The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J. Walker
 

The End of the World Running Club

Review

 
Urskuul’s Reading Circle: The Lost Plot by Genevieve Cogman
 

The Lost Plot

Urskuul's Reading Circle

 
Dungeons and Dragons – An Adventure in Two Worlds
 

D&D - An Adventure in Two Worlds

Article

 

Browsing all articles tagged with worldbuilding.

Creating a Fantasy Race

Creating a Fantasy Race 

The fantasy genre is filled with an astonishing array of wildly different races that populate our stories. Some are drawn from older myths and legends like elves and dwarfs while others are brand new creations from the author’s imagination. Would-be worldbuilders might think it’s just a matter of slapping some limbs together and thinking up […]

Continue reading...

Worldbuilding Round Table with Jonathan French, Alec Hutson, and Phil Tucker

Worldbuilding Round Table with Jonathan French, Alec Hutson, and Phil Tucker 

Of the fantasy books I have read this year, three of my favorites have been Alec Hutson’s Crimson Queen, Jonathan French’s The Grey Bastards (winner of SPFBO 2016), and Phil Tucker’s The Path of Flames (SPFBO 2016 finalist). All have received both critical acclaim and reader adoration. What drew me into their worlds was how […]

Continue reading...

A Monster’s Place

A Monster’s Place 

The terrifying monster has been a staple of the fantasy genre since its earliest origins, when bards told tales around a fire at the dawn of time. They frightened listeners with descriptions of horrifying creatures, they talked of scaled hides, the fearsome length of its claws, of hungry eyes peering out of the darkness. This […]

Continue reading...

The Creatures We Base Aliens On

The Creatures We Base Aliens On 

One of the interesting things about fictional aliens is that they’re almost never completely alien. We have no real idea what extra-terrestrials would look like, and it’s nigh impossible to imagine an entirely new species unlike anything we’ve ever seen. As such, we usually fall back on earthly species for inspiration, combining known elements to […]

Continue reading...

Worlds Within Worlds – Part Four: Old Grey Beards

Worlds Within Worlds – Part Four: Old Grey Beards 

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 […]

Continue reading...

The Pros and Cons of a Macro Timescale

The Pros and Cons of a Macro Timescale 

Most fantasy and science fiction series tend to be, by their very nature, large in scope. We expect stories about the fate of worlds, the rise and fall of empires, and history in the making. A book might still focus on a character’s personal, small-scale struggle, but it’s rare the focus will only be on […]

Continue reading...

Worlds Within Worlds – Part One: Writing a Good Game into a Good Book

Worlds Within Worlds – Part One: Writing a Good Game into a Good Book 

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. […]

Continue reading...

Top 10 Things To Do in a Fictional Castle

Top 10 Things To Do in a Fictional Castle 

For those of us who like a touch of the magical and the medieval, nothing quite beats a visit to a fictional castle. But with all those trap doors, winding passageways, and changeable stairs, it’s hard to know where to start and how to make the most of your time. Yes, you may already have […]

Continue reading...

Wading in the Cultural Shallows: How Irish Mythology Became A Commodity for Fantasy

Wading in the Cultural Shallows: How Irish Mythology Became A Commodity for Fantasy 

One night at a party I was introduced to a woman who proudly informed told me she’d named her baby daughter ‘Banshee’ in celebration of her Irish heritage. Even at the time I was pretty stunned by the announcement. For an Irish person (and I would have thought most people would have known this), this […]

Continue reading...

Is This Normal Around Here?

Is This Normal Around Here? 

So you get home to your enchanted castle, hand your coat to the golem butler who waits by the door, tut sadly at Markus; the caretaker who’s trying to fill a light globe and letting all the fairies escape, then you head to the kitchen where your goblin chef has an entire pig roasting on […]

Continue reading...

Exploring Vvardenfell: How Morrowind Created an Immersive Secondary World

Exploring Vvardenfell: How Morrowind Created an Immersive Secondary World 

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 […]

Continue reading...

Worlds Within Worlds – Part One: Creating Texts for Secondary Worlds

Worlds Within Worlds – Part One: Creating Texts for Secondary Worlds 

The stories of H. P. Lovecraft are filled with references to all kinds of bizarre, ancient books, some fictional, some real: Abdul Alhazred’s Necronomicon, the Pnakotic Manuscripts, Trithemius’ Poligraphia, Giambattista Porta’s De Furtivis Literarum Notis, and Kluber’s Kryptographik, just to name a few. These are a mix of grimoires, obscure histories, and cryptographic works, but […]

Continue reading...