Worldbuilding: Giving You the Cold… Everything

One thing writers tend to do is read voraciously, and omnivorously. I stumbled on Brian Fagan’s various archaeology/history books a while back (The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History 1300-1850 being one of the more recent ones) and ever since I’ve gone after all the books I could get hold of on environmental history. After all, if you’re trying to worldbuild, cultures and politics may come and go, but the environment people have deal with is a constant factor. It shapes their choices, decides a lot of their options, gives various combat bonuses and penalties. Continue reading


Book Review: Everyday Life in Joseon-Era Korea

Everyday Life in Joseon-Era Korea: Economy and Society, edited by Michael D. Shin. I would rate this collection of essays by the Organization of Korean Historians as a solid 4.5 of 5 stars. With the caveat that if you’re not interested in this specific time period, this may not have anything of note for you. On the other hand, if you’re intrigued at the idea of seeing the entire schedule of a premodern agricultural year laid out, or takes on salt-making, trade guilds, and tax evasion, this will have interesting nuggets of info even if you couldn’t care less about Joseon or fantasy/historical dramas set there. Continue reading