Eighth Day Genesis; A Worldbuilding Codex - Klein, Sabrina (Ed) (2012)

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  • 8/9/2019 Eighth Day Genesis; A Worldbuilding Codex - Klein, Sabrina (Ed) (2012)


  • 8/9/2019 Eighth Day Genesis; A Worldbuilding Codex - Klein, Sabrina (Ed) (2012)


    EIGHTH DAY GENESISA Worldbuilding Codex

    for Writers and Creatives

    Edited bySabrina Klein

    Alliteration Ink | Dayton

  • 8/9/2019 Eighth Day Genesis; A Worldbuilding Codex - Klein, Sabrina (Ed) (2012)


    Building Worlds in a Hostile Universe  © 2012 © 2012 by Patrick Tomlinson

    The Descartian Dilemma  © 2012 by aron !osenberg

    "ause Ways  © 2012 by Donald #$ Bingle

    The World as a "haracter  © 2012 by Paul %enesse%eogra&hy and the 'volution o( )our World  © 2012 by "hant* +c"oy

    "reatures  © 2012 by !amsey ,undock

    Domesticated nimals  © 2012 by !amsey ,undock

    "ra(ting Urban ,andsca&es  © 2012 by #anine -$ .&endlove

    The !eligious /rder  © 2012 by +aurice Broaddus

    World Building +agic .ystems  © 2012 by -errie Hughes

    Putting Words in )our "haracters +outh  © 2012 by !osemary ,aurey

    The Work o( /ur Hands  © 2012 by -athy Watness.ha&ing .ocieties Technology and ts '3ects  © 2012 by ' )ounker

    History 4or .torys .ake  © 2012 by +atthe5 Wayne .el6nick

    lternate History  © 2012 by .ue Penkivech

    Develo&ing a ,ayered7 "redible7 and "om&elling %overnment  © 2012 by ,ucy "urtis

    The '3ects o( 4orming a %overnment  © 2012 by %raham .torrs

    Building Believable ,egal .ystems in .cience 4iction and 4antasy  © 2012 by ddie #$ -ing

    The rt o( !estraint  © 2012 by Bryan )oung

    .ense o( .tyle  © 2012 by Tim Waggoner+aking a "onsistent World  © 2012 by -elly .5ails


  • 8/9/2019 Eighth Day Genesis; A Worldbuilding Codex - Klein, Sabrina (Ed) (2012)


    "over Design by shley "ummins

    ll rights reserved$

    ll trademarks and registered trademarks are the &ro&erty

    o( their res&ective o5ners$

    Published by lliteration nk 

    P/ Bo8 209:;7 Dayton7 /H

  • 8/9/2019 Eighth Day Genesis; A Worldbuilding Codex - Klein, Sabrina (Ed) (2012)


     able of Contents

    'ditors 4ore5ord$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$1

    .abrina -lein 

    Building Worlds in a Hostile Universe$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$?

    Patrick .$ Tomlinson 

    The Descartian Dilemma7 or Hey7 Whered

    'verybody %o$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$21

    aron !osenberg 

    "ause Ways$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$?9

    Donald #$ Bingle 

    The World as a "haracter$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$9?

    Paul %enesse 

    %eogra&hy and the 'volution o( )our World

    ,ogical 4lora et$ [email protected]

    "hant* +c"oy 


    !amsey ,undock 

    Domesticated nimals$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$119

    !amsey ,undock 

    "ra(ting Urban ,andsca&[email protected]

  • 8/9/2019 Eighth Day Genesis; A Worldbuilding Codex - Klein, Sabrina (Ed) (2012)



    #anine -$ .&endlove 

    The !eligious /rder$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$1??

    +aurice Broaddus 

    World Building +agic .ystems$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$1

  • 8/9/2019 Eighth Day Genesis; A Worldbuilding Codex - Klein, Sabrina (Ed) (2012)



    The '3ects o( 4orming a %overnment$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$2??

    %raham .torrs 

    Building Believable ,egal .ystems in .cience

    4iction and 4antasy$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$291

    ddie #$ -ing 

    The rt o( !estraint$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$2A:

    Bryan )oung 

    .ense o( .tyle$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$2;1

    Tim Waggoner 

    +aking a "onsistent World$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$2:?

    -elly .5ails 

    Publishers =ote$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$?02

    .teven .aus 


  • 8/9/2019 Eighth Day Genesis; A Worldbuilding Codex - Klein, Sabrina (Ed) (2012)


    Editor’s Foreword

    Sabrina Klein

    ThereFs a moment 5hen you can close your eyes and see a

    5orld o( your o5n making$

    t might start (rom a grain o( sand7 the 5ay light Glters through

    the trees7 the (eel o( satin robes7 the smell o( cooking sou&7 or

    sim&ly a 5ish (or some5here7 some5hen   else$ t ha&&ens (or

    di3erent reasons (or di3erent &eo&le$ .omething7 anything   can

     &ull your mind (rom the boundaries o( our mundane 5orld and

    set it to creating some5here else $

    remember 5hen it ha&&ened to me$ 5as staring at the

     blackboard one cold a(ternoon during second grade$ had seen

    The Dark "rystal   1:;2I7 Dragonslayer 1:;1I7 and ,egend

    1:;9I7 Jum&starting my love o( (antasy$ "reatures and

    landsca&es (ar more interesting than anything my teacher 5as

    talking about Glled my head$ nd then a 5orld s&rung into being

    inside my head$


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    /r at least7 the rough sketch o( a 5orld$

    added to it at least daily$ detail here7 a (eature there$ The

    landsca&e7 the 5eather7 the &eo&le all Glled in$ didnFt Just use

    my imagination7 though$ 4or years7 s&ent my s&are time reading

    non>Gction7 Just so that could make my 5orld accurate

    and believable $

    still research7 and thatFs &art o( ho5 this book started$ gre5

    (rustrated by the resources available$ Worldbuilding books 5ereGlled 5ith (acts that had no re(erences7 or had no guidance on

    ho5 to 5rite  (rom the 5orldbuilding resources7 or they 5ere Just

    Glled 5ith someone elseFs ideas$ =one o( them had re(erences and

    techniKue o( ho5 to build a (antasy or science Gction 5orld$

    t the 2011 %en"on Writers .ym&osium a&&roached .teven

    5ith the idea o( 'ighth Day %enesis $ resource 5here 5e could

    make the manual al5ays 5anted$

    'ighth Day %enesis  is meant to hel& 5riters 5ith their 5orlds$

    The de&th o( your 5orld is im&ortantLeven essential$ Worlds

    should be able to be touched7 smelled7 seen7 and heard$ 'ach o(

    these things is vital to creating reality$ The smallest details canilluminate volumes$ t is sur&rising 5hat details 5ith bring (orth

    entire (eelings7 associations7 and images$ .tereoty&es can be

     broken7 archety&es deviated (rom7 and 5onder s&illed (orth like

    gossi& (rom an old (riend$

    .teven and ho&e this book 5ill &oint you in the right direction

    and hel& you Gll in those details7 and 5e both look (or5ard to

    enJoying the 5orlds you  create$


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    Building Worlds in a HostileUniverse

    Patrick S. Tomlinson

    .o you 5ant to build a 5orld '8cellent$ The current record is

    si8 days7 see i( you can beat it$ have (aith in you$ But 5aitM

    Where are you going to &ut your 5orld once its Gnished #ust

    like the suburbs7 not all galactic neighborhoods are created eKual$

    .ome are &retty rough &laces to crash$ .ome are so vanilla and

     boring that nobody 5ould choose to live there$ ,et me be your

    real>estate agent to the starsL literally$

    Choosing a Galactic Neighborhood

    #ust like 5ith the decision to build a house7 the Grst thing you

    should consider 5hen building your 5orld is location7 location7location$ ( your story is taking &lace entirely dirtside7E then

    your &lanets &lace in the gala8y may never come u&7 but there


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    Patrick Tomlinson

    are some interesting things you may 5ant to consider that can

    hel& drive the story regardless$

    +ost o( us have heard o( the conce&t o( a solar systems

    %oldilocks None7E commonly deGned as the orbital area around

    a star that is at Just the right tem&erature that liKuid 5ater can

    e8ist 5ithout (ree6ing or boiling a5ay$ Well talk more about

    this 6one later7 but 5hat many &eo&le do not reali6e is that

    gala8ies have their o5n %oldilocks Nones 5here conditions are

    more (avorable (or li(e$

    #ust like inside a solar system7 your 5orld can be too close or

    too (ar (rom the galactic center to give li(e much o( a chance$

    =ot sur&risingly7 our o5n .ol system sits smack dab bet5een

    these 6ones$ This is not to say that li(e 5ould be im&ossible

    outside this neighborhood7 but it 5ould deGnitely (ace ne5challenges$ ,ets start 5ith the galactic boondocks$

    The sticks o( any gala8y &ossess several uniKue characteristics

    that could im&act your 5orld and ho5 your story develo&s$ But

    they all revolve around one elementO scarcity$ The (urther (rom

    the galactic core one travels7 the thinner the density o( stars

     becomes$ By the sim&le la5 o( averages7 there 5ill be (e5er

     &lanets7 and thereby (e5er chances (or li(e to evolve in the

    outskirts$ While this is obvious7 5hat may not be so obvious is

    that (e5er stars7 es&ecially very large ones7 also mean (e5er

    heavy elements$

    s you likely kno57 all o( the elements7 save hydrogen7helium7 and small amounts o( lithium7 are (ormed inside the core

    o( stars$ What you may not kno57 ho5ever7 is that a small to


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    Building Worlds In a Hostile Universe

    medium si6ed star cant manu(acture elements &ast iron on the

     &eriodic table$

    This is because iron is a star killer$ t the heart o( a star7

    elements (use together7 releasing energy and (ueling the (urnace$

    n young stars7 this (uel is hydrogen almost e8clusively7 but as

    they age7 other elements are introduced to the Gre$ 'ach ne5

    element can be (used into the ne8t7 releasing &rogressively less

    energy7 until the largest stars reach iron$ The &roblem is7 5hen

    you (use iron7 the &rocess actually absorbs energy7 rather than

    releasing it$ nstead o( gasoline7 iron acts like a bucket o( cold

    5ater thro5n onto a cam& Gre7 snung it out in a matter o(


    ( your star is about t5ice the si6e o( ours or smaller7 the story

    ends 5ith iron$ t is only 5hen you get to stars large enough tocolla&se into su&ernova can all o( the other elements be created

    in any Kuantity$ n the outer rim o( the gala8y7 gasses are less

    abundant7 5hich means the stars that do (orm trend on the small

    side$ The interstellar medium this (ar out7 there(ore7 5ill not be

    nearly as rich in heavier elements as it is closer to the core$

    4e5er heavy elements mean less material available (or rocky

     &lanet (ormation7 and there(ore even (e5er 'arthlike &lanets$

    mong the terrestrial 5orlds that do manage to (orm this (ar out7

    the "H=/P. elements may be abundant7 the si8 elements

    critical to li(e as 5e kno5 it "arbon7 Hydrogen7 =itrogen7

    /8ygen7 Phos&horus7 and .ul(urI but the elements o( civili6ation

    and industry might be scant indeed$ )our characters may live on

    a 5orld 5here metals like nickel7 co&&er7 6inc7 and lead are as

    rare as silver and gold here on 'arth$ Plutonium and Uranium


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    Patrick Tomlinson

    5ould be almost unheard o(7 making nuclear Gssion im&ossible$

    n the near absence o( such materials7 building a technologically

    advanced society 5ould be very dicult$ /( course7 so 5ould building nuclear 5ea&ons7 so theres that$

