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      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2008 edited
     (1984.1)
    So. I figure I've been here long enough to plug myself a bit. If not, then I gladly offer up my digestive tract to the dread horrors Warren and Ariana keep in the fishtank in the office. But I think someone here is bound to find this interesting, and that's worth the arse eels.

    Let us examine the idea of Worldbuilding for a moment. Some of the greatest works of science fiction and fantasy are in no small part great because of the world they allow readers to leap into. I'm talking about Lord of the Rings, Dune, Foundation and its myriad stepchildren. I'm also talking about Star Trek, various superhero universes, hardly great stories that remain good because of the worlds that invite the reader to explore them. I'm talking alternate history, which is practically defined as an exercise in worldbuilding (though the best ones, namely Harry Turtledove's How Few Remain series, do so through the lens of interesting characterization). Now, worldbuilding alone cannot make a story great, or even good. But can it be a wonderful foundation for stories? I believe that it can. And I give it a try at any and all opportunity.

    There is a website that I run with a few other people, a fiction collection masquerading as a forum, a community masquerading as a lecture hall. At Omniverse Zero, or OZ as we've come to call it, we work to create interesting, cool, thought-provoking settings for science fiction and, sometimes, fantasy stories. Sometimes these are little more than petri dishes to be used to grow fiction. Sometimes they are big enough, and cool enough, to justify their own existence.

    I would like some of you folks to take a look around, and maybe give it a try yourselves. Because, to be frank, we need more quality members, and more quality universes. Because I get this bad feeling in the pit of my stomach sometimes that the community is staggering a bit. I don't mean to put out a sob story, but I honestly do believe that we are cool enough to keep alive. And it would kick my ass if some of you fine folks would imbue the database, the library, the coffee table, with some of your own ideas. I know there's got to be a few of you out there.