Tag: SF

Worldbuilding Wednesday 9/14/22: Deep Sky Objects

Like imaginary galaxies, imaginary nebulas are also simple to create. These three were done in Wombo, which is designed specifically to make trading card NFTs. But it’s also fine for other stuff. These randomgens were tweaked in Write With Transformer, so if some of them don’t make sense, that’s why. WWT is part of the …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 9/7/22: Galaxies

Galaxies are one of those things that it’s easy to create a picture of. I remember in the 1970s all an artist needed was an airbrush, one or two pigments, and a fine paintbrush for depicting individual stars. When Photoshop and other painting programs came along, you could do the same thing with digital tools …

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Children of the Elder Things, or Echinoderm Horror

  As I talked about here, H. P. Lovecraft’s Elder Things were such a unique creation both of their time and for SF in general that their caliber was not duplicated  for many years. There were echoes of them in the BEMs (bug-eyed monsters) of the lurid SF pulp covers of the 1930s through the …

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The Art of the Elder Thing (Part III)

In this post I’ll examine  Elder Thing depictions done in different media and styles. This is an Elder Thing stripped down its basic elements: starfish head, wings, cucumber body, five tentacle legs. I’m guessing it’s a petroglyph painted on some exposed shale rock, which since has been desecrated by bird poop. The creator of the …

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The Art of the Elder Thing (Part II)

In Part II of this series I’ll be taking a look at the Elder Things interacting with their natural environment — either the snowbound Antarctica of At the Mountains of Madness, or their titanic cities of long ago. This illustration of the creatures shows them checking out a ship that has been stuck in the …

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Roadside Picnic
[Reading Challenge 2022]

Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky Translation by Olena Bormashenko Chicago Review Press, 2012 (Originally published 1972 in the USSR) [ Challenge # 34: A book by more than one author. ] Roadside Picnic is an SF classic. Originally published in the USSR at the height of the Cold War — and Communist censorship …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 1/19/22: The Best of Twittersnips
xxxx(Playing in Another’s Sandbox)

Very occasionally over the past years I’ve stepped out and created random characters for existing media —  books, movies, or even toy lines. Here’s a selection.   Franchise and fanfic characters Middle Earth (J. R. R. Tolkien) Smerri Peachlake, Nol Bluffbuggin, Gosti Threeclasp (Hobbits) Yevenglazar, a giant spider Prince Thrindhöil Gandian Graymurgh, a wizard Islands …

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Dissing on The Dispossessed

I’m not going to snark on the book itself here, only the covers. But in doing so you’ll learn a fair amount about the book! First of all, this one, which to my mind is the classic one. It’s grand, sweeping, colorful, exciting. It boils the tale down to its basics: two worlds, very different, …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 4/7/21: Atompunk Computers

Atompunk computers deserve their own nomenclature. Running on vacuum tubes and early transistors, and programmed with miles of magnetic tape and punch cards, in the media they were mostly objects of menace. Many classic SF stories of the age revolve around artificial intelligence taking charge of humans and becoming their overlord. In the movie Colossus: …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 3/31/21: Atompunk Robots

Atompunk robots (those in media from 1945 – 1965) tend to have the same sort of names. Short ones like Gort, cutesy ones like Robbie or Tobor (“Robot” spelled backwards) or functional ones combining scientific terms with letters and numbers. That’s the sort I was after here with this randomly generated list. These names showed …

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