Category Archives: worldbuilding

A Brief History of Jews in China

Continuing my inadvertent series about surprising cultural connections (and my ruminations on the fact that history so often repeats itself), I recently came across this article in the New York Times about the clampdown on public practice of Judaism in … Continue reading

Posted in fiction, history, medieval, Mongolia, religion, research, worldbuilding | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Alien Intelligence, Close to Home

Thanks to a clever octopus in New Zealand who escaped back to the sea, there’s been a lot of talk lately about animal intelligence.  A recent book by Frans de Waal  questions whether we are even smart enough to know … Continue reading

Posted in essays, fantasy, science fiction, worldbuilding | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Developing Fictional Worlds: The Nits are All you Have

As you may know, my most popular blog entry (still) is the one entitled Bilbo Baggins’ Bathrobe: A Example of Poor World-building.  Every month or two, someone new discovers this post and feels they must take me to task for … Continue reading

Posted in essays, fantasy, fiction, history, medieval technology, research, Uncategorized, worldbuilding, writing | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

40 Years of Rule-based Magic: Celebrating the Anniversary of Dungeons and Dragons

As many of you may know, this year we celebrate the 4oth anniversary of the Dungeons and Dragons Role-playing system.  No doubt some of you readers have been players at one time or another, no doubt some of you have … Continue reading

Posted in essays, fantasy, fiction, magic, worldbuilding, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Frozen: World-building on Ice

I’m starting to see a series here on the blog about my thoughts on the world-building of various new films. Today’s subject is “Frozen,” a fun and surprisingly anti-Disney-trope Disney film. Not being real big on princesses, I wasn’t sure … Continue reading

Posted in character development, essays, movies, worldbuilding | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The “Bloody” Blog

There is an urban legend that the British slang term “bloody” is derived from the phrase “by our Lady” which is blasphemous and therefore ought not to be said, or perhaps the oath “‘s Blood,” as being short for “God’s … Continue reading

Posted in Elisha Barber, Elisha Magus, etymology, history, medieval, The Dark Apostle, worldbuilding | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Little House in the City–London, that is

One of the best parts of my job is claiming tax deductions on trips to England for research. The first time I went, I specifically needed to know what it felt like in a 14th century house. I wanted to … Continue reading

Posted in Elisha Barber, fiction, history, medieval, research, Uncategorized, worldbuilding | Tagged , , | Leave a comment