Browsing all articles in Worlds Within Worlds.
Most people associate magic with strange symbols, chanting, and waving a wand around. Dusty books are usually in the picture, along with ritual circles or sacrifices. The mages themselves are usually old men with grey beards—frail but knowledgeable. I’ve already written about them. Compare that kind of magic and mage to qigong and (arguably) its […]
If you ask someone on the street to name the first three wizards that come to mind, you’ll probably hear the names Gandalf, Merlin, and Dumbledore (or Rincewind, if they’re trying to be clever). The image of the white-bearded old man with a staff is woven into modern fantasy, to the point that Pratchett filled […]
Fallout taught fans that war…war never changes. Military historians, however, argue otherwise. Case in point: the stirrup. Before firearms dominated the battlefield, it’s generally agreed that the stirrup was the most important innovation in warfare for a couple centuries. Fans of the Rohirrim will recognize why: cavalry is fast and maneuverable, and the stirrup allows […]
Humanity has played games for as long as we’ve been able to make up rules and keep score. As we’ve developed as a species, we’ve created thousands of games, and gaming isn’t just something we do out of boredom. In many ways, games are a survival mechanism, a way to recharge our brains and spirits. […]
Back in 2012, I was sitting with a group of fantasy writers at the PNWA conference in Seattle. Everyone had begun rolling off their favorite authors, and soon there were choruses of ah, yes and mmm. I just sat there silently with a glass of ice water. Most of my writing career had been a conscious detour around […]