    /n the other side o( the habitable 6one is the gala8ys inner

    core$ Here7 overabundance is the issue$.tellar density increases

    the closer one gets to the core$ +ore stars have the &otential to

     bring more than Just beauti(ul nighttime vie5ing$

    The core 5ould bring much higher levels o( high>energy

    radiation$ .ome5hat counter>intuitively7 some5hat higher

    radiation levels might not be all bad (or li(e on some 5orlds$ The

     bedrock mechanism o( evolution is mutation$ /n 'arth7 most

    mutations start 5hen a stray high>energy &article crashes

    headlong into a D= strand7 altering a bit o( code$ +ost o( thetime7 the result isnt good (or the organism$ 'very no5 and then7

    ho5ever7 the change is actually beneGcial$ With slightly  elevated

    radiation levels7 evolution on your 5orld could be su&ercharged$

    But outside that narro5 5indo57 things 5ould become dicult

    (or com&le8 li(e7 5ith higher rates o( cancer and genetic damage

    overcoming the increased rate o( evolution$

    n addition to the obvious dangers &osed by radiation7 the

    density at the core brings other issues li(e 5ould have to contend

    5ith$ /ur solar system is surrounded by a shell o( trillions o(

    comets and debris kno5n as the -ui&er Belt and the/ort cloud$

    This region starts Just &ast the orbit o( Pluto7 e8tending &erha&s

    as (ar as an entire light year into dee& s&ace$ t is e8&ected that

    most solar systems have a similar (eature$ =ormally7 obJects in

    the /ort cloud are o( little risk to li(e on 'arth$ Ho5ever7 every


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    Building Worlds In a Hostile Universe

    no5 and then7 either through collisions or gravitational

    disturbances7 a comet is knocked loose (rom its stable orbit and

     &lunges to5ards the inner system$

    n the core7 the tight &ro8imity o( other stars means that

    gravitational interactions bet5een di3erent solar systems 5ill be

    (ar stronger than they are in our neck o( the 5oods$ This could

    lead to dramatically higher orbital instability in the /ort clouds

    o( core systems7 meaning higher levels o( comet and asteroid

     bombardment o( any &lanets$ sk a dinosaur ho5 that 5orked

    out (or them$

    Picking Good Neighbors

    .o youve settled on the right stellar cull>du>sac (or your &lanet$ %ood7 but be(ore you &ack the moving starshi&7 maybe

    you should meet the neighbors$ #ust G(teen short years ago7

    e8o&lanets5ere and un&roven theory7 and believed by many

    astronomers to be a rare breed$

    Today7 5e kno5 better$ s o( this 5riting7 over seven

    hundrede8o&lanets have been detected7 5ith another thousand

     &otentials 5aiting to be conGrmed$ Ho5ever7 5hile &lanets are

     &lenti(ul outside o( our solar system7 most o( them truly deserve

    the name Qalien$

    /ur solar system isnt uniKue7 5hich is great (or sci>G lovers7

     but its arrangement may be (airly unusual7 &resenting even morecom&lications (or li(e$ large &ortion o( the &lanets 5eve (ound

    are #u&iter>range gas giants7 sim&ly because their large si6e


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    Patrick Tomlinson

    makes the easier to detect$ What sur&rised astronomers 5as the

    diverse range o( orbits these giant occu&ied$

    +any o( them are 5hat are kno5n as QHot #u&iters7 gas giants

    that orbit unbelievably close to their &arent star7 sometimes close

    enough that they com&lete an orbit in only a (e5 days$ Under our

    current understanding o( &lanet (ormation7 gas giants condense

    (ar (rom their star$ There(ore7 these Hot#u&iters are believed to

    have migrated on a decaying orbit to5ards their star until Gnally

    stabili6ing closer in$ /n their do5n5ard s&iral7 these monsters

    5ould have either destroyed and absorbed any rocky &lanets they

    came across7 or eJected them (rom the system7 dooming them to

    Roat untethered through dee& s&ace$ t is nearly im&ossible that

    any system 5ith a hot #u&iter could also be home to a terrestrial

    5orld in a habitable orbit$

    Ho5ever7 5hile some gas giants are 5orld>devouring monsters7

    others act as guardian angels$ .uch is the case 5ith our o5n

    #u&iter and .aturn$ Their stable orbits (ar (rom 'arth7 cou&led

    5ith their huge masses mean that any asteroids or comets 5ith ill

    intentions Grst have to run the gamut o( the outer system$

    #u&iters immense gravity has absorbed countless im&actors7

    most (amously illustrated 5hen the comet .hoemaker>,evy :

    crashed into #u&iters atmos&here in #uly7 1::

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    Building Worlds In a Hostile Universe

    .&eaking o( asteroids7 lets clear u& one thing real Kuick$

    steroid belts are not like in the movies7 okay .o s&arsely

     &o&ulated is the asteroid belt7 that 5hen =. sent Pioneer 10and 117 oyager 1 and 27 %alileo7 "assini7 and =e5 Hori6ons

    into the dee& solar system7 they didnt have to make a single

    course correction to avoid a collision$

    While there are millions o( obJects in the belt7 they are very

    dis&ersed$ The total mass o( all obJects in the belt is less than

    one &ercent that o( 'arth$ They are the remnants o( a (ailed

     &lanet 5hose (ormation 5as interru&ted by orbital resonance 5ith

    #u&iter7 acting the bully this timeI$ +uch denser7 and the belt

    5ould have had enough material to overcome the gravitational

    disru&tions (rom #u&iter and (orm another rocky &lanet$

    .o 5hile 5e can all agree that the asteroid scene in 'm&ire.trikes BackSii 5as really a5esome7 it 5as also really

    im&ossible7 because o( the ridiculous density o( the asteroids in

    the belt$ The ring scene in '&isode Siii 5as some5hat better7 as

     &lanetary rings can be very densely &acked$

    nother &otential danger is the discovery that many e8o&lanets

    circle their &arent stars along highly elli&tical orbitsSiv7 5hich

     bring them scorchingly close7 then sling them (ar (rom the heat

    o( the star$ ny terrestrial &lanets on such a &ath 5ould bake in

    sterili6ing heat and radiation7 be(ore (ree6ing solid7 5ith only

     brie( &eriods s&ent inside the systems habitable 6one$ ny gas

    giants on such a &ath 5ould make it im&ossible (or any other

    5orlds to maintain stable orbits7 as their massive gravity 5ould

     Jar them loose$


  • 8/9/2019 Eighth Day Genesis; A Worldbuilding Codex - Klein, Sabrina (Ed) (2012)


    Patrick Tomlinson

    But those are neighbors on the ne8t block$ What about the one

    right ne8t door +oons can have huge inRuence over their host

    5orlds7 (or good or bad7 5hich 5e 5ill discuss in more detaillater$ /( the eight &lanets in our solar system7 sorry Pluto7 take

    it u& 5ith =eil DegrasseTysonI only t5o are moonlessO +ercury7

    and enus$ )et even among all the do6ens and do6ens o( moons

    s5arming around the rest o( the &lanets7 ours is uniKue7 5hich

    5as very lucky$

    'arths moon is strange in several 5ays7 but most &rominently

    is its si6e relative to 'arthSv$ +ars t5in moons are Just large

    rocks7 &robably asteroids ca&tured by the red &lanets gravity

    5ell a(ter being knocked loose (rom the asteroid beltSvi$ #u&iter

    has (our large moons7 yet these bodies are all miniscule in

    com&arison to #u&iters bulk$ The same is true o( .aturn7 Uranus7

    and =e&tune$

    /ur moon is a massive body by contrast$ t is also very dense7

    second only to oSvii$ The +oons large si6e gives us more than

     Just the tides7 its gentle tug hel&s to stabili6e the 'arths rotation7

     &reventing our a8is (rom 5obbling more than a (e5 degrees7

    kee&ing our seasons and 5eather &atterns stable and &redictable7

    larger Q.u&er 'arths may have enough mass to maintain a

    stable rotation on their a8is7 but they have other issues 5ell talk

    about shortlyI$ nd as the +oons cratered sur(ace can attest7 it

    has taken more than a (e5 hits in our de(ense$

    But the relationshi& 5asnt al5ays so rosy$ The +oon has

     been moving slo5ly a5ay (rom 'arth since its (ormation (our

    and a hal( billion years ago7 at the rate o( about an inch and a

    hal( &er yearSviii$ s it goes7 the 'arths rotation slo5s ever so


  • 8/9/2019 Eighth Day Genesis; A Worldbuilding Codex - Klein, Sabrina (Ed) (2012)


