Fantastic Folks 1: Dwarves

The tropes associated with fantasy races/cultures are, it must needs be remarked, somewhat tired. Despite the occasional kick up the backside that they receive, the general trend in fantasy seems to be repackaging of the same old ideas, rather than the creation of new ideas. Some of this repackaging is good, and some of it…

World-Building Recommendations

Between blogging, my various jobs, and the general grind of the season, I am afraid that I have no world-building thoughts to share this week. Rather than scrape together something underwhelming, though, I thought I might try something a little different and recommend a few sources which show a variety of forms of world-building which…

Writing Divinity

Spoilers for Divinity (computer game franchise). Whilst the denizens of the Internet are collectively baying for Baldur's Gate 3 to be released at long last, I have been replaying Larian's other darling, Divinity: Original Sin II (D:OSII), with a friend. I did not play the original, but have been reassured that, much like penny-farthings and…

Write Like You Mean It 6

An erratic guide to consistent writing: Super Fun Punctuation Special! I am currently in the middle of preparing for this year's Pitch Wars, so my time for reading and playing has been severely curtailed. Have no fear, though, because we still know how to have a good time here! This week, we bring you a…

Sojourning with the Spiritfarer

Spoilers for Spiritfarer (game). Spiritfarer is a fairy-story-like game in which the protagonist, a sort of otherworldly pixie, has to journey across a mystical world in order to find sufficient shiny objects and quirky friends to defeat a malevolent owl, but it is not just a simple rip-off of Ori and the Blind Forest. It…

Writing Death Stranding

Spoilers for Death Stranding (interactive software experience) and Metroid: Other M (base breaker). BB's Delivery Service invites the player/viewer to journey with the protagonist, Boromir Bridges, as he is chased across the territory of the former United States of Alleged'merica by the ghost of Caprica Six, so he can plug a nuclear baby into a…

Writing Angel Mage

Spoilers for Angel Mage (novel). I first spotted Angel Mage when, on the recommendation of a friend, I resolved to pick up a copy of Gormenghast. The cover was slick and striking (black and gold will do that), and at the top, over the words Angel Mage, stood Joe Abercrombie's words of adulation, 'The most…

Writing The Wheel of Time

Spoilers for The Wheel of Time (books series and upcoming television series) and Dune (pan-media franchise). N.B. In this article, I will be using various potentially contentious words, including sexism and sexist, in a general, even colloquial, sense, rather than the highly technical and narrow senses used in certain academic disciplines. That should probably give…

Writing Ori and the Blind Forest

Spoilers for Ori and the Blind Forest (game). Ori and the Blind Forest is a game in which one plays as a tiny cat-monster in his struggle against the twin perils of low gravity and high saturation. Pictured: the effect of sitting too near the screen when anything exciting happens.(Screenshot from 'Spongebob Squarepants') That does…

Writing Sekiro

Spoilers for the following games: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, mild spoilers for Dark Souls (series), Fallen London (formerly Echo Bazaar), and Cultist Simulator. Ninpou! Dark Souls Bunshin no Jutsu!(Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, official promotional material) I love Japanese food. There is something so fulfilling about a full Japanese meal: the flavours, textures, colours, the neatness…