February When we were in junior high school, my friend Rich and I made a map of the school lunch tables according to popularity. This was easy to do, because kids only ate lunch with others of about the same popularity. We graded them from A to E.
This is a little like expecting a bus driver to have an informed opinion on every other form of four-wheeled road-going transport.
Meanwhile, the world in which I interpret a work of fiction has changed. And in the here and now, I find it really difficult to suspend my disbelief in the sorts of worlds other science fiction writers are depicting.
About a decade ago, M. Every moment of a science fiction story must represent the triumph of writing over worldbuilding. Worldbuilding literalises the urge to invent. Worldbuilding gives an unnecessary permission for acts of writing indeed, for acts of reading.
Above all, worldbuilding is not technically necessary. It is the great clomping foot of nerdism. A good writer would never try to do that, even with a place that is there.
The implicit construction of an artificial but plausible world is what distinguishes a work of science fiction from any other form of literature.
Note the emphasis on implicit, though. Worldbuilding is like underwear: Worldbuilding is the scaffolding that supports the costume to which our attention is directed. Without worldbuilding, the galactic emperor has no underpants to wear with his new suit, and runs the risk of leaving skidmarks on his story.
Storytelling is about humanity and its endless introspective quest to understand its own existence and meaning.
But humans are social animals. And technology and environment inextricably dictate large parts of that context. We live with constant low-level anxiety and trauma induced by our current media climate, tracking bizarre manufactured crises that distract and dismay us and keep us constantly emotionally off-balance.
These things are the worms in the heart of the mainstream novel of the 21st century. Now for a personal perspective. I have to apply conscious reasoning to put myself in a different head-space.
I strongly suspect I have mild ASD.
For me, world-building provides a set of behavioural constraints that make it easier to understand the character of my fictional protagonists. For example, if writing a story: And this is why my characters constantly feel uneasy and defensive, dominated by a low-level sense of alienation and angst.
The purpose of world-building is to provide the social context within which our characters feel, think, and act. Simply put, plausible world-building in the twenty-first century is incredibly hard work.
One synonym for "plausible" in this sense is "internally consistent". A lot of authors seem to have responded to this by jetisoning consistency and abandoning any pretense at plausibility: To a generation raised on movie and TV special effects, plausible internal consistency is generally less of a priority than spectacle.
When George Lucas was choreographing the dogfights in "Star Wars", he took his visual references from film of first world war dogfights over the trenches in western Europe.
Trying to accurately depict an engagement between modern jet fighters, with missiles launched from beyond visual range and a knife-fight with guns takes place in a fraction of a second at a range of multiple kilometres, is cinematically futile: You can take that movie as a perfect example of the triumph of spectacle over plausibility at just about every level.Jul 22, · Children in summer camp can be their essential selves, not worrying about how their parents might react.
Photo by Christian Science Monitor/Getty Images When I look at my phone, I see my daughter. Thanksgiving is a particularly American holiday.
The word evokes images of football, family reunions, roasted turkey with stuffing, pumpkin pie and, of course, the Pilgrims and Wampanoag, the acknowledged founders of the feast.
What to do if you find out your loved one is an opioid addict. If you just found out that a loved one is struggling with an opioid addiction, these . Emily Carrington is a housewife and nonprofit consultant in Hillsdale, Michigan. She is also a co-founder of the start-up nonprofit organization the Early Pregnancy Loss Association.
Thanksgiving is a particularly American holiday. The word evokes images of football, family reunions, roasted turkey with stuffing, pumpkin pie and, of course, the Pilgrims and Wampanoag, the acknowledged founders of the feast.
If you’d like more about cherishing these blessed moments with three kids, read Worst Baptism Ever.. While I love nearly all of the comments I have received, I wrote another post meant to rebut the argument that parenting is or should be easy: Rebuttal and Train Museums.
And for those who are irritated by my venting (this clearly happens), I also .