    Building Worlds In a Hostile Universe

    slightlySi8$ n the distant &ast7 ho5ever7 the +oon 5as much

    closer7 the 'arths day 5as much Kuicker7 only si8 hoursMI and

    the tidal e3ects o( the moons gravity 5ere absolutelydevastating$

    n the early days o( 'arths oceans7 the moon 5as so close and

    its gravity so &o5er(ul that the tides s5elled not the hand(ul o(

    (eet 5e see today7 but hundreds o( (eet$ These immense 5alls o(

    5ater s5e&t inland do6ens o( miles7 every day$ Beach(ront

     &ro&erty 5ould be a hard sell on such a 5orld$"ivili6ation 5ould

    have to be based (ar inland7 a5ay (rom the &lethora or resources

    (ound in the oceans$ .o7 5hile our moon today is 'arths greatest

     &artner7 things could have been very di3erent$

    +oons arent limited to Just a su&&orting role in sci>G7

    ho5ever$ .tar Wars7 4ireRy7 and vatar all &rominently (eaturedmoons Glled 5ith com&le8 li(e7 even 5hole civili6ations7 yes7

    the '5oks 5ere a civili6ation7 sto& 5hiningI$ But not so (ast7 li(e

    on a moon has hidden dangers to consider$

    /( all the do6ens o( moons 5e kno5 about (rom our o5n solar

    system7 none o( them are even a signiGcant (raction o( 'arths

    si6e$ The largest in both diameter and mass is #u&iters

    %anymede7 5ith t5ice the mass o( our moonS8$ t also has the

    distinction o( being the only kno5n moon 5ith a di&olar

    magnetos&here &o5ered by a liKuid metallic core$ )et even

    mighty %anymede is only t5o and a hal( &ercent as massive as

    'arth7 5ith only G(teen &ercent the sur(ace gravity$ This is not to

    say that much larger moons are im&ossible else5here in the

    universe7 but it a&&earssuch bruisers 5ould be rare$


  • 8/9/2019 Eighth Day Genesis; A Worldbuilding Codex - Klein, Sabrina (Ed) (2012)


    Patrick Tomlinson

    .o7 your moon>men 5ill &robably be living in very lo5 gravity$

    ,o5 gravity ty&ically means a very thin atmos&here$ The

    e8ce&tion7 theres al5ays an e8ce&tionI is Titan7 .aturns (amousmoon$ ts atmos&here is actually denser than our o5nS8i$

    Ho5ever7 this has more to do 5ith ho5 (ar (rom the sun Titan is7

    5hich &rotects its atmos&here (rom being stri&&ed a5ay by the

    5eakened solar 5ind$ Ho5ever7 bring your long>Johns7 because

    this (ar out7 its about three>hundred degrees belo5 6ero$

    ,o5 mass also ty&ically means a metallic core that has already

    cooled and solidiGed7 5hich means no magnetos&here7 or a very

    5eak one7 5hich leaves 5hatever atmos&here there is vulnerable

    to the (ate o( +ars$ Ho5ever this is less o( a &roblem than it

    might Grst a&&ear$

    Thus (ar7 all o( the maJor moons (eatured in the movies7 suchas )avin S8ii7 'ndorS8iii7 and PandoraS8iv7 have orbited gas

    giants$ These giants can themselves have very &o5er(ul

    magnetos&heres7 e8tending many millions o( miles into s&ace

    and shielding their satellites$ Un(ortunately7 gas giants can also

    s&ort massively &o5er(ul radiation belts7 enough to cook the

    sur(ace o( any moons that orbit too closely$ n the case o( #u&iter7

    it actually emits more energy in radiation than it receives in light

    (rom the sun$ .o7 lead long>Johns (or everybody$

    Home Sweet Home

    "ongratulations7 youve Gnally (ound a good neighborhood7

     &o&ulated 5ith neighbors 5ho arent com&letely cra6y and or

    violent$ =o5 its time to &ick a &lot and dra5 u& some blue&rints$


  • 8/9/2019 Eighth Day Genesis; A Worldbuilding Codex - Klein, Sabrina (Ed) (2012)


    Building Worlds In a Hostile Universe

    ,ets &ause to consider ho5 big o( a yard you 5ant$ s

    mentioned &reviously7 solar systems all have a %oldilocks 6one

    around their &arent stars7 the area in 5hich a &lanet could &otentially have liKuid sur(ace 5ater$ /ur system actually has

    three rocky &lanets inside this 6one7 enus at the e8treme inside

    edge7 'arth snuggly in the middle7 and +ars at the e8treme outer


    WaitME youll say$ enus is 5ay too hot7 and +ars is 5ay

    too cold$E True7 but this has as much to do 5ith their si6e and

    the com&osition o( their atmos&heres as their distance (rom the

    sun$ s best as 5e can determine7 +ars once had a thick

    atmos&here and 5ater lakes7 rivers7 and even shallo5 seasS8v$

    But7 as &reviously discussed7 its small mass meant that its molten

    iron core cooled and solidiGed billions o( years ago7 s5itching

    o3 the magnetic Geld &rotecting its atmos&here$ enus had the

    o&&osite &roblem7 5ay too much atmos&here 5ith 5ay too much

    "/27 leading to a runa5ay greenhouse e3ect$ ( +ars had (ormed

    5ith the mass o( enus7 #ohn "arter 5ouldnt be nearly so (ar>


    What kind o( star youre s5inging around directly controls

    5here and ho5 big the habitable 6one is going to be$ lso7 each

    star ty&e is going to bring uniKue conditions (or li(e to contend


    .mall7 red>d5ar( ty&e stars are (ar and a5ay the most

    numerous in the universeS8vi$ n advantage o( their small si6e

    is that they can continue to burn (or many tens7 even hundreds o(

     billions o( years7 giving li(e on any &lanets a long7 long time to


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    Patrick Tomlinson

    get u& and running$ Ho5ever7 their habitable 6ones sit in a very

    tight orbit7 5hich &resents t5o challenges$

    4irst7 a terrestrial &lanet orbiting so close to its star 5ould

     &robably be tidally locked to said star7 5hich is Just a (ancy 5ay

    o( saying there 5ould be no dayVnight cycle because the same

    side 5ill al5ays (ace in5ard$ t 5as once believed that this 5ould

     bake one side o( the &lanet7 5hile (ree6ing the other side solid7

    leaving only a small stri& o( habitable land around the terminator$

    Today7 5e may kno5 better$ The study o( several Hot #u&iterE

     &lanets has sho5n that strong convection currents in the

    atmos&here can cool the bright side7 5hile 5arming the dark side

    o( a tidally locked 5orld$ .o things may not be so bad in that

    res&ect$ nstead youll Just have constant hurricane (orce 5inds

    to deal 5ith$

    .econdly7 close &ro8imity to the star also brings your 5orld

    into a 6one o( strong radiation7 solar 5ind7 and even occasional

    lashings (rom solar Rares$ ny li(e that develo&s here 5ill need

    to be &retty hardy7 and carry a lot o( sunblock$ ncidentally7

    5hile not im&ossible7 its unlikely that such a &lanet 5ould have

    moons7 as the &ro8imity o( the &arent star 5ould make

    maintaining a stable orbit &roblematic$ t &robably isnt a

    coincidence that the only &lanets in our system 5ithout moons

    are also the closest in$ By the 5ay7 no moons and no rotation

    also means no tides and no seasons$

    By contrast7 very large stars 5ould (eature habitable 6ones (ar

    (rom dangerous radiation and Rare activity7 and 5ide enough to

    Gt multi&le 5orlds$ The only real do5nside is the co&s are going

    to get called to break u& the block &arty early$


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  • 8/9/2019 Eighth Day Genesis; A Worldbuilding Codex - Klein, Sabrina (Ed) (2012)


    Patrick Tomlinson

    hold an atmos&here$ stable a8ial rotation 5ithout need o( a

    large moon is a nice (eature$ nd 5hile higher gravity 5ill mean

    shorter mountains and a dearth o( svelte blue cat>5omen7 erosion5ould cut dee&er valleys7 canyons7 and rivers$

    .o7 everythings cool7 rightPlo& do5n the e8tra cash (or the

    u&grade$ .lo5 do5n a ste&$ !ecently7 com&uter simulations have

    sho5n that the higher &ressure at the center o( su&er earths may

    kee& the core solidS88$ =o liKuid core means no magnetos&here7

     Just like on smaller 5orlds$+ore sunblock (or everybody$

    Alternative Living

    (ter reading the above7 youre &robably (eeling a little

    hemmed in7 like the universe is out to get us7 and that 'arth isthe one7 tiny s&eck o( dirt 5here li(e has a chance to thrive$

    Thats &robably a mistake$

    +y intention in 5riting this 5as not to scratch every other

    ty&e o( &lanet and solar system o3 your list o( &otentials$ nstead7

    5anted to convey Just ho5 im&robable our &lanet7 and there(ore

    our ty&e o( li(e7 may be$

    ( you need ins&iration7 look around our &lanets (orgotten

    corners$ We Gnd organisms living in com&lete darkness7 under

    crushing &ressures7 scalding tem&eratures7 in &ools o( acid7

    5ithout o8ygen7 eating rock and metal7 &hotosynthesi6ing

    radiation7 and generally carrying on in a (ashion that drives biologists into alcohol de&endency$

    #udging by li(es tenacity and ingenuity here on 'arth7 believe

    5e 5ill Gnd organisms clinging to every &lanet7 moon7 asteroid7


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    Building Worlds In a Hostile Universe

    and nebula that hasnt gone out o( its 5ay to com&letely sterili6e

    every cubic inch o( real>estate$ t 5ouldnt sur&rise me in the

    least i( 5e discover some critters s5imming around 'uro&as that5ould go nice 5ith butter and lemon Juice$

    nstead7 the lesson you should take a5ay (rom the rarity and

    good (ortune o( our &lanet is that7 as a 5riter7 youll need to be

    creative$ The habitable 6one (or 5ater>based creatures 5ould

    mean instant death (or creatures based on liKuid ammonia or

    methane$ !adiation 6ones and thin atmos&heres are meaningless

    to Gsh s5imming in an ocean buried under ten miles o( ice$

    Worlds arent built (or creatures$ "reatures are built (or 5orlds$

    .o take 5hat youve learned (rom this article7 the good and the

     bad7 and run your aliens through the same evolutionary gauntlet

    that your ancestors actually 5ent through$ +ake them (aceadversity and overcome challenges on their 5ay to civili6ation$

