Worldbuilding

Six Ways Flight Changes a Fantasy Setting

A man with a huge lantern riding atop a magic carpet.

While fantasy settings are usually far less technologically advanced than the real world, flight is still a common feature of the genre. No one bats an eye at wizards casting levitation spells, dragon riders soaring overhead, or powerful airships launching skyward. But authors rarely examine the … read more »

Creating Realistic Cultures

The Monastery of St. Nilus

One of the most common mistakes in worldbuilding is treating culture like it’s arbitrary. Clothing styles, gender roles, and religion are decided as though they just popped out of the ether one day. In reality, few aspects of culture are arbitrary; most are the result of … read more »

How to Build a World for Anthology Stories

The Discworld on the back of the giant turtle.

Once you’ve gone through all the work of creating a world, setting multiple stories there seems natural. You’re a busy writer after all; you don’t have time to create a new world from scratch every time. If these stories are not directly related, then congratulations, you’re … read more »

77 – Time Travel

The Mythcreant Podcast

Technically we’re all time travelers, moving forward at a rate of one second per second. That’s boring time travel though; let’s talk about the interesting stuff where doctors with bow ties hang out with medieval knights. This week we discuss good and bad uses of … read more »

Five Ways to Make Your World Feel Lived In

A crowd of protesters in London

Creating a three-dimensional setting is no easy feat, especially since you have to do it while focusing on a relatively small group of characters. Recently, Brian Byars had a question for us along these very lines. “I was wondering if you have ever covered the … read more »

74 – Religion in Spec Fic

The Mythcreant Podcast

What could make for light listening better than a discussion of religion? This week, the hosts discuss how gods, faith, and worship are portrayed in various spec fic stories. They delve into deep and introspective topics such as Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s concept of belief-driven deities and argue over why … read more »

Why You Should Theme Your World

For a world to foster immersion, it must feel cohesive, more cohesive than the real world. Anything out of place in the real world can be proved with evidence; fictional worlds don’t have that luxury. To make everything feel like it fits, worldbuilders use themes. Read more »

Five Obstacles to a Realistic Interstellar Empire

From Star Wars’ aptly named Galactic Empire to Star Trek’s United Federation of Planets, interstellar civilizations are a pillar of science fiction. Somehow, humanity breaks the light-speed barrier and reaches the stars. Maybe we’ll meet some aliens along the way, maybe not. Either way, our … read more »