This blog has, unfortunately for the moment, devolved a bit into “Stuff is happening and I’m busy!” Today is no exception to that. In part because I’m finalizing the edits for Murder of Mages so I can turn it in tomorrow.
On top of that, I’ve got a fair amount of pre-ArmadilloCon work on my plate. Part of that is the administrative side of the Writers’ Workshop, part is the actual workshopping work for my group, and part is doing additional research and reading to prepare for some of the panels I’m on.
As part of that research, I’ve been revisiting Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse, two books that have strongly shaped my ideas of worldbuilding. I’ve also been thinking about the Columbian Exchange, and how that could be applied to worldbuilding. I’ll be posting more on that in the near future. And that ties into geography, first and foremost, shaping the worlds we build.
And with geography, there’s maps. I’ve been re-working the maps to appear in Thorn of Dentonhill and Murder of Mages so they are of publishable quality. Which is an excellent way for me to be productive while the back of the brain churns on writing things.
So, back to work in the word mines.
Diamond is really, really iffy in terms of reference material – he’s a great writer, but a lot of his claims end up being deeply Eurocentric or come from the Department of I Pulled This Out of My Ass. I’ve got GG&S and Collapse, enjoyed them immensely, but I wouldn’t use them as reference material.
Well, if you’re using these books as a reference for worldbuilding, to a degree you’re removing the eurocentrism out of it, since you’re removing the Europe.
I think his theories give a lot of food for thought about why one culture might advance in technology or social order, and how that could lead to one culture exerting dominance over another.
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