Category: Writing – Worldbuilding

Worldbuilding Wednesday 5/6/20: Let’s Talk About Princess
xxxx Irulan and Her Sisters

I’ve always considered Dune and its many sequels more science fantasy than science fiction. Sure, there’s starships and other planets, not to mention sandworm biology, but there’s also a Catholic-like sisterhood with sinister mind powers, swordfights, a Chosen One trope, and a feudal society with emperors, princesses, and dukes. Herbert cribbed a lot from human …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 4/29/20: Military Slang, Part III

For this series so far I’ve been generating American military slang which could be used in the modern era. In previous conflicts, however, such slang existed too. Redcoats, as every school child knows (well, those who were alive during the American Bicentennial) was slang for British soldiers in the Revolutionary War, along with the less …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 4/22/20: Military Slang, Part II

Among the more well-known of military slang words are snafu and FUBAR. Both originated in WWII. Snafu has since passed into regular language use as a noun meaning a mess, an unexpected monkey wrench thrown into one’s plans. Originally SNAFU, the letters stood for Status Nominal: All Fucked Up,  a sarcastic term referring to the …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 4/15/20: Military Slang, Part I

Military slang is obscure and puzzling even at the best of times. It’s easy for civilians to pick up terms readily bandied about by journalists like MREs (military rations) and those from TV shows and movies, like dogtag and grunt.  But there’s a whole slew of others, some dependent on location, like AWACS (Airborne Early …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday
4/8/20:The Best of Twittersnips
xxxx(Potions)

the love potion, by evelyn de morgan

Potions are essential for RPG fantasy gaming. They’re like a Get Out of Jail Free card, useful for a player in dire circumstances to cheat fate by teleporting themselves away from a foe or healing fatal damage. But they can also do other things. From my twitter feed, some favorites I created. “Potion” refers to …

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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 fine-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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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