Category: Writing

Worldbuilding Wednesday 10/16/19: Elfquest

Elfquest, created by Wendy and Richard Pini, exploded onto the publishing scene in the early 1980s. A graphic novel series about, basically, hippy Native American elves who ride wolves, it took the comic world and SF fandom by storm, kick-starting the indie comic movement while also growing out of the earlier adult comic movement of …

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Horror Genres

Easy-to-comprehend diagram of Horror genres. Some changes I’d make: Move “Creepy Kid” under the Monster genre The genres at the bottom aren’t really genres, they’re more like themes… …with the exception of Goth, which is a legitimate genre IMO. The Supernatural subgenre under Paranormal is just wrong. I’d call it Metahuman or Mutant and class …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 10/9/19: Apple Varieties

As I discovered when I read Rowan Jacobsen’s Apples of Uncommon Character, a name can make or break an apple type. Heirloom apples were commonly named after who discovered or propagated them or where they were discovered. Such as Ben Davis, McIntosh, and Rome, which came not from Italy but the little town of Rome, Ohio. …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 10/2/19: Roller Coasters

The first roller coasters were not called roller coasters at all. They were known as Russian Mountains and were created in Portugal, not Russia, from mounds of ice piled up by Russian refugees from wars of Ivan the Terrible in the 1600s.  To this day, in Spanish-speaking countries, roller coasters are still known as montaña …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 9/25/19: Melniboné

British author Michael Moorcock created a series of stories, novels, and metanovels about albino warrior Elric of Melniboné, referenced by me here. In that series, the made-up language was surprisingly consistent. Sometimes ridiculous, sometimes grandiose, the words Yyrkoon, Imryyr, and Xiombarg conjure up a sort of Solomon’s Demons / Chinese never-never land beyond time and …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 9/18/19: Fish

Fish, and sealife in general, tend to get names that relate to their appearance — such as the seahorse  — or behavior, like the fancifully named by-the-wind sailor jellyfish. Sprinkled in are names from foreign sources, like humuhumunukunukuapua’a. Looking for a name for a fish that never was and never will be? Here’s a list. …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 9/11/19: Silent Movie Stars

The first movie stars to appear were not the glamourous creatures of today. They were experimental subjects, warm bodies whose only requirement was to do what the operator of the camera told them to. They were anonymous for the most part. Some of the earliest experimenters in film, like Georges Melies, used themselves as the …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 9/4/19: Features of New Jersey

As far as strange names goes, the state of New Jersey takes the cake. There are towns named Loveladies and Nutley and features like the Jenny Jump Mountains and Double Trouble State Park. In fact, drive a mile in any direction and you’ll be sure to find one or more oddly named creeks, reservoirs, hills, …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday
States of Confusion 8/28/19:
xxxx (West Coast)

I’ve looked at alternate U.S. states before on this site here and here, but frankly, where things really start to get whacky is on the West Coast. But you knew that, didn’t you? Being the most populous state in the union California tends to get divided up a lot. It seems fresh proposals come down …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 8/21/19: Let’s Talk About Elric

Elric of Melniboné, that is. Elric was a creation of SFF writer Michael Moorcock and made his first appearance in 1961, in a novella titled “The Dreaming City” in the pages of Science Fantasy magazine. More stories followed later in the 1960s and eventually they were compiled, with added material and edits, into a a …

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