Worldbuilding

Building Age of Myth: How Sullivan Employs the Neolithic

A large tree from the cover of Age of Myth It’s about time we got back to high fantasy, so let’s examine Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan, the first entry in a six-book series.* It’s about 140,000 words, and it’s actually a prequel, set around 3,000 years before Sullivan’s other series. However, the … read more »

334 – Monarchy in Spec Fic

The Mythcreant Podcast All hail the once and future podcaster, hidden away among the common folk until their true audio greatness could one day be revealed! That’s right, we’re talking about monarchies in speculative fiction: why writers use them so often, how they can be a problem, and … read more »

332 – Unusual Settings

The Mythcreant Podcast Castles, spaceships, and high tech cities are all great, but they can get a bit repetitive after a while. Fortunately, despite spec fic existing for centuries (at least) by this point, we’ve still only scratched the surface of all the possible settings out there. Today, … read more »

330 – High Magic Settings

The Mythcreant Podcast You know how the old saying goes: sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from a broken setting. Pretty sure it’s something like that. Anyway, this week’s topic is high magic! Specifically, how high magic will affect your world and what problems to look out for. We … read more »

How Can I Keep Luck Charms From Breaking My Story?

questions and answer talk bubbles Hey, Mythcreants! One of the many story ideas brewing in my head is a sort of magic system revolving entirely around good luck charms and talismans. Basically, you possess an enchanted artifact that manipulates probability in your favor, making them highly sought after by adventurers. … read more »

327 – What Are Wizards?

The Mythcreant Podcast This week, we’re talking about wizards. Or at least, we were going to, but then we asked what “wizard” means anyway. Naturally, there were some strong opinions. Must wizards arrive precisely when they mean to? Are they defined by staves and point hats? Do they … read more »

Building Baubles: How Revenger Fails at Technology

A dark ship against the background of space, from the cover of Revenger. Arr me hearties, climb aboard this here pirate spaceship and prepare to have yer buckles thoroughly swashed! Today we’re taking a deep dive into the worldbuilding of Revenger, a space opera novel by Alistair Reynolds. Don’t worry, I promise there won’t be any more attempts … read more »

Five Tips for Using an Arbitrary Magic System

A tree person plays a banjo with glowing butterflies flying around it Rational magic systems powered by consistent metaphysical laws are cool and useful, but they aren’t the right choice for every project. Whether you want spells to feel hilariously random or your magic is too complex and variable to explain, sometimes it’s more practical to invent … read more »

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