Inspiration

Five Dualities That Can Replace Good and Evil

Let’s face it, fights between pure good and absolute evil are getting old. Black and white morality doesn’t lend itself to nuanced characters, and it rarely feels realistic anymore. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have epic battles that determine the fate of the world. … read more »

Five Symbolic Motifs for Mystical Characters

A woman in gauzy white drapes over a tree trunk with planets in the sky behind her Symbolism creates another realm of meaning to explore. The following symbolic motifs feature ways we re-imagine our natural world, making them wonderful for bestowing ancient mysticism on your characters or simply adding playfulness to your story. You can invent an entire story around them or … read more »

Designing Aliens From an Alternate Earth

Avatar's Pandora, complete with flying blue beasties and pretty forest waterfall. From the little green men of Mars to the rubber foreheads of Star Trek, aliens persist as a tried-and-true staple of science fiction. Though the concept of alien life isn’t unrealistic, scifi representations are almost always implausible. We’ve recently deduced that Earth-like planets should number … read more »

Choosing Music and Instruments for Your Culture

The cultural ambiance of your world wouldn’t be complete without music. When adding musicians to your settings, it’s easy to insert generic instruments and songs without thinking through them. But that wouldn’t do justice to the huge diversity of music human cultures have. Here are some guidelines and inspiration … read more »

Terraformed Solar System: The Final Planets

It’s finally time to complete our tour of humanity’s near-future playground: the Solar System. We’ve already gotten a look at what humanity has in store for the inner worlds, the resource-rich asteroid belt, and even the frosty moons of the two biggest gas giants. Jupiter … read more »

Three Trajectories of Modern Robotics

Lots of science fiction set in the near-future uses robotics as scenery, if not the focus of the plot. Robotics is a field continually surprising us with innovations. New opportunities are discovered and old ideas are proven impractical with each advancement. Whether you’re trying to find inspiration in … read more »