21W.758 | Fall 2016 | Undergraduate
Genre Fiction Workshop: Fantasy
Lecture Notes

Session 8

Warping the World 

World building (Kushiel’s Dart)

Earth or Alt. Earth

Morphy Earth - Kushiel’s 

Good reasons for using our world

The world shapes the story/the possibilities of the story

Why Medieval?

Use other periods

  • Other histories
  • Other religions
  • Carey - how does she do this?? (Brilliantly!)

You can make almost any time period and any place/culture work for fantasy

  • But you must know it fairly well (by which I mean very well)

Kushiel’s Dart and France/Southern France

World Building vs. generic “Fantasyland”

Where do we start? 

What interest/intrigues us?

Area of the world/culture you know & love?

What DRAWS you in fantasy???

Logical connections

Physical world

  • What people eat
  • What they wear
  • Where they live
  • How they travel
  • How they fight

➞ Cliché of medieval world

  • What era is Carey using to work from? (Early Renaissance)

How is it different from cliché medieval world?

  • Look up - Stew, Cloaks, Gold

MISTAKE - Medieval world (SCA version) with magic!

Grimdark - medieval world

  • Nasty as it really was

Science Fantasy worlds

Gaslight Victorian Fantasy. Battlefield Press, 2015. (Steampunk but fantasy)

Culture & aesthetic but play fast & loose with the history (Carey)

The Lord of the Rings - NOT vague medieval land

  • Pre-industrial/agrarian

Martin - Grimdark

Why is Arthur medieval - it’s actually pre-medieval! (in actual time)

Research/lack of research


Course Info
As Taught In
Fall 2016
Learning Resource Types
notes Lecture Notes
assignment_turned_in Written Assignments with Examples