A Bit of Map Squee

This is not going to be a full book review of Korean History in Maps, edited by Michael D. Shin, because I just got it and have started flipping through it to read. It is going to be some gleeing instead. Because this is an example of a good worldbuilding source, with the kind of information you want to build a basic structure for your story setting. Continue reading


Worldbuilding: Brush Talk

Here’s an interesting bit that doesn’t seem to occur to a lot of writers: just because two characters don’t share the same spoken language, doesn’t mean they can’t talk. Historically, a lot of communication can be done by people writing at each other. In large areas of Medieval and Early Modern Europe, this was done in Latin and Greek. In Northeast Asia, if you knew Chinese characters, you could make yourself understood to educated people in China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and much of Manchuria. Paper, ink, and pen or writing brush, and you could talk to each other. Continue reading

Worldbuilding: A Problem Like Nurhaci

In retrospect I should have known the guy renowned as the founding ancestor of the Qing/Manchu Dynasty wouldn’t be put off by a few measly demon tigers. Further research (A Dragon’s Head and a Serpent’s Tail, by Kenneth M. Swope) dug up the fact that Nurhaci started raiding into Korea as early as 1609, which would have made him a preexisting problem for our heroes. Urgh. Gah. Snarl. Continue reading