Tag: History

Worldbuilding Wednesday 3/3/21: Fairy Tales III

This illustration by Arthur Rackham appeared on the cover of a book of Grimm’s fairy tales given to me by my parents. I forget the name of the story, but in it, the child hero, who is peeking out of the stove at the illustration’s approximate center, is hiding from the ogre. He has been …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 2/17/21: Fairy Tales II

The plasticity of fairy tales is demonstrated by these illustrations of Beauty and the Beast from over the years. In the original fairy tale, the Beast is never explicitly described, so artists had to use their imaginations. From the top left, going clockwise, he’s a spotted hyena, a wolf-boar, a very weird walrus-mole hybrid, and …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 2/10/21: Fairy Tales I

Fairy tales were not intended for children. I repeat that, fairy tales were NOT intended for children. Just take a look at the Kay Nielson illustration for Cinderella above. Despite the name, Kay is a he, a classically trained Danish artist who worked heavily during the first half of the 20th century. The moment depicts …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 1/27/21: Let’s Talk About Shakespeare

William Shakespeare is considered by many to be the greatest writer in the English language. He left behind a legacy of 39 plays and 154 sonnets that are still being performed and read today. Just to hear the name “Shakespeare” among someone’s interests is a mark of high intellectual discernment, and used as an adjective, …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 1/13/21: Ancient Empires

  Over the summer as I was immersed in Narnia I read a lot about the Old Testament, and in turn about the ancient civilizations of the Near and Middle East. Most people know of Ur, Assyria, and the Phoenicians, but there were many others more obscure — Adiabene, the Girgashites, Hayasa-Azzi. Some were kingdoms, …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 12/2/20: States of Confusion
xxxx (Gulf Coast)

States may not be able to change their names without a lot of legislature, but it’s possible to change their flag. Mississippi was just fine with this state flag for 126 years, even though it featured the Confederate flag that in recent years has gone from being a symbol of rebel pride to racist tyranny. …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 10/28/20: Solomon’s Demons

Despite the name, these demons have nothing to do with King Solomon of the Bible. They are supernatural beings listed in a spellbook known as The Lesser Key of Solomon, or Salomonis Regis, which contains descriptions of them along with summoning instructions. This meaty tome is divided into five parts, compiled by an anonymous author …

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All Things Charn (Part III)

Previous parts of this essay: Part I Part II Since it’s pretty certain that Charn had biblical origins, can we say the same of Jadis? Is she the same as the infamous Whore of Babylon, or is she something more? One thing Jadis is not, is European. In her own element she wore no tight …

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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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