Category: Writing

Worldbuilding Wednesday 4/1/20: Unlikely Animals
xxxx(April Fools!)

Talktotransformer is proving to be a potent tool for me. I usually have to run things through a few times, and tune and collate the results, but am mostly assured of a fecund list. By which I mean a list that makes the mind wander, cooking up possibilities (and story ideas) for people, places, and …

Continue reading

Worldbuilding Wednesday 3/25/20: Big Cat Hybrids

As I demonstrated last Wednesday, it’s pretty easy to come up with a name for a novel species of carnivorous mammal. Now let’s turn to the feline world, and the naming conventions of big cat hybrids. The “big four” Panthera species (lions, tigers, leopards, and jaguars) are all capable of interbreeding with each other, as …

Continue reading

Imaginary Creatures
(Neural Network Remix)

I’ve been working with random generation (courtesy of Gammadyne’s Random Word Generator) for almost three years now, and have to say it’s a nifty tool for generating both imaginary languages and imaginary names for people, places, and things. But now there’s another way to generate the latter: neural networks. A neural network, basically, is a …

Continue reading

Worldbuilding Wednesday 3/18/20: Carnivores

Exotic mammalian carnivores are heavily featured in SFF literature. William Rice Burroughs had his eight-legged, lion-like banth in his Barsoom series, and more recently Tomi Adeyemi took up the trope with her lionaires and leopardaires in Children of Blood and Bone and Children of Virtue and Vengeance. Prehistoric carnivores like the sabre-toothed tiger and short-faced …

Continue reading

Worldbuilding Wednesday 3/11/20: Vampire Novels

Here’s the book that started the erotic vampire story trend. Released in 1994, at the height of the Splatterpunk trend, Love in Vein mixed vampires and sex in a new, explicitly adult way. Featuring fantasy and horror heavyweights like Kathe Koja, Gene Wolfe, and Charles de Lint, with an opening essay by Poppy Z. Brite …

Continue reading

Worldbuilding Wednesday
3/4/20:The Best of Twittersnips
xxxx(Magic Weapons)

One of the most enjoyable aspects of AD&D and similar games are all the magical weapons a player can use. At first level, you might be lucky, as a fighter character, to gain a +1 magic sword, axe, or dagger; as you progress, the weapons become more dangerous and exotic. At higher levels, you’re sporting …

Continue reading

Worldbuilding Wednesday 2/26/20: Transformers Porn (NSFW)

The structure of Transformers names not only opens them up to parody, but also to a certain form of sexual parody. Let’s say somewhere fanfic, artwork and videos most certainly exist with these robots getting it on, or “Knockin’ pistons” as they might say, with all sorts of extraneous apparatus attached to their normally sexless …

Continue reading

Worldbuilding Wednesday 2/19/20: Female Transformers

For the first few years of its existence Transformers was strictly an all-male universe. By universe, I mean the line of toys, comics and cartoons in the US; there may have been some distaff members in the Japanese lines, which are traditionally more accepting of females in action roles. It was not until the mid-1980s …

Continue reading

Worldbuilding Wednesday 2/12/20: Rejected Transformers

As the picture above ** suggests, some Transformers just never made the grade. Since part of the fun of them are those oh-so-easily parodied names, here’s a list of those Autobots and Decepticons who never should have been born. I’ll call them Aborticons.   Aborticons Cosmiclutter Dirtbag Lumplizard Dinofart Kittenstrike Hysteridemic Crunkbrawl Skysnort Menhonk Hypimple …

Continue reading

Worldbuilding Wednesday 2/5/20: Transformers

Do you know American President Ronald Reagan is to thank for the success of the Transformers franchise? In the early 1980s Hasbro executives noticed a line of Japanese toys called the Diaclones, which were robots that transformed into vehicles. They thought the concept had merit, so the company licensed them to be sold in the …

Continue reading