Category: Writing – Worldbuilding

Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/10/21: The Flat Earth

  In the late 1970s and 1980s British writer Tanith Lee came out with the books that most defined her career: The Flat Earth series. These books were about an Arabian Nights never-never land of deserts, demons, innocent maidens, leering rakes, and magic. The first three,  Night’s Master, Death’s Master, and Delusion’s Master dealt with, …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/3/21: Russian Palaces

Russia retained a feudal type of government until well into the 20th century (before the Russian Revolution, of course) that depended on the backbreaking labor of its serfs to fund the lavish lifestyles of its ruling elite. Not only that, the Czars were considered chosen by God himself to rule, and considered sacred, which is …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 10/20/21: The Best of
xxxxTwittersnips (Fairy Tales)

Russian fairy tales have a cast of characters rarely heard above in the West. I believe the pic above is of Alkonost and Sirin, two mythical, woman-headed birds with bewitching voices. Unlike the sirens, they used their singing for good, bringing happiness to those deserving. The cave full of giant gem crystals is an unfamiliar …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 10/13/21: The Best of
xxxxTwittersnips (Local Color I)

One of the things I’ve noticed about illustrations of dragons (and many imaginary creatures in general) is how closely they resemble dogs. The charming beast above is a sleepy German Shepard through and through, in spite of the wings, long tail, and feathered goat-featured face. This is not a criticism of the artist, mind you. …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 10/6/21: Insects

In fantasy worldbuilding, insects get the short end of the (walking) stick. What’s the last imaginary one you can remember? For me, it’s the odd bread-and-butterfly of Alice in Wonderland. The intelligent insect races of science fiction are more memorable. The Bugs of Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, and the Buggers (Formics) of Orson Scott Card’s …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 9/29/21: Bodacious Bs

I am not as fond of the letter B as I am of the letter A for fictional characters. Oh, sure, it has its uses for manly types, like Byron and Bradford — think the alliterative brawny, brash, beefy. But for female characters, it implies big bosoms, bellies, and behinds in matronly names like Bessie, …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 9/22/21: The Best of Twittersnips
xxxx(Narnian Creatures)

It’s not too often that you see an illustration of Narnia where the viewpoint is looking into our world through the wardrobe, not the other way around. It also illustrates how odd this is, in a snowy forest filled with pine trees. Naming Narnian beings is fun for me, so here’s a list of all …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 9/15/21: National Parks

On first glance, it’s pretty hard to tell which poster is of a real place, and which poster is fictional, yes? Brightly colored travel posters that look like silkscreens began in the 1930s, as part of a Works Administration Project (WPA) funded by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, designed to give employment to otherwise unemployed artists. …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 9/8/21: Models of the 1960s

Fashion models of the 1960s were a special breed. They may not have been conventionally pretty, but they stood out as individuals in a way the models of the 1950s never did. Donyale Luna (left) and Benedetta Barzini (right) certainly did with their sculptural poise and elegance. Unfortunately Luna met a sad end in the …

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Jadis Redux

The second Summer of Narnia is drawing to a close, so I’d like to share some more images of my fave magic-using evil Queen, Jadis. First is a B&W rendition by comic artist Sebastian Ericson. Long black hair, grasping, claw-like hands, evil sneer, spiky crown… yum. A section of a video art project about The …

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