Just Checking In

March 21, 2010

We actually got close to 3 inches of snow on Saturday. I was not happy to have to brush the heavy, thick stuff from off my car. But, fortunately, it only coated the grass and not the street.

A woman was walking her dog as I was cleaning my car of snow and greeted me with a “Happy First Day of Spring!” But, today, the sun is out, although still a bit chilly, and the snow is all gone and temps will be in the 50’s this week. Not too shabby.

Let’s see. What am I working on? Oh, yeah. I’m doing Script Frenzy, which starts in eleven days on April 1st. I have a bit more prepping to do before then so that’s my #1 priority. It’s a fantasy that’s dealing with both religion and science, one of my fave things to mull over.

I’m also going over a novel I wrote back in 2004 for NaNoWriMo. It’s a wild and wooly space opera which I’m thinking about rewriting. It really needs a LOT of work but there are some seeds inside it that I think just might sprout into something interesting.

I’m also writing a short erotic Western. A cowboy menage a trois (MMF). Why? I have no idea. It’s only going to be about 15,000 words but it’s like a burr under my saddle and I gotta write the darn thing or go crazy.

Oh, and my steampunk. *sigh* I haven’t given up on it but the world-building is proving to be very, very challenging. To me steampunk has to be about the world or it’s not steampunk. So I haven’t given up on it but I need to spend some time working on the world in order to feel comfortable writing it.

So, trying to stay busy in order to stay out of trouble. 🙂


Creating Alien and Fantasy Cultures

January 11, 2010

When creating alien and fantasy cultures for your short stories and novels, there’s actually quite a lot of books out there that can be very helpful. I went through my library and found some that I’ve found useful.

Creating Alien and Fantasy Cultures

These books are useful for creating aliens, species for a fantasy novel and their cultures.

o The Science of Aliens – Clifford Pickover

o Aliens and Alien Societies – A Writer’s Guide to Creating Extraterrestrial Life-forms – Stanley Schmidt

o Writer’s Guide to Creating a Science Fiction Universe – George Ochoa and Jeffrey Osier

o Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy – 20 Dynamic Essays by Today’s Top Professionals – The Editors of Analog and Issac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine

o How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy – Orson Scott Card

o Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy – Crawford Kilian

o Worlds of Wonder – How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy – David Gerrold

o Concerning the Heavens – Creating the Science Fiction Novel – Melissa Scott

o The Complete Guide to Writing Science Fiction – Volume One – Edited by Dave A. Law and Darin Park

o The Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy – Volume One – Edited by Darin Park and Tom Dullemond

o The Writer’s Complete Fantasy Reference – The Editors of Writer’s Digest Books

Books of Special Mention
o The Tough Guide to Fantasyland – Diana Wynne Jones – This book is more of a satirical look at the tropes and clichés in fantasy literature than an actual guide to creating a fantasyland, but it’s not only hilarious it can be quite useful in finding overused tropes and clichés in your fantasy stories. Or even suggesting some to use but maybe twisting them a bit to give them that extra bite.

o The Lord of the Rings – Weapons and Wars – Chris Smith – This is a book that details all the weapons, whether wielded by Men, Elves, Dwarves or Orcs in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy movies. It’s beautifully illustrated and I find it useful for ideas concerning weaponry for my fantasy characters.

These books are helpful for looking at aliens created by writers and/or artists.

o Aliens in Space – Steven Caldwell

o Barlowe’s Guide to Extraterrestrials – Wayne Douglas Barlowe, Ian Summers and Beth Meacham

Mating and Courtship Practices
These books are helpful in coming up with ideas for mating and courtship rituals for your alien and fantasy cultures.

The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Love, Courtship and Sexuality Through History – Edited by William E. Burns (Six Volumes)

The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life (Six Volumes)

The Mythology of Sex – An Illustrated Exploration of Sexual Customs and Practices from Ancient Times to the Present – Sarah Denning

Sextrology – The Astrology of Sex and the Sexes – Starsky & Cox

Sexual Secrets – The Alchemy of Ecstasy – Nik Douglas and Penny Slinger

I hope to, in later posts, talk about the actual methods and techniques I use when creating cultures for my stories. Until then, I hope these may prove helpful.


100 Billion Earth-Type Worlds

February 25, 2009

Below is a link to a great article at CNN about the possibility of 100 billion earth-type worlds in the galaxy.

That’s galaxy, not universe. Extrapolate from 100 billion in our galaxy to encompass the billions of galaxies in the universe and the number is mind-blowing!

Which means there could be thousands of intelligent civilizations in the galaxy. Not Klingons or Vulcans or Cylons, but something beyond what our imaginations could possibly conceive.

How exciting is that! The possibility that we truly are not alone in the universe. Sci-fi nerd that I am news like this just sets my geeky heart a flutter. *grin*

Galaxy May Be Full of “Earths