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A Worldbuilding Guide to Crafting Diverse Cultures

by Amelia Wiens

One of the best parts of science fiction and fantasy is the worldbuilding. A key part of creating interesting worlds is creating diverse cultures that vary in some way from our own norms. That being said, it can be so hard to get out of our own culture’s point of view and redefine elements that we unconsciously take for granted.

The Art of Story as Worldbuilding

by Nathan Nance,

So you’re writing SFF, and you’ve got spaceships to design. Engine systems to map. A haunted forest to populate. A talking badger to draw. If you’re not a rocket scientist writing hard sci-fi, how are you supposed to make your version of James S.A. Corey’s Rocinante, you know, fly?

Words Out of Time: Building a Better World Through Etymology

by Ken Pelham

Your stiff-upper-lipped hero, Professor Jenkins, frustrated with the chicanery of Air Captain Hamm, pounds the table and shouts, “Good heavens, man! The scoundrel has hatched yet another outrageous boondoggle!”

Boondoggle. This is where your narrative gets stuck in the etymological weeds.

From The Inside Out: Worldbuilding Through Extrapolation

by Suyi Davies Okungbowa

It’s virtually impossible to do ALL of your SFF worldbuilding prior to writing your book/story. How much weight is given to each stage depends on the author (some prefer to do a lot before starting, some build nothing before writing). My own preference is to build the foundation–just enough to get me started, then build more along the way, and go back and change stuff after I’m done.

Technology and Worldbuilding, Part Two

by Kevin L. O’Brien In this second part of my series on technology and worldbuilding (see Part One), I would like to examine mass production. This is the concept of manufacturing many copies of a product quickly and efficiently, rather than creating each copy by individual effort, as in craftwork. Mass production is in turn […]

Automation and Worldbuilding, Part One

by Kevin L. O’Brien

Automation is defined as technology that performs work with little or no human assistance; automatic machines are known as automatons. It actually predates the Middle Ages, in that the Greeks knew about and used automated systems as early as 300 BC: examples include Hero of Alexandria’s automatic doors and fountain, and Ctesibius’s robot owl.

Worldbuilding with the Medieval Industrial Revolution, Part Three

by Kevin L. O’Brien

It should be pointed out that while it is easy to pattern a quasi-medieval fantasy society after medieval Europe, European society of the Middle Ages didn’t just appear out of nothing. It grew from antecedents and so was based on a foundation of varied traditions, and there is every reason to believe that a fictional society would be the same way.

Worldbuilding with the Medieval Industrial Revolution, Part Two

by Kevin L. O’Brien Welcome to Part Two of a series that examines technology and medieval machines that can be used in worldbuilding.   In the first post of this series, I described how a quasi-medieval society could smelt all the iron it needed to generate and sustain an industrial revolution. However, while it could […]

Worldbuilding with the Medieval Industrial Revolution

by Kevin L. O’Brien

Welcome to Part One of a series that discusses technology and medieval machines that can be used for worldbuilding.

Many fantasy stories gloss over technological details that would be vital in a real-world setting. For example: how would a medieval-level society acquire the iron it needs for tools and implements?

Building Worlds

by K. C. Norton

For the past three years, I have been working as a ghostwriter, writing coach, and English tutor. In my line of work, I almost invariably partner with people who are writing or editing their memoirs. For the most part, they’re content to know that I have a Master’s degree, but occasionally they want to know if I’ve published anything, and if so, what kind of stories I write for myself. I both dread and relish this moment, because it’s a chance to reveal my dirty secret: my preferred genre is Science Fiction.