    They 5ill be all the stronger7 more alien7 and yet more believable

    (or your e3orts$

    .ee 5hat comes out the other end$ The more sur&rised you

    are7 the more im&ressed your readers 5ill be$


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    Patrick Tomlinson

    About the Author

    Patrick .$ Tomlinson is the o3s&ring o( an e8>hi&&ie

     &sychologist and an e8>co5boy electrician$ li(elong sci>G (an7

    he decided that not being (amous 5as taking u& too much time7

    and started 5riting in ho&es o( changing this un(ortunate state o(


    His 5ork has been acce&ted by ndromeda .&ace5ays nRight

    +aga6ine7 'veryday 4iction7 and The .4W Bulletin$ He

    recently com&leted his Grst novel manuscri&t and has begun

    5ork on a second$ Patrick also hones his cra(t by si(ting through

    the slush &ile (or &e8 +aga6ine$

    Patrick lives in Wisconsin7 5here the 5inters o3er him a

    5onder(ul o&&ortunity to disa&&ear into his 5riting cave (or (our

    months at a stretch$ Time not 5riting is s&lit bet5een a &aying

     Job7 triathlon training7 and maintaining a stable o( 4ord +ustangs$

    isit Patrick online at &atrickstomlinson$com$

    Works Cited

    Si"omet .hoemakerC,evy : "ollision 5ith #u&iter$=ational

    .&ace .cience Data "enter$ 4ebruary 2009$


    Sii .tar Wars The 'm&ire .trikes Back7 -ershner7 1:;0Siii .tar Wars '&isode ttack o( the "lones7 ,ucas 2002


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    Building Worlds In a Hostile Universe

    Siv.chneider7 #ean 10 .e&tember 2011I$ nteractive '8tra>

    solar Planets "atalog$The '8trasolar Planets

    'ncyclo&edia $htt&VVe8o&lanet$euVcatalog$&h&$Sv.&udis7 P$D$ 2000>921>


    Sviii"ha&ront7 #$O "ha&ront>Tou6*7 +$O 4rancou7 %$ 2002I$

    ne5 determination o( lunar orbital &arameters7 &recession

    constant and tidal acceleration (rom ,,!

    measurements$stronomy and stro&hysics ?;@ 2I @00C 

    @0:$ Bibcode 2002YL?;@[email protected]"$ doi10$1091V000


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    Patrick Tomlinson

    S8i"oustenis7 &$ 22

    S8ii .tar Wars =e5 Ho&e7 ,ucas 1:@@

    S8iii .tar Wars !eturn o( the #edi7 +arKuand 1:;?S8iv vatar7 "ameron 200:

    S8v4orget7 4$7 et al$ 200A$ Planet +ars .tory o( nother

    World$ Pra8is Publishing7 "hichester7 U-$.B= :@;>0>?;@>


    S8vi+ost +ilky Way .tars re .ingle Press releaseI$

    Harvard>.mithsonian "enter (or stro&hysics$200A>01>?0$htt&VV555$c(a$harvard$eduVne5sV200AV&r200A11$html$

    S8vii.cho&(7 #WO -udryavtsev7 BO gresti7 D%O Wdo5iak7

    T#O D +arch 2002I$ ,aserZ!aman imagery o( 'arthFs

    earliest (ossils$=ature

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    The Descartian Dilemma, orHey, Where’d Everybody Go?

    Aaron Rosenberg

    n his (amous 5ork +editations on 4irst Philoso&hy 7 Grst

     &ublished in 1A

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  • 8/9/2019 Eighth Day Genesis; A Worldbuilding Codex - Klein, Sabrina (Ed) (2012)


     The Descartian Dilemma

    Ho5 many times7 in movies and comic books and novels7 has

    the hero crashed through the 5indo5 interru&ting the villain Just

    as he 5as about to &ush the button or trigger the bomb orcombine the chemicals or 5hatever it 5ould take to satis(y his

    diabolical &lan Ho5 many o( those times did you think to

    yoursel(7 come on7 thats ridiculousM What has he been doing all

    this time7 Just sitting there 5aiting until the hero 5as about to

    sho5 u&E n lan +oores classic gra&hic novel Watchmen 7 one

    o( the heroesZDan Drieberg7 the +idnight /5lZcon(ronts thevillain and says7

    m still glad 5e got here be(ore you got

    dee&er into this messL mean7 5hen 5as this

    ho&eless black (antasy su&&osed to ha&&en

    When 5ere you &lanning to do itE +oore 2AI

    nd the villain re&lies7

    Do it Dan7 m not a !e&ublic .erial villain$

    Do you seriously think d e8&lain my master>

    stroke i( there remained the slightest chance o(

    you a3ecting its outcome did it thirty>Gve

    minutes ago$E +oore [email protected]

    'ven though 5ere horriGed7 5ere also im&ressed because

    that makes com&lete sense$ Why 5ould the villain sit around

    5aiting i( there 5as any chance they could (oil his &lans Why

    5ouldnt he Just &roceed 5ith it as soon as he could

    The ans5er to that isZhe 5ould$ ssuming he 5ere a rational

     being in his o5n right7 &roceeding 5ith his o5n &lans under his

    o5n &o5er7 instead o( 5aiting u&on the authors attention to

     &rovide him 5ith motive (orce$


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    Aaron Rosenberg

    t is dicult7 o( course7 to Juggle so many characters in your

    head$ 's&ecially 5hen you have to think o( them less as

    something you JuggleZ5here they only move because you aretossing them into the air and catching them again as they (allZ

    and more as 5ind>u& toys7 Why 5ind>u& toys Because you can

    set your characters into motion but they then &roceed even a(ter

    youve set them do5n7 and can bum& into obstacles and (all and

    tilt and change direction in 5ays you never intended$ Ho5 o(ten7

    as a creator7 do you discover your &rotagonist is doing somethingdi3erent (rom 5hat youd originally &lanned7 because your &lan

    did not account (or some (actor7 5hether that is the &rotagonists

    o5n interests7 some element o( the setting7 or something else like

    the desires o( another character When that ha&&ens7 you adJust

    your thinking and let your &rotagonist &roceed his o5n 5ay7

    dont you (ter all7 you created him to be true to himsel(7 and

    no5 you need to trust that you built 5ell and that his actions 5ill

    remain consistent 5ith his &ast and &ersonality$ Why7 then7

    5ould you not e8tend the same courtesy to your antagonist nd

    your incidental characters .houldnt all o( them be allo5ed to

    act in their o5n customary manner7 5hether you are observing

    them or not =ot only 5ould this allo5 them to develo&7 it 5ould

    also give your 5orld the (eel o( a true setting7 a develo&ed setting7

    an active and vibrant setting$

    "onsider this setu& the main character 5orks in an oce$ He

    su3ers a case o( mistaken identity and gets caught u& in a li(e>or>

    death situation7 as has ha&&ened in any number o( stories$ HeGnds himsel( being attacked by cra6ed killers7 romanced by

    seductive 5omen7 threatened by mysterious men7 etc$ t some

     &oint7 he staggers back into his oce7 battered and bleeding7 his


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     The Descartian Dilemma

    clothing torn$ His co>5orkers look u& in shocked dismay and ask

    5hat ha&&ened$

    There is more to this scene than Just their reaction to the

     &rotagonists condition$ Perha&s one o( his t5o co>5orkers has a

    running battle 5ith the oce co&ier$ 4or some reason7 it seems

    to mal(unction more 5ith him than 5ith anyone else7 or at least

    he reacts more strongly to its errors than anyone else$ This has

     Just ha&&ened again7 and he is busy (uming and ranting about

    ho5 evil the co&ier is and ho5 it hates him$ The second co>

    5orker discovered that very morning that he had made a maJor

    error on an account7 &otentially costing the com&any millionsZ

    and most likely costing him his Job$ He has been in a &anic about

    it all morning7 and has been des&erately trying to salvage the

    situation be(ore anyone (ound out 5hat he had done$ He has Just

    succeeded7 and is no5 5eak 5ith relie(7 kno5ing his Job is sa(e$

    Thus 5hen the &rotagonist staggers in7 his t5o (riends look u&

    and are astonished7 but they have not been idle themselves7 nor

    are they bland background characters$ They have their o5n

    stories7 their o5n &ersonalities7 and they have been busy 5hile

    the &rotagonist 5as gone$ Perha&s he even received te8t messages(rom them throughout his o5n esca&ades7 asking (or hel& or Just

    venting$ .uddenly this scene has more de&th because even though

    the &rotagonist is the center o( our attention7 he does not e8ist in

    a vacuum and the 5orld around him (eels real and grounded7

    5hich gives him more reality and de&th in return$

    n e8cellent e8am&le o( this is the 200< movie The

    ncredibles $ The t5o main characters7 Bob and Helen7 have three

    children together$ When something ha&&ens that (orces Helen

    and their t5o older children7 Dash and iolet7 to go to Bobs


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    Aaron Rosenberg

    rescue7 she has to leave the baby7 #ack #ack7 5ith a sitter$ The

    only &roblem is7 Bob and Helen are both su&erheroes7 and &assed

    on su&er&o5ers to their kids$ ll three o( them$ Throughout thelatter hal( o( the movie Helen gets cry&tic &hone calls (rom the

    sitter7 -ari$ n the short #ack #ack ttackE 2009I 5e see 5hyZ

    #ack #ack has started mani(esting his o5n su&er&o5ers7 leaving

    his sitter utterly over5helmed$ n The ncredibles 200

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     The Descartian Dilemma

    that much because Tolkien does such an e8cellent Job 5ith so

    many other as&ects o( the 5orld$ s a linguist7 he took &articular

    delight in the languages7 and develo&ed each races language andculture com&lete 5ith myths and stories and songs$ That &art o(

