I came across my notes for the world building panel I was on at Convergence. We had a great discussion. I thought I’d post some of my favorite examples of fascinating, and intriguing world building.
You know when it’s really good. Outside of the author’s narrative, you want to wonder around in that place and look at things on your own. Maybe that’s just me. I’m a big Tomb Raider fan, which lets me roam as I please. I much prefer hunting for artifacts and exploring caves to advancing the story line.
I’ll start with Gaslight Dogs by Karin Lowachee. A friend recommended I give it a try and even lent me her copy. The setting is eerily not quite familiar. It’s almost this Earth, sort of, with some magic. A spiritwalker, shape-shifter of an Arctic tribe is seen as a possible weapon by a gun-wielding military. The clash of these two cultures has obvious parallels to our own history and present. I started off feeling slightly off-balance then enjoyed settling into the story.
Plus it’s well written. I want to drive a dog sled through this Arctic and walk the streets of the southern cities. I want to taste the vastly different food from the two cultures and try on their different clothes. I don’t think I could live in either society for very long, but I would appreciate the experiences.