Category Archive: Writing – Worldbuilding

Apr 25

Worldbuilding Wednesday 4/26/18: Pern

BRREEeeeeeee! I’m never wearing clothes — or seatbelts — again!   Anne McCaffrey wrote a long-running series of books about the backward planet of Pern and its giant, telepathic dragons used to combat “thread” – an invasive space spore that filtered down from an adjacent orbiting body — by burning from the air with their …

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Apr 18

Worldbuilding Wednesday 4/18/18: Superheroes

Thor looks disgruntled here (or maybe pleased? It’s hard to tell) but many other superheroes would be happy to take a break from their regular rounds of protecting the innocent. Maybe even some of these randomly generated ones. (Jules Feiffer’s The Great Comic Book Heroes remains the best introduction I’ve read to the history of …

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Apr 11

Worldbuilding Wednesday 4/11/18: Cursed Magic Items

The mimic, an insidious Dungeons and Dragons monster that disguises itself as a treasure chest.   Sometimes a dungeon master, or an author or game writer, wants to toy with their characters. Not in a life-ending way, but just to vex them a little. The following items do just that. Cursed Magic Items Spoon of …

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Apr 05

A Medieval Feast

  Next were borne round dishes of carp, pilchards, and lobsters, and there after store enew of meats: a fat kid roasted whole and garnished peas on a spacious silver charger, kid pasties, plates of meat’s tongues and sweetbreads, sucking rabbits in jellies, hedgehogs baked in their skins, hogs’ haslets, carbonadoes, chitterlings, and dormouse pies. …

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Apr 04

Worldbuilding Wednesday 4/4/18: Zimiamvia

The hippogriff emblem of Demonland, based on the line drawings in early editions of the book   In The Worm Ouroboros E.R. Eddison dazzles the reader with innumerable exotic and fantastically named people, places, and things. Unfortunately, they don’t all adhere to a consistent linguistic base, and no less a luminary like J.R.R. Tolkien criticized …

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Mar 28

Worldbuilding Wednesday 3/28/18: The Lord of the Things, Part IV

A stylized yet effective illustration of a Nazgul, by K. Mendon   The great shadow descended like a falling cloud. And behold! It was a winged creature: if bird, then greater than all other birds, and it was naked, and neither quill nor feather did it bear, and its vast pinions were as webs of …

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Mar 21

Worldbuilding Wednesday 3/21/18: The Lord of the Things, Part III

Swedish book cover, “The Saga of the Ring” in Celtic illuminated manuscript style   One of the important differences between Lord of the Rings and earlier fantasies is in Tolkien’s protagonists. Frodo, Merry, Pippin, and Sam are not high-powered warriors like those in Germanic and Norse legend, exemplified by Lord Juss and Brandoch Daha in …

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Mar 14

Worldbuilding Wednesday 3/14/18: The Lord of the Things, Part II

Eowyn bitchslaps the Captain of the Nazgul   Here we are moving on to more characters in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, with more variations. So hypothetical Freudno Buffins of Buff End can have brave-hearted companions like Gjori the Dwarf and Laegolach the Elf. There are other Tolkien name generators, of course. Most of …

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Mar 07

Worldbuilding Wednesday 3/7/18: The Lord of the Things, Part I

The Council of Elrond, Lego style   J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy has been a major influence for many, many, fantasy writers, myself included. (Or course, many fantasy writers detest it also.) And also like me, probably, at some point, budding young fantasy writers made up people, places, and things that sounded very …

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Feb 28

Worldbuilding Wednesday 2/28/18: U.S. Cities (East Coast)

What’s a writer to do when they want to set a story, series of stories, novel, or game in a large American city, but can’t for one reason or another? The answer: Make up their own. H.P. Lovecraft did this well with his Cthulhu Mythos stories, basing the made-up New England city of Arkham on …

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