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August 29, 2011

On Thud and Blunder

Classic advice for fantasy writers: Poul Anderson argues on behalf of elementary knowledge, and plain common sense, in sword and sorcery.

Beneath the magic, derring-do, and other glamour, an imaginary world has to work right. In particular, a pre-industrial society, which is what virtually all heroic fantasy uses for a setting, differs from ours today in countless ways. A writer need not be a walking encyclopedia to get most of these straight. A reasonable amount of research, or sometimes merely a reasonable amount of logical thinking, will do it for him.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at August 29, 2011 08:47 AM