    his setting (eels 5onder(ully alive7 and 5hen 5e see the elves

    march &ast7 singing7 5e really believe they are an ancient race

    5ith their o5n rich history$ Ho5ever7 5hat do they do 5hen no

    one (rom the 4ello5shi& is there to see them

    David 'ddings The Belgariad  has a similar &roblem7 though

    at least he addresses it directly$ n that (antasy e&ic7 several

    ancient and &o5er(ul sorcerers o&&ose the main characters$ /ne

    o( those sorcerers7 Nedar7 has stolen something valuable7 and the

     &rotagonists &ursue him across much o( the 5orld$ But the other

    sorcerers seem content to each sit in one &lace and think dee&

    thoughts until the &rotagonists can catch u& to them and con(ront

    them$ 'ddings does &artially e8&lain this by saying that the

    sorcerers are immortal and tend to take a very long vie5 to5ard

    things7 o(ten staying in one &lace (or centuries at a time$ 'ven so7

    it 5inds u& (eeling very convenient that these characters stay so

    still and only act 5hen the &rotagonists are there to bring them toli(e$

    n o&&osition to that7 read !aymond 4iests novel +agician 7

    5hich is the Grst book in his !i(t5ar .aga$ t is the story o( a

    medieval 'uro&ean>style (antasy 5orld invaded by a medieval

    sian>style (antasy 5orld through a mystical ri(t$ The entire saga

    is told (rom the 'uro&ean sides &oint o( vie57 in the land o(

    +idkemia7 and 5e meet and (ollo5 several characters 5ho &rove

    inRuential in the 5ar$ +ost o( the glim&ses 5e have o( the

    invadersZthe TsuraniZat Grst sho5 them to be almost demonic


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    Aaron Rosenberg

    in their endurance and their bloodlust7 but as the story &rogresses

    5e gro5 to see them as &eo&le7 es&ecially a(ter one is ca&tured

    and chooses to 5ork 5ith the +idkemians instead o( trying toesca&e or take his o5n li(e$ t one &oint in the story7 the Tsurani

    have Just battered do5n all o( the +idkemians de(enses and are

    literally a stones thro5 a5ay (rom 5inning the 5arZ5hen

    suddenly they 5ithdra5$ =one o( the +idkemians can (athom

    5hy7 but the Tsurani7 no5 named "harles7 e8&lains that it 5as

    most likely a &olitical move$ Back on his 5orld7 he says7 thereare clans and (actions and &olitical &arties7 and the (amily at the

    (ore(ront o( the battle Just 5ithdre5Zhe guesses they did so to

     &rove their im&ortance7 and to 5eaken and shame those 5ho had

     been their allies7 in order to gain a &olitical advantage$ /ther

    sections o( the book take &lace on the Tsurani home5orld o(

    -ele5an7 and there 5e see the 5ar (rom the other side7 including

    that sudden 5ithdra5al and the &olitics that caused it$ This gives

    us insight into the Tsurani7 their culture and their motivations$

    'ven 5ithout those scenes7 ho5ever7 5e 5ould have (elt that the

    Tsurani 5ere real &eo&le 5ith their o5n goals and their agendas7

     because even 5hen 5e didnt understand their actions it (elt like

    there 5ere solid reasons behind those actions$ That made the

    5orld and the story that much more believable and that much

    more e8citing (or us$

    Ho57 then7 does a creator make sure his 5orld is built 5ell

    enough to sustain itsel( Ho5 does he make sure all o( his

    characters can act inde&endently7 and 5ill do so7 even 5hen he isnot actively 5atching them or narrating them

    Perha&s the easiest 5ay to do this is to think o( each character

    as o&erating along its o5n (reKuency7 or having its o5n television


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     The Descartian Dilemma

    channel$ +ost o( the time you are 5atching the channel o( the

     &rotagonist7 (ollo5ing him as he moves about7 and you only see

    other &eo&le 5hen he interacts 5ith them$ What i( each o( those &eo&le had their o5n channel )ou could then Ri& to a di3erent

    channel and 5atch the &erson the &rotagonist Just bum&ed into$

    That 5ould7 in turn7 allo5 you to ans5er the (ollo5ing Kuestions

    • Where does she go a(ter he 5alks a5ay

    What is she doing

    • Why

    • What 5as she doing be(ore they ran into each other7 that

    caused her to be there at that time

    Have some idea o( 5hat each character is doing and 5hy right

    (rom the start o( the story7 or even be(ore the story begins$ =ot

    everyones story is very e8citing7 o( course$ 4or e8am&le7 one o(

    the t5o co>5orkers mentioned in the scene u& above may live

    alone and not like to go out much7 so he basically heads home

    each night7 &icks u& some (ood on the 5ay7 eats alone7 and then

    5atches T or a movie be(ore going online (or a bit and then

    going to bed$ But at least no5 5e kno5 5ho he is and 5hat he

    does$ We kno5 5hy he gets so u&set at the co&ier7 because he

    likes everything to be neat and &redictable and organi6ed and

    ecient and the co&ier violates that$ t is also the only real

    e8citement in his li(e7 5hich e8&lains 5hy he overreacts 5hen it

    mal(unctions$ ( the &rotagonist needs hel& later and calls the

    co>5orker a(ter 5ork hours7 5e kno5 5here the co>5orker 5ill

     be and 5hat hes doing$ He has gone (rom a convenient &ro& to

    an actual &erson 5ith his o5n li(e and his o5n activities and his


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    Aaron Rosenberg

    o5n &attern o( res&onse$ Will he Jum& to hel& his (riend7 since

     being asked is unusual and e8citing (or him /r 5ill he try to

     beg o37 since he does not like going out and &re(ers his 5orldKuiet and sa(e and &redictable He sounds more like the latter

    ty&e7 but i( youve develo&ed him and he turns out to be the

    (ormer7 so be it$ That is the &ersonality he has demonstrated7 and

    obviously it 5ill a3ect not only his actions but those o( the

     &rotagonist and everyone else he deals 5ith$

    /(ten it hel&s to &lot out timelines7 at least (or the maJor

    characters like the &rotagonist and the antagonist$ That 5ay7 you

    can see 5here each o( them is going and 5hat they are doing7

    assuming there is no inter(erence$ ( you kno5 5hat ty&e o(

     &erson they are7 and ho5 they 5ill react to situations7 you can

    determine ho5 they res&ond to inter(erence and ho5 they alter

    their &lans$ Perha&s the &rotagonist locates the villain and steals

    the &o5er source he needed (or his death>ray or to &o5er his

    airshi& or to summon his army o( undead soldiers$ =o5 the

    villain has to retrieve that &o5er source be(ore he can continue$

    • Does he send his minions a(ter it7 or go himsel(

    • Does he have someone he can leave behind to continue

     &re&aring everything else7 so that once he has the &o5er

    source back he can &roceed 5ith barely any delays$

    • /r does everything grind to a halt because he doesnt

    trust anyone else to handle any o( the im&ortant elements

    • ( that is the case7 5hat do his henchmen do 5hile they

    5ait (or him to return 5ith the &o5er source

    • Do they &lay cards


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     The Descartian Dilemma

    • Do they come u& 5ith their o5n ideas

    • Do they try to take over (rom him

    • Do they go home and s&end time 5ith their (amilies until

    theyre called back to duty

    n his .ong o( 4ire and ce  series7 %eorge !$!$ +artin Gnds

    a 5ay to avoid 5orrying about having any characters or stories

    stagnate 5hen his attention is else5here$ He sim&ly has so many

    main characters7 in so many locations7 that he is almost

    guaranteed to have one at every maJor event that occurs in every

    as&ect o( the story$ Then he s5itches back and (orth bet5een

    them o(ten enough that none o( the stories can ever (alter or

    (ree6e on him$ n other 5ords7 he is a &er&etual channel>Ri&&er7

    constantly cycling through the characters so that 5e only catch a

     brie( glim&se o( each one in turn7 but ultimately those Rickers

    add u& to (ull tales$ t is an im&ressive dis&lay7 and it certainly

    kee&s the 5orld vibrant and alive and in constant motion7 but it

    is also a massive amount o( detail and character to kee& track o(7

    5ith so many storylines running all at once$ 4e5 5riters 5ould

     be u& to such a task7 5hich is 5hy the series has 5on such

    acclaim$ nterestingly7 the television series develo&ed (rom the

     books consolidates those vie5s a bit7 Jum&ing less (reKuently and

    lingering longer 5ith each character7 5hich allo5s us more time

    to e8&erience each story in turn$ That might not have been

     &ossible i( the books did not already e8ist and &rovide such

    detailed blue&rints (or each character and their actions$

    !egardless o( ho5 one accom&lishes the task7 it is necessary to

    kee& Descartes &rinci&les in mind 5hile creating a 5orld$ The

    settings7 characters7 and events must e8ist inde&endent o( the


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    Aaron Rosenberg

    vie5er7 the creator7 and the central characters$ They must have a

    li(e and a direction o( their o5n i( they are to seem at all real7

    rather than mere &ro&s that are trotted out to &rovide a backdro&(or the main characters actions$ That is not to say that 5e must

    see the (ull develo&ment o( each and every minor character7 but

    5e must believe that de&th e8ists in them$ We must believe they

    have their o5n activities7 and that they continue those activities

    even 5hen the &rotagonist is not &resent7 even 5hen 5e do not

    see them7 so that they have not been standing (ro6en 5hile the &rotagonist 5as else5here$ That sense o( inde&endent activity

    gives their 5orld de&th and realism7 and anchors the story to give

    it more de&th as 5ell$ The 5orld becomes more believable7 more

    natural7 as does the story$ nd such control over the cra(t o(

    5orldbuilding allo5s us7 as Descartes 5ould say7 to make

    ourselves $ $ $ the lords and masters o( nature$E


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     The Descartian Dilemma

    About the Author

    /riginally (rom =e5 #ersey and =e5 )ork7 aron !osenberg

    returned to =e5 )ork "ity in 1::A a(ter stints in =e5 /rleans

    and -ansas$ He has taught college>level 'nglish and 5orked in

    cor&orate gra&hics and book &ublishing$

    He has 5ritten novels (or .tar Trek7 .tar"ra(t7 Warcra(t7'8alted7 .targate tlantis 7 and Warhammer $ He also 5rites

    educational books7 young adult novels7 childrenFs books7 and

    tableto& role>&laying games$ He 5rote the Grst>ever tie>in novel

    (or the television series 'ureka 7 entitled .ubstitution +ethod 7

    under the house name "ris !amsay$ His second 'ureka   novel7

    !oads ,ess Traveled 7 5as released in early 2011$ His Grstoriginal novel7 the s&ace>o&era Birth o( the Dread !emora 7 5as

