Category Archives: worldbuilding

The Colorful Dark Ages

One of the difficulties in writing historical fiction is to portray that time and place as it was, instead of relying on the images of things that remain, or, worse yet, catering to the expectations of those who think they … Continue reading

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Brain-biter and Bansh: On the Naming of Things

I’m currently listening to Hereward the Wake, a historical novel twice over (one set in a historical period, and written, from our perspective, in a different one). Our hero has just won his sword, in grand Viking tradition, by slaying … Continue reading

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Skinning your Own Apes: Researching from Primary Sources

An article in the Stanford magazine this month talks about a new method of teaching history to high schoolers using primary source material, having the teens read several documents about an incident and draw their own conclusions based on the … Continue reading

Posted in books, fiction, historical medicine, history, medieval, research, worldbuilding, writing advice | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Review: The Termite Queen: Volume One: The Speaking of the Dead

The Termite Queen: Volume One: The Speaking of the Dead by Lorinda J. Taylor My rating: 3 of 5 stars This book is full of marvelous science fiction elements, building not only a vision of a future academia on Earth, … Continue reading

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Bilbo Baggins’ Bathrobe: an example of poor world-building

Like many of you, I am excited to see the new film(s) based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.  I’ve been following its production from a distance, and was interested to read the Wall Street Journal review of the … Continue reading

Posted in essays, fantasy, history, medieval, medieval technology, movies, research, worldbuilding | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments