A couple of articles related to creating worlds to inhabit in fiction and popular culture.
The first, drawn to my attention by a colleague who knows I’m in vampires in popular culture mode at the moment, talks about world-building within the Twilight novels and books and some intersections with religion and spirituality in those worlds.
The second is an op-ed piece by Saladin Ahmed, the author of “Throne of the Crescent Moon” (which I quite enjoyed), who talks about the ‘homes’ that people find in the worlds created particularly in fantasy fiction. See: At Home In Fantasy’s Nerd-Built Worlds : NPR
Like a detailed model railroad the size of a football field, or a small city of fully furnished dollhouses, the well-built fantasy world astonishes us with the vastness of its intricacies. And from this wood, paint, cloth, metal, and hours and hours of painstaking nerds’ work, a kind of magic is made.
A much more detailed essay on world-building from kiwi Dylan Horrocks can be found at the link below, as well as in the following collection of essays.
- Horrocks, Dylan. “The Perfect Planet: Comics, Games and Word-Building.” In Writing at the Edge of the Universe, edited by Mark Williams, 197-223. Christchurch, N.Z.: Canterbury University Press, 2004.
Of course, one of the classic essays on world-building is this one:
- Tolkien, J.R.R. “On Fairy-Stories.” In Tree and Leaf, 11-70. London: Unwin Books, 1964.