     &ublished by "rossroad Press in early 2011$

    He is also &art o( "ra6y ; Press7 a coo&erative &ublishing

    venture he started in 2011 5ith (ello5 authors Peter David7

    +ichael #an 4riedman7 !obert %reenberger7 %lenn Hauman7 and

    Ho5ard Weinstein$ His humorous science Gction novel =o .mall

    Bills  5as released as an e>book (rom "ra6y ; in .e&tember 2011

    and immediately hit the =//- Bestseller list$

     Works Cited

    Descartes7 !en*$ +editations and /ther +eta&hysical

    Writings $ Translated by Desmond +$ "larke$ =e5 )ork

    Penguin7 1:::$


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    Aaron Rosenberg

    ZZZ$ Discourse on +ethod and !elated Writings $

    Translated by Desmond +$ "larke$ =e5 )ork Peguin7

    2000$+oore7 lan 5I7 Dave %ibbons & and iI$ ,ook /n +y

    Works7 )e +ightyLE Watchmen  \11E ugust 1:;@I

    =e5 )ork D" "omics7 1:;@$

    +artin7 %eorge !$!$ .ong o( 4ire and ce7 Books 1>

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    Cause Ways

    Donald J. Bingle

    What i(E is the essence o( genre Gction$ What i( monsters

    5ere real What i( mankind had (aster>than>light travel What i(

    there 5as a 5orld 5here magic held s5ay What i( the .outh

    had 5on the "ivil War 4rom these idle musings s&ring (orth

    scenes o( 5onder and delight7 tales o( horror and 5arning7 and

    stories o( mystery and revelation$ n each case7 ho5ever7 the

    author must either alter our real 5orld or create an entirely ne5

    5orld in 5hich to &lay out his or her s&eculative Gction$

    n some cases7 like the hard sci>G classics7 +ission o( %ravity 7

     by Hal "lement7 and Dragons 'gg 7 by !obert ,$ 4or5ard7 the

    scientiGc details o( the 5orld>building are a critical &art o( 5hat

    is im&arted to7 and avidly soaked u& by7 the reader$ n each case7

    the o&&ressive gravity and rotational as&ects o( the 5orld dictatesthe sha&e and com&osition o( the sentient beings and drives the

     &lot$ /n such a 5orld7 (or e8am&le7 (ear o( heights is both logical

    and almost im&ossible to overcome$


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    Donald J. Bingle

    n other cases7 the science is not as hardZindeed in time travel

    tales it can be do5nright (anci(ulZbut the &ervasiveness o( the

    changeE (rom the real 5orld im&acts the overarching tone o(the 5orld in 5hich characters live and interact in 5ays that

    deGne the genre7 5hether it be alternate history7 steam&unk7

    s&ace o&era7 high (antasy7 or &ost>a&ocaly&tic horror$

    4or a genre reader7 discovering the nuances o( the 5orldZits

    rules7 history7 and structureZand ho5 those nuances a3ect the

    characters7 tone7 and &lot o( the story7 is as much o( a driving

    (orce as the conRicts and character develo&ment so essential to

    any story$ Thus7 a genre author can build tension and entice

    readers by revealing and subtlyI e8&laining his or her 5orld7 as

    5ell as by revealing and subtlyI e8&laining his or her characters

     by ho5 they react to conRict and overcome adversity$ This

    additional element is o( great beneGt to genre authors7 but because

    o( its &rominence and im&ortance in s&eculative Gction7 5orld>

     building can be a (atal (ailing &oint i( not done right$

    Though there are many mechanics in 5orld>building7 the

    essence o( 5orld>building7 and o( s&eculative Gction generally7 is

    cause and e3ect$ ( &lace a mountain range here and the

     &revailing 5inds are (rom the 5est and blo5 over a large body

    o( 5ater be(ore reaching the mountains7 climatological science

    dictates the 5estern slo&es 5ill be rainy and the area east5ard

    5ill be relatively dry$ Thats sim&le cause and e3ect$

    .imilarly7 i( create a magic system that is e8tremely &o5er(ul7

    costless to use7 but only available to a (e57 logic and human

    nature suggest to me that mages 5ill either have the &o5er and

    s5ay o( gods or a Jealous andVor (ear(ul &o&ulace 5ill have


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    hunted them all do5n and killed them in their slee&$ This is one

    im&ortant reason 5hy7 in many 5ell>5ritten Gctional 5orlds7

    magic systems o(ten involve s&ell com&onents7 lengthy study and &re&aration7 or some signiGcant cost in energy or li(e (orce$

    ,a&ses in logic or credibility are (undamental reasons 5hy

    readers can become unsatisGed 5ith s&eculative Gction$ While

    they are 5illing to sus&end disbelie( enough to acce&t the &remise

    o( the 5orld e$g$7 magic is realI7 they are not 5illing to acce&t a

    5orld 5hich is illogical or silly or other5ise deGes the la5s o(

     &hysics$ 4or e8am&le7 n .u&erman The +ovie 7 1:@;I7 can

    sus&end my disbelie( and acce&t that .u&erman can Ry7 but

    sco3 at the notion that by Rying around the 'arth7 he can 1I

    reverse its rotation and 5ithout massive tidal and other e3ectsI

    and7 thus7 2I reverse time$ .imilarly7 Gnd it unsatis(ying that

    not only can the most &o5er(ul 5i6ards in the Harry PotterE

    series 2001>2011I be disarmed 5ith a sim&le7 lo5>grade

    '8&elliarmus s&ell7 but that no>one has ever thought to &ut a

    5rist>leash on their 5and$

    believe there are (our basic 5ays the causal logic o(

    s&eculative Gction can go astray

    • inconsistent a&&licationVso&histication o( the s&eculative

    Gction element that di3erentiates the 5orldO

    • (ailure to account (or the com&le8ities o( causalityO

    • (ailure to account (or unintended conseKuences as 5ell as

    intended conseKuencesO and7

    • (ailure to set u& the causality o( the basic &remise$


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    Donald J. Bingle

    Inconsistent Application/Sophistication

    ts great to come u& 5ith a novel or clever 5hat i(E attractiveto your target audience7 but the more so&histicated and clever

    your &remise element7 the more so&histicated and clever your

    (ollo5>through has to be$ !ichard ,ee Byers 5rote an interesting

     blog &ost on this issue as it relates to alien invasion storylines7

     &ointing out7 (or e8am&le7 that it makes little sense (or aliens to

    travel light years and use so&histicated tech to come to 'arth togather resources they could readily get else5here$ .illier yet (or

    such so&histicated beings to be de(eated by (actors 5hich could

    have been avoided 5ith a little research be(ore they landed

    Byers7 stroJive .tu&id liensEI$

    .imilarly7 in (antasy or horror7 an ultra>&o5er(ul lich lord

    needs to act &o5er(ully and 5ith intelligence and not like an

    over>conGdent macho dickI or credibility is lost$ Web &ostings

    like ( Were an 'vil /verlordE are re&lete 5ith e8am&les o(

    non>credible architectureVstrategiesVbehavior by su&&osedly

     &o5er(ul bad guys ns&ach7 Peters 'vil /verlord ,istEI$I

    When the .tar Trek a5ay team is stranded on the sur(ace o( a(ree6ing &lanet by a trans&orter mal(unction in The 'nemy

    WithinE 1:AAI7 its great to e8&lain the heaters you trans&orted

    do5n dont 5ork &ro&erly because o( the glitch7 but you lose

    your audience 5hen you dont e8&lain 5hy the shuttle cra(t isnt

    used to rescue them or 5hy basics like blankets7 Gre5ood7 and

     &anels (or shelter arent sent do5n$ .o7 i(7 like in Total !ecall1::0I7 you have a &o&ulation living in a domed city on a largely

    airless &lanet7 dont have a security (orce 5hich uses 5ea&ons


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    that shoot bullets ca&able o( shattering the glass dome and killing

    everyone erhoeven71::0I$ Duh$

    4undamental attributes o( a 5orld7 like so&histicated tech or

    chea& energy or altered gravity7 have 5ide7 &ervasive im&acts on

    society and 5hat ha&&ens in it7 not narro5 e3ects 5hich are

    a&&licable to your character andVor &lot and nothing else$

    Failure to Account for the Complexities ofCausality

    Des&ite 5hat our nightly ne5s and most &oliticians try to tell

    us7 causality is rarely sim&le$ Take global 5arming &leaseMI$

    Though not intuitive7 many scientists agree global 5arming could

    cause cooling in 'uro&e$ Why Because 'uro&e7 although at thesame latitude as "anada7 is 5armed by the =orth>tlantic

    "urrent7 a 5arm 5ater current that comes north7 then cools and

    sinks taking cold 5ater back south$ Ho5ever7 as &olar ice and

    %reenlands glaciers melt7 the salinity o( the =orth tlantic

    decreases and 5ater sinks less readily7 &ossibly slo5ing or

    shutting do5n the entire rotational current system7 at leasttem&orarily$ Thus7 'uro&e cools ra&idly$ Does this bring

    increased glaciation in .candinavia7 thereby ameliorating some

    o( the 5arming im&act and eventually re>starting the current

    /&inions di3er7 but this is Just one e8am&le o( ho5 non>obvious

    things may occur because o( com&le8ity o( the underlying

    system$ Too com&licatedVcontoversial o( an e8am&le "onsider

    instead that one o( the reasons a dam can only create a lake

     behind it o( a certain si6e7 no matter ho5 long it may block the

    Ro5 o( a river7 is because at some &oint the sur(ace area o( the


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    Donald J. Bingle

    lake is large enough that the increased eva&oration o( 5ater

    o3sets the 5ater added by the inRo5ing river$ =on>obvious7 but


    ( you have ever seen the television sho5 "onnections  1:@;I7

    you kno5 many inventions and &ractices 5e have today are

    outgro5ths o( odd historical conRuences and non>linear

    causality$ 4or e8am&le7 a high school student might say the

    assassination o( rchduke 4erdinand 5as the cause o( World

    War $ thought(ul high school student might say the

    assassination &reci&itated the 5ar7 but it 5as caused by national

    rivalries and colonial ambitions$ military strategist might &oint

    out the nature o( the !ussian rail system 5as a contributing

    (actor7 since it &recluded the &ros&ect o( a &artial mobili6ation o(

    the !ussian rmy7 &rovoking yet (urther escalation o( tensions$

    /n the other hand7 a serious argument e8ists that cultivation o(

     &otatoes by =ative mericans and the im&ortation o( &otato

    (arming by =orthern 'uro&ean countries 5as a more remote

    cause o( World War $ The greater caloric out&ut &er acre o(

     &otato (arming as com&ared to cold>tolerant grainsI allo5ed

    such countries to increase their &o&ulation density suciently toenable them to have large standing armies Bingle7Darkest L

