Tag: Fantasy

Worldbuilding Wednesday 4/25/18: Pern

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 fiery breath. Pern had a pseudo-Medieval culture and the dragons a …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 4/11/18: Cursed Magic Items

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 Canine Mucous: Any food this item touches turns into dog drool. Iol-Del’s Unlucky Siphon: This …

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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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Worldbuilding Wednesday 4/4/18: Zimiamvia

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 the author for this. Some character names sound Latin, such as Laxus, Corinius, Corund, and Corsus. Others …

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Tolkien March, Concluded

Well, here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the Sea comes the end of our fellowship in Middle-Earth. Go in Peace! I will not say: Do not weep; for not all tears are an evil. It’s been fun a fun month here in Cobaltland, delving into all things Middle Earth. I’ve found out …

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

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 hide between horned fingers; and it stank. A creature of an older …

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Tolkien in Bengali

A Bengali edition of The Fellowship of the Ring, published in the Indian subcontinent. (Hindi and English are the official languages government-wise, but there are many, many others including Tamil, Urdu, and Punjabi.) The artwork looks to be a crib from the 2001 movie, done in the style of Bollywood cinema posters. Look closely at …

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The Worm Ouroboros
[Reading Challenge 2018]

The Worm Ouroboros by E. R. Eddison Ballantine Books, New York, 1967 [Challenge # 48: A high fantasy] The Worm Ouroboros is one of the great granddaddies of fantasy, sandwiched between Lord Dunsany, who was an influence, and J.R.R. Tolkien, who received its influence. As such, it’s a kind of a bridge, but one that …

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

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 E.R. Eddison’s The Worm Ouroboros, which I’m reading now. Neither do they fit the …

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In Praise of Oliphaunts

Grey as a mouse, Big as a house, Nose like a snake, I make the earth shake, As I tramp through the grass; Trees crack as I pass. J.R.R. Tolkien, “Oliphaunt” Oliphaunts, or mumakil as Tolkien also called them, are one of the mythical creatures most identified with the trilogy. It’s clear they are based …

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