy yet fierce, it was the quarry of King Pellinore, who spent his life searching for it. This Questing Beast was by artist Terri Whitlatch who specializes in speculative biology.  

Worldbuilding Wednesday 2/10/21: Fairy Tales I

Fairy tales were not intended for children. I repeat that, fairy tales were NOT intended for children. Just take a look at the Kay Nielson illustration for Cinderella above. Despite the name, Kay is a he, a classically trained Danish artist who worked heavily during the first half of the 20th century. The moment depicts …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 1/27/21: Let’s Talk About Shakespeare

William Shakespeare is considered by many to be the greatest writer in the English language. He left behind a legacy of 39 plays and 154 sonnets that are still being performed and read today. Just to hear the name “Shakespeare” among someone’s interests is a mark of high intellectual discernment, and used as an adjective, …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 1/20/21: Animal Magic

Need some spells about animals for your campaign? Look no further.   Animal Magic Aelbun’s Annoying Sparrow: Enchants a nearby sparrow to harass an opponent by diving at it and flying in its face. Humanoid creatures will attack at -1 capacity. Blandoth’s Wrack Sea Serpent: Causes great pain in sea serpents of all kinds. Most …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 1/13/21: Ancient Empires

  Over the summer as I was immersed in Narnia I read a lot about the Old Testament, and in turn about the ancient civilizations of the Near and Middle East. Most people know of Ur, Assyria, and the Phoenicians, but there were many others more obscure — Adiabene, the Girgashites, Hayasa-Azzi. Some were kingdoms, …

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Now That’s a Reindeer!

Extinct prehistoric deer Sinomegaloceros, which boastged a triceratops-like frill over its head.

Worldbuilding Wednesday 12/30/20: The Best of
xxxxTwittersnips (SFF Novels)

A selection of randomly generated SFF novel titles that appeared in my Twitter feed 2017 – 2020. Any one of them would make a fine book.   SF, Fantasy, and Steampunk Novels Rebellion’s Acolyte Shadows of Stinging Grass Dowsing the Dragon Harry Potter and the Brawler of Blackworth Harry Potter and the Assassin’s Blade A …

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