    1::17 citing Weather(ord7 1:;;I$

    There are myriad contributing (actors to many adversities and

    most decisions7 so a 5orld built o( changes (rom the 5orld 5e

    kno5 needs to build in these com&le8ities or it 5ill a&&ear

    overly>sim&le and artiGcial$ "ontrast7 instead7 the rich (antasy

    5orld o( 'li6abeth aughans Warlands  series7 5here the customs

    and belie(s o( the Plains d5ellers are dra5n (rom the geogra&hy

    and nomadic necessities o( their li(e7 or the detailed 5orld o(


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    !obert #$ .a5yers =eanderthal Paralla8  trilogy7 5here an entire

    alternate 'arth society is built (rom a &remise o( =eanderthals

     being the dominant hominid historically$

    Failure to Account for Unintended ConsequencesAs Well as Intended Consequences

    Hand>in>hand 5ith considering the com&le8ity o( conseKuences

    Ro5ing (rom a cause is considering the unintended conseKuences

    Ro5ing (rom a cause$ There is7 (or e8am&le7 an entire subset o(

    science Gction and horror all about scaring the reader 5ith the

    unintended conseKuences o( technology 5hether it be %od6illa

    s&a5ned (rom the radioactive residue o( nuclear bombs7 esca&ed

    nano &articles7 contagions resulting (rom genetic modiGcations or

    mutant viruses7 or cloned dinosaursI$ Time travel tales also

    traditionally trade on the (all>out (rom minor modiGcations o( the

    time stream or &roblems born o( &arado8es$ Ho5ever7 in other

    areas o( genre Gction it can be easy to (ocus too readily on the

     &articular as&ect o( ho5 the alternate 5orld di3ers (rom our

    reality sim&ly in order to create the &remise 5hich the author

    desires to e8&lore7 5hile ignoring the other im&lications such a

    di3erence 5ould have on such 5orld$ !emember7 the Kuestion

    isnt the morality or even advisability o( the intentionZthe road

    to hell is &aved 5ith thoseZbut the ultimate destination to 5hich

    the change takes you$

    4or e8am&le7 &reventing (orest Gres seems 5ell>intentioned

    enough7 but decades o( Kuenching Gres can lead to an

    overabundance o( undergro5th$ This not only alters the viability

    o( certain lodge>&ole &ines 5hose seeds are released only u&on


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    Donald J. Bingle

    e8&osure to high tem&eraturesI7 but &rovides e8cessive (uel (or

    the Gres 5hich eventually do occur7 making them more

    destructive$ ts bad &olicy>making 5hen our &oliticians (ail torecogni6e or deal 5ith logical7 unintended conseKuences o( la5s7

    e8&enditures7 and ta8 &olicies$ ts bad 5riting 5hen an author

    (ails to deal 5ith unintended conseKuences o( the changes he or

    she makes in distinguishing their 5orld (rom the 5orld 5e kno5$

    .ince the conseKuences 5ere talking about here are7 by

    deGnition7 unintended7 ho5 does one identi(y them7 so they can

     be dealt 5ith in the 5orld>building andVor storyline /ne 5ay is

    to consider the change being made (rom a variety o( &oints>o(>


    • Who beneGts (rom this change

    • Who is hurt by this change

    • Who could generate moneyV&o5erV(ame (rom this


    • What 5ould an evil &erson do 5ith the

     &o5erVtechnologyVcircumstances created by this change

    • What is the silliest thing that could be done 5ith this

    change %ene modiGcation technology has led to glo5>

    in>the>dark &ets LI

    • What are the moral7 &olitical7 and religious im&lications

    o( this change

    • Who 5ill be o3ended by this change and ho5 could they

    resist or undermine it


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    Donald J. Bingle

    rally Wade7 &&$ [email protected]:@:II$ /ne o( the reasons that .tar

    Treks The "ity on the 'dge o( 4oreverE 1:[email protected] is highly

    regarded as a classic e&isode isnt the acting$ !ather7 its becausethe &lot (orces the sacriGce o( a good &erson 5ho believed in

     &aciGsm to &revent Hitler (rom 5inning World War Znot an

    obvious cause and e3ect relationshi&7 but one 5hich the e&isode

    e8&lained 5ell 5hile e8tracting a &o5er(ul emotional im&act

    Pevney7 1:[email protected]$ This is the &o5er o( unintended7 or at least

    une8&ected7 conseKuences$

    Failure to Set Up the Causality of Basic Premise

    The many>5orlds theory o( Kuantum mechanics 5hich

     &ostulates an alternate universe (or every &ossibilityI makes it

    easy (or a 5riter to say there is a &arallel 5orld Just like this one7


    • Hitler 5as assassinatedO

    • ,incoln or -ennedy or +artin ,uther -ing 5asnt


    • steam>&o5ered technology brought the (uture earlierO

    • slavery never e8isted in mericaO

    • Te8as remained an inde&endent nationO

    • +arco Polo never 5ent to "hinaO

    • man never 5ent to the moonO or

    • any event o( your choosing ha&&ened or didnt$


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    5ould contend &arallel 5orlds 5ith such singular di3erences

    sim&ly dont and cant e8ist7 because 5hatever di3erence is

     &ostulated (or such a 5orld had to7 itsel(7 have a cause to make itoccur in that 5orld$ That cause means there are more di3erences

     bet5een the 5orlds than Just one$ /r7 to &ut it more sim&ly7

    5hatever is di3erent about the 5orld you 5ant to 5rite about7

    5hether it is an alternate 'arth7 an alien &lanet a long time ago in

    a gala8y (ar7 (ar a5ay7 the realm o( the (ae7 or some other

    (orgotten realm7 that starting &oint &remise 5as the outcomeZ5as the e3ectZo( &rior causes$

    %ranted7 the tinier the change7 the less causal e8&lanation it

    needs$ Battles 5hich &ivot on small7 serendi&itous events7 like a

    Ranking charge or a killing blo5 to an able leader7 are some o(

    the easiest to e8&lain as having signiGcant conseKuences Ro5ing

    (rom inGnitesimal changes$ ,arger changes the lack o( slavery7

    alterations in societal behavioral norms7 the introduction and

    acce&tance o( ne5 technologies7 etc$I7 ho5ever7 reKuire some

    e8&lanation as to ho5 they may have occurredZother5ise the

     &remise is undercut (rom the very beginning o( the 5ork$

    ( the &remise lacks credibility7 the conseKuences Ro5ing (rom

    it 5ill be &lagued 5ith an unconscious7 &erha&sI underlying

    sus&icion$ .adly7 ho5ever7 too many novels and stories e8clude

    any e8&lanation o( the origin o( the base &remise$ /nly slightly

     better7 some (orce>(eed the e8&lanation by tedious e8&osition at

    the very beginning o( the tale$I Post>a&ocaly&tic tales are among

    the most (reKuent o3enders7 o(ten ski&&ing over the messy chaos

    o( the end>o(>the>5orld event by Jum&ing time (rom the moment

     be(ore the cataclysm to several months a(ter5ards7 because the

     &rotagonist 5as in a cave7 mine>sha(t7 remote out&ost7 or (all>out


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    Donald J. Bingle

    shelter$ /(ten7 there is no mention o( ho5 or 5hat ha&&ened$

    .ometimes the author includes only a literary shrug as to ho5

    unim&ortant the details o( 5hat ha&&ened are7 5hen com&ared tothe burdens or horrors o( the &resent reality$ That may 5ork (or

    some audiences7 but a genre reader 5onders

    • 5hat ha&&ened to the bodiesO

    • 5hy there isnt residual contaminationO

    • 5hat measures 5ere taken to combat annihilation 5ith

    5hat success and collateral conseKuencesIO and

    • 5hy there 5asnt an abundance o( su&&lies le(t behind

    5hen the &o&ulation died literally overnight$

    =ot only does this glaring lack o( in(ormation undercut the

    credibility o( the storyline7 it ignores tremendously interesting

    stu3 in terms o( conRict and the richness o( the 5orld>building


    • Did governments colla&se

    • Did citi6ens turn on one another

    • What horrible things 5ere done to survive

    • What are the sights7 smells7 and sounds o( those days

    that no5 haunt the survivors dreams

    ( the author cant be bothered to account (or a 5orld 5hich

    makes sense7 5hy should bother reading about his or her 5orld

    and the characters in it ( your alternateV(uture 'arth starts

    some&lace radically di3erent (rom our reality7 you need to

    understand and eventually im&artI ho5 it got to be di3erent$ (

    your high (antasy races have di3erent social norms or &olitical or


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    religious institutions7 &rovide details that Justi(y the develo&ed

    attributes and customs$ These details create a (oundation (or the

    desired Qsus&ension o( disbelie($ 4ailure to do this causes logicalga&s or disconnections in atmos&here that leave (ans o( even the

    most &o&ular 5orks dissatisGed$

    Believe me7 you can tell the di3erence 5hen an author

    incor&orates a rich background o( 5orld>building into the

    societys &ractices and mores e$g$7 ho5 the need to 5atch the

    skies (or &redators sha&es the travel and de(enses in Paul

    %enesses The %olden "ord I 5hen com&ared to (antasy tales in

    5hich the magic or the societies or the monsters are sim&ly

    dro&&ed into a generic (antasy setting$ Think o( your o5n

    e8&erience in (antasy role>&laying games$ Did you run into

    monsters in &laces 5here no (ood su&&ly e8isted to e8&lain them

    ecologically Did you encounter tra&s 5hich 5ould have needed

    constant re>setting or high level magic7 5ith no sensible source

    (or such Without naming names7 some (antasy r&g tie>ins and

    high (antasy novels have the same issues7 resulting in the same

    lack o( credibility$ ts like dro&&ing a 999>&reG8ed &hone

    number into a high budget movie$ Why s&end hundreds o(millions on sets7 costumes7 and s&ecial e3ects7 Just to undercut it

    all 5ith something that shouts out that none o( it is credible or


    n near (uture sci>G settings7 e8&laining ho5 the &remise could

    come to occur not only makes the setting richer and more

    credible7 it can heighten the tension in t5o 5ays$ =ot only do the

     &erils the &rotagonist (aces (eel more real7 but the &ossibility7 nay

     &lausibility7 o( the terrors o( the &ossible (uture the novel 5arns

    against actually occurring (uels interest in the story 5hen the


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    Donald J. Bingle

    reader can see and understand ho5 such a (uture could come


    Unbelievable characters battling unbelievable antagonists in an

    unbelievable setting holds no interest to me7 a reason 5hy the

    "% battles o( Trans(ormers Dark .ide o( the +oon   DD]

