It’s a fascinating question. Over at Charles Stross’ blog, he responds to a reader question: What would a technological society look like without written language? And could such a thing even happen?
Planetfall by Emma Newman isn’t what you’re expecting from a book about humans colonizing another planet. It’s much weirder, and in the end, a fair bit darker. This is a story about human failings—and the fact that we expect to understand alien beings, when we can’t even understand each other.
Kim Stanley Robinson’s Science in the Capital trilogy is revered as a classic of environmentalist science fiction, years ahead of its time. Now it’s being re-released as a single volume, called Green Earth. He explains how, and why, he cut three books down into one.
So you want to be a military science fiction author. You’ve read the classics from all the major authors, and you’ve got a great idea for a novel. Except you haven’t served in the military, and don’t know much beyond what you’ve seen on TV and in movies. Here are 11 books of military history you might want to read…
At some future juncture, we’re going to need more living space, whether it be found on another planet or through the expanse of our planet’s existing surface area. In his latest venture into worldbuilding, Oxford University research fellow Anders Sandberg explores some of the more extreme possibilities.
Author Evan Puschak, aka blogger the Nerd Writer, breaks down what he calls “the perils of worldbuilding” in this video, using the works of Tolkien and Game of Thrones, among others, as examples. On his blog, he writes:
If you look at the beautifully illustrated fantasy maps on posters, in books, and across the Internet and wish that you could make such incredible pieces of worldbuilding, then you're in luck. We have some guidelines for making your maps better, more beautiful, and easier to understand.
Last week our own Charlie Jane Anders gave us some excellent advice on the difference between good Worldbuilding and great Worldbuilding - but sometimes creators of some of our favourite worlds run afoul of a few tiresome Worldbuilding tropes. Here's seven clichés that need to stop cropping up in Sci-Fi and Fantasy.
Destiny is out! And whilst it might be the most-preordered new property in gaming history, not everyone who'd be interested in a new scifi story is necessarily interested in playing a shooter to find out about it. So let's take a look at a little of what we know about the universe of Destiny and its inhabitants so far.
One thing we like in our kaiju movies is world-building. And part of this summer's Godzilla involved Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) investigating a conspiracy that covered up what happened to his wife. In this featurette, we see an old film describing that history in depth.
Worldbuilding is a major challenge for science fiction creators — building a plausible world from scratch involves thinking about lots of variables. But sometimes, to imagine the future, the best way is to look to the past. Classic literature can help you build a world more believably alien than anything you've yet…
The best science fiction and fantasy universes have rich, complex backstories, including a lot of mysteries and complicated legends. And it's easy to get sucked into obsessively wondering about the rich details, and trying to answer all the questions in your head. But which mythos do you obsess about so much, you…
We're living in a time of extreme technological change. Gadgets that didn't exist a decade ago are shaping your existence. So we need science fiction, more than ever, to speculate about the future of technology. But here's the hard part: You can't speculate about technological change without also speculating about…
According to the laws of physics, a planet the shape of a donut, or toroid, could actually exist — but it's extremely unlikely to ever form naturally. But what if an advanced alien civilization decided to build one? What properties would a toroid-Earth exhibit? And what would life be like?
This amazing concept art apparently belongs to a nameless, mysterious video game from Double Helix, the studio behind Silent Hill Homecoming and Killer Instinct. But more importantly, it's some frickin awesome futuristic worldbuilding. Check out more below.
Chances are, you've already marveled at Emmanuel Shiu's stunning concept art before. We've featured his stunning movie and game art before — he's worked on everything from Star Trek to Lost Planet 3. Above is a brand new piece of concept art, which he's premiering at io9. And below is Shiu's explanation of how to…
The original Star Wars doesn't start out by explaining much. You're just thrown in the deep end with a space battle. Meanwhile, The Phantom Menace tells us about trade disputes and negotiations and taxation. So does this prequel have better worldbuilding than A New Hope?
In The Kobold’s Guide to Worldbuilding, authors and game designers gather together to show you how realms are wrought from the shimmering nectar of pure imagination.
Need a little help adding depth to your fictional characters and the world they inhabit? Reddit's new IAmAFiction subreddit offers writers an intriguing way to explore new angles of their stories. These work much like reddit's ever-popular "Ask Me Anything" Q&As—except that in this case, the fictional characters are…
The French city of Urville exists in two places: in the mind of Gilles Trehin and in the elaborate drawings Trehin created. But what's incredible isn't just the detailed designs he created for the city's architecture and layout, but the entirely plausible history for his fictional city.