If you want your story to have a good, healthy kingdom in it, consider that beyond the usual training in politics, law, scheming, and military tactics, your royals and nobles would benefit from some enrichment in their castle and fief enclosures. Specifically, hobbies and a regular exercise plan. Continue reading
Colors of Another Sky: Glossary Start
Okay, Foxfier asked for the glossary for Colors of Another Sky. Here’s what I’ve got to date; I’m sure it’ll expand as I go!
Airag: the Mongol name; better known by the Turkish kumis; fermented mare’s milk. Made into brandy, one drinker has called it “a weapon for world domination”. During the Yuan Dynasty at least one ruler tried to get it accepted as a substitute for tea. In China. Oh my…. Continue reading
Worldbuilding: It’s a Breeze
I’d like to see a classic urban fantasy battle not in a cramped and litter-strewn alley, but in an open, chilly, wind-tunnel of a suburban parking lot. Continue reading
Worldbuilding: The Back of the Book
Okay, who else likes a good glossary with their fiction? Or even better, that and a bibliography? Continue reading
Worldbuilding: Shedding Light
How is your world lit? By sun, moon, stars and fire? Candles and lanterns? Neon electric, or oni balefire? Continue reading
Worldbuilding: To Zom, or Not To Zom, Be
Zpoc this, end of the world that… why can’t we just have a good old-fashioned Undead Horde arising, terrifying the living because it’s an army that can’t be normally killed, instead of an existential threat to Life As We Know It?
No, seriously, why not? Continue reading
Worldbuilding: The Quest for Pizza
No matter where in time and space you are, foods that taste like home make life so much better. There are a lot of American comfort foods that might be replicable in 1600s Northeast Asia, if you knew what you were doing. Off the top of my head, some classics include: apple pie, mac and cheese, jambalaya, spaghetti, hamburgers and French fries, and pizza. Continue reading
Worldbuilding: People Like Us
I was watching an episode of Unfettered Shogun, many of whose episodes can be found here on Archive.org. And it struck me how many tropes we think of as modern were here in 1700s guise. Traveling entertainers who are actually seeking information on the whereabouts of someone who “mysteriously disappeared”. Said lost at sea guys actually being the kidnapped experts who created the Secret Formula! (How to make expensive white sugar from local brown sugar.) A dogged investigator tracking down details that indicate Foul Play has occurred. There was even a case of “impersonate the chauffeur”; a ninja knocked out a boatman and took over poling so he could listen in on the Evil Plotting. Continue reading
Worldbuilding: Growing Cultures
Unless you’re dealing with a Star Trek-ish future where people can use replicators to construct food out of stray atoms, your society has to feed itself. This is going to have effects on your characters, your world, and what conflicts might show up in the plot.
For most of history, acquiring food has occupied the vast majority of the population. Continue reading
Worldbuilding: Who Speaks?
Interesting detail I ran into about the Ming Dynasty, researching the place and time Chae comes from. Most people who think of Chinese as a language think of Mandarin; in the 1600s it was “court speech”, mostly based on the language of the area around Beijing, and not native to most of China. Especially not to most of the coast of China. The Fujianese dialect, in particular, was considered incomprehensible. Continue reading