    2011I7 (or e8am&le7 leave me cold$ Ho5ever7 credible conRicted

    characters battling one another and their o5n (ears and doubts in

    a 5orld that is suciently sensible and detailed that believe it

    does or could e8ist7 dra5s and holds my attention as a reader$

    s a 5riter7 it is my Job to think about cause and e3ectZon

    characters7 on &lot7 and on 5orld>building$ s someone 5ho has

    5ritten time travel scenarios7 near (uture science Gction7 and tales

    set in societies other than our o5n7 must not only contem&late

    5hat could ha&&en7 but ho5 it could come about$ .ee my tales7Bun!absE and 4or 'very Time7 .eason7E (or e8am&le7 (or

    t5o radically di3erent a&&roaches on ho5 &ers&ective alters

     &erce&tion o( real 5orld events$

    'very e3ect has a cause$ 'ach and every cause &rovides a 5ay

    to establish credibility7 trust7 and heightened interest 5ith the

    reader$ Use these cause 5ays to bridge the ga&s bet5een your

    conce&t o( the 5orld in 5hich your tale occurs and the readers

    understanding o( that 5orld$


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  • 8/9/2019 Eighth Day Genesis; A Worldbuilding Codex - Klein, Sabrina (Ed) (2012)


    Donald J. Bingle

    Bingle7 Donald #$$ 4orced conversion $ Waterville7 +e$ 4ive

    .tar7 200

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    aughan7 'li6abeth$ War&ri6e $ =e5 )ork Tom Doherty

    ssociates7 2009$

    Wade7 Wyn "raig$ Titanic 'nd o( a Dream $ =e5 )orkPenguin Books7 1:@:$

    Weather(ord7 #ack$ ndian %ivers Ho5 the ndians o( the

    mericas Trans(ormed the World$ 4a5cett "olumbine7



  • 8/9/2019 Eighth Day Genesis; A Worldbuilding Codex - Klein, Sabrina (Ed) (2012)



  • 8/9/2019 Eighth Day Genesis; A Worldbuilding Codex - Klein, Sabrina (Ed) (2012)


  • 8/9/2019 Eighth Day Genesis; A Worldbuilding Codex - Klein, Sabrina (Ed) (2012)


    Paul Genesse

    treasure in the universe7 5hich is guarded by Gerce monsters7 the

    sand 5ormsZvery similar to dragons guarding a treasure hoard$

    Dune is inhabited by the secretive and ass>kicking 4remen7 and isso im&ortant that it became the name o( the Grst book and the

    name o( the novel series7 5hich is still going strong even a(ter

    the death o( 4rank Herbert$ 4rom the very Grst cha&ter o( the

     book 5e get the re(rain7 re&eated over and over as Paul treides

    is thinking o( the (uture7 rrakisZDuneZDesert &lanet7E 5hich

    sets the tone and sho5s us ho5 im&ortant the location is to become$

    /ne o( the Grst descri&tions o( the setting in Dune  is brilliant7

    5ith Herberts 5ord choice as 5e meet this ne5 character7 5hich

    Glls us 5ith mysterious a5e7 and some (ear$

    Paul looked out his 5indo5$ Beneath themthe broken ground began to dro& a5ay in tumbled

    creases to5ard a barren rock &lain and a kni(e>

    edged shel(7 Gngernail crescents o( dunes

    marched to5ard the hori6on 5ith here or there in

    the distance a dull smudge7 a darker blotch to tell

    o( something not sand$ !ock outcro&&ings &erha&s$ n the heat>addled air7 Paul couldnt be

    sure$E Herbert 11?I

    rrakis becomes the guardian7 and hidden ally o( Paul

    +audDib7E and the most im&ortant teacher in his li(e7 more so

    than any man or 5omen around him$ Kuote (rom the beginning

    o( a cha&ter over hal(5ay through the book is very telling

    +audib tells us in Time o( !eRectionE that his Grst

    collisions 5ith the rrakeen necessities 5ere the true beginnings


  • 8/9/2019 Eighth Day Genesis; A Worldbuilding Codex - Klein, Sabrina (Ed) (2012)


     The World As Character

    o( his education$ He learned then ho5 to &ole the sand (or its

    5eather7 learned the language o( the 5inds needles stinging his

    skin7 learned ho5 the nose can bu66 5ith sand>itch and ho5 togather his bodys &recious moisture around him7 to guard it and

     &reserve it$E Herbert7 ??:I

    +audDib takes on the characteristics o( the &lanet as it

    changes him into something more7 &erha&s the chosen one$ 5ill

    not s&oil that hereZyoull have to read the books7 but 5hether or

    not he is the -5isat6 Haderach 7 the Universes .u&er>being7 is

     beside the &oint$ ,ike rrakis7 5e see that Paul is calm 5ith a

    vastness 5ithin him (e5 can (athom7 but he can become like the

    most violent and &o5er(ul sandstorms 5hen the time (or battle is

    u&on him7 echoing the various moods o( the &lanet$ The

    Grst Dune book is Glled 5ith countless small re(erences to the

    setting7 and some maJor ones7 and they all add u& and im&act the

    story and the human characters in tremendous 5ays7 making

    them change and react7 becoming &art o( the &lanet$ Their eyes

     become blue 5ithin blue7 their bodies become some5hat

    dehydrated7 they become more Gerce than they 5ere be(ore7 and

    reali6e they that the &lanet is the most &o5er(ul (orce in theuniverse$ Paul treides becomes Dune7 and his demeanor and

    actions reRect that change$ This evolution goes even (urther

    in "hildren o( Dune  and %od 'm&eror o( Dune $

    +iddle>earth is one o( my (avorites and it has many di3erent

    as&ects7 but it has a very s&eciGc (eeling o( age7 history7 and

     believability$ 'very &lace the &rotagonists travel has s&eciGc

    characteristics7 but the 5orld is tied together 5ith the breadth and

    sco&e o( an enormous history$ The .hire7 inhabited by Hobbits7

    is &eace(ul7 verdant7 and almost &er(ect$ Hobbits echo the


  • 8/9/2019 Eighth Day Genesis; A Worldbuilding Codex - Klein, Sabrina (Ed) (2012)


    Paul Genesse

     &eace(ulness and navet* o( their homeland7 5hich is kind and

    com(orting to them$ .ome argue that #$!$!$ Tolkien s&ent too

    much time in 4ello5shi& o( the !ing  in the .hire and agree$ could have gone 5ithout a (e5 descri&tions o( the 5eather7 but

    the &icture &ainted o( the .hire made enough o( an im&ression

    that the readers 5anted the .hire saved at all costs$

    The +isty +ountains are another story7 and 5hen the

    4ello5shi& tries to cross the &ass at the mountain called

    "aradhras7 %imli says t 5as no ordinary storm$ t is the ill 5ill

    o( "aradhras$ He does not love 'lves and D5arves7 and that dri(t

    5as laid to cut o3 our esca&e$E Tolkien ?;2I ,ater in the


    Hardly had 4rodo touched the ground 5hen

    5ith a dee& rumble there rolled do5n a (all o(stones and slithering sno5$ The s&ray o( it hal(

     blinded the "om&any as they crouched against

    the cli37 and 5hen the air cleared again they sa5

    that the &ath 5as blocked behind them$ 'nough7

    enoughME cried %imli7 5e are de&arting as

    Kuickly as 5e mayME nd indeed 5ith that laststroke the malice o( the mountain seemed to be

    e8&ended7 as i( "aradhras 5as satisGed that the

    invaders had been beaten o3 and 5ould not dare

    to return$E Tolkien ?;?I

    The mountain is re(erred to as "ruel "aradhrasE at one &oint

    and the locations o( +iddle>earth each have their o5n (eel and

     &ersonality7 as i( they are indeed living characters and not a static


  • 8/9/2019 Eighth Day Genesis; A Worldbuilding Codex - Klein, Sabrina (Ed) (2012)


     The World As Character

     backdro&$ n The T5o To5ers  as ragorn7 %imli and ,egolas are

    tracking +erry and Pi&&en at the edge o( 4anghorn 4orest

    Then 5e must go in7 too7E said %imli$ But

    do not like the look o( this 4anghorn7 and 5e

    5ere 5arned against it$ 5ish the chase had led

    any5here elseME

    do not think the 5ood (eels evil7 5hatever

    tales may say7E said ,egolas$ He stood under the

    eaves o( the (orest7 stoo&ing (or5ard7 as i( he

    5ere listening7 and &eering 5ith 5ide eyes into

    the shado5s$ =o7 it is not evil7 or 5hat evil is in

    it is (ar a5ay$ catch only the (aintest echoes o(

    dark &laces 5here the hearts o( the trees are

     black$ There is no malice near us7 but there is

    5atch(ulness7 and anger$E

    That is Just as 5ell7E said ,egolas$ But

    nonetheless it has su3ered harm$ There is

    something ha&&ening inside or going to ha&&en$

    Do you not (eel the tenseness t takes my


    (eel the air is stu3y7E said the D5ar($ This

    5ood is lighter than +irk5ood7 but it is musty

    and shabby$E

    t is old7 very old7E said the 'l($ .o old that

    almost (eel young again7 as have not (elt since

    Journeyed 5ith you children$ t is old and (ullo( memory$ could have been ha&&y here7 i(

    had come in days o( &eace$E Tolkien 11:I


  • 8/9/2019 Eighth Day Genesis