Flatland, an inspiration for true Cosmic Horror

The cover for Abbott's Flatland No matter how trashy H. P. Lovecraft was as a person, his impact on the horror genre can't be understated. He created the concept of "cosmic horror," which Wikipedia helpfully describes as "emphasizing the horror of the unknown and incomprehensible more than gore or other elements of shock." The core... Continue Reading →

Critter Crafting, Part 1 of 3 – The “Universal Core”

Since I'd addressed ecosystems in the previous post, I thought I might as well look at the design for individual creatures. This will be a three-part series, of which this will probably be the longest. They'll look at the universal core, animal variation, and plant variation. Important note: I'm not a professional biologist. I'm just... Continue Reading →

Crafting a Complete Ecosystem with Getz’ Model

Ecology and biology are areas that I often overlook. This is a shame; they can lead to some very interesting worlds, such as Roshar's crabs-are-everywhere approach in Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archives series. The field of speculative evolution/biology is concerned with how things might realistically look in other environments, and every worldbuilder can benefit from studying... Continue Reading →

Scandinavia and Linguistic Distance

This week, I'd like to take a brief look at something different. I recently read through the amazing webcomic, Stand Still, Stay Silent (here's page one), set in a unique post-apocalyptic Scandinavian setting. There are a billion good things about SSSS---fascinating usage of Nordic folklore, detailed worldbuilding, delightful character interactions, and an engaging storyline among... Continue Reading →

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